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 local search.
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.
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 search 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 Google Keyword Planner to know exactly the number of people 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.
Local SEO Tips
For your startup to thrive in local search, you should do three important things:
1. Optimize for ‘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.
2. Blogging as a local SEO strategy
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 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.
Schema markup: 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 markup 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.
3. Engage with the right directories and WWW (world wide web)
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.
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.