Local search engine optimization (SEO) is all about increasing your visibility as a local business to people using search engines nearby. Believe it or not, the online presence of businesses with physical locations or storefronts makes an impact on their in-store sales. Think of all the times you’ve looked up the hours for a restaurant down the road. That’s just one example of SEO that is in complete control of the owner and costs nothing to maintain. If you’re looking for more brand exposure, traffic to your website, and sales as a local business, here are some tips to improve your local search engine optimization (SEO).
While there are many SEO practices that are very technical, we’ll show you some simple steps to improve search rankings for your area today!
1) Optimize Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing
Optimizing your GMB listing is one of the simplest and most effective ways to rank on Google Maps and local Google Search results. This involves adding photos, posting updates, getting reviews, and having accurate and up-to-date hours and contact info. In order to access your Business Profile and optimize it, you need a Google My Business account. Once you provide all of the required information to set it up, that information will be added to your business profile and appear on Google Search local results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps.
2) Manage and Respond to Reviews
Encouraging happy customers to give reviews will help with your Google My Business listing. Reviews can influence your Google search and Maps ranking. Google also states that responding to reviews is important too, as it “shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.” There are several effective, and proven successful ways to encourage customers to write reviews, such as creating and sharing a link for your customers to write reviews. Additionally, having good reviews will encourage more people to buy from you. According to BrightLocal’s 2017 Local Consumer Review Survey, 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
3) Optimize Your Website For Mobile
A mobile-friendly website is crucial because more than half of global website traffic comes from mobile devices. Google prioritizes mobile page load speed when ranking websites for searches, which is significant since most website traffic comes through Google. A study from Acquisio showed that 75% of all mobile searches with local intent lead to in-store visits within 24 hours. Below is a list of online tools that can help you determine if your website is mobile-friendly:
4) Target Local Keywords
Be sure to use keywords and phrases on your website that are relevant to local customers. A useful tool for finding keywords and how many searches they get is Google’s Google’s own Keyword Planner. Once you have your keywords, use them in your meta content, copy, and URLs. Furthermore, you can include mentions of landmarks and hotspots in your content. Another great way to target local keywords is to create content based on local stories or events. Writing blogs that speak or relate directly to local issues can be a great way to capture local customers’ attention.
5) Utilize Online Business Directories
Online business directories are websites like Yelp and YellowPages, but there are many more. Getting your business name, address, and phone number into these directories help visibility and also boost your local SEO. Some listings may even show reviews taken from other local sites while crawling the web. Similar to Google My Business, make sure to include the following basics:
- A link to your website
- Business name, address, and phone number
- A good description of your business
- Quality photos of your business’s location and/team members.
While we don’t offer SEO as a direct service at Madak, we do keep SEO top-of-mind when developing websites for our clients, as well as Local SEO when working with small businesses on developing an online marketing strategy. As a part of our Essentials Package, we do a complete online audit of your business, and provide recommendations to jumpstart your marketing. Have a question? Get in touch with us.