In today’s digital landscape, local SEO plays a vital role in the success of small businesses operating on a regional level. While national SEO focuses on broad visibility across the country, local SEO targets specific locations, helping businesses connect with their local customer base. By implementing effective local SEO strategies, businesses can drive more website traffic, generate leads, and increase conversions. In this article, we will explore the top 10 Best Practices for Local SEO, providing you with actionable steps to enhance your online presence and outrank competitors.
10 Ways to Improve Your Local SEO Right Now
Local SEO is crucial for small businesses operating on a regional level. While national SEO focuses on ranking in searches nationwide, local SEO aims to appear on SERPs in specific locations. This strategy revolves around marketing your brand, products, and services to local leads and customers.
Optimizing your local SEO brings more website traffic, leads, and conversions, as it caters directly to your local customer base. It allows you to compete more effectively against larger national brands that rely on broader keywords and brand recognition to drive traffic. By focusing on specific local SEO tasks, you can level the playing field and attract local customers who are more likely to convert.
According to a 2017 study by ReviewTrackers, approximately 35% of all search traffic is local. Neglecting local SEO means missing out on significant potential traffic for your business.
Here are the top 10 ways to enhance your local SEO and achieve success:
Create a Google My Business Account
Optimizing your Google listing, also known as your Business Profile, is the most effective method to rank higher on Google Maps and gain visibility in local search results. To access your Business Profile and make the necessary optimizations, you must have a Google My Business account associated with that profile. Fill out all the requested information in your Google My Business account dashboard to ensure it is accurately reflected in your Business Profile. This information will appear in Google Search local results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps.
To optimize your Business Profile on Google, follow these steps:
- Create a Google My Business account and verify ownership of your business.
- Provide accurate and up-to-date information.
- Include your logo, hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, the products or services you offer, and high-quality images.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews of your business online.
- Respond genuinely to customer reviews.
- Use the Google My Business dashboard to publish posts announcing products, events, and special offers on your Business Profile.
Obtain Regular Reviews from Satisfied Customers
Having customers write positive reviews for your business improves your Google My Business presence and encourages local customers to choose your business. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
Follow these tips to encourage customers to leave reviews:
- Ask for reviews in person after completing a sale.
- Send post-purchase emails or texts requesting reviews, but ensure you’ve screened customers via an internal survey to target satisfied individuals.
- Respond professionally to existing reviews, thanking reviewers and addressing concerns raised in less favorable reviews.
- Note that Google permits asking customers for reviews, while Yelp discourages it.
Optimize for Voice Search
Voice search is rapidly growing, and optimizing your local SEO to align with how people ask questions when using voice-enabled devices is essential. Voice searches tend to utilize long-tail keywords and have a more conversational tone than traditional text searches. Consider incorporating question starters such as “who, what, when, where, why, and how” in your content.
Additionally, focus on user intent when optimizing for voice searches, as these searches typically involve specific queries. For example, if someone asks Alexa to convert tablespoons to cups while cooking, they expect a quick and helpful response. If a potential customer uses voice search to inquire about your business hours, ensure that information is easily accessible.
Create Content Related to Local News and Events
Producing content that directly addresses local issues or interests is an effective way to capture the attention of your local customers. Consider the following strategies:
- Write blog posts centered around local news stories, activities, or events.
- Create videos showcasing local charities or causes that your business supports.
- Develop location-specific webpages on your website featuring high-quality local content if you serve different parts of a region.
For instance, if you run a local real estate business, you can create separate pages for each location, highlighting hyperlocal content related to news events or changes in the local real estate market. This approach can improve your rankings for each specific location.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Mobile devices account for an increasing share of website visits, making it crucial to optimize your website for mobile users. In 2017, a Stone Temple study revealed that mobile visits to websites grew from 57% to 63%, while desktop visits decreased from 43% to 37%.
Here are some tips for mobile optimization:
- Ensure your website loads quickly, preferably within three seconds.
- Use larger fonts that are easy to read on mobile screens.
- Utilize images and copy sparingly, conveying only essential information.
- Prioritize an intuitive user interface (UI) for an excellent user experience (UX).
Focus on Local Keywords
Your choice of keywords should cater to local customers. Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to filter keyword searches by location, helping you identify popular search terms in specific regions. Incorporate these locally relevant keywords into your meta content, copy, and URLs.
Additionally, mention region-specific landmarks and hotspots in your content. For example, if you run a local restaurant in downtown Seattle, include references to “dining by the Space Needle” or being “just steps from the Space Needle” on your website.
Create Location Pages or Location-Specific “About Us” Pages
If your business has multiple locations within an area, it is essential to create location pages. These pages should provide the following information at a minimum:
- Store hours
- Name, address, and phone number
- Unique descriptions for each location
- Parking availability
- Google Maps attached to each location page
When dealing with multiple locations, ensure that you create unique content for each page.
Alternatively, create an “About Us” page that emphasizes local and relevant information if you have a single location. For example, if you operate a florist shop, mention your involvement in supplying flowers for local parades or events on your “About Us” page.
Utilize Online Business Directories
Listing your business on online directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, and YellowPages can significantly improve visibility and enhance your local SEO.
Ensure that your company listing on these directories includes the following:
- Business name (consider creative and catchy ideas)
- Address and phone number
- Backlink to your website
- A thorough description of your business
Maintain consistency across all directories.
Prioritize Link Signals and High-Quality Backlinks
According to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors study, link signals are the most important for local pack and localized organic results. Link signals refer to backlinks pointing to your website.
Consider these tips to obtain high-quality backlinks:
- Create high-quality content on your site that others will want to link to.
- Guest blog on reputable sites with high domain authority.
- Engage with local influencers on social media or email to encourage them to link to your site.
Create Dedicated Webpages for Each Product or Service
Create separate web pages for each unique offering rather than consolidating all your products or services on one page. By doing so, you demonstrate authority in specific areas, boosting your local SEO.
Use location-based copy on each page if your business does not offer different products or services but operates in various locations. For instance, modify “dental marketing” to “New York dental marketing” or “Buffalo dental marketing” based on your location.
Local SEO is more important than ever, given the constantly evolving nature of SEO. Google frequently introduces new features for local searches, making it essential to stay on top of local SEO strategies. By implementing these ten actionable items, you can take full advantage of local searches and establish a solid foundation for future SEO developments. If you lack the time or resources to implement these strategies, consider conducting a local SEO audit or partnering with a small business SEO service provider.
As the digital landscape continues to evolve, optimizing your local SEO has become more crucial than ever for small businesses. By focusing on these ten strategies, including creating a Google My Business account, obtaining regular customer reviews, optimizing for voice search, and utilizing online business directories, you can establish a strong local online presence and gain a competitive edge. Local SEO is an ongoing process, so staying updated with the latest trends and adapting your strategies is important. By consistently implementing these tactics and monitoring your results, you can ensure long-term success in attracting and converting local customers. So, take action now and start improving your local SEO to unlock the full potential of your business.
Looking to take your local SEO to the next level? Partner with VentCube Digital Marketing Agency today and unlock the full potential of your business. Our expert team will implement the top 10 strategies discussed in this article to enhance your online presence, drive more traffic, and increase conversions. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to outrank your competitors and connect with your local customer base. Contact VentCube Digital Marketing Agency now, and let’s boost your local SEO success together!