To be successful in your business, you need to market your brand, products, and services to local customers. One effective way to do this is to focus on appearing on search engine results pages (SERPs) in a specific location by using local SEO techniques.
“How to improve local SEO?” Small businesses, in particular, ask this question a lot. Local SEO is a great way to compete with better-known national brands that have unlimited funds to spend. If you own a small business, you can use local SEO to attract visitors by focusing on value propositions rather than optimizing your website for broader keywords, which requires more resources.
You may be wondering how; here are ten simple ways to improve your local SEO.
1. Create & Use a Google My Business Account
Ranking higher on Google Maps and better visibility in Google local search results are great ways to optimize your listing. However, you need to link a Google My Business account to your business profile to access it. Your customers will be able to find your business based on the information in your Google My Business account dashboard, which will be displayed in Google local search results, Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps.
So how can you optimize your business profile on Google? Here are some beneficial tips:
- Create a Google My Business account and confirm that you own the business
- Use up-to-date and accurate information
- Include information, including logo, hours of operation, products and services offered, and payment options. Using catchy images is also beneficial
- Get your customers to rate your business online
- Respond to your customer reviews with sincere words
2. Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers
If you want to get more local customers to buy your products and services while optimizing your Google My Business presence, you should encourage your satisfied customers to write positive reviews for your business. Surveys show that 85 percent of customers give as much credence to personal recommendations as they do to online reviews.
Now let’s take a look at how you can put this into action. Here are some tips on how to get your customers to write reviews for your business:
- After closing a sale, personally ask your customers to leave a review
- Send a text message or email asking them to write a review for you (be sure to check them to make sure they are not dissatisfied customers)
- Respond to actual reviews in a professional way, thanking them for their review and addressing complaints
3. Optimize for Voice Search
As technology advances, people increasingly use voice search instead of text search to find what they want. Therefore, you need to recognize how people ask questions and what they ask their devices to achieve better local SEO.
People usually use long-tail keywords when searching because it is easier to speak than type. Therefore, you need to adjust your content SEO based on the conversational tone of a speaker. For example, you should consider typical introductory questions like who, when, and how.
Optimizing for voice should also take into account user intent. For example, if a user asks Alexa how to convert tablespoons to cups, they demand an immediate answer because they are cooking something, and any hesitation could lead to spoilage. Similarly, if the user asks for your company’s opening hours, you should provide quick answers.
4. Create Content Based on Local News Stories or Events
Content that directly relates to a local topic can significantly increase the attention of your local customers. Here is how you can improve local SEO by focusing on local news and events:
- Discuss local news, activities, or events by writing blog posts about them
- Shoot videos about causes your company supports, such as local charities
- If you serve different parts of a region, create high-quality web pages with location-specific content
For example, if you are a local real estate company, you should create different pages, each for your location. This way, you can rank your site for each location as well.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Studies show that people are switching to cell phones faster than expected because mobile devices are widely accessible and easy to use. Therefore, you need to make your website design mobile-friendly to become a top player in local search engine optimization.
Here are some simple yet effective tips to achieve this:
- Make sure your website loads quickly (less than three seconds)
- Use readable and larger fonts
- Don’t use too many images and copy because there is no room for unnecessary content on a mobile screen
- Work on your UI and UX
6. Work on Local Keywords
The only sensible way to improve your local SEO is to make your keywords relevant to local customers.
Use Google’s Keyword Planner to filter search queries for keywords specific to your location to identify popular search terms in your area. This will allow you to create a list of locally relevant keywords. Then, you should use them in your website’s meta content, copy, and URLs.
7. Use Location Pages or a Location-Specific “About Us” Page
If your company has multiple branches in an area, you need to set up location pages on your website. On these pages, you should provide at least the following information:
- Store working hours
- Name, address, and phone number
- Individualized descriptions
- Parking availability
- Google Maps for each location page
Note: you should create unique content for each location.
If you are a company with only one office, a single “About Us” should be sufficient to focus on local, relevant information. For example, if you have a flower shop, your “About Us” page can say that your business can supply the flowers for all the parades in your city.
8. Take Advantage of Online Business Directories
Try using directories like Yelp, Foursquare, or MapQuest to post your business’s name, address, and phone number, as well as your overall local SEO status.
Try to include the following basic information in your business listing
- Business name
- phone number, and address
- A backlink to your website
- Full business description
Note: try to make them consistent in all directories.
9. Focus on High-Quality Backlinks
According to Moz, the quality of backlinks is a significant factor in improving your website’s SEO.
Let’s look at how you can achieve this in practice:
- Create a guest post on high-ranking and reputable websites
- Link high-quality content to other sites to encourage them to do the same
- Work with local influencers via social media or email and ask them to link to you.
10. Create a Dedicated Webpage for Each Product/Service You Offer
Yes, it sounds temptingly easy to showcase all your products and services on a single page. However, you should avoid this and instead dedicate a separate page to each product or service you offer.
Local SEO: Easier Than Ever
Google’s SEO algorithms are changing rapidly. You need to stay updated on the latest local SEO moves to help your business adapt to these changes. These ten simple steps can help you leverage local search and have a solid SEO foundation when a new change is introduced.
If you don’t know how to improve local SEO or don’t have the resources to do this on your own, you can count on Southtown Web Design to help you in this journey.