If you have a local business that operates in a given city or community and you do not need to attract clients from all over the globe, instead focusing on your local clientele, local SEO is a way to go.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a targeted online marketing tool aimed at improving your online activities to an extent where you get most exposed and visible to your local clientele. It uses the techniques that are different from a globally oriented business SEO. Almost half of all searches on Google are local. More than a half of people search for a local business every day! 50% of consumers who did a local search visited the store within a day! If your local SEO is poor, you will not come up in these searches. Let us look at your top priorities for a local SEO strategy.
Local SEO Strategies
Increasing Domain Authority
We need your website to have high domain authority, which essentially means high search engine scores and higher traffic. To do that, let us start by creating a dedicated Contact page. Your Contact page must have:
name of your business
email (If you have several addresses, include them all)
Your phone numbers should be clickable if a website is viewed from a mobile device.
Adding Google Map To Your Page
With many users searching for a location of your business and driving instructions, add a map to your website. 86% of people use Google Maps to look up the location of the business.
Building Positive Reviews
For an added local SEO boost and credibility, add testimonials to your website. They should come from Google reviews and from Yelp page. You may consider providing instructions on your website to your clients how they can leave you a review.
Next thing, create local content. The time of static websites is long gone. To make a website dynamic, add new content all the time. The best way to do that is through blogging. For best performance, your blog should be on your website, and not on another domain. As you get links to your blogs, you attract the clients to your website and add value to your business. In your posts, include local cities and local neighbourhood names, including unofficial ones. If there is a major local event, mention that too. Consider sponsoring local organizations, or collaborate with local businesses and put them into your posts. Talk to local officials and/or celebrities, and mention their names too. The idea is simple – use words known locally. As hard as it may sound, stop talking about yourself and your products in your blogs. People don’t care about you. Instead, give them added value. Give them an advantage, something useful that they will not find elsewhere. It does not even have to big encyclopedic facts. Give them entertainment. People love entertainment and will come for more. You will get what you want – traffic, i.e. new clients.
Being local doesn’t mean staying on your website. Go out and “meet the people.” Have your business listed in as many local business directories as possible. Here is a list of directories for local businesses:
Google My Business
Bing Places For Business
Facebook For Business
My Local Services
Google My Business
To become visible in Google searches, complete your profile on Google My Business. Be sure to complete your profile in full and start collecting real reviews from customers. In your Google My Business profile, provide a unique description of your business, upload high-resolution photographs for your profile image, add your open/close times, business address, phone, website and contact information.
Structured Data Markup
There is work to be done in the backend of your website. You will need to add a Schema markup for local businesses to your website. The use of Schema markup will tell Google you’re a local business which will boost your local rankings. To simplify the process, use the free Hall Analysis tool to generate the code, and then paste this code in the section of your HTML file. Done? Test it with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
Remember, the social media are extremely powerful. Make sure you maintain your social media accounts, add new content and engage your customers. Work with your clients, encourage positive feedback and work with the negative one. To let people know that your business has social media accounts, add social media links on your company’s profiles on your website and other social media. The information in social media should be consistent and not contradictory. These profiles will make you visible to your clients and will tell Google more about your business, thus promoting your position on SERP (Search Engine Result Pages). As you build your website and run your social media accounts, start getting inbound links to them. Do it by participating in local online forums and business blogs, leave comments. Don’t worry too much about links from high authority websites. Instead, you should focus on getting links from local websites that are relevant to your business. Work with local businesses and discuss with them the opportunities for having their websites link to yours.
You may find many link-building strategies online. For example, you may offer internships and get links from your students’ pages. Or sponsor a local event and get links from them. You may give a discount to local businesses in exchange for a link to your website. If you are a local business, local SEO is your must-have. Your clients are local, so your presence and your content must be local too.
Have your website listed in local business directories, engage your clients, and provide useful and meaningful local content. Keep in mind. The modern client has a choice, and the modern client is smart and is often doing online research when looking for a local service or product. Of those who have a computer, 96% do local searches. Your job is to make sure they find you when they do. Local SEO is what will deliver this result for you. There is strong competition, so invest effort in making your local SEO the best there is. High-quality products or services, good website, and social media profiles, professional local SEO and excellent customer service will enable you to add value to your local community and succeed in your business endeavours!