Local SEO Solutions: Tips to Improve Your Website Growth
Small businesses that operate on a regional, rather than a national, scale rely heavily on local SEO. Local SEO targets SERPs within a specific geographical area, while national SEO focuses on ranking across the country. Local marketing relies on marketing your brand, products, and services to local prospects and customers.
A local SEO strategy will generate more website traffic, leads, and conversions since it is more relevant to your local customers. By following this focused strategy, you can compete more effectively against national brands that have unlimited resources. When you focus on specific local SEO tactics, you can counteract the advantage of more prominent brands that rely on brand recognition rather than value propositions to attract customers.
Local SEO Solutions in 2021
Create a Google My Business Account
The best way to rank higher on Google Maps and appear in Google local search results is by optimizing your Google listing (aka your Business Profile). However, to get access to your Business Profile to make these optimizations, you need a Google My Business account associated with that profile.
All information you enter in your Google My Business dashboard will be added to your Business Profile, which appears in local search results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps. To optimize your Business Profile on Google, you should:
- Verify ownership of the business by creating a Google My Business account
- Provide accurate and up-to-date information
- Include your logo, hours of operation, payment options, the products or services you sell, and lots of images
- encouraging your customers to leave a review.
- Respond sincerely to customer reviews
- The Google My Business dashboard allows you to post announcements (announcing products, events, and special offers) to your Business Profile.
Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers
By encouraging your customers to write glowing reviews for your business, you not only optimize your Google My Business listing, but you also encourage more local customers to buy from you. According to the Local Consumer Review Survey, 85% of customers trust online reviews more than personal recommendations.
Here are a few tips to encourage customers to leave reviews:
- After a sale has been completed, ask for a review in person.
- Post-purchase, send customers an email or text asking them for a review (but only after you’ve screened them via an internal survey to ensure you aren’t approaching dissatisfied customers).
- Answer reviews professionally, thanking reviewers and addressing complaints in unfavorable reviews
Optimize for Voice Search
The voice search market will grow rapidly in the next few years. Accordingly, local SEO should optimize the way people ask questions when they speak into devices rather than how they type them.
Your customers use more long-tail keywords when conducting voice searches than when conducting regular searches. Therefore, you should adjust the SEO of your content to match the more conversational tone of a speaker. Consider, for example, the traditional question starters (who, what, when, where, why, and how).
It is also vital to consider user intent when optimizing for voice searches, as these searches are often performed when a user is looking for specific information. When someone asks Alexa to convert tablespoons to cups while baking, they expect a quick and helpful response. This information should also be available if a potential customer uses voice search to inquire about your business’s hours.
Produce content based on local news stories or events
The best way to grab local customers’ attention is to write content that speaks or relates directly to a local issue.
Some strategies include:
- Blogging about local news stories, activities, or events
- Making videos about local charities or causes that your business supports
- If you serve different parts of a region, you set up localized web pages on your website with high-quality content.
Let’s say you’re a local real estate business. You can create different pages for each of your locations, where you can feature hyperlocal content about local news events or changes in the local real estate market. This could also help you rank for your specific locations.
Hone in on Local Keywords
Google’s Keyword Planner lets you filter searches based on location, so you can see the most popular search terms in a given area. This allows you to create a list of local keywords to target. When you have them, you should incorporate them into your site’s meta content, copy, and URLs.
Your content should also mention regional landmarks and hotspots. On your website, for example, mention “dining by the Space Needle” or “just steps from the Space Needle” if your local restaurant serves dinner downtown Seattle.
Place a location-specific “About Us” page on your website
Your business should have a location page if it has more than one location in an area. This page should include the following information, at a minimum:
- Store hours
- Name, address, and phone number
- Individualized descriptions
- Parking availability
- Google Maps attached to each location page
When you have multiple locations, you must create unique content for each one.
Creating an “About Us” page that focuses on local, relevant information is essential if you only have one location. If you operate a florist shop, your “About Us” page is the perfect place to mention that you supply the flowers for parades in your town or city.
Take Advantage of Online Business Directories
Online business directories are websites like Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, and YellowPages, to name a few. There are many more.
Getting your business name, address, and phone number into these directories will not only improve visibility but also boost your local SEO.
Focus on Link Signals (Get High-Quality Backlinks)
Link signals are the top- and second-most important factors in local pack (or snack pack) results, as well as localized organic results, based on Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors study. An example of a link signal is a backlink pointing to your website.
Create a Dedicated Webpage for Each Product/Service You Offer
While it may be tempting to group all of your products or services together on one significant page, avoid doing so. Create separate pages for each unique product or service you offer.
If you lump everything into one page, you’re not going to get as much local SEO juice because search engines don’t see your brand authority in one specific area. This lowers your ranking possibilities.