Have you ever wondered why local SEO is so important for small or multi-location companies? Well, what’s the point of doing business if someone couldn’t find you when they search for your product or services online? These days people use local search to find the best local businesses in their area. So, never miss an opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Through local SEO, you can increase the visibility of your business to potential customers. Local SEO is one of the effective ways to market your business online and it can be extremely rewarding. By using local SEO strategies, one can grow their business and attract more customers. This article explains to you what local search optimization is, local SEO strategies and why using a local SEO company can help improve your online visibility.
With searches now being carried out more and more on mobile devices, it is more important that local SEO strategies are implemented to keep your business ahead of the curve. It’s important for the customers to get to know about your business in terms of being able to find what you are, where you are, what you offer and how well what you offer is rated. Recent research says that more than 50% of mobile “on the go” searches having local intent. So, make sure that your website either has a mobile version or a mobile-responsive site.
What exactly is local SEO?
Local SEO is a method of optimizing your website to rank better for a local audience and it serves to promote your business visibility on location-based searches. These include searches with certain geo qualifiers such as city, state, zip code, etc., and near me searches where Google picks up the geo-location of the person and provides search results from that area. It helps your business stand out in the SERPs. Make sure people are able to find you in real life if you’re aiming to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPs) for local searches. It’s important to know who you’re targeting. You can create valuable content if you know who you’re writing for.
Local SEO strategies
There are specific strategies that will help optimize your local presence and by implementing these local SEO strategies you can easily improve your visibility, traffic and brand reputation on the Search engine result pages. Below are some tips to implement local SEO techniques for online portals.
1. Optimize Google My Business feature
Your first and foremost step is to link your business’ Google Plus page with Google My Business and this service is free. Google My Business allows you to update business information across Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Plus to ensure that a potential customer can find you easily.
You need to realize that competitors can edit your business listing. Make a habit to log in to your Google My Business dashboard regularly once you are provided with the details to ensure that no one has attempted to make any unwanted changes to your listing. You can effectively enhance your visibility in local searches. Just like GMB, Bing has also got its own directory named as Bing places for business. You can also add your business details to Bing’s directory. Below are some factors you need to take care
- Enter complete data including NAP (name, address, and phone number), business hours, and categories
- Verify your location(s)
- Keep your hours accurate
- Manage and respond to reviews
- Add photos of your business
2. Make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent
NAP is a fundamental aspect of local SEO. It’s very important for the business to make sure your business name, address, and phone number are listed correctly. Also, check that it is listed correctly on any other listings on the internet including Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business. It can negatively impact your local search rankings if you provide false information.
3. Build citations
So, what exactly are citations? They’re online reference to your business name, address, phone number, or website anywhere on the web, even if there is no link to your website. Citations are important to your local SEO efforts. You can build a unique set of citations for every physical location you have but make sure you always build citations only for real physical locations.
When you build the citation, the name, address, phone number, and website URL mentioned should be correct and identical. Removing duplicate listings and looking after spelling mistakes or wrong phone number on the business directories can make a huge difference. Showing the wrong result can impact your business.
4. Optimize Website Pages and Content for Local Keywords
Customize the title tag and meta description tag to reflect the content of your web page. It’s good to check that your titles and descriptions aren’t getting cut off in search results. Don’t forget to include the name of the city your business is in or the area your business serves to make sure Google only shows you listings that are relevant. That’s the best way to reach local customers. It’s also important to include your city’s name in your Title tag, Meta description, H1 tag, Body text, URL structure, Alt text on relevant images. Make sure your website is equipped with an SSL certificate because the majority of websites that rank on the first page of organic Google search results are HTTPS. This shows to users that your website is encrypted and secure.
5. Mobile Optimization and AMP
It is important that you stay on top of mobile SERPs if you want your potential customers to discover your business or website. Optimizing a website for mobile phones and portable devices is what we call Mobile SEO. Every webmaster should optimize their website’s mobile design and page load speed. If you’re not sure if your website is optimized for mobile, use Google’s free Mobile-Friendly Test because mobile optimization plays a huge role in Google local SEO. Most people search for a local business or local service using a mobile device. If your website is already mobile-friendly or responsive then your customers will get information about your business easily and they get accurate and to the point information. It will be easier to navigate as well.
Load speed times is a very important ranking factor. Assume that your site loads slowly and customer end up by closing the browser then automatically your ranking will drop. Google is pushing for AMP (accelerated mobile pages), which enables websites to load quickly and it is essential for improving readability and user experience, which plays a major role in Google’s algorithm. If you use AMP, you don’t need to worry about page load speed.
6. Encourage your customers to leave online reviews
These days customers are relying on review websites when deciding what products to buy. Online reviews help to increase the trust levels of potential customers. Research says that customers who read positive reviews are far more likely to get directly in touch over the phone, email or by visiting in person. The way that Google and local search engines see it is like, the more good reviews you get and the more people who trust you and your business increase your local rankings.
Based on the user testimonials, Google suggest the best option for the customers so always ask your customers to leave reviews. Keep the reviews professional as it is seen by the public. Never post fake reviews, though. It’s not worth the hassle of getting penalized. If you get a negative review, address it and acknowledge or solve the customer’s issue.
Start collecting reviews through major review platforms like:
- Google+ Local
- Trip Advisor
7. Keyword research
We are aware of the importance that keyword research plays in local SEO. keywords analysis is the doorway to all SEO efforts and you will have to first make in-depth keyword research. It’s recommended to use keyword planner to get search volumes for your location. So, make sure that you are selecting the country of your choice correctly. It’s good to get into the shoes of your customers and see if you were to look for the products or services in your niche what would you use to search for the information you need. Don’t miss to check your current ranking for those keywords and keyword phrases.
8. Build Links
Link building plays an important role in local SEO. It makes the huge difference in getting your local business site to the top positions, where you will get more leads and customers for your business. If you want to improve the site’s link authority then you should get links from local sources. It is a successful business technique that helps in branding your local business through quality backlinks. There are a few factors you want to keep in mind when it comes to SEO link building for local businesses. Try to get links from a site in the local area you are targeting and it should be relevant to the business industry. It will drive relevant traffic to your website.
All of the tips above offer advice on how to how to outrank your competitors through optimizing your local SEO. Using Google AdWords, you can target people in a certain geographic location. Suppose if you’re in a highly competitive industry, a local pay-per-click ad campaign can give you an edge over your competitors.
Now a day’s people rely more on search engines and reviews to find what they need, you’ll need to boost your local rankings to be found. So, optimize your website by producing great local content, acquiring citations, and earning reviews. If you improve your local SEO, automatically organic traffic gets increased and you can find more leads which help to grow your business.
Local SEO isn’t a stand-alone endeavour so make use of SEO and SMM to boost your rankings. It’s a combination of all these local SEO strategies that boost a local company’s search engine rankings in both the maps listings and the organic SERPs. Be sure to get started now, so your business isn’t left behind.