Local SEO is a process of optimizing your online presence to rank higher for local searches. This means if you have a physical location, you want to be visible when people in your area are searching for businesses like yours. The good news is, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your local SEO!
What is Local SEO
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online content and presence to rank higher in search results for local searches. This can be done through optimizing your website, creating local listings and directories, and building online reviews. Local SEO is important for any business that wants to be found online by local customers.
If you want to improve your local SEO, there are a few things you can do.
Create Landing Pages
Make sure your website is optimized for local keywords. Include your city and state in your titles and tags, and make sure your content is relevant to your location. If you have multiple outlets spread across the country then creating multiple landing pages and optimizing them with the city and state would be beneficial.
You may not be aware of this but Google automatically captures your location when you are using Google Chrome (desktop, tablet or mobile). This helps Google to share relevant content based on that information.
If you scroll all the way down on the browser you’ll see your country, street address, city and state. (In that order)
Create local listings
Creating local listings on directories like Google My Business and Yelp. Include your business name, address, phone number, and hours of operation. There are several directories online and based on your business requirements, you can go ahead and register on the ones which are more relevant to your business.
Creating and verifying your listings also results in generating backlinks from high domain authority websites, which in this case are the directories. Hence, you don’t just increase the chance to generate a lead from such directories but also receive a boost for your website rankings.
Encourage customers to leave online reviews of your business. Respond to positive and negative reviews to show that you’re active and care about what people are saying about you. It can get difficult to manage reviews over a period of time when you grow. It’s best that you look into ORM or BRM tools (Online Reputation Management or Brand Reputation Management)
Before we dive deep into Local SEO, let’s take sometime and emphasize on why local reviews are important for a business.
The Importance of Reviews in Local SEO
If you’re running a business, reviews should be an important part of your local SEO strategy. Here’s why:
1. Google uses reviews as one of the ranking factors in its search algorithm. This means that businesses with more positive reviews are more likely to rank higher in SERP.
2. Reviews provide valuable customer insights. You can use them to improve your products or services, resolve customer issues, and understand what people are saying about your business.
3. Reviews can help build trust and credibility. Potential customers are more likely to trust a business that has positive reviews from other customers.
4. Reviews can boost your click-through rate (CTR). More positive reviews can lead to higher CTR, which can in turn lead to higher rankings in SERP.
If you’re not already actively working to get more positive reviews, now is the time to start. Reach out to your customers and ask them to leave a review on your Google My Business page or another review site like Yelp or TripAdvisor. You can also encourage customers to leave reviews by offering incentives like discounts or coupons.
How to Get More Reviews
1. Ask your customers directly. This is the most obvious way, but it’s also the most effective. Simply asking your customers to leave a review can go a long way.
2. Make it easy for them. Make sure your website has links to your review profiles on popular sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. You can also include QR codes that link to your profiles.
3. Offer an incentive. Offering an incentive for leaving a review can increase the likelihood that customers will take the time to do it. This could be a discount, a free product, or anything else that would be appealing to your customers.
4. Respond to reviews. Make sure you’re responding to both positive and negative reviews in a timely manner. This shows that you’re paying attention and that you care about what people are saying about your business.
Who needs local SEO
If you have a business that relies on customers from a specific geographical area, then you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to optimize your website for local SEO.
Local SEO is a specialized form of search engine optimization that helps your website rank higher in search results for people who are searching for businesses like yours in their local area.
There are a number of things you can do to optimize your website for local SEO, including:
1. Make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent across all your listings and directory listings.
2. Optimize your website content for local keywords.
3. Build citations from high-quality local directories.
4. Create a Google My Business listing and make sure it is up-to-date and complete.
By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your business shows up higher in search results when people are searching for businesses like yours in their local area.
What are the benefits of Local SEO
As a business owner, you may be wondering how local SEO can benefit your business. After all, doesn’t everyone just use Google when they’re looking for something?
The answer is yes… and no.
While it’s true that the majority of people use Google when they’re searching for something online, there are still a large number of people who use other search engines, like Bing or Yahoo. And even if someone is using Google, there’s no guarantee that they’ll see your website if you don’t have local SEO.
Local SEO is a process that helps to make your website more visible in search results for people who are searching for businesses like yours in their local area. It’s different from traditional SEO in that it takes into account things like the location of your business and the language that your potential customers are using.
If you want to attract more customers from your local area, then Local SEO is definitely something you should consider. Here are some of the benefits:
1. Reach More Customers: As we mentioned above, Local SEO can help you reach more customers who are actually looking for businesses like yours.
2. Cost-Effective: Local SEO is generally more cost-effective than traditional SEO or other marketing methods, like PPC advertising.
3. Boosts Your Reputation: Getting positive reviews and ratings from your customers can do wonders for your reputation. Local SEO can help you get more of these reviews by making it easier for your customers to find your business and leave their feedback.
4. Helps You Stand Out: With so many businesses competing for attention online, it’s important to make sure that you stand out from the crowd. Local SEO can help you do this by making your website more visible in search results and giving you an edge over your competition.
5. Increased Traffic: One of the ultimate goals of SEO is to increase traffic to your website. Local SEO can help you achieve this by making it easier for potential customers to find your site in search results.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, then Local SEO is definitely something you should consider.
How to improve Local SEO
Local SEO is all about making your website more visible and attractive to potential customers in your local area. Here are some tips on how to improve your local SEO:
1. Make sure your website is listed on all of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing).
2. Add your business to relevant local directories (Yellow Pages, Yelp, Foursquare, etc.).
3. Optimize your website for local keywords (include your city or region in your titles and tags).
4. Promote special offers and discounts to local customers.
5. Get involved with local events and activities.
6. Optimize your website for mobile devices.
7. Build local citations and backlinks.
By following these tips, you can improve your local SEO and attract more business from potential customers in your area.
How to do keyword research for Local SEO
As a small business, you have the advantage of being able to target keywords that are much more specific than those broad terms that national brands go after. But how do you know which keywords to target? How do you research local keywords that will help your business rank in Google Maps and organic search results? Here are a few tips:
Start with a seed list of local keywords
Think about the products or services you offer, and create a list of potential keyword phrases customers might use to find you. For example, if you’re a florist in Los Angeles, your list might include “flower delivery Los Angeles”, “wedding florist Los Angeles”, and “funeral flowers Los Angeles”.
If you want to understand the keyword research process in depth and understand how combining different types of keywords can translate into a winning SEO strategy the do read this article.
Use keyword research tools
There are a number of great tools out there for researching local keywords, including Google’s Keyword Planner and Moz’s Local Keyword Explorer. Start by plugging your seed list into these tools to see which keywords are most popular in your area.
Look at related searches (People Also Ask)
Once you have a list of potential keywords, take a look at Google’s related searches to see what other terms people are searching for that are related to your keywords. This can give you some great ideas for additional keywords to target.
Look at autocomplete searches
Figure out what are some of the most popular and commonly used search terms using Google Auto Complete. This can further help enhance your keyword strategy.
Check out your competition
See what keywords your competitors are targeting by looking at their website and using a tool like SpyFu or SEMRush. This can give you some great ideas for keywords to target that you may not have thought of on your own.
Analyze your search results
Once you’ve decided which keywords to target, do a few searches on Google and see what comes up. Take a look at the organic results as well as the Google Maps listings to see who your competition is and how well your website is currently ranking for these keywords. This will give you an idea of where you need to focus your efforts to improve your rankings.
4 Key Takeaway for Local SEO
1. Local SEO can help you attract more customers or clients to your business. People are more likely to click on businesses that appear at the top of the SERP, which means more foot traffic for you.
2. Local SEO can help you build trust and credibility with potential customers. When people see your business listed prominently in search results, they’ll be more likely to trust that you’re a reliable and reputable company.
3. Appearing high in local SEO results can help you stand out from your competitors. With so many businesses competing for attention online, it’s important to make sure that you’re visible to potential customers. Local SEO can help you do just that.
4. Local SEO can help you save money on marketing and advertising. If you’re able to rank high in local SEO results, you won’t need to spend as much money on traditional marketing and advertising methods, such as print ads or television commercials.
Local SEO is an important part of any business’s online marketing strategy. By optimizing your website for local search, you can increase your visibility in SERP and attract more customers to your business. Make sure you follow the steps above and pay extra attention to reviews. We live in a world where our decision making is dependent on reviews.
PS – How long back was it that you made a purchase without checking out the reviews of that product or service?