What is local SEO?
local SEO is the act of improving your visibility on local-focused search engines like Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local.
Locality-specific search engine optimization (local SEO) entails methods for increasing your rankings in specific locales, such as company listings related to your city. The local authority, citation creation, and citations are key components of local SEO. The objective is straightforward: increase relevance by broad keywords or phrases that represent broad geographic specificity (typically via improved link structures and more authoritative citation profiles).
Tips to Boost Local SEO
There are several factors that can affect the position of a local business in search results, including proximity to the searcher, ratings and reviews on third-party websites, your company’s website design and listings themselves, among others. If you have a physical location for your business, it only makes sense to work on making this information show up in search results.
Here are some of the most important points to keep in mind when you’re optimizing your business for local search:
1. Make sure your business information is consistent across all directories and listings
When creating profiles on third-party websites, make sure that your contact information (address, phone number, email and website) is consistent among all of them. This will increase the likelihood of your business showing up in relevant searches and receiving leads from potential customers.
2. Make sure that your pages load quickly and that they’re mobile-friendly
Customers who visit your site via a local search tend to be more impatient than when they want to navigate a few pages of a site. Having a slow-loading website can directly affect the number of visitors who stay on your page and, ultimately, impact how high you rank for local keywords.
3. Get reviews from your customers
To show up in search results, you need to have reviews from actual people who have had positive experiences with your business. This is because search engines consider the number of reviews to be a ranking factor.
4. Use your keywords in meta tags
Meta tags are HTML attributes that provide information about a website for search engines and web browsers, but they’re not visible on the page itself. These include titles, descriptions, headings and other metadata that can help improve your rankings.
5. Optimize your site structure
Having a simpler website with fewer internal links will make it easier for search engines to crawl and index it. This is especially important if you have a brick-and-mortar location with multiple departments because including an on-site search tool can allow visitors to find the right page instead of having to browse every single page of your website.
6. Find out where you rank on local directories.
Use a service like Whitespark to help you find out your citation profile quickly. Then, create profiles on all of the top 10+ local directories. Be sure to fill out as many details as possible for these listings so that they are more likely to appear at the top of Google Maps or other search engines when users search for your type of business.
7. Get listed on local maps and search engines
Add a Google Map listing to your website, especially if you have a physical location. Add great content about the services you offer in the area so that users will want to contact you or check out your website. You can also list your establishment on sites like Yelp and Yellowpages, which attract a lot of local customers.
8. Claim your listings on Google Maps and Optimize them.
Google is the most popular search engine out there, so it’s important that your business appears on Google Maps. You can find all of the listings for your business by searching for it in Google or by using a service like Whitespark. You can then claim each listing, which verifies your business’s information and gives you the opportunity to add more details about it.
9. Use clean URLs to make your site appear in Google Maps listings.
You need to set up an XML sitemap for your website because this is what Google will use to learn about all of your site’s pages. When you install a WordPress plugin to create a sitemap, make sure to create a clean URL for it rather than a messy one. A clean URL is easy for users and search engines to read, which will increase its visibility on Google Maps listings.
10. Set up business data profiles through Google and Apple
Google and Apple both offer free business data profiles that allow your directory listings to appear on mobile search results. Learn how to claim these profiles so you can take advantage of the local marketing opportunities they provide.
11. Get reviews from your customers
As you continue to gain more positive reviews, try reaching out to your regulars and asking them if they’d be willing to review your website as well. This will give prospective customers the opportunity to learn about your business and what you have to offer.
12. Optimize your website URL
Having a clean directory structure with URLs like https://www.example-business.com/locations/seattle/ will make it easier for search engines to read your site and index your content.
13. Utilize schema markup
Schema markup allows you to include structured data about your website on Google searches. This will enable search engines to display information like your business hours, contact address and phone number directly in local search results. Read more about how to include structured data on your site here.
14. Be active on social media
Having a social media presence is the easiest way to attract new customers and gain more exposure online. Be sure that you’re keeping up with local hashtags on Twitter, posting frequently about your business on Facebook, and being an active member of industry-related LinkedIn groups.
15. Promote local events.
Encourage clients to leave reviews by providing a discount or coupon code if they check in using a social media platform and indicate your company. You may also incentivize check-ins, such as “Check in on Facebook and get 10% off,” for customers who are near you.
Local search engine optimization is very different from most other types of SEO strategies. It’s not just about placing keywords in certain areas or having an exceptional content strategy; the goal here is to generate more leads for local businesses by increasing their visibility on sites like Google and Yelp. While there are several ways to perform LSO, the strategies mentioned above are some of the most common products of an effective local SEO campaign.
If you’re looking to increase your business’s online presence and attract more local customers, try implementing some of the tactics mentioned in this guide. Local SEO can be a bit tricky, but with the right tools and strategies in place, you can see a significant increase in traffic and leads. If you’re not sure where to start, or you need help getting your campaign off the ground, contact us today and we’ll be happy to assist you.