Every business online strives for better SEO.
After all, who doesn’t want more traffic, more sales, and more visibility online? However, with more than 30.2 million small businesses in the United States alone, how can you compete?
Unless you ship products across the country or overseas, one important tactic is to narrow down your efforts to local SEO. This lets you focus on people right in your neighborhood and to improve your site’s local visibility.
Not sure how this works? Don’t fret, we’ve got a list of local SEO tips below for you to try out today:
What is Local SEO?
At its most basic form, local SEO is the strategy to optimize your online presence. This helps you get found in localized searches using Google and other search engines. With the use of the strategies in this guide, it’s possible for your business to target the right customers searching online.
Local SEO Tips and Tricks
Here is a good list of what to do when you need to optimize your website for local searches. It might be difficult if you’re starting out and have no technical expertise. In this case, it’s always better to try and get an SEO expert to do it for you instead.
1. Make Regular Updates to Your Website
A lot of studies on SEO found that customers think of your brand as inferior if your website isn’t up-to-date. If you’re a local business, most people will want to know a good means of reaching you. This is regardless of whether they want to inquire or buy products from you.
When your customers see that your product and primary information isn’t updated or missing, it might discourage them. This results in lesser traffic and rankings in the local search results page. That’s why it’s best for you to keep your website content and design updated regularly.
Doing so will help your users to see your newest products and services once they visit. Making exciting new announcements is easier using blogs. It’s a great way to reach your wider audience since it gives valuable information while you’re giving promotion to your brand.
2. Optimize Website Loading Speed
Did you know Google made a formal announcement about its “Speed Update” last year? With this, the search engine planned to roll out their newest ranking factor: page loading speed. Google intended this update to affect the slowest websites on the internet.
In simpler terms, the new criteria only intended to penalize slow sites, rather than rewarding faster ones. No one has the means of telling the exact criteria used by the search engine as of the moment. But if your website doesn’t take more than three seconds to load, you’re on the green.
The main reason behind this is due to the increasing number of people using mobile devices for local searches. After all, these people want to look for businesses close to their location. But the problem arises when people aren’t connected to WiFi—they’re using either 3G or 4G connections.
That means their data speed isn’t fast. As a local business, it’s your job to ensure that your website loads fast for people who are in a hurry. It doesn’t matter whether they’re using their carrier’s data plan to do their searches.
3. Social Media is Your Friend
One of the most important content marketing trends today is about creating content on social media.
Businesses see social media marketing as a key to success, especially since the boom of Facebook and Instagram. What this means is that viral campaigns now become a major driving factor to get more sales and profit. To succeed, your business needs to have a solid following on major social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Facebook is an ideal means of attracting your local audience to your business. After all, it has about 2.2 billion active users each month. That means it’s likely for the majority of your intended audience to be part of this ever-growing platform.
Do you need a good marketing strategy to succeed in local social media marketing? If so, you need to do some influencer marketing tactics. It offers a positive means of impacting your brand, especially when they have a significant number of followers in social media.
Collaborate with them and let them talk about your brand in a positive light. It’s an effective means of bringing in more potential customers. Today, people are easier to sway when influenced by these personalities.
4. Make Use of Search Queries and Other Keyword Research Strategies
If you want to know how your users search for your business, take advantage of search queries. With this, you have a better grasp of your online presence and ease of search. It’s one of the best features in Google My Business due to the sheer volume of search information.
The search information is invaluable in optimizing your content, as well as contact and product information.
It also adds more depth to your keyword research strategy since you have the search data pulled from actual users that looked for your business. This enables your local business to make better keywords with balanced volume and difficulty levels.
If you want to make the most out of the search queries, pair them up with other keyword research tools. That will give you enough information to choose the right keywords that have the potential of ranking well. The best part of this is that it’s considered as a white-hat SEO strategy.
Using regional keywords are also great if you’re trying to reach a specific demographic on a certain location. For example, if you’re a Springfield business, you need to put it on the relevant landing pages. This way, your business listing has more chances to appear at a higher rank when people search for Springfield enterprises.
5. Enable Instant Messaging
One of the most important inventions technology has to offer is instant messaging. The main reason is obvious–it enables a faster means of communicating with other people. With its speed comes the efficiency of other types of digital messaging lack.
Again, using Google My Business is the best course of action. Its recent update allowed potential customers to send a direct message to your business. This gives you ample opportunity to respond faster to customer questions and other concerns.
The end goal is to make a positive impact on your brand. After all, it improves your customer trust rating and image. Remember, branding benefits your business by increasing your customers’ awareness of your business.
It’s also important to take note that this feature is only available for mobile users. Regardless, it’s still a useful way of responding to messages even while on the go. The end result is to increase the likelihood of your local business to make more sales.
6. Give Answers to Questions
Answering questions asked on Google while responding to an instant message are local SEO business tips that go well together. A lot of users now use long-tail keyword searches based on questions. It’s all due to the fact that there’s a constant rise in using voice searches through AI assistants like Amazon Echo.
Your SEO strategy still needs regular keywords to succeed. But giving your audience answers they need through your content helps you tap into more users. This improves your search traffic and makes your online presence more prominent.
It’s important to remember that search has more variations and versatility over the past few years. What this means is that this local SEO strategy bodes well for your future plans.
7. Get Local Citations
For local businesses, you need to use citations to rise to the top of the search results page. Citations are listings of your businesses NAP information—name, address, and phone number. You can find these on websites that aggregate the data of businesses.
If you’re looking for the top tools, Yext and Moz Local are great options. But it’s important to get as many citations as you can. Do your research and ensure that your NAP gets listed on other sites that list local businesses like Yelp and the others.
But to ensure that these listings can benefit you, you need to make the NAP information consistent. A lot of businesses get penalized since they give outdated or inaccurate information across different listings. A good way to avoid this is to stick to one format, make it into a template, and use it on every single site.
8. Make Google My Business
Google My Business is a directory like some of the ones above. But compared to the others, it’s more important. After all, the name “Google” alone already proves its value to your business.
Take note that Google controls 92% of the world’s search engine market. This is the reason why the local SEO strategies on this list focus a lot on improving your rankings on the search engine results page instead of other choices like Bing. The good news is that the other minor search engines follow similar algorithms for their rankings.
Getting on Google My Business might be tedious, but the effort is worth the promotion. The hardest part is that you need to undergo a verification process involving snail mail. This helps ensure that you’re the real business owner and not some impostor claiming to own your brand.
Once you’re done with this, it goes much smoother from there. Get busy with your Google My Business page and add the right information. The best places to start include your business description, categories, hours, and other related information.
9. Get Online Reviews
Social proof is the easiest way to convince people to convert to your business and become customers. But what is social proof? At its most basic sense, these are positive reviews and testimonies from customers that tried out your business in the past.
If you get satisfied customers, encourage them to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business page. This helps other people see them when they’re searching for your business. If the majority of reviews are positive, you’re most likely to attract new customers and solidify your audience base.
To get positive reviews, you need to give outstanding customer service. People are more willing to praise your brand on social media and in reviews if you give them an excellent experience. That positive buzz will help you rank higher than your competitors.
10. Practice Content Marketing
Content marketing works better for websites that try to appeal to a broader spectrum of audiences. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a good way to get local traffic to your business. After all, the people located within your area are likely to search for answers related to the industry you’re in.
Make sure to take this opportunity and offer them the right information. It’s easy to do since you can use high-quality articles optimized to rank high in search results. Don’t hesitate to post on a regular basis, as long as it’s original and valuable.
A good place to start is to start a business blog. Write about the current events affecting your community. You can aggregate a few local news outlets using your RSS reader if you don’t know what to write.
Browse for events of interest and blog about them. Make sure that you do prior research to determine whether it’s attractive to the local folks. The best way to do this is to keep in touch with your local community.
Learn Local SEO Tips Today!
Local SEO continues to grow as the years go by since a lot of brands move their services online.
If you’re a local business that needs to stay relevant, using these local SEO tips will get you an edge over your competitors. It will help boost your business and let you grow your online presence at a steady pace.
Do you have any questions about local SEO? Contact us today and we’ll gladly talk to you. We have the right set of expertise on general SEO that can help your business thrive more for years to come.