Local SEO is a powerful strategy for Locally Operated Small Businesses to Get Found by local customers with a couple of clicks. Even if you don’t have a business website, local SEO helps your small business to become visible if potential customers are searching for products or services like the ones you offer.
When people will see your business in their search results, your chances of getting online leads increase dramatically. With Local SEO, you are focusing to rank based on a specific location (where you offer your services). Overall, this strategy revolves around marketing your small business brand and your offerings to local customers and leads.
Many small businesses around the world are investing in Local SEO and for good reasons. If you don’t believe, then check out these Local SEO stats to learn why you also need local SEO.
- 88% of consumers who search locally on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day.
- 97% of people seek information about a local company online more than anywhere else
- 78% of location-based searches lead to an offline purchase.
- 900% of boost has been recorded in “near me” and “close by” type searches over two years.
The above statistical figures are enough to say that local SEO has become more important than ever and its significance will continue to increase in the upcoming years as well.
So, how to rank with local SEO?
If you also have this question, here is our guide on how to improve local SEO to help you find out the answer.
Best Tips to Improve Local SEO in 2021
- Create a Profile on Google My Business
- Optimize for Voice Search
- Gain Credibility through Happy Customers
- Post Content Based on Local Events and News Stories
- Focus on Location-Specific Keywords
- Create Location-Specific Web Pages
- Establish Your Presence in Online Business Directories
- Gain High-Quality Backlinks
Create a Profile on Google My Business
Google My Business is a platform that allows small and locally operated businesses to engage customers across Google Search as well as Google Maps for free. Don’t confuse it with a simple business listing because it does more than that. Your profile on Google My Business allows you to add photos and connect with your customers through clicks, calls, follows, and bookings. Fill out your details as much as you can (the more, the better) in your Google My Business account dashboard. Apart from Google Search and Maps, your business information will also appear in the Google Search Knowledge Panel.
Ideally, your goal should be to have an optimized Google My Business profile, and that you can achieve by:
- Providing accurate and updated information
- Verifying your ownership of the business
- Including key information, such as business logos, operation hours, acceptable payment methods, and products & services
- Uploading quality photographs of your business location and premises
- Publishing posts, including announcing products, special offers, or events using your profile dashboard
- Encouraging customers to provide reviews and ratings to your business online
- Responding to customers’ reviews and answering their queries promptly
Optimize for Voice Search
Voice Search is rapidly getting a hold in homes these days. Not only youth but also children and grandparents are having fun with the new comfort of searching just by speaking. So, when it comes to answering – how to improve my local SEO – we highly recommend you to optimize your content for voice search. What you need to do while optimizing for voice search is to observe how people make queries when they speak to their devices.
Generally, people write short keywords while typing their queries or topic of interest. However, when people have the freedom to voice their queries, they tend to:
- Write long-tail keywords
- Ask things in proper question format
- Talk in a conversational tone
- Consider their device as their assistant or even friend
- Use more question words, such as why, what, where, how, how-to, when, and who
- Make their search intent more clear
So, consider or incorporate these things wherever possible and applicable while providing information and publishing posts.
Gain Credibility through Happy Customers
People are more willing to write a review when they are engaged by businesses in a friendly manner. So, improve your interaction while serving your customers and make sure that you answer their queries, and solve their issues if any.
You can also post commonly asked questions yourself and then provide answers to them so that people can learn about your business more. Think of it as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Encourage your customers that are happy and satisfied with your services and products to write reviews, provide ratings, and even post photos on their social media profile. And don’t forget to ask them to tag you when they provide feedback or recommend your business in their social media posts.
Why do you need to encourage your customers to write recommendations and feedback?
- 93% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase
- 91% of customers (aged between 18 and 34 years) trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
- Online customer reviews gain more weighting (6.47%) in organic local searches
Do you already have so many happy customers that you don’t want to think about dissatisfied or disappointed customers?
To be honest, you do need more positive reviews because 94% say that a negative online review has convinced them to avoid a business. So, if the number of negative reviews is significant, your business might be (no, is certainly) in a substantial loss.
To improve your Local SEO, you must make efforts to get more and more positive reviews from your customers. For that,
- Ask for providing online feedback in person after a successful purchase or delivery of service
- Send a message or email (if you have their contact information, such as email id, contact number, or social media name) to your happy customers to ask for a review
- Respond to reviews in a delightful and professional way
- Address complaints and solve them in case you get a negative feedback
- Once you solve their issues, ask them humbly to acknowledge that (to neutralize the impact of negative reviews up to some extent)
Post Content Based on Local Events and News Stories
When you operate only locally, your content must reflect that. You can educate your target audience about your place as an expert, because being a local, you can provide insights that a general writer sitting in a distant or remote location cannot. Give a personal touch to your content.
- Write articles or blog posts that revolve around local festivals, charities, culture, sports events, concerts, news stories, and activities.
- You can even write about local rules, regulations, beliefs, and safety concerns. Be honest while writing safety-related topics.
- Be open to write content in two ways – the first one is that focuses on your business and the second is that focuses on local places.
Sometimes, people might be interested to know more about your place and not about your business. However, they might consider your business once they come to your place if they’ve read your posts to learn about your place. With content creation, you may not get instant results, but increased visibility might help your business in the long-term.
Focus on Location-specific keywords
Use keyword research tools and find out local keywords that are popular in local searches. Narrow them down based on which ones are relevant to your business.
Once you have a list of them, make sure that they are incorporated in your web pages, the website’s meta content, URL structure, articles, blogs, and social media posts.
Also, ensure that you include landmarks related to your serving locations in your content to make it more location-specific and guide your customers.
Create Location-Specific Web Pages
If you have a website, create location-specific web pages with quality content if you serve in different parts of a city. Make sure that when you write content for a specific location, the content should reflect things about that particular location.
For instance, if you have a restaurant in London and you are serving in only the North region of London, then use the About Us page to mention the hot spots of North London from where you get most orders.
Also, provide essential information, such as operation hours, name, address, phone number, individual descriptions, testimonials, parking availability, promotions, and Google Maps attached to each of your location-specific pages.
Establish Your Presence in Online Business Directories
When you appear on high-authority business directories popular in your country and state, it provides you with more credibility and trust. Some of the popular directories are Yelp, Yellow Pages, FourSquare, and Indiabizlist. Did you know Google My Business is also a widely recognized business directory? Well, now, you know.
Registering with online business directories helps:
- Increase your local visibility
- Get discovered easily
- Customers trust your business more
- Boost your local SEO
Just make sure that you provide all the necessary information, including, accurate business name, address, phone number, description of your business, and backlink to your website if you have any.
Gain High-Quality Backlinks
What are the most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search results? High-quality content and backlinks!
Link signals (links that refer to your website) play a vital role in the local pack as well as localized organic results. While the quantity of backlinks matters to improve local SEO, their quality is more important. So, if you want to boost your local SEO, focus on getting high-quality backlinks.
How to Get Quality Backlinks
- Create your website and blog posts with compelling, relevant, and informative content so that high-authority domains don’t hold back to link to your content
- Create guest blogs and get them post on esteemed relevant websites
- Create an infographic for your website so that if someone shares it on their posts, they have to link to your website
- Leverage the power of local social influencers to recommend your products and services and get links from their posts whenever possible
Local SEO is Key to Boost Your Local Business
It’s necessary to change with the changing business landscape and consumers’ behavior. When your customers are searching for businesses online, it becomes a must to get found online if you want to remain competitive. It doesn’t matter if you are selling online or not, you should be visible online and that can be done only when you know how to rank locally, how to improve local SEO, and how to stay on top with local SEO. So, don’t wait anymore. Start doing it either yourself if you have relevant knowledge or hire an affordable small business SEO agency.