Did you know that 80% of a business website’s traffic starts with a search?
Also, over 70% percent of people research products and services on the web before deciding to buy. With millions of websites competing for users’ attention, how can a local business like you stand out?
If you’re a local business with a physical store, you can focus on adapting local SEO to your business. By implementing good local SEO, your site has a better chance to rank on the first pages of google search results, providing you with more visibility, traffic, conversions, and revenue.
In this article, you’ll learn the basics of local SEO and the most effective strategies and tips to improve your local search ranking.
Understanding Local SEO
Local SEO is a branch of traditional SEO. It consists of strategies and techniques that focus more on geographical elements to increase the online visibility of local companies and businesses and allow them to get a higher ranking in terms of localized searches.
In general, many of the practices and strategies used in traditional SEO overlap with local SEO. The only difference is the audience being targeted. Traditional SEO has a broad or national audience, while local SEO targets an audience in a specific geographic area or multiple locations.
This makes local SEO valuable for small businesses with a physical location. Depending on the competition level in your niche, local SEO may even generate faster results than traditional SEO.
After all, customers are looking for a business near them. In fact, over 95% of users are searching for local businesses, and over 75% of users who search for a product or business nearby visit it within the day. So, not working on your local SEO means you’re leaving good money on the table.
Five Local SEO Strategies And Tips To Boost Your Ranking
1. Consult An SEO Agency
As a small business owner, you already had a lot on your plate, from managing your business and employees to spearheading marketing and sales campaigns. Adding the complexity of SEO and the wider world of digital marketing can be challenging.
So, you can always confide with the experts if you’re struggling to learn and make sense of the significant amount of information available about local SEO and digital marketing. Partnering with a reputable SEO firm can help guide your local SEO efforts and may even handle some of your SEO activities. Learn more here if you want to know more about SEO agencies and the services they can offer to your business.
These companies live and breathe SEO, meaning they’re experienced in all things related to SEO and can help in planning and implementing local SEO campaigns that can drive great results. This way, you can save resources and time, so you can focus more on important things–running your business.
2. Claim Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
Google dominates the search engine market with over 90% of the market share. Thus, you must ensure that your small business has a strong presence in Google via your GMB to attract visitors to your site and physical location. When done properly, your small business can be featured on the first page of a local Google search.
So, how do you claim your GMB listing?
First, you need to verify that your business has no listing yet. If your business has been operating for years, then it may be listed on Google. Search for your business on Google, and you can simply claim and verify the listing when you find it.
Otherwise, you can simply create your own listing. You’ll have to provide some information about your business and undergo a verification process. After that, your listing should be live. Once you have a listing, make sure to optimize it by adding descriptions, operating hours, uploading business photos, and the like.
3. Don’t Forget Other Online Listings
GMB is only one of the numerous online directory and listing sites available today. And you don’t want to overlook these sites at all. Sites such as Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, TripAdvisor, and other niche-specific listing sites on your niche are also important, so make sure you can claim and optimize your listings on these platforms and directories.
To assess your credibility, Google and other search engines periodically scan these directories to measure the visibility of your small business and obtain critical business information.
4. Ensure Consistent Citations
Speaking of critical information, when providing information on your online listing profiles, consistency is important. You must verify that your online citations and business information are complete and consistent across online listings.
Also, you want to ensure that you provide the same information on your website and social media accounts. Even the smallest discrepancies, such as different phone numbers, abbreviations, and misspellings, can be quite problematic since search engines won’t be able to determine or find which information is correct. As a result, it won’t show your business in search results.
5. Create Local Content With Local Keywords
In the world of digital marketing, content is king. Creating valuable, high-quality, and relevant content allows you to establish authority in your industry and niche. Also, it helps in building trust by providing users solutions and answers to their pain points and questions and even helps push them down your sales funnel.
For instance, if you’re an HVAC business, you can offer users valuable tips on maintaining their HVAC unit. A user can benefit from your instruction or may choose to call your business to do it instead.
When writing content for your local SEO efforts, there are some things you need to consider. Writing about general topics helps attract a larger audience. You can also focus on local news or topics that pique your target audience’s interest. To make it more targeted, you also need to include localized keywords. In this case, long-tail keywords are the best.
So, instead of using general keywords such as ‘HVAC maintenance,’ consider using ‘HVAC services in California.’ Such keywords are location-specific and properly targeted, increasing the chance of attracting quality leads from your locality.
There’s no denying the power of SEO for companies, especially for small businesses. If you want to thrive in this increasingly competitive digital world, you’ll need to take local SEO practices more seriously.
Start implementing the above strategies to optimize your website for local search. While it won’t improve your ranking overnight, implementing and consistently optimizing your local SEO can help you reach the first-page ranking to become the go-to business in your locality. When you do, you’ll enjoy an increase in lead generation and conversion, ultimately improving business revenue and growth.