Local marketing and word-of-mouth recommendations may be effective ways to draw in local clients. However, an online search might have just as much, if not more, impact. In fact, 97% of search engine users have looked online to find a local business, according to Social Media Today. Additionally, local information was sought after in 46% of all Google searches.
Therefore, if a company doesn’t appear in local search results, it can be losing out on lucrative traffic and clients. In other words, local SEO can be the secret to expanding your company and remaining current.
Let’s first attempt to comprehend what local search entails before discussing the definition of local SEO. When someone searches locally, they are looking for businesses, goods, services, or any other information pertinent to a particular area. They might type in “concerts near me” to look up a concert in their neighborhood or “best painting service in [location]” to discover a local painting contractor.
In other words, local search is more specific to a certain location compared to general Google searches. And Local SEO refers to the process of trying to optimize your online visibility to show up in those local search results.
Local SEO is crucial because it helps you:
- Boost your online visibility
- Bring in more foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar location
- Attract more targeted traffic, which improves your chances of conversion
- Enhance your credibility and build trust
1. Create a Google My Business Account
The most efficient strategy to appear more prominently in Google Search local results as well as rank higher on Google Maps is probably to optimize your Google listing, often known as your business profile. However, you must a Google My Business account linked to that profile in order to have access to your Business Profile and do these adjustments. Your Business Profile, which appears in Google Search local results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps, will be updated once you have completed all of the information requests on your Google My Business account dashboard.
To optimize your Business Profile on Google, ensure that you:
- Create a Google My Business account and verify ownership of the business
- Provide accurate and up-to-date information
- Include your logo, hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, the product or service you sell, and plenty of images
- Encourage your customers to review your business online
- Respond sincerely to customer reviews
- Publish posts (announcing products, events, and special offers) to your Business Profile using the Google My Business dashboard.
2. Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers
Getting your consumers to leave positive reviews for your company not only improves your Google My Business presence, but it also motivates additional nearby people to make purchases from you. 85% of buyers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey.
Here are some tips to encourage customers to leave reviews:
- Ask for a review in person after the close of a sale
- Send a post-purchase email or text asking customers to write a review (but only after you’ve screened them via an internal survey to ensure you’re not approaching dissatisfied customers)
- Respond to existing reviews in a professional way, thanking reviewers and addressing complaints in not-so-favorable reviews
3. Optimize for Voice Search
In the future years, voice search will experience enormous growth. So, rather than optimizing for how individuals write their queries, local SEO must take into account how people ask inquiries while speaking into gadgets.
Basically, while conducting voice searches as opposed to standard searches, your clients employ more long-tail terms. As a result, you’ll also need to modify your content’s SEO to fit someone else’s more casual speech. For instance, you should take into consideration the standard question openers (who, what, when, where, why, and how).
When optimizing for voice, it’s also essential to take user intent into account because these searches are typically made when the user needs a specific piece of information. They anticipate receiving a prompt and helpful response if they ask Alexa to convert teaspoons to cups while they are baking. This information need to be accessible in case a potential client utilizes voice search to inquire about your business’s hours.
4. Create Content Based on Local News Stories or Events
There’s nothing quite like authoring content that speaks or relates directly to a local issue to grab your local customers’ attention.
Some strategies include:
- Writing blog posts around local news stories, activities, or events
- Creating videos about local charities or causes that your business supports
- Setting up location-specific webpages on your website with high-quality local content if you serve different parts of a region
Consider the case of a neighborhood real estate company. For each of your locations, you can make a separate page where you can showcase hyperlocal content about current affairs or adjustments to the neighborhood real estate market. Using this method, you might also improve your ranking for any particular place.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
The shift to mobile is happening quicker than anticipated, according to a 2018 Stone Temple study that compared mobile and desktop patterns from the previous year. In contrast to the overall decline in desktop visits from 43% in 2016 to just 37% in 2017, mobile visits to websites increased from 57% to 63% in 2017.
Another Acquisio study from 2017 found that local search traffic can be very profitable, with a startling 75% of all mobile searches with local intent actually leading to in-store, offline visits within 24 hours.
This demonstrates that in order to compete in local SEO—and, frankly, for strong SEO in general—you must optimize your website for mobile.
Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Ensure your website loads quickly (no more than three seconds)
- Use bigger fonts that are easy to read
- Use images and copy sparingly, conveying only the information you need (no room for filler on a mobile screen!)
- Ensure intuitive UI for great UX
6. Create a Dedicated Webpage for Each Product/Service You Offer
While it may be tempting to simply group all of your offerings on one large page, resist doing so. Instead, give each special item or service you provide its own page. Because search engines don’t typically view your brand as an authority in a single niche, if you put everything on one page, your local SEO juice won’t be as effective. Your chances of ranking are reduced as a result.
Use location-based material for each page if your company has multiple locations but no distinct items or services. “Dental marketing,” for instance, will change to “New York dental marketing” or “Buffalo dental marketing.”
SEO is constantly evolving. It’s impossible to predict when Google will add new features to its SERPs for local searches, but you can anticipate these adjustments. Because of this, it’s crucial to continuously monitor local SEO.