Local SEO is a crucial component to work on when you want to increase your business’ reach, with local search statistics showing that 97% of consumers search online for local businesses. This won’t only increase your customer base, but also have you more visible on local search results pages. But what can you do to improve your local SEO efforts?
Here are local SEO tips you can follow to help you achieve goals and boost your local business with more customers and visibility.
- Local Keyword Intent
Keyword intent is a vital factor to consider when you target keywords for the local SEO campaign. When selecting the correct keywords for local SEO, you need to consider this question: “What kind of audience do you want to attract to your website?”
Local SEO keywords are usually associated with the term, “transactional intent”. These are keywords seen as one of the best things in organic marketing. They are also known as “buy now keywords”, offering a higher conversion rate than others, helping to drive sales and generating more leads for the business.
While most SEO strategies fall around ranking websites for competitive and high-value keywords, many businesses overlook the potential return of investment in local SEO. While they may have low search volumes compared to other high-value keywords, local searches would carry even more intent and give you better, more valuable traffic.
- Create High-Quality Local Content
Just like any SEO strategy, even when not based on local efforts, you need to think about your content as well. With proper local content that’s centered around solving problems, one can increase the overall value of their local SEO campaign. Furthermore, if you have local content with the intent of helping your target audiences, providing them accurate information and resources, it increases the effectiveness.
You shouldn’t simply create average or low-quality content for the sake of posting it. You have to think about helping your target audience to create a significant impact on your local SEO campaign. With this in mind, you have to create well-written content that’s made for your target audience, coming with the right resources and accurate information.
You can post content in the form of blog posts, infographics, guides, videos, among other types of content targeting local search terms and keywords.
Besides high-quality content, continue providing new content, having a regular schedule depending on your target local audience’s habits. If you have old content that requires updating, do so right away so it continues to help new and existing customers.
- Stay Available and Communicate Well
When you have the proper content and established your website, the next thing to do is to open your communication lines. Make sure your target audience knows about your brand and what you have to offer.
Furthermore, when communicating with your visitors and customers, be people-friendly and heartwarming, so they know your business is approachable. This will make your customers choose your business to transact with, as they know that you operate well not only in physical stores but online!
Answer comments from the content, you publish, your business reviews (both positive and negative), as well as messages from social media platforms and emails. Not only should you be friendly and have a “people” tone, but you should also be professional, providing what the visitor or customer needs right away.
- Local Link Building
Local link building is an effective practice that involves working with other sites within your local area, who will link to your website. This is also an effective SEO campaign in general, though they are usually focused on getting links from high-authoritative domains.
While high-authority links are effective, they aren’t always effective in small or medium businesses, especially since receiving backlinks is low. But when receiving links from local news outlets and publications, your business grows naturally and this helps with your reputation within the area.
To start getting local backlinks, set up your business, and utilize local citations, taking advantage of online directories. Add your website and basic business information to such websites, which can get you on search engines, thus being discovered by potential visitors.
Then, you can look into working and collaborating with your local market. There are various outreach methods you can do to contact local websites and news outlets, establishing connections to get backlinks. This will help with local SEO while providing potential referral business and traffic.
- Look Into Google Reviews
Actually, any genuine reviews posted by reputable people online are an effective way to showcase your business to local markets. However, with Google My Business reviews, they play a very important role compared to others. These reviews provide unbiased opinions on businesses, made by real people who have transacted with you already.
More people would be inclined to choose your business when they see more positive reviews about you. But besides helping your customers know about you, it can also help with your local ranking results in Google.
The more customers talk about your business on Google reviews, the more the search engine will see your website as authoritative and a reputable website within your local area.
So start encouraging customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business, especially with local customers who are very happy with your products or services.
- Update Your NAP Listings
NAP refers to your business’ Name, Address, and Phone Number. Make sure that this basic business information stays consistently all throughout, and not only on your website. It should also stay the same (and stay updated) on your social media accounts, online directory listings, and your Google My Business account.
By staying consistent with your NAP, it will ensure that users and search engines can identify your business’ location correctly. Plus, search result engines value consistency, so format and spell all business details properly. Search engines will know who you and your business are, and users will be able to contact you without any issues.
After all, with multiple names and contact information, you’re bound to get confused with how to contact someone or where to visit them.
- Update Your Google My Business Listings
Besides your NAP, you have to care for your Google My Business. This is an underrated local SEO tool businesses need to take advantage of!
If you didn’t claim your Google My Business listing yet, then you’re missing out on a lot of local and industry search potentials. Besides this, when you update and optimize your listing and utilize the tool to its full potential, your business can flourish with the help of one of the world’s largest search engines.
This is because GMB helps connect you with people in your area. When someone looks for certain products and services your business provides, then your listing will be active and shown on search and maps. You will also need to keep that listing active and updated, so more searchers will know about your business and also raise your business’ reputation and trustworthiness.
Create a GMB account if you don’t already, and start updating your listing with all the information you need to point out for potential customers.
- Be Accessible and Communicate Well
When you provide the people with what they want and post content that puts your business brand on the map (and with a heart!), the next thing to do is to open your business’ communication lines, letting people learn about what your brand offers, doing so with a smiling face and people-friendly messaging.
You can communicate about your brand in so many ways, including:
- Your website
- Local business listings
- Social media platforms
- Phone on-hold marketing
- Store signages
- Local media outlets
You need to take advantage of spreading the word throughout all the different ways of communication, whether online or physical. There will be at least one person looking for whatever you have to offer, and with these (almost) free communication methods, you can get the word out about your business and start placing yourself on the map, garnering more customers, new and old.
- Publicize Why You Should Shop Local
How will people search for local businesses like yours if they aren’t encouraged to even shop local?
Fortunately, that’s starting to change! With positive surveys showing that shopping behaviors are changing for the good of local business owners, it’s high time you start bringing out the best of shopping local even more. Customers now want to transact and purchase from local businesses for their unique products and services, as well as to support small businesses, so take advantage of this want by publicizing why people need to do this more.
Start by supporting your local shoppers, promising a safe and comfortable shopping experience on your website, as well as to post engaging content that will have people more inclined to choose you (or other local businesses) to purchase from.
Share the various benefits in choosing local, your philanthropic collaborations with organizations and advocacies, your business’ historic role in the local community, recent improvements you’ve made for the business, among other uplifting content. Maximize the publicity without looking like you’re bragging, and connect with local news outlets to spread the word better, along by spreading the word through loved ones and loyal customers in the area.
- Have Location Pages on Your Site
Local landing pages are webpages that attract your local customers. With a well-designed landing page, it will show on local search result pages, provided that it has the right keywords and terms that are relevant to your business.
Instead of combining all your service pages in one location page, have multiple location pages so you can expand your business reach, increasing location density. It increases the potential rankings for every location within your area.
With location landing pages, optimize every landing page you create. The content of every page should be informative and relevant according to the specific location while showing on the search engine page. Do NOT copy-paste your content for location pages, but create unique content so Google doesn’t flag all your location landing pages as duplicates.
While a bit of an effort, these pages provide excellent benefits to your business, improving local visibility and extending your reach.
Wrapping It Up
You shouldn’t underestimate local SEO, as there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people within your local area who use Google to find businesses nearby. As Google and SEO continue to change rapidly, it’s time to start gearing your efforts towards local and start getting even more customers and relevant traffic!
Joel House is the founder of SEM Melbourne. He is best in providing PPC, Search Engine Optimization, and Digital Marketing Services in Brisbane, Melbourne and Australia. Having helped hundreds of businesses around the world to grow their business through Google traffic, Joel House has the reputation, and experience that you need to take your business to the next level.