According to Search Engine Roundtable, 46% of all searches in Google have “local intent” this clearly means that if your business is not optimized for local search, you’ll miss out on many potential customers who are ready to do business with you. Optimizing the website of your local searches is about making sure people can find you online and offline.
Optimizing your local SEO will help you generate more website traffic, leads, and conversions since the strategy is more relevant to your base of local customers. If your business operates on a regional, not national-level then Local SEO is very essential for you
If your business is located in a certain region and you want local customers to find you then you must consider letting Google know about the same. The best way to do so is to optimize for local SEO.
Here are a few tip and tricks to make your local SEO successful:
1. Create a Google My Business (GMB) Listing
This is perhaps the most effective way to rank higher on Google Maps as well as gain visibility in Google Search local results. Google My Business is necessary for Local SEO as it enables your business listing to appear in local search results for queries specific to your products or services.
Here are a few things that you can do with your GMB;
- Update your company profiles any time by simply signing in and editing your profile on the go.
- Showcase your products and services by providing photos and videos that are engaging in your offerings.
- Gain customer interest by engaging them to write reviews about your business and its offerings and increase click-through and conversion rates.
- Acquire detailed insights by tracking site visits and calls, among others.
Google My Business helps you manage your company appearance on Google search results. It ensures that your customers are acquiring all the relevant information about your company when they reach your business on Google or search for terms related to your products or services.
Google My Business can help you:
- Get your business on Google’s Local 3-Pack
- Reach and engage with your target market for free
- Establish your authority with a great business profile
- Earn trust from customers
- Increase traffic and sales
- Learn more about your business
2. List Your Business in Online Directories
Business listings are the contact details of your business listed online because 79% of customers do research online before visiting a store.
In older times when people needed something, they used to pick up their good old business directories or yellow pages and turn pages and pages to find the service they are looking for. Not now! All that user has to do is to reach out for his mobile phone, open a browser, and type in the service he/she is looking for, and BAM! A long list of results is generated within a few seconds all thanks to business listings done by the business owners to reach out to their customers who are interested in their offerings.
A listing will typically pop up and display the information for all businesses that have been paired to that specific query. The more sites that correctly and consistently list your business info, the more likely it is that you’ll be found by more customers.
Here are few benefits of online business directories
1. Improved Online Presence
Listing your business on multiple websites actually helps you to increase the frequency of appearance on the search results. Listing sites works as an additional website for your businesses.
There are few things you need to ensure like listing up to date, has plenty of pictures of your product or service, and provides contact information such as email and phone number.
2. Boost website SEO
Local business directories help you to optimize your website for your targeted keywords. When you list your business on a high DA directory, they are more likely to appear higher on the SERP meaning your business will appear more frequently than perhaps your website will.
3. Increased brand visibility
Creating a business listing is one of the best ways for local businesses to increase their brand visibility. All you need to make sure that you include as much information as possible.
Try to list your site on as many listing sites as you can. The more sites you list your company information to, the better the chances for users to see your logo and identify with your brand and what you offer.
4. Improved business reputation
Many business directories have an option for users to leave a review about their experience with your product or service. These reviews help other users to make up their minds about your product and services. All you need to do is to effectively communicate with your clients and customers.
The best thing about business listings is that the majority of them are free and very easy to set up.
3. Keep Your NAP Information Correct
A very crucial part of local SEO is to keep your NAP correct and consistent throughout.
NAP is an abbreviation used for name, address, and phone number. Google values consistency in your listing. Your NAP should be consistent across all business listings, local directories, social media profiles, and websites.
NAP consistency is very vital for any local search engine optimization strategy if a search engine is confident when they find consistent information all around the web.
4. Target Local Keywords
If you want your customer to find you then your targeted keywords should be relevant to local customers, makes sense, right?
You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner as it lets you filter keyword searches based on location so you get an idea of the popular search terms for a given region. You should also consider using region-specific landmarks and hotspots in your content.
5. Optimize for Mobile
The shift to mobile devices is occurring faster than expected, this makes mobile optimization an important aspect of your Local SEO strategy. Nowadays more people are using mobile devices to perform searches than they’re using computers. According to Statista, roughly 60 percent of organic search engine visits occur on mobile devices in the U.S.
Here are a few key benefits of mobile-optimized website
- Improved user experience
- Improve website speed
- Improve bounce rate
- Attract more local customers
- Increase average time on site
Mobile optimization cannot be underestimated, if your website is not optimized for mobile users you will start losing your targeted client exponentially.
6. Optimize for Voice
Voice optimization is the process of optimizing your website to appear in voice search. Considering 40% of adults depend on voice search every day, it is really important to optimize the website for voice search. While most of us think that the future of voice search is far away, these facts are enough to make you think twice:
- 25 percent of searches on Windows 10 desktop are done with voice.
- 50 percent of the searches will be done via voice by 2020.
- 20 percent of all mobile queries on Google are voice search.
- 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search daily.
7. Manage Your Reviews
Ninety-seven percent of consumers find local business info on the web, and 70% make decisions based on what online reviews say. Customer reviews not only optimize your GMB presence, it also encourages more customers to do business with you. Bright Local’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey reveals that 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
8. Look into Location Pages
If your business has more than one location in an area then location pages are a must for you. These are the must-have information you need to provide about your business:
- Store hours
- Name, address, and phone number
- Individualized descriptions
- Parking availability
- Google Maps attached to each location page
9. Take Time to Build Inbound Links
Both traditional and local SEO is affected by inbound links. You have to create a solid link-building strategy and creating backlinks isn’t just plug-and-play. The best way is to generate contextual links by offering other businesses to create content for them that includes links for your site.
Contextual link building is one of the most difficult link-building methods but they have a strong impact on search rankings. Here are few other methods that are tried and tested and you also can implement to create contextual links:
- Connect with content curators for contextual links
- Interview authority site owners – and get interviewed
- Create newsworthy content
10. Utilize Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms are a great way to stay in front of your audience. You can use platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc and connect with your audience. Here are few things you should consider while using social media for Local SEO:
- Mind Your Captions and Keywords
- Maximize the Engagement Rate of Your Posts
- Monitor Your Social Traffic and ROI
Social media will help you to make your business more discoverable so you should not wait to start using such an amazing tool at you dispense without even spending a penny!
Local SEO is more important than ever before!
These tips and tricks will definitely help you in preparing and improving your Local SEO strategy. With the aforementioned tips and tricks, you won’t just take advantage of lucrative local searches but also has a solid foundation when new SEO features are introduced.