With 98% of consumers in 2022 using the Internet to get information about local businesses, your business must maintain a solid online presence. If your business is not visible or ranked well in search results, you risk losing opportunities to attract new customers.
To get more eyes on your business, focus on local SEO. With just a few tweaks to your online presence, you can attract more visitors to your website and get more customers through your door.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website and online platforms to attract business from people in your vicinity. This strategy combines technical and creative techniques to help search engines recognize your business as the most relevant result for local searches.
A comprehensive local SEO strategy can help you maximize your online presence. This strategy encompasses optimizing your website, creating and managing online properties, and leveraging external platforms to boost your business’s online visibility. Here are 15 effective local SEO strategies you can use today to enhance your business’s online visibility.
The Best Local SEO Strategies
On Your Website
Use Local Keywords on Your Website
Local keywords are search terms that include a specific location, such as “coffee shops in Manhattan” or “Chicago car dealership.” By incorporating local keywords into your website copy, blogs, and metadata, you increase your chances of showing up in search results when people near you search for businesses “near me.”
Searchers who use local keywords are more likely to be interested in buying, so it is crucial to use them throughout your website. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner to research local keywords and see how often they are searched.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile and Voice Search
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile and voice search, you leave money on the table. Many consumers use their smartphones as the primary means to find businesses like yours. According to Demand Sage, over 40% of U.S. adults use voice search daily. Meanwhile, Insider Intelligence predicts that 40% of all e-commerce sales will occur on mobile devices by 2024.
To draw more customers from these channels, ensure your website is mobile-friendly and use conversational language in your content. This will make it easier for people to discover and stay on your site.
Create Content Locals Can Relate To
Consumers crave personalized experiences; localized content is a great way to deliver that. Localized content is any content that is relevant to your audience and their location, such as:
- Blog posts about local events, businesses, and attractions
- Videos or podcasts featuring local experts or personalities
- Photos and videos of your local community
Creating localized content can have several benefits for businesses. When Google sees that your website provides relevant and informative content to users in your area, it is more likely to rank your website higher in local search results. It may also help drive sales: according to McKinsey, 76% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide personalized communications.
Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
A good internal linking structure can help Google understand the hierarchy of your website and the relationships between different pages, which makes it easier to crawl and index. Ensure all your pages are linked from somewhere on your website to improve your internal linking structure. You can also use local keywords in your anchor text to help boost your local SEO.
Create Separate Contact Pages for Each of Your Business Locations
If your business operates out of multiple locations, you can create separate contact pages for each one on your website. This helps search engines understand and rank each page independently, boosting your chances of appearing in local search results.
You can also add a Google Map to each location page. An embedded map makes it easier for potential customers to find your business and shows search engines that it is relevant to the people in the area.
Create a Dedicated Page for Each of Your Products
Listing all your offerings on one page can be overwhelming for visitors. Instead, create dedicated pages for each product or service. Doing this will allow you to optimize each page for different keywords, increasing your chances of ranking higher in local search results. However, be careful not to create many repetitive or similar pages, as this can harm your SEO.
Implement Schema Markup
Have you ever noticed the enhanced search results that sometimes appear at the top of your page when you search for something on Google? These are called rich results. Rich results are powered by schema markup, a type of code you can add to your website content to help Google understand the context and meaning of your content.
By providing search engines with more information about your business, you can increase your chances of appearing in rich results for local searches. You can add schema markup to your site yourself or hire a developer to add it for you.
On Your Other Online Platforms
Claim and Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile (GBP) is a valuable piece of online real estate for businesses with brick-and-mortar storefronts. Users create and manage a free listing on Google Search and Maps, often the first thing potential customers will see when they search for your business online.
When Google has accurate, up-to-date information about your business, it is more likely to rank your website in local search results. Additionally, customers are more likely to trust and patronize businesses with GBP listings.
Google says customers are 50% more likely to consider buying from those with complete and accurate listings. They are also 2.7 times more likely to find a business as reputable if they have a Business Profile on Google Search and Maps.
Engage with Locals Through Social Media
When people search for brands online, social media profiles are often among the first results they see. Many consumers even forgo search engines to conduct their searches straight on socials: over a third of consumers now use social media expressly to learn about and discover new brands. By growing your audience on social, you can give customers more information about your business, increasing the likelihood that they convert.
Here are a few things you can do on social media to improve your local SEO:
- Make sure your social media profiles are complete and up-to-date.
- Engage with your followers by responding to comments and questions.
- Run contests and promotions to generate excitement and buzz around your business.
- Partner with other local businesses to cross-promote each other’s products or services.
- Share content from your website to drive traffic back to your site using automated scheduling software.
List Your Business in Relevant Online Directories
Many people use online directories to decide where to shop when they don’t know where to go. To improve your local SEO performance, consider listing your business on widely used directories like Yelp, Foursquare, and Bing Places. You can create free profiles on these platforms with your business name, address, phone number, website, product and storefront photos, reviews, and more.
By claiming and optimizing your listings on these directories, you can increase your chances of appearing in search results and being discovered by customers searching for businesses like yours.
Ask Satisfied Customers to Leave Reviews
With so many products available online, consumers now rely heavily on reviews to help them decide where to shop and do business. Emplifi says over half of consumers look up customer reviews before purchasing.
Separate research by BrightLocal found that 60% of consumers consider the number of reviews a factor in their purchase decision. You can build trust and credibility by encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews on your website and online business profiles.
Elsewhere on the Web
Get Links from Other Local Businesses
Backlinks, or links to your website from other websites, serve as signals of repute. Accumulating backlinks from different types of local websites can show search engines that your content is high-quality and relevant to their audiences.
One way to get links is to ask other business owners to link to existing content on your site when creating their content. You can also engage in offline collaborations and ask for links to your site to appear in online promotional materials.
Publish Guest Posts on Local Websites and Blogs
Beyond directly requesting backlinks, you can also offer to write guest posts for other websites in exchange for a link back to your own. By publishing high-quality content on relevant and authoritative local websites and blogs, you can build your credibility and gain exposure to new potential customers.
Ensure Your Business Information is Consistent Online
Maintaining consistent business information is a critical factor in local SEO. Search engines rely on NAP (name, address, and phone number) information to determine the location and relevance of a business.
If your NAP information is inconsistent, search engines may have difficulty indexing your business, leading to lower search rankings and fewer website visitors. To prevent this issue, regularly audit your NAP information and ensure it is the same across all websites and directories where it is listed.
Monitor Your Local SEO Performance
Once you have some SEO strategies, you can use free tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to track your performance. By monitoring key metrics like website visits, traffic sources, and conversions, you can identify areas for improvement and make the necessary changes to keep your SEO effective.
Use the Best Local SEO Strategies to Boost Your Online Visibility
Optimizing your online platforms for local SEO is a continuous process. It isn’t just about changing elements on your website; it’s about building a solid, well-connected online presence that relates to your local audience. By incorporating these 15 strategies into your marketing plan, you can expand your online reach and get more customers on your site and in your physical stores.