Thanks to digital channels, the playing field for marketing is leveling out and small businesses are abler than ever to spread the word about the products and services they offer. At the heart of much of this opportunity lies that chance to be discovered online by someone performing a search. In fact, 97% of consumers search online for local businesses, so it’s important to be present when someone is looking for what you offer (Source: Forbes).
As the inclination toward online searches with a local focus grows, your business’s local SEO game may need a bit of beefing up. This post will cover six ways to improve your local search presence so you can get discovered by more of the right people.
Also known as local SEO, local search marketing refers to the optimization of a business’s website and online presence to get discovered by and generate traffic from location-based searching. For example: Ice cream in downtown Boston. Local search optimization is a process that takes time, patience, and persistence, but the rewards can take your business to a whole new level.
Online directories help to increase your online visibility and get you top billing in local search results. Consider joining directories that are specific to your niche, industry and, of course, location. Every listing you show up in serves as a citation for your business and helps boost you to the top of search results.
For more information or guidance on getting listed, check out these blog posts:
Keywords are vital to your SEO practices. In order to show up for local searches, you’ll want to use locations where you provide services coupled with your offering. Examples would be:
• Locksmith services Boston
• Pet sitting Brookline
• Local hairstylist Beacon Hill
Incorporate these keywords and phrases throughout your website blog posts where they naturally fit. Be intentional with your keyword selection and only utilize those that are relevant to your business or location. Falsely luring people to your site with popular keywords that are irrelevant to your business only hurts your SEO.
For more guidance on successful SEO, take a look at the following blog posts:
Be a source of information for your local customer! Keep abreast of things happening in your vicinity and create content with your target population in mind. Make it available through blog posts, social media feeds, and website pages. Information regarding events happening in the vicinity of your business, citywide activities you’re participating in, congratulations to the city for completing a big project, etc. are a few examples of what to write about.
For help with local search marketing content, use these posts:
Optimizing your website for local SEO means using keywords in prime locations on your site to draw search traffic other than your blog or various website copy.
a. Title Tags – title tags display in the top bar of the internet browser and describe the subject of the page. This is a fantastic place to pop in local SEO keywords
b. Header Tags – generally the title of a post or section of copy that’s meant to stand out. Page-level tags are ranked third in Google’s search ranking algorithm, so, very important for your local rankings!
c. Alt Tags – this type of tag is associated with images on your website. This ensures you’ll pop up if someone is conducting a search strictly on images.
d. Meta Descriptions – this text, up to 320 words and will show up under the link to your page on a search engine results page. You can optimize your meta description for local SEO by using carefully thought-out keywords and a very descript and relevant synopsis of your site. Having a top-notch meta description will generate a higher click-through rate and in turn up your ranking on Google for local SEO.
Google understands that to be most useful to their users, it needs to give them what they want, and what they want is businesses with good reviews to show up first in their search feed. Because of this, the more favorably you’re reviewed the more likely you’ll be to rank high in a local search. Pay attention to your online ratings strategy and make it a meaningful part of your local SEO plan.
Here are some helpful posts on getting online reviews:
No matter which type of device users are checking out your website from, they should have a good viewing experience. Since many local searches are conducted from mobile devices (think, “Chinese food near me”) you want to be sure they can actually view your site. Responsive design templates are all over the internet nowadays so you won’t have to be a computer code master to develop one.
Now that you have a beginners guide to local SEO, put it to good use and start on your way to attracting those local customers!