Local Business SEO Tips and Tactics

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When users search for local products or services, they mean business. Around a quarter of local searches lead to purchases that same day. People rarely window shop when they distinguish their searches by proximity and location. 

If you want to attract the local crowd to your business, you have to add a local element to your digital marketing strategy. Plenty of small businesses focus on generalized SEO without considering customers that are located nearby. A localized approach to search engine optimization can have an enormous impact on your sales, especially if done correctly. If you’re wondering where to start, we’ve come up with a few SEO tips and tricks that can help you attract the local crowd right to your front doors. 

Research Local Keywords

Keyword mapping and research are essential pillars of modern SEO. In recent years, the value of local keywords has increased dramatically. You don’t want to oversaturate your pages with generalized keywords, as they might not be the most effective option for reaching the first search engine results page (SERP) for particular queries. 

For obvious reasons, using local keywords is especially important for local businesses. Users are more likely to look for products and services that are located in their vicinity. The prevalence of search queries that include the terms “near me” or the names of particular cities suggests that local keywords should become an SEO priority. 

You should compare the search volumes for variable search terms that include the names of the city you operate in. Don’t think that this excludes long-tail keywords, either. Hyperlocal and long-tail keywords are more effective at bringing your business to the first SERP. 

Generate Local Content

Content marketing strategies tend to focus on content in general. It’s a surefire way to cover all of your bases and appeal to the largest possible number of users. However, it’s not a guaranteed way to attract visitors to your website, as you have plenty of competitors that are vying for the same demographics. 

The potential for higher traffic and a wider audience doesn’t provide you with much, especially if you’re trying to attract local visitors. To maximize marketing efforts, you’ll need to generate local content that appeals to people in your city or state. Since clickbait titles have gone out of style, you should try to incorporate local news and in-demand information in your content. 

Alongside the content, you must research adequate keywords to match. The keywords should be incorporated naturally into the content. They should be placed in the headers and metadata as well, to improve search engine scouring. 

Adapt for Mobile Users

It’s no secret that mobile optimization has become a quintessential part of modern digital marketing strategies. The number of mobile users is expected to overtake desktop any time soon, but that’s not the part you should focus on. What makes mobile so interesting for local businesses is the fact that people are more likely to search for local products and services on their phones than their desktop computers. 

Around a third of all mobile searches are in some way related to location and proximity. Consumers that find a local business through SERPs are likely using their mobile phones to type in queries. This means that designing and optimizing your website for mobile users should be one of your top priorities. 

Focus on creating an optimal mobile website experience. Make sure the website displays well and optimize the navigation for mobile screens. Pages that are difficult to navigate on mobile lead to high bounce rates, which have a negative impact on your overall SEO. As long as you provide a streamlined experience for mobile users, you can strengthen your brand and bring in new visitors to the platform.

Optimize for Voice Searches

Alongside mobile searches, voice searches have also become more prominent in recent years. People enjoy the convenience of searching for products using a voice assistant. In most cases, voice searches are used to find local businesses, which is why you should keep them in mind when creating your digital marketing strategy. 

As voice search is considered a relative novelty, plenty of businesses neglect to optimize for it. This impacts their SEO on a local level and customers rarely find their way to the business’s website. To stay ahead of the curve, you should look into optimizing your content and website for voice searches. It’s going to improve your rankings significantly as time goes on. 

Voice search keywords tend to differ from written ones, but this shouldn’t discourage you. Do your research and see which terms are most often used for your particular area. 

Create a Google My Business (GMB) Page

One of the most important steps you can take to improve your rankings is to create a Google My Business page. This Google feature is free and provides your business with plenty of benefits when it comes to SEO. 

For one, users that want to find a particular product or service in their area will find it much easier to discover your business. If your website lines up with the search query, you’re more likely to show up on the first SERP. When users decide to look for businesses similar to yours, your company will also show up. The page also shows plenty of useful information that can help users contact your company, including your phone number and email. Not to mention, it also increases users’ trust in your brand.

Once Google verifies that your business is legitimate, it will further improve your rankings on search results pages. Your company name, logo and location will also appear on the sidebar when users enter queries for local businesses. It’s a surefire way to get noticed in local searches. 

Enable Reviews and Handle Them Correctly

Review systems have become more important than ever. People don’t trust companies on their word anymore. They want to check the opinion of other users before making a decision. This is where reviews come in. 

For plenty of companies, introducing reviews is a touchy subject. What if scornful users decide to leave a fake review that reflects the company negatively? These scenarios are rare, and they don’t have an enormous impact on user opinions. What matters is that you have reviews enabled. Sketchy businesses often avoid introducing review systems, which signals to users that they shouldn’t trust them. 

How you handle negative reviews can be important in some cases. Your social media team should do their best to leave helpful comments on these reviews. If possible, try to point out solutions to common problems that users mention. This is something Google looks upon favorably. 

Create Captivating Videos

Content is constantly evolving to keep up with Google’s algorithm and users’ tastes. While blog and social media posts are still key pillars of digital marketing strategies, visual content has gained popularity as well. People want to see photos, videos and infographics more and more. This is especially true for videos, which have become more impactful when it comes to search engine rankings.

Digital marketers have already started to emphasize the importance of video in SEO for local businesses. Pages with videos have more than a 50 percent chance of landing on the first SERP. Google is more likely to showcase rich snippets that come from local pages that feature video content. 

Another factor worth considering is the impact of video on user engagement. People can skim an article for details without absorbing too much information. They don’t always have the attention span to read more than a thousand words on a topic. Video content allows you to give users a brief summary of a topic in an engaging format. Studies estimate that videos have five times the engagement rate compared to written content. This helps keep users on your page and keeps your branding strong. 

Don’t let this draw you away from blog posts and images. Videos can complement your overall design and bring in better rankings, but they needn’t be the only content you feature on your pages. A diverse portfolio of content is necessary for good SEO, and videos are only part of the equation. 

Establish a Strong Social Media Presence

A strong social media presence can help both your credibility and search engine rankings. Your brand appears as more legitimate if you’re present on various forms of social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Users are more likely to trust your brand if they can see that you’re active on these platforms. Plus, it’s much easier for them to locate your business through these avenues. 

Keep in mind that social media can be a rich source of backlinks and content. Having a few posts or videos here and there will allow you to more effectively build your brand through high-quality content. 

You shouldn’t copy and paste the same type of content to different social media platforms. The demographics among them tend to differ, which is why you have to diversify your approach. The crowd that visits your Facebook page won’t be the same one that finds you on Instagram or Snapchat. Adapt your content to suit particular demographics and you’ll find that your traffic will increase even further. 

Conclusion

The principle of SEO is the same whether your target is a local or international audience. You want to give users what they crave, while also sticking to the guidelines set by Google’s Search algorithm. Analyzing data and creating engaging content isn’t easy, but it’s well worth the trouble. By following the above tips and tricks, you can be sure that you’ll increase your website’s SEO rankings and end up on the first page of Search results. 

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