If you are running a local business, local SEO might be a familiar word for you. Online presence is essential to all businesses nowadays. It can assist a business to develop and attract more customers. People explore search engines to find a local business near their area. To pop-up your business name online, you need to work on the online presence of your business. Local SEO is a term we use to improve the presence of business locally. In this article, we are going to know how local SEO can help your business.
Google is working based on a complex algorithm. You need to know how the Google algorithm works for local businesses. Google considers a particular set of local ranking factors to rank businesses. When you optimize your business locally, you don’t have to worry about competing with large business chains. Most of the time, users search for a business with the ‘near me’ word.
It will let Google know that a user is exploring a business in their geographic location. Recent research data shows that more than 90% of customers prefer to travel up to 20 mins to purchase their day to day essentials. From this data, you will realize how local SEO impacts businesses nowadays.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the way of optimizing your website locally so that when customers search for a related business, yours will pop-up in the result. As the name suggests, local SEO is optimizing your business based on your geographical location. For local ranking, the search engine considers many factors such as local content, links, social pages, and citations that can provide local content to the audience.
Why Local Optimization Is Important For Online Business?
Local optimization helps your business in many ways. Every business needs to concentrate on developing a local customer base by optimizing their website locally. Before knowing various options to optimize your website, you should know the importance of search engine optimization.
Everyone uses local keywords to search
Local optimization helps businesses to bring local customers to their business. There are many retailer chains and local businesses that try to compete against those businesses. But some things need to buy from the store. 46% of customers use local keywords on Google, and 97% of searches are done for finding local businesses. So, always try to concentrate on local optimization to get more local customers.
Local optimization leads to sales
Local optimization can let the local people know about your business. It can drive more sales to your business. 88% of local searches on the smartphone end up in the sale. You always look for a business nearby you and its reviews before you go. If the review is good, customers will try to experience their service. This is the best example to understand the role of local optimization in improving sales.
Local optimization put your business upfront
When you optimize your business with local SEO techniques, the chances of getting it featured under the top search result. Adding various SEO tactics will help you to get more website traffic. If the website traffic is more, then the ranking will be better. If your website gets featured on the top of the search result, your business will also be better. By improving local optimization techniques, analyze your potential earnings from local searches. Always try to bring your website to the top three search results, and you will how it can improve your business.
Local SEO will give you a competitive advantage
Many businesses claim that local SEO helps them to become highly competitive. Most people started to register their businesses on Google My business first as the first step of optimization. According to them, this increased their website visibility and sale at the same time. Businesses can earn a competitive edge in the market by concentrating on local optimization techniques.
What Are The Best Ways To Locally Optimize Site?
Local optimization is a good investment on your business. By using local SEO optimization strategies, you can make your business grow locally. Online results always help a business to grow nowadays because most people search online for a business near their geographical location. There are strategies you can follow to optimize your site locally.
1. Feature your Business on Local Directories
There are many other local business directories. You can add your business details on these sites and get it featured whenever users search for a related business in their area.
Google My Business
Google My business is the best way to optimize your business locally. You can add all your business details here. Google will verify all your information and approve your business. By verifying your information, Google will store this. When a user searches for a related business in your area, Google will show your business in search results.
You need to get your account verified from Google to get the authenticity. Also, you can create a customized message and send it to your customers to write their reviews about your business. Good reviews and opinions from customers are something important that can help you to get more new customers.
Yahoo local is another local searching directory to feature your business. You can include all details about your business including the nature of your business, contact information, services you provide, etc. There is an enhanced listing option which you can get by paying a fee of $9.95/month. Using this feature, you can add more photos, coupons, taglines, 3000-character company descriptions, and so on. Yahoo verifies your company information and approves your listing if everything looks good. Then only it will go live on its directory.
Bing Local is a listing site for local businesses. Bings local listing works interestingly by pulling reviews from various local search sites. After listing, your business verification is done through mail and might take a couple of days to three weeks to go live after registering.
The yellow page is a well-known online business directory to list local businesses. It has many categories to register all businesses. You can add images associated with your business while listing on Yellow pages.
Yelp is a popular local directory to list your business. Here you can use information regarding your business such as images, contact information, etc. Also, you can reply to customers directly. Businesses can offers pay per clicking advertising within their network and ensure its reach to the customers.
2. Get Reviews from Customer
Once you listed your business on local directories next step if to get some local reviews. You can request your customers to review your service. Nowadays, every people look for reviews before choosing a business. Having positive reviews can help to grow your business well. Here are some ways to get reviews from your customers
- Add buttons or badges to your website-: You can add the badges where you listed business. Request your customers to go to the local directories and add their reviews. You can add links to these listing sites on your website. Encourage your customers to post their reviews.
- Encourage to review in your website-: Customer testimonials are helpful for business growth. You can encourage your customers to post reviews on your website.
- Reviews through mail-: If your business provides online services, then you can send them a mail to rate your service. Also, there is a way to encourage customers to add their mail id and be a part of your mailing list.
- A simple talk to them-: If you interact with your customers daily, then request them to post reviews about your service online.
Even though you provide world-class service, there could be customers who are not satisfied with your service. You need to respond to positive as well as negative comments on your business. Handle negative comments in a good way and tell them sorry for their bad experience. When you respond to negative comments, your prospects will know that you are ready to improve your service.
3. Keyword for Local Search
Another part of local optimization is keyword research. When you create a website for your business make sure to include locally popular keywords. Various tools can be used to find local keywords. Use Google keyword planner and look for keywords related to your business. If you are running a plumbing business for example type in the word + your geographic location.
You will see a lot of keyword ideas with their competition level. Always go for a low competition keyword to get featured better. You can also go to the competitor’s website and see what they are using to optimize their website locally. Better to use the quality keyword as required. Overstuffing of keywords can adversely affect your website’s reputation.
4. Optimize your Home Page
You need to optimize your website homepage first with all details about your business such as business type, services and physical location. This will help Google to understand details about your business. Your website’s title tag, meta description, and header tag should clearly convey all information regarding your business.
5. On-page Optimization
There are certain factors on your website that can help you to optimize your page. Other than geo-specific keywords, you need to focus on certain factors like title, meta description, and some additional factors. Here are some on-page optimization factors
Title and meta descriptions
A meta description is something every user is looking on a website. The search engine will highlight the keywords in the search result. Users will see your title, meta description, or maybe a snippet related to your website in the search result. You need to optimize your title tag and meta description with local keywords. The search engine always looks at both these areas to find related keywords and will feature it if the algorithm can find it.
Google also shows snippets from the meta description part. Google choose snippets based on relevance and keyword presence. Try to include your phone number, locations of your business, and related details in your meta description for better results.
Phone number and physical address
Another major factor is to include a phone number and physical address. This is a good indicator for the search engine to feature your business in the search result. You can add a phone number as a text so that people can click on the number and call you if needed directly from your website. This kind of information is mainly showing at the footer of a website.
Different pages for a different location
If your business has more than one location creating more than one page will help you better. Create separate pages with each location’s details. When you split your website into multiple pages based on the location, it is useful for the users. Or another way is to add all location details and phone number at the footer of the webpage and let the users find a convenient location for them.
Embed location map
Nowadays, everyone needs a map to find a location. You can embed your location map to your website to help your customers. When you enter your physical location on Google Map, it will give you an HTML code to add to your website. You can click on the link and add it to your website.
Another exciting factor is that you can adjust the size of the map on your website. You can change the size of the map and other features by clicking on the customizable link. Then copy-paste this URL and embed it on your website to give users better access to your location details.
Create a geo site map
A geo site map will tell Google about your business address. You can tell Google about your location instead of making it figure it out. Use a geo-site map generator and fill your business details. Then you can download the files from it and upload it to your website root folder.
6. Ensure Mobile Friendly Website
Nowadays all websites need to be optimized for mobile devices. Most users search on their mobile devices and you can customize your website for mobile devices. People will always look for reviews and location details on their mobile devices. Make your website mobile friendly and attract more customers to your business.
7. Create Local Content
Google always looks for content relevance before listing out the search result. When you create content for your website make sure to optimize with local content. By writing about so many topics can’t help you in any way. Concentrate on local content related to your business to attract a local audience. You can cover local industries and news related to your business. Know what your audience wants to know from your website that provides value to your customers.
8. Get Quality Links with Relevancy
You can do search engine optimization using inbound links. You can boost your SEO by accepting inbound links that are relevant to your business. It will help Google to know the legitimacy of your business. You can do guest blogging, partnership, or sponsorships and scholarships to promote inbound links. You can also sponsor webinars and meetups with your online community to have a better connection.
9. Include Social Media Optimization
Social media is a powerful tool for social media optimization. There are few options for you to socially optimize your content such as
- You can include social links whenever you send emails to your customers. Be it a promotional mail or a regular one. Make sure to add social media links to your mails.
- Also, include social media buttons on your website. Your customers can follow your social media pages directly from your website.
- You can stay active on social media platforms. Share your business updates and offers on your social media pages. Connect with your audience and let them know how you value their business by giving exciting offers.
- Encourage your customers to share your social media posts. This can attract new customers to your business and improve your business.
10. Look at your Analytics and Improve Optimization
When you apply new strategies to your website make sure to check how that works. You can use analytics tools to track the way these strategies work. Based on the result you can change your marketing strategies for better results.
Google Analytics is a suitable tool to check your analytics. You can see the visitors to your website, their engagement, bounce rate, and pages per visit. You can see your customer’s location and how long they spend on your website and the group of audience that visits your site. You can start to implement new strategies to attract more audience to your website.
Facebook insights can help you to attract new audiences to your pages. Based on your audience response you can change strategies to grow your audience base. The tool is very useful to know how your social media strategies work.
You can follow the above steps to see a better result. Earning customers is not an overnight process. Also, just by focusing on local SEO, you cannot earn customers. Concentrate on your services and treat your existing customers well. If they are satisfied with your business, they will be your brand advocates online. encourage your customers to review your service online and bring more online presence.
Search engine optimization is useful for all kinds of websites. Local optimization mainly aims to attract local customers. Now you know the importance of local SEO. Start optimizing your site and see the best results it can bring.