Local SEO is a series of actions and strategies designed to improve the visibility of brick-and mortar businesses. Those with physical locations on Google and other search engines. Word-of-mouth and local advertisements may be a fantastic way to attract consumers from the local area. Online search can be equally, if not more, impactful in gaining local customers. Social Media Today reports that ’97% of search engine users have searched online to find local business. And 46% of all Google searches were seeking local information.’
Optimising your local SEO can be crucial for your business as it can help boost your online visibility. It can help bring in more foot traffic to your brick and mortar location (when lockdown rules allow it of course). It can help attract more targeted traffic. This in turn improves your chances of conversion and finally, it can help enhance your credibility and build trust.
There can be many ways to boost your local SEO ranking. Below we will outline and focus on the most critical steps;
1. Optimise for Google My Business (GMB).
GMB or Google My Business is perhaps the most effective way to rank higher on Google Maps as well as gaining visibility on Google Search local result pages. According to MOZ it’s one of the top factors that Google will consider when ranking businesses in organic local search results. If Google can verify your business as authentic, the search engine could potentially reward your business with a coveted sidebar space in Google local search. Once you have filled out all the requested information in your Google My Business account dashboard, all of that information will be added to your business profile, this appears in Google Search local results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps. Be consistent, make sure that you’re keeping your Google My Business account up to date.
2. Optimise your website for mobile.
Smartphones are now being a part of our daily lives. It is a natural step that people use their phones to search for local information and businesses. Uberall commissioned a study which found out that 82% of respondents had used their mobile devices to conduct a ‘near me’ search. This is why it is crucial that you cater to these searchers. Make it easy for your prospects and customers by making your site mobile-friendly.
3. Attain reviews from happy customers.
Reviews play a critical role in local search rankings. Having plenty of authentic reviews, particularly positive ones will aid in boosting your visibility in local search as well as strengthening your reputation. A survey from BrightLocal revealed that 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Encourage customers to leave reviews by sending a post-purchase email asking them to write a review or respond to existing reviews in a professional manner, thanking reviewers and addressing unfavourable complaints. Focus on collecting reviews from websites such as Facebook, Foursquare and Thumbtack. Its worth noting that Google believers its okay to ask your customers for reviews, where as Yelp discourages it.
4. Improve your internal link structure.
Whilst external linking to your site is ideal internal linking structure will also boost your SEO rankings. Internal linking provides the following;
- Supports website navigation
- Assists with information architecture and website hierarchy
- Distributes page authority and ranking power among pages
The link domains you use should be more relevant to your target location. Optimise your links to the best of your ability by working to establish a relationship with local websites related to your industry. Earning links from websites with a high domain authority in your local area will really pack a punch when it comes to moving the needle.
5. Improve NAP Consistency.
For search engines to serve your business as a result for the searcher your business name, address and phone number (NAP) should be consistent everywhere. You should pay attention to the small details, for example, if your business name includes an LLC, or Co or Inc, you should include it everywhere your business name and address is written. The key is to be consistent.
6. Create local content.
Creating content catered to your niche is going to make an impact on your local search rankings. While writing about general topics can attract a wide crowd, sometimes it is more important to focus and write about local or industry news to attract a local audience.
7. Take advantage of online business directories.
You can register with directories such as Yelp, Google My Business, YellowPages, Foursquare, Facebook and Apple Maps to name a few. A full list can be found here. Getting your business name, address and phone number into said directories will help your overall visibility as well as boosting you local SEO. When listing your business be sure to include;
- Accurate business name, address and phone number
- A backlink to your website
- A clear and thorough description of your business
8. Utilise social media platforms.
Search engine bots will crawl and pull search results from your social platforms as well as your website. Social media platforms are free to use and are a great way to stay in front of your audience and they also offer a way to communicate with your customers. Search results can pull information from pages such as your Facebook profile and reviews, LinkedIn, Youtube and tweets on Twitter.
Are you ready to go local?
We know SEO can be a tricky subject so if you have more questions about how to boost your local SEO or just your SEO in general? Let’s have a chat. Contact us today.