Search engine optimization or SEO is a crucial aspect of digital marketing and is important for any business that wants to survive in the internet age. For your website to be visible to prospective buyers, you must indulge in on-page, off-page, and technical SEO.
The aim of SEO is to draw more traffic to your website, thereby increasing conversions and revenue. Local SEO is one of the best strategies to make your website search-friendly. It makes your business credible, accessible, and trustworthy in the local market.
Several local businesses have seen a massive difference in customer response after performing local optimization. With time, Google has become smarter and knows to display your listing to the target audience if you abide by a few local SEO rules.
And if you are unsure of how to handle all this, you can take help from companies that offer local SEO services to optimize your business listings and speed up revenue.
But first, let’s discuss what local SEO is and why it is important for better rankings.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is an SEO strategy that helps your business gain more prominence in local search results on Google. If done right, it increases the search visibility of your website and draws more organic traffic without having to spend any money.
Studies have shown that 46% of all Google searches have local intent, 29% of all Google SERPs have a local result included, and 76% of all customers search for local services before visiting a store or making a purchase decision.
Hence, it is extremely important for your website to show up in local search results, or you could end up losing valuable customers. Common ways to optimize locally are to find local keywords, build NAP citations, and build brand awareness among your target audience.
Benefits of Local SEO
Local SEO has significant benefits, especially for small businesses that are dependent on local sales or services.
- It improves online visibility, which helps you to create a brand name and reputation.
- It attracts relevant traffic, making it easier to reach your targeted audience.
- It increases the probability of gaining loyal customers over the years.
- It is a budget-friendly SEO strategy as you do not have to incur high ad costs.
- It increases conversion rates, sales, and thus revenue.
- It helps to build a loyal community through online reviews and ratings.
5 Ways for Your Business to Achieve Better Rankings Through Local SEO
Local SEO involves many aspects, including optimization in the URL, website, listings, and so on. With a 900% increase in Google searches that end with the phrase “near me”, the need for local SEO has been on a steep rise.
Its focused strategy helps small businesses compete with larger companies and national or international brands that have a massive recall factor. With effective local SEO, you can neutralize the advantage of bigger brands and achieve more traffic for your website.
Here’s how you can use local SEO to achieve better search rankings.
1. Perform local optimization
Local optimization does not only mean using keywords and adding titles, descriptions, and metadata accordingly. It also includes aspects such as fixing your website issues, optimizing the technical aspects of your page, and ensuring that your website is compatible with mobile browsing.
The majority of local searchers use their mobile devices to google things near them. Hence, it is crucial to have a mobile-optimized website or app. Also, ensure that your website is high-functioning, loads quickly, and doesn’t throw errors during navigation. A smooth user experience works wonders when it comes to local SEO.
2. Create a Google My Business account
A Google listing works as a one-stop information center for your prospective customers. So, if you want to get noticed by locals, make sure you create a Google My Business account and optimize your profile effectively.
This is a foolproof way to gain more traffic and eventually customers who would recognize your brand and return to it for further purchases. While setting up a Google listing, you should keep a few things in mind.
- Provide all the requested information in the dashboard as those will be added to your business profile and shown to people searching for relevant products or services.
- Optimize your profile for Google local search results, Google Search Knowledge Panel, and also Google Maps.
- Verify ownership of your business and provide accurate information.
- Keep updating contact information, phone numbers, and addresses, whenever applicable.
- Include hours of operation, logo, payment methods, details of your products or services, and other relevant information.
- Add as many images as you can; it helps to build trust and interest in customers.
- The list offers upcoming events, sales, and other such information on your profile.
3. Display customer reviews
A recent survey has found that almost 70% of customers trust online reviews while deciding whether to make a purchase. Moreover, 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is all the more applicable in case of local businesses.
This is why you should encourage your customers to leave reviews after they have made a sale. Ask them in person or send them a feedback mail or text. Even if some reviews are less than satisfactory, make sure you respond cordially and offer them a solution for their issue.
Do not be pushy while asking customers to leave a review. But, include the feedback step as part of your service so that interested customers know where to leave a review or provide a rating.
4. Optimize for voice search
Voice search has been growing rapidly in recent years and is expected to keep up this growth in the future. Hence, you should consider it as a factor while implementing local SEO. Think about how people ask questions while talking into devices and add those phrases in your keyword back.
For example, while looking for a local cake shop, a person might type “cake shops near me.” But if they’re using voice search, chances are they’ll phrase this as “What are some great cake shops in my area?”
Here, long-tail keywords are extremely helpful. You can adjust your content SEO accordingly and fit conversational tones into your website content. Also, do not forget to consider user intent and provide all information as answers, like products you’re selling as well as your business hours.
5. Use local keywords and location-specific content
You can use Google Keyword Planner to search for location-specific keywords. This will give you a list of popular search terms in a particular region, which you can then target to increase visibility. Use keywords in content, meta descriptions, and URLs.
You can also include local landmarks in your content, like a popular tourist spot, park, or anything famous that is near your business location. Another great strategy is to use content based on local events, issues, or festivals that might be popular keywords.
Local content has massive relevance to your target audience and can make a big difference in your SEO strategy. Use location-specific pages in “About Us” if you have multiple addresses. Write local blogs, create videos, or set up unique web pages for local content, if applicable to your business.
Although it might seem too much of an effort, the benefits of local SEO far outweigh its maintenance hassles. With correct and timely updates, your business will keep appearing in SERPs of relevant users, thus ensuring a steady flow of customers.