Customers often look for quality products and services near them. According to a recent report, 46% of all searches on Google look for local information. This means that if you fail to optimize your business for local search, you will lose prospective customers willing to shop within your area to your competition. Read on for 11 SEO tips to optimize your business for local search.
Optimize for Google My Business
Google My Business is the most critical aspect of local search. Search engines like Google will only share content they can verify and support, and optimizing for Google My Business enables your business to meet the search engine’s needs. Google My Business also allows you to create free business listings that improve your rankings on the local section of the search engine and Google maps. The following are ways to optimize your business for Google My Business:
- Set up and verify your Google My Business profile
- Include Google posts in your account
- Solicit more customer reviews
- Process and respond to online customer reviews in an honest and authentic manner
Obtain Positive Reviews from Existing Customers
One of the most effective tactics companies like Sell My House Fast San Antonio TX, use to improve their rankings on local searches and trigger customers to take the desired action is displaying positive reviews and testimonials on the business website. It is possible to get more reviews on Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, and Google, and it can boost your presence on Google My Business. Here are ways to encourage existing customers to leave a positive review:
- Offer high-quality products and services
- Ask for a review in person after a sale
- Offer incentives such as discounts
- Respond to customer reviews and queries promptly
Make Sure Your Name, Address, and Phone Number Are Consistent
Setting up your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) is crucial to enable search engines and your target client base to find you. Be sure to display this data prominently on your website to allow your audience to see it easily. An excellent place to house the NAP is on the header or footer so that the information appears on all website pages. You could also link your NAP to your Google map or house it in your contact or service area pages in the body.
However, ensure that your NAP is the same anywhere your target audience can find you, or Google could rely on the information for comparison purposes to ensure accuracy. Consistency allows bots and crawlers to connect the dots between any citations on the internet, your Google business account, and your website.
Include Location Pages on Your Site
Set up location pages if your business has several brick-and-mortar locations. A location page provides your target audience with a name, phone number, address, specific store description, working hours, promotions, transit and parking, and client reviews and testimonials particular to the brick-and-mortar location. However, avoid duplicating content across all your location pages; instead, optimize each page’s content with keywords specific to the area. You should also consider adding a Google map to your site on specific location pages.
Leverage the Power of Internal Linking
While building on external links that point to your website can be beneficial, you should adjust your internal linking structure to show your target audience and search engines that you are ready to serve clients within your area. Internal linking helps with site hierarchy, and data architecture distributes ranking power and page authority across your website and supports site navigation. There are various ways to leverage the power of internal linking to boost your local SEO rankings, including:
- Using city names as anchor links to service area pages
- Setting up lists, blocks, and widgets to house different links to service areas
Include Relevant Local Business Schema to Your Website
Schema, also known as data markup, provides Google with additional information to better understand your website. The local business schema includes essential information such as reviews, opening hours, addresses, operating hours, and phone numbers in your code not available in the on-page content. This information shows crawlers and bots who you are, your products or services, where you operate, and why existing customers trust you. Local business schema gives you more control of the information you put out instead of relying on Google to look into different resources online.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
With more people owning a smartphone, it is only natural that most online searches are conducted using mobile devices. According to a recent study, 82% of customers use their mobile phones to perform a “near me” search. Mobile-responsive websites are also given ranking priority on search Google, so you need to optimize your website for mobile screens. Below are tips to make your website mobile-responsive:
- Test your site using Google’s mobile-friendly software
- Compress images
- Remove 404 errors and bad requests
- Enable Accelerated Mobile pages
- Lower the number of plugins and addons
- Reduce DNS lookups
- Constantly monitor your site’s speed and adjust when necessary
Publish Local Content
Creating content about general topics is an effective strategy to attract a larger audience. However, you should focus on local content to capture the local audience’s attention and improve visibility on local searches. The Guerilla marketing agency that specializes in Minneapolis SEO suggests that you should:
- Write high-quality blog content that revolves around local events, stories, activities, and news
- Create video and audio content about the charitable course your business is a part of
- Create location-specific pages with unique, valuable, and high-quality content if your company has branches in different geographical locations
Obtain Inbound Links with Authority and Relevance
Inbound links show search engines that you run a legitimate company, improving your rankings and increasing your domain authority. Inbound links also establish you as an expert in the industry, encouraging your target audience to purchase from you. There are various ways to obtain inbound links, including scholarships, guest blogging, partnerships, and scholarships. However, ensure that the linking domains are relevant to your target audience and location to drive the desired outcome. You should also ascertain that your web pages are jam-packed with stellar content that causes people to link to your site.
Add Your Business to Local Citations and Directories
Adding your business to local directories and citations does not only help you reach a broader audience. It also improves your business visibility on search engines. However, ensure that your citations on different platforms are consistent.
Discrepancies such as adding the wrong phone number, omission of suite number, abbreviations, or misspellings could make it difficult for search engines to establish which information about your company is accurate. This makes Google not show your business on the search results. Ensure that you also remove any duplicate listings you may find online.
Conduct a Local SEO Audit
Search engine optimization is an intuitive and ongoing process. For this reason, you should conduct a local SEO audit regularly to determine your website performance and what changes you should make to enable you to achieve your desired goals. Your local SEO audit should include:
- A Google My Business Audit to determine how your GMB profile appears on the search engine results pages and whether or not the information is correct
- A Citation Audit to evaluate whether your listing is accurate on top local business directories
- A Google Search Console Audit to establish whether your website has errors that could prevent indexing
- Competitor Analysis to determine how your website matches up with competitor sites.
Optimizing Local Search – Endnote
Setting up a robust SEO strategy enables you to attract valuable leads to your website, increasing sales and revenue. Implement the above SEO tips to optimize local search, generate leads with SEO, help your business stand out from the competition and build your brand’s awareness within your local area.