Local SEO is a critical marketing tool for small businesses. Location is a key factor to any SEO strategy. With the prevalence of mobile devices, many consumers are searching on the go and looking for nearby businesses. Proven and tested SEO implementation can boost organic traffic to your website.
“Laws” that the search engines rely on allow them to conceive your content with clarity. Both SEO and content work together to tell readers where your store can be found.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO gives search engines the means to identify you based on location. Stores, in physical places, common neighborhoods or niched industries, can use location as an SEO tool. Search engines want to provide this data with accuracy to users.
You can provide your leads with a precise address: not only to get them to find you. This data can complete the identity you’re building. Local SEO adds to your brand whether you’re a physical address or not.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a profile with a bit of optimization to take hold of. Think of it as a social media profile, but this one, with its special ties to Google, shows in search engine results. Google My Business profiles even appear as suggestions. No one has to type in your shop or office location in this example.
If readers need something that only you optimize for, you get the online traffic.
#1. Claim your business
Don’t gawk at seeing that Google is aware of your brand and how it’s been used. Starting a profile, verifying it and setting admin rights uncovers what Google has been seeing. Millions of brands float around the web that, according to Google, aren’t claimed.
Verify your ownership of your company now; you’re then granted preferences for local SEO. Simply enter a business name, create one new or use what already exists.
#2. Input the address
Google won’t confirm your business without it. Also ensure that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all platforms. Once you’ve included your address, you can hide it or use a service area if you don’t want people showing up at your building.
#3. Consider the categories
These initial steps are necessary because they give you the building blocks to work on. Confirm the category of your brand, and help Google verify the more significant industry to put you within. Options include salons, clothing stores, sports retailers and bars. Not sure what you’re category is? What do your competitors list as theirs?
#4. Add a few photos
Every business has an identity that they need to amplify online. Use photos to verify your store, its address or any retailers close by. This is important to standing out when other locations sell what you sell. Leave no room for searchers to doubt, and the search engines can then connect the dots for you.
The Competitors: Know What Your Industry is Doing
Take a look at the industry you work in. How many stores are there, what do they offer and how are they getting traffic? Answering these questions gives your brand a better foundation for SEO. Modern search engines know these details and have their answers set aside. It would help if you did so too.
#5. Write a list
Write down a list of your major competitors. Now take a quick walk around the neighborhood. You may need to search online but first, rely on physical addresses that people visit. End your list with the products and services of each brand you found.
#6. See how they rank for SEO
You have to see what your competitors are doing; define their strategies through how they appear online. Are they using specific keywords? Are they using an address? How often do they repeat their location even if it’s just “city or state” rather than “mall or street”?
Answer these questions to see what works for the region you are in.
Location as Done in Keywords
You may have stumbled upon repetitive keywords and phrases. Having the same keywords throughout your site can help you rank for those searches. The strategy is quite simple; construct phrases that share location and include city or neighborhood/state. Think about what users would search. Use those words or phrases in your content pages.
#7. Cover the basics with “NAP.”
Your use of NAP consists of “name, address, and phone number.” Google hones in on these data points. Use them when publishing content online or if back linking a guest post. Keep these phrases on every page to create a history that verifies your brand’s address.
#8. Write a local page and sitemap
Sitemaps render in search engines to create a glimpse of your website’s structure. A sitemap is listed with page titles that suggest what each page contains. This is why location phrases in your titles help. You then want to consider a page written solely for location. This is not a “contact me” page.
A local page compiles data related to the area. It includes landmarks or attractions and any cultural flares of the community.
Statistics for Local SEO that You Need to Know
The SEO stats for 2019 present us with the facts to build strategies on. You need to be strategic when considering competitors and what they do.
The Top-Listed Brands in Search:
Ninety percent or more of all users online will choose the top-listed brands that appear. No one is going to the second page of a Google search.
Four Out of Five Show for Location:
Local results appear four out of five times in standard search results. Still, over-40 percent of all businesses that rely on locality isn’t listed for location.
#9. Those Who Visit a Store:
Online data, as found by the consumer, will bring them to a retailer 70 percent of the time. This is why you show up in search results. Customers are searching on the go, and if they can find your store, they will visit it.
A Consumer Arriving within 24 Hours:
Roughly 88 percent of all mobile users will come to your location within a day.
Over 90 percent of online surfing gets initiated through a search engine.
#10. Being within Five Miles:
Web surfers, who are within five miles of a store, will stop by 73 percent of the time. Tell your readers that getting to your location is easy and that you’re only minutes away.
Up-to-80 Percent: People who rely on local SEO tend to ignore advertising. Consumers are smart regarding ads today and don’t like being pushed an ad. Getting your business listed in organic search is a bright idea. You don’t have to pay for your location on Google when using SEO.
#11. Near Me:
A 500-percent boost in “near-me terms” happened within Google search during 2019. Google uses Google My Business listings to pull this information, which is why it’s more important than ever to be here.
#12. Get Reviews
Reviews act as references for your business. Customers rely on these reviews when searching online. Google also encourages reviews, so having them can help your ranking and conversion online.
#13. Ask for Reviews
Customers that had a good experience may forget to leave a review. Try having your front office staff asking customers for reviews. If you ask, they are more likely to leave one.
Also, don’t forget to respond to all of your reviews. Customers get notified when you reply to their review on Google now. So it helps to reinforce a good experience and can also help to solve a negative one. Everyone gets negative reviews so don’t fret. Just provide a kind and professional reply, apologizing. You can either turn that negative review around or you can show future clients that you are reasonable when replying to criticism.
Mark it Up a Bit with Schema
Schema markup is an advanced method but effective nonetheless. It uses snippets of code for search engines to collect more-specific data on you. You can program the code to highlight your address or general location when boosting SEO.
#14. Shortcut your optimization
Bring schema into your arsenal for a complete SEO strategy. Even if you don’t use it for location, your website will be given a better rank as long as schema activates on it. You can find snippets at this public platform.
#15 Start with location in mind
Focus on location with these schema options in mind:
Making the Most of Your Location and SEO
A proven and tested SEO implementation is key when trying to improve your ranking on Google and get more customers. Local SEO is a must if you operate a physical store. You have a unique demographic to serve. Looking for buyers in New York City, when you operate in a small town in Oklahoma, may waste your time. Give the search engines some help; program your site with local SEO.
You’ll then capture customers in your area once they know what you have.