A local search is an indispensable tool for startups. A recent study revealed that four out of five consumers utilize search to find local details about businesses. That means if your company is not optimized for local search, you might be missing out on 80 percent of your potential clients. Therefore, if you want your business to stay relevant, you should never ignore the local search.
The concept behind local SEO is to root your website in the city you’re trying to rank locally. This can be achieved most efficiently by publishing local content and acquiring local backlinks.
Although authority can be built with quality links from relevant sites, the most powerful links will be from relevant, local websites. For example, a website using local SEO in Toronto would make the greatest gains in ranking from acquiring links from websites located in Toronto.
According to HubSpot, local SEO is an online marketing strategy that helps companies promote their products and services to local customers and prospects. To gather details for local search, Google and other search engines rely on different signals such as social media profile pages, local content, links, and citation to offer relevant search results to the users.
Local SEO vs. Traditional Marketing
Local search engine optimization can seem a little bit technical for marketers. The most important thing is that this digital marketing technique is always affordable and cost-effective compared to traditional marketing. What’s more, local SEO isn’t too technical.
Traditional marketing strategies involve running adverts on distributive flyers, local newspapers, getting yourself in magazines, and more. All of these are costly methods. Besides, you have no control over the specific distribution channels or the specific audience they reach. That means you cannot measure the performance of your marketing efforts.
If you cannot determine how each of your marketing channels is performing, it will be very hard to optimize your marketing budget. Indeed, it will be challenging for you to cut back on the offline marketing budget because you don’t know which channel is bringing more customers to your storefront.
Fortunately, local SEO allows you to track every marketing campaign. It requires less budget to set up and maintain. Most importantly, this digital marketing strategy will continue to yield exceptional returns once your websites begin to rank well. Local SEO lets you track how much traffic, all leads, and clients you are getting from organic search and other strategies incorporated in your local SEO strategy.
Local SEO Tips
Local SEO is a concern for almost every other business. It is not an option anymore; it is something that you need to do to compete and get high Google rankings. With the introduction of the more refined and programmed algorithm of various search engines, the quality, as well as the requirement, are the essential things you should provide to the customers. SEO friendly tips are an add-on to enhance online presence. Let’s explore some local SEO tips that can boost up the Local SEO of your website.
Doing SEO for results from the major search engines is commonplace today. Everyone knows you have to do some SEO to get any real attention from the search engines and those who use them. However, it is becoming more and more evident that you need to reach out and focus on those doing local searches. For you to be found online in local search results, you need to keep the following tips in mind.
For your startup to thrive in local search, you should do three important things:
1. Keyword Research for Local SEO
If you own a website, probably you understand the importance of keyword research is particularly for SEO. When potential customers search for information, product, or service online, they use specific phrases (keywords). For example, if an internet user plans to purchase men’s running shoes, there is a good chance they will use phrases like:
- Order men’s running shoes online
- Buy men’s running shoes
Note that these search terms are some of the keywords that represent the shopper’s intent. Your goal, if you intend to get those buyers, is to appear at the top of SERPs for the keywords that are relevant to the products or services you are providing. That means whenever a potential client searches for information or products related to your main keywords, there is a good chance they will find you, and probably click on that result, land on your business website, and buy your service or product.
SEO experts recommend the use of the Google Keyword Planner to know exactly the number of people who are searching for a specific keyword related to your company. The tool also breaks down the search volume for every keyword by month, and this will help you understand whether or not there is a seasonal variation in the overall demand in your industry. It is also good to check the keywords your competitors are using and analyze them.
2. Optimize Google My Business Listing
Generally, Google My Business is becoming the Crème de la Crème of the so-called local search. Google shares content; it can verify and support, and Google My Business is the best tool you use to ensure that your company meets Google’s requirements. Once the search engine verifies that your business is authentic, it will potentially reward your company with a coveted sidebar space in the local search.
It is, therefore, important for every business to create and verify its Google My Business page, make use of Google Posts in their accounts, request their clients to share their reviews, and offer genuine responses to the client reviews while specifying the business location.
Business listing is an excellent way to create a visual impact on the users. The contact details should be added to it, and the customer reviews would enhance its presence.
These keywords will typically include city or neighborhood information. Just as with regular SEO, you need to think about what people are entering into the search boxes. Think about what you would be searching for. Try a few different keywords and see which work the best.
Having an offline store in your city is a great benefit. Customers tend to trust businesses that have a physical location.
The visual map would help your customers to locate your physical store quickly. Add a google map widget on the bottom of your website. Updating the location details in the about section of social media pages would help your customers and visitors to get the location information easily.
3. Blogging – A local SEO strategy
Please be selective while creating a blog for your website. Make a note that you should not be biased towards your product on the blogs. Instead, generate the blog content that gives information and helps the customers to explore things.
Do you own a website? Most people still believe that blogging is only done by industry giants. This is far from the truth. Even local startups have a lot to gain from choosing to establish and maintain a well-designed website.
A recent report showed that out of five internet users, four use search engines to find a nearby business, and about 50 percent of these users end up visiting the business they checked that same day. Besides, of the people who check business, products, and services details online, 18% tend to make a purchase at the business they visit.
Thus, there is enough evidence that having a website and using it wisely is an integral part of a local SEO strategy. However, implementing this strategy isn’t easy unless you an expert. This is the reason you may want to seek blogging helps for local SEO to help your business take advantage of the benefits associated with local SEO. Here are simple ways to make blogging part of your local search engine optimization and ensure higher ranking.
Use different types of schema markup to help Google and other search engines such as Bing know that you are a local business. This will help bump your website ranking on SERPs. Note that different types of schema markups allow you to let your audience and search engines understand the nature of your business.
Provide interesting details
Most business owners just publish posts that promote their products and services. Well, this is a mistake. Instead of creating content about you and your company, talk about issues that matter to your audience. It is essential to know the people who read your blog and the topics they care about or the specific answers they are seeking.
Blogging on your company’s domain
It is recommended to park the blog section on your actual company domain. According to experts, links to the blog section may lead to the main website and vice versa. The quality and quantity of links are an essential ranking factor and means having all your website’s inbound links going to the same site is essential.
Handle different topics regarding your neighborhood
Sometimes, you may not be sure what to write about. It is good to delve into news and events in your neighborhood. You can write about a local fair or even election while using the perspective of your company to make your content stand out. There is a good chance you will gain new readers interested in your content and other articles in your blog too.
Converse about other blogs too
It is wise to participate in other outstanding blogs in the same niche and area to get more readers on your blog. It is recommended to choose blogs that are doing something similar complementary to what you do and leave a comment. You can also mention these blogs in your posts. That means the other blog can link to your website, and this offers both websites an advantage and potentially higher readership.
Theme and keywords
SEO experts advise that you should think about how people use technology today and ensure that your blog is optimal for these searches. That means you should use particular keywords that are important to your business. It is also good to use long-tail keywords in your posts.
Remove duplicate pages and content
The search engine ranking algorithms penalize duplicate pages. Try to recognize where you had created such pages and delete them from your database. The sooner you do it, the better it would be.
4. Sign up for Directories and Listings
There are a lot of directories that are similar to the old paper-based Yellow Pages. Not many are as effective business directories as Infoisinfo manages to be in its market; they are great for people who are searching locally. If you are not there, you will not be included, and your competition will take that business. Get yourself listed with every directory you can think of.
That means setting profiles up for yourself on Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp.com, and other sites that cater to those who want to find something through local search. By getting yourself set up on these sites, you not only increase your chance for business, but you will get more traffic to your site. You will also get backlinks this way, which will lead to higher rankings for your site. Sometimes your local directory profile will rank higher than your site will!
5. Engage with the Directories
You have already learned how to update your site for a significant internal SEO boost and the best way to optimize your company for Google My Business. It’s now time to learn how you can use directories, NAP consistency, and inbound links to help your startup rank better on local search.
NAP (name, address, and phone) Consistency
You should make it easier for both your customers and prospects to find your business. Therefore, it is recommended to set a consistent business name, address, and phone number and ensure that these details are included in a crawlable content on your website.
Optimize citations and directories
Consistency is key here. Create and verify all your citations and ensure they are complete across all major data aggregators. Discrepancies such as abbreviations, wrong contact details, misspellings, and lack of suite number might cause problems.
Get relevant and high-quality inbound links
Every authority inbound link tells Google and other search engines that you are a legitimate organization and can help build your website’s domain authority. Guest blog posting and sponsorships are some of the effective ways of acquiring inbound links.
6. Focus on Certain Locations
To do this, you have to know a little bit about the areas you are considering. If you sell bathing suits, for example, it makes more sense for you to target those living on the coast instead of inland, for example. When you pinpoint locations, you stop wasting time and exert all your efforts on these few locations. That makes you more likely to be very good at these areas.
7. Online Product Store
An online product store can attract visitors and convert them into customers. Please make sure that you put well-described quality products that keep them engaged. It would also enhance your Google rankings.
8. Social Media Presence
Social media platforms like Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are very useful in keeping the customers engaged with your business. You can write interesting posts, promote your products, and communicate with your shoppers through it. The more visitors and users remain there, the more search engine benefits your pages can get.
9. User Reviews and Sharing Tools
Sharing tools like share buttons and like buttons would help to spread your web information to the vast audience. Ask your customer to leave a review. It would also help you to get their feedback and suggestions.
While businesses often ignore local SEO, various successful offline businesses are unable to create their presence online. With the right and efficient Local SEO tips, you can enhance your search engine ranking and gain the customer and users on your online web platform.
10. Keep Patience
Just as you must with regular SEO, take the time to realize that you are just going to have to wait to see results. Do a little every day and trust that you are going to see results. The things you are doing will work, you have to stick with them and not allow yourself to get discouraged.
Importance of Local SEO
Ever hear of small business Saturday? A day in which local customers specifically support local businesses. Like many people, I feel good supporting a local business and participating in my community. It’s a great way to reach your community, but it’s not the only way. In fact, there’s a great way for a local business to increase their online connection to local customers. Local SEO can be an absolute game-changer when it comes to running a successful business.
BrightLocal reports that “Local SEO is an effective way to market your business online. It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them.” And when local customers are looking for you online, you want your products and services coming up, front and center.
The statistics on local SEO shows that traffic increases, both online and in physical stores!
- Displaying reviews on your website can increase the conversion rate by 270%
- 72% of people who conduct a local search will visit a store within 5 miles.
- 88% of people who search for a local business on their mobile phone either call or visit within a day.
BCC Interactive has put together an engaging infographic, showing you many more reasons for the importance of local SEO.
Though some of the local SEO tips are one-off tasks, other tasks such as creating and publish great local content must be done on an ongoing basis. Having an excellent local SEO strategy can increase your online visibility and transform your business positively.
The techniques in this article are going to help you not only be found online, but found by those who are local and want what you have to offer. All you must do is use the tips laid out here, and you will see results on a local, as well as grand scale.