An astounding percentage of mobile searches conducted locally result in a transaction made in person. It is difficult to ask for better purchasing intent than what is shown here. One of the many reasons local SEO is becoming the strategy of choice for many locally-based companies is this.
When you focus on the local market, the only companies you have to compete with are those that are based in the same area. It is a fantastic strategy for avoiding the cutthroat competition that comes with vying for first place in the search engine rankings on a national scale. On the other hand, local SEO is only useful if you know how to implement it properly, and doing so successfully is not a simple task.
Are you having trouble getting your local search engine optimization strategy off the ground? Here are some helpful hints for local search engine optimization (SEO), which can be of use to any small business.
Obtain Ownership of Every Business Directory
Having a Google My Business account is the first step in developing a fruitful local search engine optimization strategy. You know how on some search results pages, there is a sidebar with suggested firms, and you may have wondered how new businesses get added to Google Maps.
Everything is possible because of Google My Business.
After you’ve created an account and claimed your company’s listing, it’s time to show the listing some love. Because the company description might have an effect on SEO, make sure to make efficient use of this keyword real estate. From this point forward, you will want to include accurate business hours, business photos to assist first-time customers in locating your business, and a pertinent call to action, such as asking interested customers to check out the redirect link to the business website. In addition, you will want to include a relevant call to action.
Even while Google My Business is the most significant online directory for businesses, it is not the only one. Yelp! is deserving of the time and attention of any company that wants to improve its local search engine optimization. In this section, you should provide an exact citation, correct any errors that may already be present, and link back to your website. We will go through correcting problems a little bit later.
You may wish to examine less popular venues in addition to Yelp! and Google My Business, even if simply for the possibility of incorporating extra citations and backlinks. Use Facebook, Bing, MapQuest, and the YellowPages, for instance. You may also lookup local businesses on YellowPages.com.
Encourage Feedback from Your Customers
Regarding search engine optimization, one of the most important signal factors is a consistent stream of good evaluations. You want to nurture as many people as possible now that you have directories to house them.
Where can I find out the key to gaining reviews from customers? The first thing you should do is simplify the process. For instance, later on, an online retailer may email a consumer to inquire about their thoughts on the product in the form of a review.
On the other hand, given that you are concerned about local search engine optimization (SEO), there is a significant possibility that you are operating a traditional storefront-based enterprise. If this is the case, you might want to consider including a request for feedback on physical media, such as a receipt or business card.
It is essential to keep in mind that different company directories adhere to a variety of different evaluation methods. Yelp! does not permit businesses to send direct requests for reviews from customers. Even while there are a few loopholes that can be used to get over its terms of service, it would be much simpler if reviews were directed to your Google My Business listing.
The fact that 82% of smartphone searches are for local information shouldn’t come as a surprise. Because of this, mobile accessibility is the most significant factor to consider when it comes to local search engine optimization (SEO). You will lose out on a significant number of prospective mobile customers if the loading speed of your mobile website is too slow or if it is not responsive.
The encouraging news is that it is simple to create a website that is suited to mobile devices. Selecting a WordPress theme that is responsive will ensure that your entire website can be read on smaller displays such as smartphones and tablets.
You may even take things a step further by implementing a third-party plugin, such as WP touch, which can generate an optimized mobile website with no effort required on your part.
Although functionality is essential, loading times are also very significant. Think about the fact that 53% of mobile users will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Because of your website’s slow loading times, you could be losing roughly half of your potential clients.
That’s not the end of it. Google has added mobile websites to the mix and created page speed ranking criteria for desktop and mobile websites. This practice has been in place for quite some time for desktop websites. You should expect better rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs) and a lower bounce rate if you improve the performance of your website on mobile devices.
Suppose you adjust your website’s optimization, and it still struggles to load pages quickly. In that case, you may want to consider upgrading your website’s hosting package. Even better, spring for a dedicated server. Even though it will cost you more money, the performance of your website will be far better for both you and your visitors.
Determine Regionally-Specific Keywords
Even for local search engine optimization, there is no way to avoid spending dozens of hours tinkering with keywords. However, many marketers find that it is far simpler to locate keywords that are productive in the local sector.
What exactly is the key? It all starts with a well-balanced combination of general and specific, wide and long-tail keywords.
At this point, you should continue to brainstorm in a regular manner and not worry about idiomatic expressions. You should also look into the keywords used by your competitors to fill in any gaps.
After you have compiled a productive list of non-specific keywords, you must narrow your focus to terms that are more relevant to your immediate area. Utilize the data you already have about your customers to identify the geographic areas that might benefit most from your local marketing methods.
This will often consist of a smattering of cities or counties for the majority of companies. If you don’t have several locations, you should probably avoid taking things to the state level.
Now add the names of these cities to your already established keyword list. Do you need an illustration? Imagine that you own a bakery in the city of Manhattan.
The phrase “Manhattan Bakery” is a simple example of a broad keyword. Long-tail keywords are more specific than their shorter counterparts and typically imply a higher level of consumer intent. Concentrate on the quality of your products, such as advertising “the best pastries in Manhattan.”
Produce Local Content on a Selective Basis
After compiling a list of new local keywords, you will need a repository for them. Because of this, many organizations devote a significant amount of effort and resources to maintaining a company blog. Your search engine optimization rating will improve dramatically, and you will be able to attract more organic traffic to your website if you produce a steady stream of local content.
Keeping up a successful local blog is, without a doubt, a lot simpler to say than to execute. We are placing an emphasis on local search engine optimization, which indicates that the material should be relevant to consumers in your area. If you generate material that is too general, you will have to battle with competition from other companies around the country that use the same approach.
This statement will remain true even if you overstuff generic material with local keywords. Instead, make an effort to think things out. Let’s take our earlier example of the Manhattan Bakery and return to it.
What kinds of original content are going to be interesting to people who live in the area where you are? How about a rundown of the best ten spots in the city to indulge in some form of sugary confection? The concept behind local search engine optimization (SEO) may sound ridiculously specific, but that’s the point.
You’ll have less competition, better ranking factors, and the ability to contact directly with potential clients in your area, all of which are huge benefits.
Optimize Web Page SEO
We have already discussed the importance of operating a responsive website; nevertheless, increasing your site’s performance is not the only way to climb the search engine results pages (SERPs). Website optimization is essential, and if you believe you already know how to optimize a website for search engine optimization (SEO), you might be surprised to hear that the tactics for local optimization are distinct from those for SEO optimization of a website.
Obviously, some of the procedures have not changed. Ensure that you use high-quality SEO strategies such as intelligent linking structures, title tags, headers, and meta descriptions optimized for keywords.
We will need to take things to the next level in order to improve them for local search engine optimization. Include testimonials from satisfied customers, a link to the company’s citation, and an interactive Google Map on your website.
The most successful firms in the area have a dedicated landing page for each specific geographic area they are marketing to. For instance, our bakery might market itself to customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn; hence, they need to establish two separate landing sites.
Include unique content for each landing page. The Google algorithm will penalize your website appropriately if you merely copy and paste content onto it.
Ensure Consistent Citations
Citations have been brought up multiple times, but what are they?
Name, Address, and Phone Number are the components that make up a business citation, which is also abbreviated as NAP for short.
Customers can benefit from this fundamental information, but search engines can benefit even more. In point of fact, it is the most important criterion for ranking in terms of local SEO. These are opportunities for you to incorporate your citations and further establish yourself as a genuine organization, and they can be found on your website as well as throughout all of your business directories.
The algorithm used by the search engine is not foolproof, that much is obvious. It is possible that the effectiveness of two different NAP citations will suffer if there is a difference between them. Citations can be differentiated from one another by using something as simple as a comma.
As you combine your citations and accumulate others along the route, you will need to ensure that you are monitoring them appropriately. If the citations do not provide a precise match, you will need to make the necessary changes yourself.
This is not always practicable, particularly if the reference in question is stored on a medium that you do not own. In this particular scenario, you will need to get in touch with the proprietor of the website as soon as possible and ask for a citation change.
Acquire Backlinks From Local Websites
One of the most essential approaches to increasing the authority of your website and your ranking on Google is to increase the number of local link signals it contains. Simply put, the number of links that point to your company’s website will determine how successful it is. Search engines take this as a hint that the page can be trusted.
The acquisition of backlinks from websites of a high-quality is unfortunately not a simple task. First, you should perform some research into popular domains in your region. You are looking for news sites, reviewers, and blog sites right now.
Now that you have this list in hand, it is time to decide on a plan for developing backlinks. Reaching out to someone and expressing interest in contributing to their blog as a guest writer is an option. On the other side, you’ll need to take things a step further in order to accommodate press organizations and reviews.
This could involve giving a complimentary product to elicit a review or organizing a local event to gain media publicity.
Include Structured Data
When you look for a company on the internet, you should be able to find essential details, such as the business hours, listed in the meta description of the company’s website. Search engines uncover these details with the use of data markup.
The prospect of coding strikes fears into the hearts of many marketers. The data markup, also known as the schema markup, uses basic diction. You will need to provide essential information about your company, like a business address, contact information, and evaluations from previous customers.
If your website is built on the WordPress content management system, there is a plethora of third-party plugins that can assist you in organizing a schema markup. You might see an improvement in your ranking factors if you make the material you want search engines to index more easily accessible. The majority of the time, schema markups make it simpler for prospective clients to obtain the information they are interested in finding out about your company.
Become More Social (Media)
It is made quite apparent by Google that the local listings that are displayed are determined by three criteria: proximity, prominence, and relevancy. As long as you put into practice the ideas from our previous sections, you won’t have much control over relevance and especially won’t have control over a distance; nevertheless, what about prominence?
According to Google, prominence is a measurement of an organization’s popularity. It is able to differentiate between the two by recognizing signal linkages and online buzz. Because of this, having a strong presence on social media should be an integral part of any local SEO plan you implement.
It’s not only about getting people to share your content on social media; it’s also about starting a dialogue and securing a coveted spot on Google’s local listings.
It is difficult to become an expert in the art of conducting business on social media, but in a nutshell, you will need to make a lot of noise. Simply linking to the most recent item you’ve published on your blog won’t be enough to generate fruitful engagements on social media.
Even the most insignificant player might emerge victorious in the competitive field of search engine optimization. Small businesses that have implemented intelligent local SEO techniques will experience a higher volume of traffic, leads, and conversions than their competitors who have not taken these steps.
The difficulty is that most small firms do not have the resources necessary to handle their own search engine optimization (SEO).