For any small business, local SEO is essential to driving customers through your door. But what is local SEO, and how do you do it? Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website and online presence to rank higher in search results for searches related to your business that are done in your area. So, if someone searches for “pizza near me,” your goal is to show up as one of the top results. To do this, you need to make sure your website is optimized for both search engines and location.
Local Search Engine Marketing
As a small business, you may be wondering how to get started with local SEO. After all, you want potential customers in your area to be able to find you easily online. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your local SEO and make sure you’re being found by people in your community who are looking for what you have to offer.
Here are a few tips for doing local SEO:
1. Make sure your website is optimized for local keywords.
2. Add your business to online directories and review sites.
3. Create local content that is relevant to your target audience.
4. Promote special offers and deals that are available only to people in your area.
5. Use social media to connect with potential customers in your community.
By following these tips, you can improve your local SEO and make it easier for people in your area to find your small business online!
Importance of Local SEO
Still unsure why local SEO is so important? After all, doesn’t everyone just use Google when they’re looking for something? While it’s true that the majority of people do use Google when they’re looking for products or services, they don’t always search with local intent. This means that if you want to be found by people who are actually looking for what you have to offer in your area, you need to optimize your website for local SEO.
There are a few reasons why local SEO is so important for small businesses.
First, it allows you to compete with larger businesses. When someone searches for a product or service online, they’re generally presented with a list of results from both national and local businesses. If you’re not optimizing your site for local SEO, you’re likely to get lost in the shuffle behind the bigger brands.
Second, local SEO helps you build trust and credibility with potential customers. When someone sees that you’re ranking high for relevant keywords in their area, they’ll be more likely to trust that you’re a credible business that can provide them with what they’re looking for.
Finally, local SEO can help you drive more targeted traffic to your website. When people search for something locally, they usually have a better idea of what they want than if they were just searching generally. This means that if you can rank well for relevant keywords in your area, you’re more likely to get people to visit your site who are actually looking for what you have to offer.
In other words, you’re more likely to generate leads and sales from local SEO than from general SEO.
Local SEO Platforms, Online Directories and Rank Trackers
There are many local SEO platforms that small businesses can use to improve their search engine ranking. Some popular platforms include Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places for Business.
Google My Business is a free platform that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google Search and Maps. Businesses can create and verify their listing, add photos and videos, respond to reviews, and track analytics.
Yelp is a review platform that also allows businesses to claim their listing, add photos and videos, respond to reviews, and track analytics. In addition, Yelp offers paid advertising opportunities.
Bing Places for Business is a free platform similar to Google My Business that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Bing Search and Maps. Businesses can create and verify their listing, add photos and videos, respond to reviews, and track analytics.
Here is an article written by Search Engine Journal on 14 Essential Local SEO & Listing Management Tools (Rank Trackers) which you must give a read.
In addition to claiming and optimizing your listings on major directories, don’t forget about smaller, niche-specific directories. These can be especially valuable for businesses in competitive industries.
Local SEO Keyword Research
A local SEO keyword research isn’t that different than the normal keyword research that you must be aware. The only difference is that these keywords (whether short-tail or long-tail) are very specific in nature.
For example, if your business is a pizza outlet located at Bronxville, NY then instead of optimizing for just “pizza”, “fresh pizza online” or “best pizza online”, we are optimizing with the location. Hence by simply adding Bronxville, NY to all the keywords on your landing pages we can ensure if someone is searching for pizza in Bronxville, NY then your website comes up at the top.
There are several ways to optimize for local SEO once you are aware of your target audience. Since we were talking about pizza earlier, let’s continue with the same example and see a few different ways we can optimize for local SEO.
Optimizing with the suburb and the city will ensure that your listing comes up when an individual in that location is searching for a pizza. Now by default, Google tracks your location to ensure accurate results are delivered when a search query is entered.
Here we will have the landing page title as Dhiren’s Pizza in Bronxville, New York. Depending upon your business you should go with – (Business Type/Product/Service) in (Suburb/City)
You can also choose to optimize with suburb, city and time depending on your business. For example, Cheese Burst Pizza in Bronxville NY delivered under 30 minutes
Please notice that I have made subtle changes such as changing “New York” to “NY” above to ensure I stay within the allotted title length of 60 characters. Don’t worry Google is smart enough to understand NY stands for New York.
I’m dropping a guide on keyword research below, make sure you go through it as it will help you with keyword research.
Create Content for your Local Audience
A very important part of planning for local SEO keywords is to know your local audience. Your local SEO success is heavily dependent on this one factor. Assume your store is located in an area which is densely populated with the middle-class then you might want to create pages on your website using keywords which are appealing to them.
For example we can optimize with keywords such as – Quick Delivery, Value For Money, X% Discount.
We can also look at our historic data and ascertain what kind of sauce, toppings or pizza bread are the most preferred and use these keywords to optimize further. For Example, Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pizza in under 30 minutes, Bronxville NY
If the local audience generally opt in for freebies then we can go ahead with something like this – Thin Crust Chipotle Chicken Pizza with FREE Coke, Bronxville NY or if they like to get more value for their money then – Buy One Pizza & Get One Free, Bronxville NY
I can go on and on and share several ideas but I think you get the picture now.
Localization SEO is the process of optimizing your content for a specific geographic region or market. This means tailoring your keywords, metadata, and even your website design to appeal to users in a specific area. Localization SEO can be a valuable tool for any business that wants to target a specific region or market.
By targeting local keywords and phrases, you can improve your chances of being found by potential customers in your area. Localization SEO can be a great way to get started with SEO if you’re new to the game, or it can be used to supplement your existing SEO efforts. Either way, it’s an important tool to have in your arsenal if you want to reach the top of the search engines in your area.
Unlike Local and Multilingual SEO, Localization SEO focuses on creating and optimizing content not just in their local languages but also use their local slangs. Here’s an example, what comes to your mind when I say “Grab a drink from the icebox”.
Everywhere else, this means a place to store ice, or the freezer. But in Texas, a freezer is a freezer, and an icebox is the part where you DON’T store ice, a.k.a. the fridge.
Hence, Localization SEO is similar to Local and Multilingual SEO yet slightly different which can give you a competitive edge in local markets. With the voice to text search feature that several platforms offer, localization SEO is bound to be the next big thing.
Special Deals and Exclusive Offers
Everyone loves offers especially when you end up getting a discount or a little something extra. As a small business, you can get creative with the special deals and offers which can help increase sales, leads or footfall.
This can be anything as per your business goal which is to drive sales, leads, conversions or capture market share. Here are a few examples:
Email Subscription Offers – Email subscription offers are a great way to increase your website’s traffic. By offering a freebie or discount in exchange for an email address, you can encourage more people to visit your site and sign up for your newsletter.
Customer Loyalty Rewards – Customer Loyalty Rewards are a great way to let your customers know that you value them. By offering certain privileges such as additional discounts, priority service or free shipping, you make them feel valued which encourages frequent interactions (business) with your brand.
Product Bundling Offers – Product bundling offers are a great way to increase sales and encourage customers to buy more of your products. By offering a discount on a bundle of products, you can encourage customers to buy more than they would normally purchase. This can be a great way to increase sales, especially if you offer a significant discount on the bundled products.
Milestone Deals – Milestone Deals are celebratory offers upon reaching certain goals. For example, giving away a FLAT 10% discount on all products, regardless of the monetary value (no minimum required) on the 10th year of your business.
Referral Offers – Referral Offers are a great way to expand on your customer base without paying an arm and a leg on marketing spends. Simply offer something of value to the referrer and the referee to expand user base and drive more sales.
Review/Feedback Offers – Reviews are a great way to establish a strong brand presence in the market. Unfortunately, no all customer will take the time to write a review for your business online unless, they are offered something of value in return. By simply offering them discounts or freebies upon review you can create a strong brand presence on GoogleMyBusiness Listing or any other listing/review platform.
As a small business it is really difficult to survive online without Local SEO. Giants in the industry have been dominating the space for a while and it’s difficult to beat them with generic Search Engine Optimization. The plan is to create and execute a strong local SEO strategy to build a local fortress and expand from there on.