A Guide to Local SEO
Local SEO is a powerful tool, especially for small businesses. Everyday people search for local information: 4 in 5 consumers to be exact. This means if your business isn’t optimized for local SEO, then you could be missing out on 80% of potential customers.
In a Google study, they uncovered that 50% of consumers that searched for local information on their smartphone visited a store within a day. In short, local searches lead to more business and ultimately to more potential purchases.
So exactly how do you start optimizing for local searches? Well, we are glad you asked! Below we have laid out 7 steps that will help you in expanding your business’s visibility with SEO.
1. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
The majority of local searches happen on smartphones so this is a crucial first step.
An easy way to test if your site is mobile-friendly is by simply visiting Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Site. This will tell you immediately if your site is optimized for mobile users or not.
It’s important to ensure that your website can accommodate all devices to make sure users are getting the information they need in the easiest way possible.
2. Google My Business
Understanding Google My Business could be the most important step we have listed, and the easiest one to accomplish. You will need to create and verify a Google My Business page that displays opening hours, product/services provided, address, and contact information.
This is a place where you can express how your business is unique and stands out from competitors. Additionally, Google My Business allows you to provide any promotional sales or offers you currently want to advertise. By not overlooking this feature, your customers will always be connected and updated!
*Tip: Be sure to match the information listed on your website to your Google My Business page to have the most success in search engine optimization.
3. Keyword Research
After you completed steps 1 & 2, it’s now time to start your keyword research. This is going to help you see what consumers are searching for, so the next time they are looking for a local product or service, your business will be more visible to them.
One of the easiest ways to do keyword research is to start making searches on Google yourself and taking note of the predictive search results. To take a deeper dive into this research, examine your competitor’s keywords.
Once you have identified the words and phrases your consumers are searching for, you can incorporate them into your content.
4. Optimizing Your Website
Anytime you are adding new content to your site, you should be optimizing any URLs, page titles, headers, meta descriptions, and the overall content on the new page. This is where you can employ the keyword research you did previously.
It is also crucial that landing pages feature these key elements:
Type of Business
*Bonus points for adding a photo of the business
Be mindful that this information clearly matches your Google My Business page to help you rank higher in the search results.
5. Create local content
When writing content for your website or blog, keep in mind you are writing for the user and the search engine.
By focusing on local news, industries, education, and events you will be more likely to attract potential customers. Additionally, you also want to be promoting content that is resourceful. This will provide value for your users and make your business more relevant for local signals.
6. Engage in Social Media
A simple but effective step is to engage and share on social media often. This will expand your online presence and increase your business’s visibility overall.
*Tip: After you created your Google My Business page, share it on your social profiles to align social and search.
7. On-going activities
Lastly, is the maintenance and management of on-going activities.
Managing online reviews and ratings is an important element of this step. Approximately 76% of potential customers trust online reviews. Your business’s reviews will have the greatest influence on new buyers.
So don’t be shy and ask current and past customers to write positive reviews. And most importantly, know that negative reviews are inevitable. Just be sure to address their problem and turn a bad experience into a good one.
Have fun optimizing!