Is your website lost in the sea of almost 200 million active sites as you vie for traffic from 3 billion web surfers? The search engines of the internet look for specific elements when it comes to featuring websites in search results.
Does your business rely on local customers? If your site isn’t optimized for local searches, you’re leaving money on the table. Need help with local search engine optimization (SEO)?
Keep reading for a guide on the top local SEO tips for bringing more customers to your business.
Do You Need Local SEO Tips?
If your business has a physical location, then you need local SEO tips. From retail stores to doctors, your business must show up when someone initiates a “near me” search. Your business should also show up on the first page of those results.
It’s not easy getting your site to the top of the search results. But local SEO strategies are the best way to get there.
1. Google My Business
If you haven’t claimed your listing on Google, do that as soon as you’ve finished reading this article. It’s free and easy.
Sign up here, and make sure you fill out the whole profile. Add your business name, address, and phone number. In the business name section, don’t add any extra information.
Include the hours of operation, business category, and accessibility.
The form shows a map with your business on it. Check the location on the map to make sure it’s correct. After finishing the form, click the “Continue” button.
You’ll see a prompt for verifying ownership of the business. You’ll have the option of an email, phone call, or text message. Sometimes, the only option you’ll see is for postcard verification.
If you use the postcard option, DON’T change any information in your address until after your postcard arrives. The postcard comes in about two weeks.
Once the postcard comes, follow the directions for submitting your 5-digit verification code. Now your Google My Business account is set.
2. Positive Reviews
One of the best reasons for a Google My Business page is the customer review section. Ask satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business page. Be responsive to the reviews.
Positive reviews strengthen your local SEO rankings. When you answer the reviews, it also lets other customers know you’re concerned about customer service.
3. Local Directories
Google gives high rankings to local directories. Optimizing your listing on the local directories in your niche generates traffic to your website. Make sure the information in any local directory is up to date and error-free.
And make sure you’ve got an easy-to-navigate, attractive website. If the site is cluttered and confusing, people won’t stay.
4. Consistency Is Key
When it comes to Google My Business, local directories, and your website, be consistent.
List your business name, phone number, and address exactly the same way every time. If the legal business name has an LLC, or Inc. at the end, include it. Consistency helps your search engine ranking.
5. Blog and Local Keywords
Once your website is up and running, start a blog. Generating regular new content for the blog keeps your website updated, and updated blogs rate higher in searches.
On the blog and throughout the website use keywords relevant to local customers. Wondering what keywords to use? Pretend you’re a customer searching for the type of business you offer.
Put the queries in a Google search bar and see what suggestions come up. Include those types of words and phrases throughout your blog and website. Make sure you use keywords in a natural way in context.
If you stuff in too many keywords, the search engines penalize your website.
6. Optimize for Mobile
Your website must play well on mobile devices since over 80% of adults now use a smartphone. How do you optimize for a smartphone?
- Quick page loading
- Easy navigation
- Optimize videos and photographs
- Use social media sharing buttons
People using mobile devices are on the go. They want quick-loading pages with easy navigation. They also want easy sharing features.
Compress your photographs and videos for quick loading.
7. Use Social Media
Are you avoiding social media because it’s time-consuming and distracting? It’s time to rethink your strategy. Social media can be a time suck but it also impacts your search engine results.
Pick 1-3 social media platforms and concentrate on them. Facebook has over 1.5 billion active daily users! They’re not all potential customers for your business but don’t miss out on the people who are.
Instagram is another well-used social media platform that’s good for businesses. Update your social media at least several times a week.
Use quality photos and links to your website. Make sure the content is relevant to your target audience.
8. Link Building
Links from other websites back to yours are important. Look for authorities in your niche and establish relationships with them. When you feel comfortable, ask them for a link back to your site.
You can also write guest posts for other websites. These posts link back to your website as well. Hosting guest posts for other businesses also helps with link building and backlinks.
Do you sponsor any charities? Do you take part in fundraising events? Contact them and ask for a link back to your website.
10. Watch Duplicate Content
Remove any duplicate content on your website. This means making sure your content is original. Never copy content from another site.
Don’t duplicate your own original content across pages within your own site either. Having the same content on multiple pages confuses search engines and penalizes you in search rankings.
Improve Your Local SEO for Better Results
Use these local SEO tips and improve your ranking in internet search results. It takes time, persistence, and consistency but it’s well worth it.
Get listed on Google My Business first. Start building positive reviews and make sure you’re listed in all local search directories. Be consistent with your business info across listings.
Optimize your site and blog through the use of keywords and make sure your site is mobile-friendly. Make your presence known on a couple of social media platforms.
Use your real-world networking skills to form partnerships that can later be used for link building on your site. Never copy and paste content from another site or your own.
If you follow these local SEO tips, you’ll see great results in website traffic.
Local SEO is overwhelming. If you need help with your website design, SEO, or social media, give us a call!