Does your small business have a physical location? If so, what are you doing to find your target consumers? Well, local SEO is precisely what you need. Why? Because people are driving and walking around with their smartphones, and they are very ‘local’ with their online searches. So the question is, will they find your business on their local searches?
Search engine optimization as a whole is undoubtedly an excellent way to reach your target online and ultimately generate quality leads.
A word of warning: you can hire SEO firms and optimize all you like, but if your target market isn’t talking about, or searching for your business, or your local SEO is lacking, no amount of digital marketing and SEO can help you rank high or sell more. So, figure out how to reach your target audience based on location.
What’s The Best Way To Optimize For Local SEO?
To reiterate, local SEO is a MUST for all businesses, and if you’re wondering how to tap into local SEO, don’t worry, there are a plethora of strategies that marketers and companies can leverage to optimize for local SEO. Of course, a majority of these strategies should be a part of your broader SEO campaign.
Here’s a breakdown of the best strategies to help you optimize for local search engine optimization.
1. Start Utilizing Google My Business
Google My Business is an excellent way of managing your business’ appearance in local searches. Have you claimed your Google My Business page? Well, if you haven’t yet, it’s high time you stopped sitting on the fence and claim your listing on Google My Business. After you’re done claiming your listing, the next step is to make sure that it is not only fully completed but also optimized.
Here’s how to optimize your GMB listing:
- Make sure you complete all the information regarding your business that Google asks for
- Write a perfect description of your business
- Pick the most relevant category and subcategory
- Upload high-quality photos for GMB posts
- Claim your GMB short name
- Make use of the booking button feature if your business relies on clients making appointments
- Get started with Messaging from GMB
- Utilize the Google My Business Questions & Answer feature
- Have reviews, monitor and make sure you respond to them
2. Use Local Keywords
Since you’re working on optimizing for local SEO, then you need to focus on local keywords. Typically, searches that are not local don’t have a location. But when it comes to local searches, users specifically ask search engines to find them something in a specific area, and all other search results are filtered since they are flagged as irrelevant.
Search results with local keywords. Here’s an example of a local search-friendly keyword: pizza near me. When using local keywords, make sure you use words and phrases that customers use when looking for your type of business. Use keywords that relate to the neighborhood, city, and region. You can even try using local jargon to localize your keywords without having to mention the location explicitly.
3. Build Local Links And List Your Business On Local Directories
So you have credible and authoritative sites linking back to your site. Good, and the better for your overall SEO strategy, but are any of these links local? When optimizing for local SEO, you must generate links from local businesses and sites. Of course, they must be authoritative. This might include local media.
The other thing to optimize for local searches is to list your business on local relevant directories. When you’re in local directories, not only are you boosting your SEO efforts, but you’re also making sure that when users search for local businesses, yours will be on the list!
#Tip – when listing on local directories, mirror the exact representation and formatting of your business from GMB. Make sure that every single listing is a perfect copy of what’s on Google My Business and your website.
A well-built local backlink portfolio combined with adding your business on local directories signals to search engines that your business is worth ranking high on search engine results pages.
4. Utilize The Power Of Reviews
With a staggering 76% of consumers today saying they trust reviews as much as they believe personal recommendation, it goes to show just how one can’t afford to underestimate the power of reviews. But that’s not all, search engines, especially Google, love reviews. So, start leveraging the benefits of reviews to come out on top. Reviews are like votes of validation, and customers will use them to find local stores or businesses.
While there are other strategies you can implement to supplement your local SEO strategy, if you start with utilizing the four tips mentioned above, you’ll be well on your way to the top of local search results.