Methods To Boost Your Local SEO – It’s a dog-eat-dog situation in the local business market. And you have got to be the biggest dog in town to truly make an impact. But digital marketing and the ever-evolving algorithms are not really making things easier for anyone.
Fighting against the businesses that have been generating Google listings for years can get back-breaking. On top of that, the list of ranking factors keeps changing. Yet, is it impossible to win the battle? Definitely not.
All you need are the tips and tricks under your hood that can help make you one of the leading local businesses in town.
Now, as a consequence of the changing ranking factors and the need to get the local fame, local SEO got the limelight, which I’m sure it deserves. Gone are the days when pamphlets and word-of-mouth got you the customers from around town. The world is going digital, it’s time you should do it.
Getting customers from your area to your brick-and-mortar location is important. That’s how you will keep your business going. Local SEO helps you with that.
If you are a digital business, say an online marketing agency, you should still focus on local SEO because it will help you bring customers that you can go and meet. It will make it easier for you to understand their business and provide relevant services.
Around 97% of users use the search engine to find the local businesses near them. And you would want to be among the top-ranking ones. Every time you don’t rank, you lose out on customers.
Too much to digest? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Here are a few ways that you can use to give your local SEO a boost.
Optimize your website for local SEO
When you are optimizing your website, you are future-proofing your rank on the SERPs. To bring a good amount of clients to your website, you need it to be indexed right there on the first page of the results, otherwise, you will lose out on getting discoverable by your clients.
For local SEO, you need to do a few additional tasks along with the basic SEO. These include:
- Add all the business addresses that you have. Include the complete name and other contact details for each location.
- Your website should have a dedicated contact page. It must include your name, address, and your phone number.
- Add a map to further make it easier for your customers to find you.
- Make the phone numbers and email addresses clickable. This makes it convenient for mobile users to reach you.
Create, optimize, and claim your Google listing
Once you have your website optimized, it’s time to create, optimize, and claim your GoogleMyBusiness listing. This Google listing allows your business to rank well on Google Maps and local SERPs.
In order to rank, you have to start by creating your GoogleMyBusiness Account. All you have to do is add all the necessary information to the dashboard. This information will then be added to your Business profile. And, then, your business profile appears on the local search results and on Google maps.
Now that you have your listing, it is time to claim it. Over time, you will come across plenty of duplicate listings. These duplicates must be removed and the ones that remain should contain all the correct and updated information.
You can use a tool to find out all the listings that are associated with your business. Just make sure you add the correct name when adding to the tool. It should have the exact same abbreviations and capitalization as they are on your website.
Be consistent with citations
Consistency will take you a long way, especially when your SEO is concerned.
When you work on your local SEO, you do that because you want your local customers to reach you easily. You want them to choose you over a hundred other local businesses that are offering the same product or service like yours.
If you truly want that to happen, it is crucial that you maintain consistency in your business NAP (name, address, and phone number). Also, if you are adding your website, you should keep the consistency as well. This includes the structure of your URL. If you are removing the prefixes like www. or https in one place, make sure it’s removed in all the other places as well. These should be the same everywhere you are publishing them.
These citations are where you need to be extremely precise. Suppose you have a business with LLC or Inc. in it, you must include that wherever you are putting your name. Also, keep an eye out on how the street address or the road number is added; you need to write it in the exact same manner.
All this information should match the information that is there on your website. If you are updating your address, make sure you make this change throughout your listings – on your website, your GoogleMyBusiness account, etc.
This will help your customers find you easily and this also makes your brand looks more credible.
Request for reviews
Reviews can make or break your local business.
When you have reviews stating how amazing your product or service is, it not only acts as a great ranking factor but also makes your brand look more credible in front of your customers. It helps your listing stand out from the crowd – it is something that you definitely need by your side.
You can either offer a service that entices your customers to leave a positive review or request one. Either way, it will be beneficial for your business and your SEO.
When you have your customers sharing their reviews, you get an opportunity to take more space on the Google search results.
Other than that, social proof is an added benefit of customer reviews on your business profile. When your prospects see that you have good ratings and reviews from previous users, it makes your brand look more credible and reliable.
It is this credibility that attracts more audiences. Consequently, it skyrockets your reach and improves footfall to your store.
So, in a nutshell, your reviews help improve your click-through rate, your ranking, and builds social proof that leads to an improved conversion rate.
Create local-based content
In local SEO, everything will circle your local area – for obvious reasons. This also means that the content you are planning to add on your website/social media platforms/business listings should be local-focused.
This local content will help improve your chances of ranking on the local SERPs.
So, when you are creating your blogs, you should add the names of your local city and the areas surrounding it. Not every user will search for your exact location just because they reside in the surrounding area. Adding the neighboring towns will help expand your reach. You should also include any other local name that the residents use to describe the town in your content pieces.
You can also talk about all the latest happenings and events taking place in your local area. This will benefit you by boosting your SEO and will help your audience learn about what’s happening in the city.
You can even capitalize on sponsoring local events – sports, music, or any other, and cover these in your content. Or, interview the experts from around the town and share their perspectives with your audience.
Yes, your content should be local-based, but make sure it is valuable to your audience as well. The latter one is the highlight here.
Get local backlinks
Backlinks serve two purposes – it helps you reach the audience of the website owner and it helps make your brand look more reliable. These are the two things that are truly crucial to make your website rank better on the search results.
You should shift your focus to building and attracting local links. Befriend those businesses that complement your business; someone who is not in your direct competition.
The best way to do this is to make an effort to build long-term relationships with your fellow local business owners.
You can start by participating in conversations with them in the comments section of their blog. You can share thoughtful and valuable comments. This will make your audience and the author see you as an expert, and consequently, attract inbound links to your blog.
It’s all about reaching your audience, in whichever way possible.
Or, the other way to do this is to use a backlink checker tool and analyze your competitor’s website. This will help you identify those websites that are providing a link to your competitors. You can reach out to them and let them know why you are a better brand than others.
Yes, this is a hit-or-miss tactic but a few top-performing backlinks will help lead you towards success.
Use local keywords
When you are optimizing your content for the search engine, keywords play a crucial role.
Keywords are nothing but phrases that your audience is searching on the web. These could be one-word or long-tail keywords. Your task is to naturally incorporate these keywords into your blog. It helps signal the algorithm while ensuring the flow of your content is not disrupted.
When it comes to your local SEO, you should be adding local keywords. You can use one of the many digital tools to find location-based keywords. Such tools will help you find the popular phrases (keywords) that your audience is searching for on the web.
You can create a list of all the keywords that are based on your location. Include these keywords in your blog title, meta description and title, URL, and of course, the content. You can also include the names of specific landmarks in your area. It will further help you rank better.
One thing you should keep in mind is that you need to avoid stuffing your content with these keywords. Stuffing your content will neither offer a good experience nor will it benefit you in terms of ranking. In fact, it can certainly make the search engine penalize your website.
Leverage social media
You need to leverage all the digital tools that you can when it comes to SEO. And social media is among the major ones out there.
It is suggested that you create your social media accounts that are relevant to your location as well as your business. The information that you add across these channels should be the same. Remember, consistency will always be the key.
Social media signals are another way to push your business to rank better on the SERPs.
Moreover, when you have a good social presence, digitally, it further makes your business look more trustworthy. Social media allows you to showcase a more human side of your brand and ensures transparency.
Well-performing social accounts can be a great asset to improve business once you start ranking on the top as well.
Add location pages to your website
Search engine spiders crawl your website. It is this crawler that identifies the best matches to the problem (the search phrase) that the user has searched for and indexes it on the SERPs. It is only after your content is indexed that you will have chances of ranking better.
It is often recommended that you have landing pages specified to a particular location because it will be easy for the crawler to find your listing and provide the user with the relevant information for a particular location.
You should first sit and think about how you would like to display your address. Do you want to add a suite number, street name, road, or avenue? Do you want to write everything in full or do you want to abbreviate a few parts of the location?
Just keep in mind that the way you update your information on this page should be used everywhere you are adding the location. Keep the names, numbers, and abbreviations exactly the same.
Use digital directories
Today, you will find a myriad of online business directories. A few of the famous digital directories are Yelp, YellowPages, Foursquare, and MapQuest.
These business directories offer two of the major advantages for your local business. Firstly, it will help boost your local SEO, and secondly, it will help expand your reach and enhance your visibility among your audience.
This visibility is what further aids in improving the footfall in your brick-and-mortar location.
When you are adding your local business to these online directories, there are a few things that you must keep in mind. These include:
– Add the accurate spellings of your business name and address.
– Keep your contact information consistent.
– Add a well-written and thorough description of your business.
– Don’t forget to add a backlink to your website.
Create a dedicated service/product page
It’s true that cramming all your products and services into one page is extremely tempting. After all, it is quick and convenient for you.
But, you must steer clear of such temptations. Instead, you should attempt to create a dedicated page for all your products or services that you are offering to your audience.
One of the main reasons to do this is that when you add all your products in one, your website will find it difficult to rank on the SERPs. Your SEO juices won’t be as powerful as you want them to be. The algorithms will fail to see you as an authority in your local area.
But if you only have a singular product or service but multiple locations, just use a location-based copy for each page.
For instance, ‘home inspections New York’ or ‘New Jersey home inspections’ could be your location-based keywords and you could add content that circles the same.
To wrap it up, we can say that to some extent, local SEO is somewhat similar to regular SEO, just with a few precise elements. You must make an attempt to keep everything local. From the keywords you are adding to the content, everything should circle your location and the areas surrounding it.
You must also maintain consistency, especially when your contact information is concerned. If you are not adding the same information everywhere, it will not help your SEO nor will it make your brand look more credible.
Another thing to keep in mind is that SEO keeps evolving. Its trends keep changing. But these are the few of those basic elements that you need to cover, irrespective of the changes taking place in the algorithms.
When you use these methods, you are making sure that your local business is ready to be the most powerful dog in the town.
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