Local SEO (search engine optimization) is a strategy that helps businesses achieve greater prominence in local online search results. Improving local SEO can benefit businesses that have a storefront or serve a specific geographical area.
Statistics show how important local SEO can be. An article by ahrefs stated that "30% of all mobile searches are related to location," and "76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day." (79 SEO Statistics for 2023, citing Think With Google)
Ranking well in local or “near me” search results is very important for many small businesses. A higher rank in search results often translates into higher customer traffic to the storefront or website. Here are some strategies for improving the local SEO of your business.
1. Complete and verify your Google Business profile. Add your business name, address, phone number, category, and set your service area. You can also add store hours, photos, in-store products, special offers, events and FAQs. Implement a plan to obtain customer reviews, and strive to earn 5-star reviews through high customer satisfaction. Responding to reviews further boosts local SEO.
2. List your business in other online directories such as Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, Manta, Yellow Pages (and similar), Business Bing Maps, Apple Maps, and any industry-relevant listings. Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) is accurate and consistent across the web. Listing your business in online directories will provide your website with needed backlinks and help potential customers find your business more easily.
3. Include your business address on your website–generally in the footer and on the contact page of your website. It is recommended to use structured data markup for the address. (see #9 below)
4. Consider doing local SEO research to find local keywords that are relevant to your business and the geographical area (e.g. “best Cedar City plumber”). You may consider a variety of free and paid keyword search tools, including Semrush, Google Search Console, Google Keyword Planner, Diib, and Soovle.
5. Integrate your chosen keywords into your website content and advertising to drive traffic to your site. Place keywords in prominent places on the page, including the page title and main heading. It is also common to place keywords in other descriptive elements of the page, such as alt text and link text.
6. Use social media effectively. Social media can help you make connections with potential customers and build awareness of your brand or business. Most small businesses do not have the resources to manage accounts on all of the major social media platforms. Focus your efforts on the social media platforms that are likely to advance the objectives of your particular business most effectively, whether it be Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, or Pinterest.
Educate yourself on effective ways to promote your business on the platforms you choose and experiment with various approaches. You may consider enabling the Services tab on Facebook. You can also include a location tag on social media posts.
7. Improve the overall SEO of your website. While that topic is beyond the scope of this article, it is important to mention that taking steps to improve the overall SEO for your website also helps with local SEO. For example, if your website is not mobile friendly or slow, site visitors may quickly leave, increasing the bounce rate and reducing SEO. Also, make sure the meta titles and descriptions of your webpages are optimized for SEO and crafted to attract potential customers to your site. You can also tag website photos with your location in alt tags and file names.
8. Consider paid ads or guaranteed placements on search engines and social media.
9. Add schema markup, which is structured data that provides information to search engines to help them better understand your website.
10. Consider writing blog posts on local topics, including news stories, charities, or events. Be sure to add meta descriptions and tags to improve the visibility of your blog posts.
We hope this article was helpful to you and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for marketing services!