Local searches are three times more likely to result in a purchase compared to universal searches. You’d be hardpressed to find a better ROI with any other SEO solution. This trend will only continue as small businesses everywhere institute their own SEO campaigns, making it more difficult to stand out nationally.
Does your company take advantage of local SEO? If not, it’s better to get started sooner or later. The longer you wait, the more competition you’ll have later down the road.
But how does local SEO for small businesses differ from generic SEO practices? While some practices are similar, local SEO often requires a more thoughtful approach. Get started with these 7 local SEO strategies.
As the king of all local SEO tools, Google My Business lays the foundation of most local optimization strategies. It’s even more important than social media. By claiming your business through this program, you’ll be able to take control of your online presence.
What does this mean, exactly? Your business will appear across other Google services, such as Google maps. If you verify your business, Google may also display the listing on the sidebar of its SERPs.
Go beyond signing up for Google My Business. Once you have the basics down, do your best to include relevant branding wherever possible. Something as simple as incorporating photos can result in 42% more direction requests and 35% more website click-throughs.
2. Curate Positive Reviews
Now that you have control of your business on the Google hub, it’s time to further optimize your online presence. You’ll want to encourage your customers to leave a review on your Google My Business page.
Great reviews can convince potential customers to take the plunge, but they also inform search engines to improve your SERP rankings. According to Google, regularly responding to comments is another simple way to give your business profile a tidy SEO boost.
Remember that it’s not all about Google, though. Yelp! is another relevant business directory worth your attention. Just keep in mind that Yelp! doesn’t allow business owners to ask directly for reviews.
3. Create Localized Landing Pages
“Local” is a vague, subjective term that differs from person to person. For that reason, it’s important to determine which areas your business will target with guided SEO.
It could be a city, a county, a state, or even all three. Once you’ve decided on the areas in need of optimization, it’s time to get started.
And the best way to start is through the creation of localized landing pages.
Notice that we said pages. You’ll want a landing page tailored with relevant keywords appropriate for each locale. Don’t copy information from one page to the next, as search engine algorithms crawl your content they will immediately de-rank duplicate pages.
4. Earn Local Backlinks
Local link building is more specialized and complicated than general SEO. That’s because you’ll have to gain the attention of the few authority websites in your area.
First, do some research and locate local domains with a high authority ranking and good traffic. You could reach out to them directly and offer to write a guest blog if it’s relevant to their industry. But this usually isn’t an option when it comes to local SEO.
Instead, you’ll have to do something that gets their attention. This could mean hosting a local event or becoming a partner of something larger. When high-authority websites report on the event, that’s an opportunity to score a valuable backlink.
5. Go Mobile
An optimized mobile website is a major SEO ranking factor that can bring more traffic to your site and more visitors to your storefront. And when it comes to local optimization, a mobile-friendly website is absolutely essential. When people search for directions or reviews for a great place to eat, they’re typically out on the town with their mobile devices.
These are the potential customers you’re looking for.
Your mobile site should take advantage of different keywords. For example, mobile users keep things simple and tend to avoid long-tail keywords. Some mobile users rely on voice search, which means it’s a viable tactic to target keywords with a conversational tone.
6. Keep the NAP Consistent
Your NAP citation consists of your business’ name, address, and phone number. When you claim your business page on directories such as Google My Business and Yelp!, it’s imperative that the NAP information is accurate. Even a difference in abbreviations can be a big problem when it comes to local SEO.
What’s the big deal? A consistent NAP is a primary ranking factor. It tells search engines that your business is trustworthy since the information always adds up.
It’s a good idea to regularly search for your NAP citation online, as other websites may include this information without your knowledge. If the information is incorrect or in the wrong format, reach out to the website owners and request a change.
7. Optimize Your Website
Sometimes the best local SEO solutions are the most obvious. An optimized website is one of the most potent ranking factors when it comes to your position on the SERPs. You’ll want to include all the basics: relevant keywords, concise metadata, and great title tags.
But you need to take things a step further for local SEO. This includes the addition of a map, such as through a Google maps plug-in, as well as reviews and testimonials.
Local SEO for Small Business
In the competitive and cutthroat world of digital SEO, opting for local optimization can help your business stand out over the rest. Claiming your online profiles, optimizing your website, and earning local backlinks are all excellent ways to get started.
But it’s certainly not easy.
When it comes to local SEO for small business, you should rely on the professionals at Ozark Web Design. From competitor research to professional blog content, we handle every aspect of the local SEO process.
Request a free consultation and take your business to the next level.
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