Discover how proven local SEO practices and tactics can help your small business attract motivated local customers.
Consumers who are searching for local products and services online are more likely to start their search online.
BrightLocal found that 78% of local consumers use the Internet each week to find information about local businesses in their area, and 21% search every day.
If you want to be found, you must appear in local organic and Map Pack search results. Your chances of converting those visitors into paying customers increase when they visit your store, book an appointment or create an account.
These are seven effective ways to build local visibility with SEO in this column.
- Check for indexing errors
- Ensure that your content is exceptional
- Your SEO strategy should include local link building
- You Need A Google Business Profile
- Accurately list local businesses
- Monitor and respond to local reviews
- Use the relevant local schema
- Bringing It All Together
1. Check for indexing errors
The following is basic SEO. If search engines can’t find your website, you won’t be found.
The first step is to understand how search engines crawl and index your website. You will be able to guide your SEO efforts going forward with this foundational knowledge.
The complexity of technical SEO issues such as indexation may prove too much for you to handle while running your business.
As long as you understand what SEO agencies or consultants do for you, you won’t have any problems hiring someone.
2. Ensure that your content is exceptional
You must create content that conveys all the messages, offers, and calls to action to reach your target audience.
However, your small business isn’t just competing against similar businesses.
The competition includes media publications, informational websites, big brands, local review sites, and all kinds of other sources that create product or service content.
You need unique content to stand out in this competitive environment.
Take the time to create a local content strategy that aligns with your business goals before you start writing blog posts.
You should use these proven on-page local SEO best practices to optimize each piece of local content for search.
3. Your SEO strategy should include local link building
A link is the currency of the web. Search engines like Google consider them to be significant trust signals because they indicate that others have endorsed your content.
“Local links show that others with relevance to the local area trust or endorse your company,” says McAlpin.
4. You Need A Google Business Profile
Google Business Profiles (GBPs) are essential to any local search strategy.
In addition to gathering information about local businesses from a variety of sites, directories, and networks, Google also looks at its profiles for accurate information.
The Google My Business program has grown more interactive and rich in recent years. As a result of these updates, they are now more useful for local searches as well.
The GBP not only gives you your location and contact information but also enables you to:
- Your business’s photos and videos will help searchers get a sense of the experience they’ll have at your business.
- Display offers, events, and more with Google Posts.
- Respond to customer reviews, chat with customers, and answer questions via Messenger.
- Attributes allow you to share differentiating features, health and safety information, payment methods, and more.
5. Accurately list local businesses
Google places a great deal of importance on the searcher experience. An inaccurate, outdated listing can negatively impact a searcher’s experience, thereby reducing local visibility.
Your business listing should provide searchers with all the information they need to seamlessly convert, wherever they encounter it online – whether on social media, in a local directory, in the Yellow Pages, or on review sites such as Yelp or Trip Advisor.
The wrong phone number, address, hours of operation, or other critical business information can lead a searcher to a closed store, for example.
You can locate your former location using GPS.
Search engines can’t tell what’s true when they see varying versions of key business data on the web.
Google wants to give each searcher the most relevant answer, you do not want the algorithm to question the credibility of your business information.
As data aggregators and directories scan for business information and update their listings, tracking listings manually is time-consuming and difficult.
As a result, misinformation or outdated listings spread, and the wrong address, URL, or hours can be found all over the internet.
Local SEO tools such as Moz Local and Semrush can be used by small businesses to automate scanning for business listings and monitor their accuracy.
6. Monitor and respond to local reviews
In 2021, reviews will play an increasingly important role in local search. 77% Most local consumers read reviews before choosing a business to do business with.
In comparison to organic search, Google’s local ranking algorithms are less mysterious. Relevance, distance, and prominence are the three main ranking factors used by Google to determine local rankings.
In its Prominence factor, Google states:
“Google considers review score when ranking local searches. Positive reviews can improve your business’s local ranking.”
7. Use the relevant local schema
The schema markup makes web crawlers’ jobs easier and helps the search engine understand your page’s content better, though it is not a ranking factor.
The more you can do to help Google find your page more effectively, the better.
Schema markup can help trigger rich results that highlight additional information such as breadcrumbs, reviews, FAQs, and sitelinks on search results.
A schema application should be done properly, followed by testing and validating your markup, as errors can prevent rich results.
Bringing It All Together
It can be challenging for small businesses to do local SEO. The administrative and marketing duties that come with being an entrepreneur can overwhelm business owners who don’t have dedicated marketing departments.
In this guide, I hope you’ll find enough information and resources to determine what you can handle in-house and what you might need to outsource.
It’s fine to supplement your in-house skills with an Affordable SEO agency or consultant – but it’s imperative that you understand what you’re asking for.
It is critical to remember that local SEO is not a one-time activity that can be set aside and forgotten about.
Your marketing depends on it, and customer service is often affected by it as well.