A local SEO strategy helps by increasing the visibility of regional businesses on search results of a specific location. Optimising for local searches gives smaller businesses high conversion rates, letting them neutralise larger brands. In this way, local brands, products and services can reach out directly to the consumers and dominate the significant local market. This guide summarises the most effective ways to improve local SEO in the following points-
Make a Google My Business (GMB) Profile
46% of all Google searches have local sources, and 72% of the searchers have visited a store within 5 miles of their location. This data suggests that gaining visibility on local search engine result pages (SERPs) and Google Maps is imperative for a local SEO strategy. Do this by-
- Making a GMB profile with all relevant information or claim and verify an existing one.
- Completing your profile by filling out all data points like category, additional categories, services and products besides filling out the basic ones (brand/company name, contact information, accurate address and directions).
- Encouraging customers to leave reviews and respond to all feedback.
- Linking to social media sites.
- Creating a Q/A page.
Positive Reviews as a Local SEO Strategy
Encourage happy customers to leave reviews personally as they are done purchasing (suggested by the Help Section on Google My Business). You can also send them an email or text reminding them to do the same but avoid approaching dissatisfied customers. Respond professionally to reviews and address complaints.
Make Entries on Business Listings
Give citations on directories like Yelp, Yellowpages.com, LinkedIn, Local.com, Whitepages.com as well as local government bodies responsible for commerce, industries etc. These give solid links to searchers and search engines trying to find your business, therefore improving rankings. Check your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number), description, links etc. for consistency across all platforms.
Location Specific Pages and About Us
Another way to get customers to your shops is to have separate landing pages for each location and optimise them with appropriate local keywords. Having an “About Us” and a “Contact Us” page is a great local SEO strategy. Include information like opening hours, directions, contact info etc.
Optimise your Content for Local Keywords
Use tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Google Suggest, Yelp Suggest and Ahrefs to research popular keywords for your region. Using the knowledge of your target audience’s wants and what you can give them, build a list of core keywords, keyword modifiers and location-specific words. Thereafter, make high quality and valuable content based on these searched terms. Include the local keywords as well as names of landmarks and hotspots in your content to make it easier for searchers to find you.
Optimise for Voice Search
As more and more people use voice search, a necessary local SEO strategy is to optimise your webpage for it. This can be done by including voice friendly keywords, making content in a conversational/spoken tone and accounting for commonly used spoken queries (‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’)
Optimise for Mobile Viewing
A study by Nectafy shows that 88% of all search engine results for local businesses result in a call or a visit to one within 24 hours. Making a mobile-friendly page has, therefore, become an essential component of a local SEO strategy. The following steps can help in this regard-
- Using bigger fonts
- Making fast loading pages
- Use images, videos and interactive elements sparingly
- Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to check how much you can optimise your website for web viewing.
Get High-Quality Backlinks
Build links on trusted sites to boost your rankings. Besides using GMB and online directories, you can get local backlinks from your associates/partners, professional contacts like suppliers, distributors, neighbouring businesses etc. Do local PR through advertisements, newspapers and news sites and get quality backlinks from them.
This guide summarises some of the best methods to formulate an effective local SEO strategy. There are more ways to improve your website’s rankings like On-Page, Off-Page and Technical SEO. As you research further, you might find yourself overwhelmed by this subject’s complexities, or your business could be worth too much to risk making SEO content all by yourself. That is when you can avail the services of a content writing agency which makes the highest quality content that can rank on the front page with minimal directions.