The Ultimate Guide to Improve Your Local Search Rankings
Over the years, SEO trends have changed and evolved. With advancing algorithms and customer intelligence, experts have had to optimize their digital marketing strategies as well. One such SEO path that has gained popularity in recent years is local searches.
Local searches translate to the majority of sales in small businesses. Studies say that about 46% of Google searches are made to seek local information. This means that optimizing your business for local searches can create a real difference in numbers.
If you want your business to stay relevant, gain recognition, and see more customers, it is crucial to focus on local SEO. There are several tips and tools that can guide you in local SEO services.
This is one of the best bets to obtain high-intent leads, more traffic, and higher conversions. For people targeting customers from a specific geographical region, it is the best form of SEO. So, if you’re not familiar with this idea, we are here to help.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your business for better search engine visibility in local circles. It is especially useful for small shops or business owners whose customer base consists of people living nearby.
By utilizing local SEO effectively, you can tap into organic traffic by reaching customers searching for specific information about nearby areas. For example, when performing local searches, users generally query things like “restaurants near me”, “dog groomers in Las Vegas”, and so on.
Whenever the geographical location of the search result is important, local SEO can help you gain an edge over your competitors and increase clientele for your business.
Why Most Businesses Are Choosing to Focus on Local SEO
Search practices of users have changed over the years, and so have important keywords. Nowadays, search engines aim to behave like a real person and present results for exactly what the user is asking, even if it’s something as specific as “the best egg roll in China Town”.
To ensure this level of accuracy, search engines focus on local SEO. Thus, it is important for any business seeking customers in a particular area, town, or state.
More often than not, local searchers act quicker and close deals faster. So, upping your SEO game will help bring them to you and give your business a boost. Business owners have realized this power and are now harnessing it to gain more customers.
Benefits of Local SEO
There are several benefits to local optimization.
- It helps in link and citation building, thereby increasing visibility.
- It leads to more targeted traffic, customers, and sales.
- It increases relevance, builds reputation and brand recognition.
- It helps to beat your competitors and neighboring businesses.
- It increases trust among customers, thus converting many of them into repeat visitors.
- It increases revenue both directly and indirectly.
- It boosts Google rankings and reduces advertising costs.
- It gives local exposure and helps to gain genuine reviews from customers.
Now that you know the wide range of benefits that local SEO provides, you must be waiting to know how you can use it to improve your local search rank. Don’t worry; we have the best and most efficient tips for you.
How to Improve Your Local Search Rankings
Following these tips will help to transform your business and make it popular among the local customer base.
Use and optimize on Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that can be used to create a profile and promote your business. It works best with local search as Google displays verified accounts more prominently to users.
All you have to do is create a GMB account and provide correct information. To ensure your page is optimized:
- Verify your details
- Use Google Posts
- Urge customers to post reviews
- Engage in positive communication with visitors
Since 2020 has put virtual interactions at the forefront of social communication, having a detailed and informative Google My Business page will help tons in securing more customers.
Utilize social media platforms effectively
Many business owners underestimate the power of social media in helping local businesses. However, rest assured that many potential customers search for local leads on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Be it Facebook Marketplace or Instagram ads – people often get influenced into buying a product they see frequently or read nice things about. Use social media platforms to reach your target audience, educate them about your business, and engage in active communication with them. Over time, this will help build your brand and lead to more conversions.
Provide location and contact information online
The easiest way to lose customers is to not provide valid contact details. When an interested customer visits your My Business page or website and finds that there’s no phone number or address, they will quickly move on to the next best option.
Hence, ensure you have an updated NAP (name, address, and phone number with area code). Put these details in HTML crawlable format on your website, social media pages, Google, and anywhere else your business is featured.
Also, keep all your online platforms connected. Your website should have links to your social media profiles and vice versa. This helps customers to trust that your business is genuine and their queries can be addressed before making buying decisions.
Focus on on-page and off-page SEO
SEO is an ongoing and ever-evolving process. To make sure your business stays in the limelight, ensure your on-page and off-page SEO is up to the mark. Perform regular audits to check trends and measure your website’s performance periodically.
For on-page SEO, optimize your titles, metadata, URLs, content, and inbound links. For off-page SEO, focus on everything, including search engine marketing to email marketing. You can also try out paid avenues like PPC and affiliate marketing for better results.
Make website mobile-friendly
More than 60% of all Google searches are performed on mobile devices. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you are likely to lose out on many prospective customers.
People often look for suitable places, directions, reviews, and contact information on their phones. The “near me” searches on phones have increased manifold in the last five years. Hence, make sure your business page is mobile-friendly and loads quickly.
Local keywords are those which are relevant to customers near you. To get the best ones, you can search on keywords tools using the location filter. One such platform is Google Keyword Planner, which gives you the most popular keywords local users have searched.
Include these keywords in your website URL, content, and meta descriptions. Check how the keywords are performing for your competitors, and then decide on which ones to use. However, do not overstuff or spam your visitors with obviously targeted content.
Ask customers for reviews and ratings
No matter how much you focus on online efforts, the main target of any business should be to please customers. The more happy customers you have, the more word-of-mouth publicity you’ll get. This will lead to a further increase in customers and a positive reputation.
Customer reviews help a great deal in local SEO. Google recognizes positive reviews and gives weightage to them. In searches, you will often see that the highest-rated business is listed first. Even if you get negative reviews, respond to them cordially and attempt to provide a solution to your customers.
Local SEO not just helps in increasing conversions and revenue, it also builds a long-term reputation for your business. Any SEO expert you consult would advise you to create a strategy for local optimization and monitor it to ensure you harness the power of the search engine for the betterment of your business.