Want to bump your business to the top spot on Google search? With our quick 5-step guide to local SEO, you can learn to optimize your business listings and content to draw more local business your way.
At its roots, SEO, “search engine optimization,” is the process of working to improve your website’s visibility.
At this point, Google is synonymous with an internet search. Since the top 3 Google search results on any given page get more than 55% of the clicks, businesses and domain owners compete for those top search spots.
Google has a complex algorithm that works to predict exactly what searchers want when they type in a search term, and through a few smart SEO tactics, you can utilize that algorithm to help improve your site’s ranking.
Local SEO is a subset of classic SEO, focusing on reaching local searchers in your geographical area.
Almost 46% of searches are local, and 88% of consumers that perform a local search visit a store within one day – the proof is in the pudding that local SEO matters for brick-and-mortar businesses looking to maximize their revenue and exposure.
Not every business needs to optimize its local SEO. Still, if you’re a business that serves a specific physical area, a few SEO moves can help potential customers find you more easily – it’s an easy way to pump up your sales and make a name for your local business.
Local SEO is especially impactful in the following industries:
Even if you don’t have a website, local SEO can help drive foot traffic to your business.
We repeat – every local business should perform some level of local SEO.
Now you know why local SEO is critical to your success, but how do you perform Local SEO?
Follow the five steps in our guide below and watch your sales rise!
Google My Business is the directory every business owner needs to join. It’s connected to Google Maps, so when someone does a “Near Me” Google search, the Googlebots cross-reference their location to the Google My Business listings near them.
To start showing up on Google My Business, you need to create an account. Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are the same across the web – otherwise, you’ll raise red flags with Google, and they’ll avoid displaying your listing.
Once you have a GMB account, it’s time to get to work optimizing it for the best results:
Your goal is to make your business look active so customers know that you’re still in business and a popular destination for locals.
Voice search has gained a lot of momentum as of late, and it’s vital for local SEO because potential customers are often driving and using hands-free voice options instead.
When we ask questions rather than type them, we tend to use longer phrases, which is why you’ll want to design your website content in a conversational tone rather than a formal one. Create content around long-tail keywords, which is marketing lingo for longer search terms.
Word-of-mouth is still one of the strongest drivers for sales, and reviews are an effective modern-day version that helps build consumer trust in your business.
Anyone can create marketing campaigns that make their business sound great, but if a business’s reviews aren’t glowing, it will raise red flags and deter new customers from giving you a try.
If you can increase your positive Google reviews, you’ll improve your search ranking, so don’t be afraid to ask your loyal customers. Ask for reviews in person after completing a purchase, print a link on your receipts, and send post-purchase emails to your customer list.
If you receive a poor review, it’s not a loss yet – do some damage control and work to make the situation right. If you can navigate it well, the initial customer will leave happy and potential customers will see that you’re willing to run the extra mile to ensure they’re satisfied.
As of 2020, 63% of Google searches are done via mobile phone.
To optimize your local traffic, you’ll want to optimize your website for mobile browsing. You’ll want your site to load in under 3 seconds, with few images and copy – less is more here.
Make sure the site looks smooth and is easily navigable on mobile screens of all sizes and that any buttons are big enough to click. If users have issues accessing essential data on your site, they’ll move on to the next result quickly.
One way to draw local traffic to your business quickly is to create content based on local issues and events. When locals search these topics, your business will make a name for itself as a piece of the community.
You can write posts for your blog, create YouTube videos, and create social media posts about important local topics. These hyperlocal pages are more specific subject matter, so you’ll be competing with fewer businesses for the top search spot.
Google changes its algorithm up constantly, adding new features and making a more intuitive search system. Keep up your local SEO efforts and adjust your efforts as new guidelines emerge.
Want to get the most out of your local SEO? We provide a wide range of local SEO services to help take your business to the next level. Contact us at EB Media to learn more!