Ranking on the first page on local SERPs in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! is a major business goal for any local business. The best way to ensure that your local business ranks high in local SERPs is to have a business listing on all major search engines and also to ensure that your website is optimized for local searches.
Effectively marketing your listings and gathering positive reviews for your business are also factors that can help you rank on page one of local SERPs. Over and above all these, you need to focus on local SEO.
In this article, we will look at what local SEO matters to your local business and also outline the top ten local SEO strategies that will help establish your local business as a robust brand in local SERPs.
What is Local SEO?
The primary goal of any SEO strategy is to get ranked at the top of Google’s organic listings. However, if you are a local business operating in a tight market space with multiple brands and big players, doing this can be challenging. Especially given that big brands have the money and manpower to put into their SEO campaigns to beat out small brands that are fighting in the same market space.
This is where local SEO comes in – it can help smaller local businesses optimize their websites for local SERPs. In other words, a well-thought-out local SEO strategy can help your local business to appear at or near the top of Google’s results pages when customers do “near me” searches.
Local SEO simply put is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that can help local businesses gain greater visibility in local search results on search engines such as Google.
If you are a local business with a physical location or if your business operates and serves a specific geographic area, then your business can benefit from local SEO.
Also, if you do a Google search for any important keywords that are related to your local business and a map with 3 listings appears underneath it, then your business can benefit from a robust local SEO strategy.
Why your Small Business needs Local SEO?
For local and small businesses that mainly operate within specific geographical locations, you must be able to tap into your local markets. Even if you are a local business without a website, local SEO can make your business stand out among the competition and help drive foot traffic to your business by helping generate online leads.
In most cases, these leads will be primed for conversion since they are potential customers who will come to you with a specific need for your products or services.
Local searches are becoming more common now since most customers use a variety of mobile devices to look for local information. And a substantial chunk of those users will visit a local store or business based on the results of search result information.
Furthermore, local SEO can positively influence consumer preference in your favor. The more information they have about your local business and your products and services, the more credible will your business appear, and as a result, customers will be more willing to engage with your brand.
10 Steps you can take to Drive Local Visibility for your Business
Local SEO is a great way for local businesses to stay at the top of the mind of their customers. With a robust local SEO in place, you will be in a better position to understand what potential customers are looking for allowing you to create content and resources that help effectively address those needs.
Follow these ten strategies to boost your local business website’s SEO for better local visibility;
- Optimize your website for local search – ensure your local business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are included on your website. It is also important you ensure this information is consistent across all of your online listings.
- Claim your Google My Business listing and optimize the listing – ensure your local business information is updated and accurate. To optimize your listing, include important and relevant keywords in your business description. You should also ensure that you complete all the applicable profile attributes.
- Add schema markup to your local business website’s code – since this enables Google to effectively understand the content on your website.
- Further, optimize your listing – by adding your Google My Business page to your website. If you have multiple locations then create a GMB Website and link it to your website.
- Set up local and mobile alerts in Google My Business – as this will allow you to receive email notifications anytime new reviews are added. You will also receive notifications even if the number of reviews changes.
- Connect your listing to your social media accounts – to effectively promote your listing.
- Ensure you expand and build your business description – keep your listing updated with any new information or changes to your business.
- Make sure your website is up to date – and shows the same information you have on your listing. If you have introduced any new products or services, then make sure that include this information on your local business website.
- Monitor the performance of your business listing – this will help you ensure your site continues to rank high in local SERPs and it will also ensure a steady flow of reviews and inbound links.
- Consistently publish highly relevant and quality-based content – and ensure that you utilize local keywords in your content. Also, make sure that anytime you publish new content, it is accurately tagged with the right location data.
To Wrap Up
In the beginning, you may find local SEO overwhelming. However, here’s the thing – you don’t have to do everything in one go.
Start with the most basic step and claim your business listing. Optimize your listing by including your NAP (name, address, and phone) first. You can then] include other basic business information such as photos and any other relevant business information. Above all make sure all your business information is accurate, updated, and consistent everywhere. This step by itself can make a huge difference to your local SEO efforts.
All the other strategies mentioned above can follow slowly when you are confident about managing your local SEO strategy. You can also consider hiring a local SEO expert to help you plan and implement your local SEO strategy.