- By asma
- September 5, 2023
Search engine optimization is one of the key methods for businesses to get noticed on platforms like google, bing, etc. The concept of SEO changes all the time. If you want to stay on top of the latest topics and rankings, it takes much longer than you may think. To stay ranked and relevant, you have to invest time and do thorough research. SEO is the process that primes your website so that it ranks on top of the results, even targeting places beyond your area. But what if you want your local business to rank higher in a specific area? That is where local SEO comes in.
Local search is powerful for small businesses. 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, which means if your business isn’t optimized for local search, you could be missing out on potential customers who are ready to shop in your area.
To help you optimize your business for local SEO, we’ve created a comprehensive guide, which not only provides a valuable overview of the concept of local SEO but also how to perform it, along with a bunch of useful tips. Let’s get started.
Local SEO is a practice of optimizing a website to increase traffic, leads, and brand awareness from local searches. People search for local businesses using various search engines like Google, Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, etc. Local SEO is all about increasing search visibility for businesses that serve their communities face-to-face. These can be brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations or ones that serve a geographic area that can benefit from local SEO. If you search Google for any important keywords related to your business and a map with 3 listings appears underneath it (also known as a map pack), local SEO can help you grow your business.
Here are the steps to get started with Local SEO:
Without doing the necessary research and developing a great strategy, you will not get the desired results for the money and time you have invested. Firstly, to start with Local SEO, you just have to make a quick list of keywords that are related to your niche and also explain your services. For example, an accountant might choose “accountant”, and “tax advisor.”
Sign up for a free Google AdWords account. You don’t need to create an ad campaign; a Google Ads account gives you access to the free Google Keyword Planner. This tool is helpful for you to see how much traffic it generates on your selected keyword. Once you have run all of your prospective keywords through the Google Keyword Planner, your list is ready to be finalized.
After finding the keywords, you can move on to optimization. You need to make sure your business is properly listed on the main review platform, like Google My Business.
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. It also helps your business meet Google’s needs.
To ensure you’re optimized for Google My Business, you’ll want to:
If Google can verify your business as authentic, the search engine could potentially reward your business with a desirable sidebar space in Google’s local search.
With most of the local SEO campaigns ready, it’s time for citations and links. This enhances your online reach and improves your Google rankings.
A citation is just a listing of your business NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) in an online directory. Prevalent options include general national directories. Be careful to ensure that your NAP is identical across all of your listings. You can check the accuracy of your NAP using MozLocal.
To run your business with your local competitors, it’s important to build links. Directories are a good starting point for building links. Also, you can get links from your colleagues, partners, and supplier websites or swap links. Furthermore, research your competitors to see where they’re getting links. Tools like Moz Link Explorer and Ahrefs.com can show you where your nearby competitors find their links.
All reviews are valuable, but Google My Business reviews are obviously the most important for improving your Google rankings. Monitoring your online reviews is key to making your business stand out. Positive reviews from your customers can improve your visibility on Google. It also affects your search ranking. That means, if you’re asking your customers for reviews and monitoring their responses, you’re not only engaging your customers but also improving your local SEO.
The best way to get reviews on the Google profile is to send a direct link to your customers where they can post a review. You can send your customers an email with the direct link. The only problem is that Google doesn’t make it for you. You have to create this direct link yourself.
You can start this by searching for your company name, and you should see a Google My Business profile preview in the top-right of the search results. You’ll see the “Write a Review” button next to your company name, below your profile preview. Click on that link, and then copy the full URL in your browser. That’s the link you’ll want to share with your customers. It’ll be a long link, so just hyperlink it in your email, and use a clickable call to action like “Click here to leave us a review”.
Here are some proven ways of mastering the art of local SEO.
Now that you’ve fixed out a beautiful Google My Business page, share the page socially, to strengthen your position on social media and search rankings.
Adjusting your internal linking structure will boost your SEO rankings. Internal linking matters because it:
Whenever you have made a piece of content, you need to optimize the content for search engines by using high-volume keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and body. If you’re facing a problem coming up with geo-targeted content, consider highlighting customer success stories and case studies.
If you have more than one location, create location pages. Location pages provide readers with your name, address, phone number, store hours, unique store descriptions, promotions, and testimonials from happy customers.
It’s also important for you to avoid duplicating content across multiple location pages. For single-location businesses, create a locally descriptive About Us page. You’ll get big-time bonus points if you add a Google Map to your website on your respective location pages.
Google continues to get smarter; it means that now content creators have to write for users, not for search engines. But while writing about general topics will attract a wider audience, sometimes it’s more important to improve your focus and write about local or industry news to cater to a local audience. Be the local authority for your industry by promoting local industry gatherings, news, employees, and other educational content on your blog.
SEO changes quite rapidly. That’s why it’s essential to always stay on top of local SEO. There are hundreds of potential customers searching for businesses in your neighborhood. As people rely more on search engines and online reviews to find what they need, you have to boost local rankings to get found online.
If you have any comments, queries, or suggestions regarding this article, please state them in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading.