Check out these local search tips to improve your local rankings, increase website traffic, and generate more leads for your small business.
Local SEO is one of the best ways for a small business to put itself out there and compete on a local level, get found in local search results, and gain more business.
In fact, Google has reported that the trend of local searching has skyrocketed recently, with “near me” searches increasing by up to 900% from 2015 to 2018 alone!
Small Business Local SEO Tips
In today’s article, we’ll help you reap the benefits of local search by providing you with 7 local search tips for small businesses that are worth implementing. Let's dive in!
1. Apply These Local SEO Strategies
First, you should keep in mind that local SEO techniques are pretty similar to global or national SEO techniques. However, the difference is making sure you create helpful local content on your business site, creating local listings, and earning local reviews.
Effective local SEO strategies include keyword research, creating local content, optimizing the on-page elements of created content, creating and earning links to your content, creating local business listings, and earning online reviews.
By doing keyword research with the help of these software tools, naturally adding relevant keywords to your content, and incorporating on-page SEO efforts, you should expect an improvement in the organic traffic your content generates over time.
In order to SEO-optimize your content, you should include a title tag that's aligned with your topic, a meta description, including internal and external links to supporting or related content, headings to organize content sections, and images and/or video.
2. Localize Your Listings & Content
Another simple yet extremely effective way to let search engines know that your content is relevant enough to show when a customer types “near me” or your city’s name is by including your business NAP on your site and listings, which stands for “Name, Address, and Phone number”.
Also, make sure to include local keywords in your website content when writing about your business and products or services to increase local search relevance. Having locally optimized content is important to get found for local searches, especially if you serve multiple locations.
Check out these reviews of small business SEO tools and local SEO tools you can use to perform these search engine optimization tasks more effectively.
Staying consistent with this information will help search engines like Google rank your content more prominently in local search results and Google Maps, especially if this information is added throughout your listings, web pages, and blog posts along with keywords related to your niche.
Localizing content with relevant keywords and citation info is vital for both local and service area businesses. Having site content for all locations served can make a huge impact when it comes to local SEO for service-area businesses. These methods are effective for making sure potential customers know that you’re a local business and can help increase lead conversion rates.
A bonus tip here is to use a consistent local phone number because it appeals to local customers rather than 800 numbers that don’t identify your location.
3. Claim Local Business Profiles
Claiming ownership of local listings such as your Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business) allows you to pair your business details with the content on your website, acquire links to your site, and get more mentions and information about your business in front of potential customers.
Having a more polished Google business listing with consistent details and information will make your business more accessible to customers and also rank your website higher in terms of trustworthiness and SEO.
Related: How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Luckily, most local listing and directory sites have made the process of creating online listings simple for business owners. Usually, you just have to go through a quick verification process. This process is usually simple and may include an email, automated call, or postcard to verify the details.
4. Earn More Online Reviews
According to a 2018 report by Statista, about 53% of shoppers in the United States used ratings and reviews as a primary attribute to buy a product or a service.
Since search engines aim to provide the best results for searchers, their algorithms will always take ratings and reviews into account while ranking local businesses.
Of course, the best way to ensure high reviews for the business is to offer an excellent in-store or online service.
However, a great way to get more positive reviews is to ask your customers to rate their experience with your business after every sale with the option to leave a review.
Moreover, you can include a testimonial section on your website, which can also help to improve website conversions and trust in the eyes of search engines like Google.
Also, keep in mind that a small percentage of bad reviews isn't a bad thing, as it can give credibility to the reviews rather than looking fake.
5. Try to Acquire Local Backlinks
Backlinks are when other websites link to your website, which is one of the best ways to get an SEO boost, improve website authority, and rank higher in search results!
Backlinks are one of the top factors for improving a website's ranking on Google.
So, if you want to rank significantly higher in terms of local search engine optimization, you should consider ways you can earn more links to your site pages.
In the case of local SEO, you should consider interactions with other local websites, blogs, news sites, reviewer websites, etc.
You can also organize a local event, sponsor an organization, or share free products or services as ways to encourage owners of related sites to link to your website.
6. Maintain Social Media Accounts
Improving the online presence of your local business will ultimately help increase business opportunities and revenue. One of the best ways to improve your online presence is to create and maintain social media accounts that link back to your website.
This strategy will help your website generate more shares, links, and in turn organic traffic and potential leads or sales.
Not only that, but social media is also one of the best ways to engage directly with your customers, which also improves your responsiveness and overall ratings.
7. Use Structured Data Markup
Structured data is a type of code markup added to a page's HTML code that can help search engines better understand key information within your content.
This data markup can potentially enable your content to show as visually appealing rich snippets in Google search results, such as showing review stars or images.
The problem is, if you don’t know much about coding, this might seem like a complicated endeavor!
Luckily, a lot of website builders and content management systems, such as WordPress, offer third-party plugins that can apply some of this code for you.
With the growing number of people searching online for local product and service needs, investing in local SEO is an important marketing channel for future-proofing your business.
Consider applying these local search tips to increase your rankings in local search results and get found by more local customers and prospects when they perform local searches relevant to your business, products, or services.
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