Why is local SEO important?
Businesses catering to local customers need to make them easy to find online. Today, 30% of searches on Google contain a reference to a location. Additionally, 76% of people who search for local businesses walk to a store nearby in a day. Plus, 28% of those local searches also result in a sale.
The importance of creating an online presence for local customers is essential to grow and compete. Your website is a good place to start but may not help you climb the ladders of Google ranking. For that, you need to rely on local SEO and take a few steps.
Here are the top 10 ways to improve your local SEO right this moment for more exposure.
1. Sign Up on Google My Business
The basic step of creating a local online presence is to sign up on Google My Business. You will be able to register with Google and make your business appear on search engine results pages (SERPs). Most of us have seen how Google shows businesses in SERPs with options for calling, directions, and links to your official website.
You can create a business profile, tell your story, add pictures, and even promote your offers. Best of all, you can show up on the Google results among the three businesses shown below the map on SERPs.
Google My Business establishes you as a trusted business in the neighborhood. Plus, you can bring in more customers as 54% of people search for operating hours and 53% look for directions, according to Google.
2. Add Local Keywords to Your Content
Keywords help you bring in people looking for information to your website. SEO still relies on keywords even though Google algorithms have changed uncountable times. You can improve your local SEO and grow your visibility by adding local keywords to your website content and blogs.
What are examples of local keywords?
People are searching more with the keyword “where to buy.” So, if you sell sunglasses, you can add “where to buy sunglasses in (your location)” to attract local customers. Google says “where to buy” and “near me” searches have recorded a growth of 200%+ between 2017 and 2019.
That gives you another keyword to add- “sunglasses near me.”
Other examples of local keywords are “near me” + “on sale.” You can add those in your content, too- “sunglasses near me on sale.”
Remember to sprinkle your state, neighborhood, and city name all over your content for better results.
3. Create Individual Location Pages
Many businesses may serve customers of different locations. Creating a single page including all your locations is not how you rank on search engines. You should create a separate landing page for each area for maximum optimization and let Google crawlers do their work.
So, your sunglass store page will now be two pages, like Ohio sunglass store and Los Angeles sunglass store. You can also create individual about us pages for each location to build a better local presence.
4. Sign Up on Local Directories
Google Business is the stepping stone of local SEO. However, you cannot limit yourself to Google if you want to grow your exposure. You should add your business to local online directories and yellow pages. The process will help people discover your business and even boost your reputation.
You can do a simple online search to find directories in your area. Go for popular directories that people actually use in your location.
Additionally, make sure your business name, address, and phone numbers are consistent on all directories. Otherwise, you will confuse both your customers and search engines. Plus, your local SEO efforts can go for a toss due to a mismatch of information.
Try to get as many citations as possible to strengthen your local presence.
5. Market Content Locally
Writing blogs, publishing videos, and streaming webinars are great ways to grow your online presence. However, you cannot have the same content for customers spread across different locations. The taste, preferences, likes, habits, and culture of a person in New York are not similar to a person in Sydney.
As a result, you cannot create the same content for all your customers.
The trick is to create content that is relevant to your local audience. You will need to research your audience and find out more about them to create fitting content and provide value. Businesses can’t just add location keywords and rehash the same content and hope for the best.
You can try to create content based on the local calendar, festivals, and celebrations. It will help you create a better appeal and attract more leads.
6. Create Local Social Media Presence
A lot of debate has been going on about social signals and their impact on SEO. After much experimentation, experts believe social media success has an indirect impact on your Google ranking. So, improving your presence on local social media can help you improve your local SEO.
You need to find out the social media platforms that your local audience uses. The next task is to join those platforms and create a local business page. Create a nice profile, start engaging with posts, share updates, leave comments, and grow your follower list.
You can also join local groups related to your business and industry. If you have the budget, you can run social media ads and boost your traffic.
7. Get Local Reviews
People trust reviews left online by fellow customers more than advertisements. Every business should put an effort to collect as many reviews as they can without worrying over negative remarks. If you provide good service, customers are not going to have a reason to complain. As a result, you should ensure you are selling a quality product or service.
Coming back to the topic, online reviews are very important for local SEO. 93% of people rely on online reviews to determine how good a local business is. If you get enough reviews, you can be sure of customers making their way to your shop.
Moreover, don’t try to discourage or remove negative reviews. Research shows 82% of shoppers specifically search for negative reviews. Having a perfect score of 5 stars often make buyers suspicious and apprehensive.
So, don’t worry about a few negative reviews as they help build trust and give a sense of authenticity.
8. Focus on Local Link Building
Link building is a proven way to boost domain authority. The more websites link to your content, the more exposure and better ranking come knocking. If you want to excel locally, you should try to collect local links from websites with a high domain authority.
You can try to approach local media and online news portals for some press coverage. Additionally, posting on guest sites with good popularity like Medium or Forbes also counts. You can also ask your sponsors or stakeholders to include links to your content.
Another way is to create valuable local content that people link to naturally. You can write local content and have other websites use your information as a reference.
9. Get Busy in Local Community
Doing a few things the old-fashioned way can boost your online presence locally. You can arrange a tournament or arrange a movie night for the neighborhood. Let your creativity flow and come up with something interesting that can involve the local community.
You can also hold online events like a contest or even distribute free local discount coupons. The events will help you create digital PR and promote your brand. You can even tie-up with local partners and grow your exposure. For example, you can join hands with a local non-profit organization and help out your community.
10. Go for a Local SEO Audit
Have you done all you could and still not getting results?
SEO is a tricky area. Even SEO gurus cannot promise you the number one rank on Google. So, don’t lose heart if your local SEO efforts are not bringing fruits. There must be some gaps or optimizations you are missing out on.
The best way to move forward is to conduct a local SEO audit to determine your performance. Wizard Communications can arrange professional SEO audits to understand what’s lacking. Our top SEO experts will evaluate your website and initiatives to find out what can be improved.
We will provide you a report and areas of improvement for you to better your local SEO performance.
Improve Local SEO Performance Today
You can use the expertise of our local SEO experts to improve your ranking. We always keep up with Google algorithms and advanced optimization techniques to provide you the best. Our team can help you create a sound local presence online and attract more local traffic. You will be able to increase your local leads and boost your conversions for an improved bottom line.
Contact us today to schedule a local SEO audit. Businesses can also get in touch to build a local presence from scratch based on our expertise and consultation. We are waiting to help you rank locally!