Improve Local SEO Results in 10 steps for your business
Local SEO is essential to small businesses that operate in specific cities, towns, or regions. While SEO focuses on ranking in searches across search engines, Local SEO prioritizes appearing on search engine result pages (SERPs) in a specific location. This strategy relies on marketing your business to local searches for leads, sales, or customers. So if you are ready to improve Local SEO results, here are 10 things you need to do immediately.
Step 1: Create and Optimize Your Google My Business Account
Start by claiming your business on Google My Business. This establishes your presence for free on Google’s search engine and maps. Not only will your business appear in search results on all devices, but if Google authenticates your business as a legitimate business, it could also appear in the featured snippet parts of Google Search! By claiming your Google Business you have accomplished Step 1 to improve Local SEO results for your business.
To optimize your Google My Business Profile make sure you do the following:
- Verify your listing
- Provide accurate and up-to-date information (must be consistent with your website)
- include your logo, hours of operation, payment methods, the products or services you sell, and plenty of images
- Encourage your customers to review your business online
- Respond quickly and sincerely to customer reviews
- Create content within your account by utilizing Google Posts
Step 2: Generate Reviews from Happy Customers
Generating reviews from your customers does not just optimize your Google My Business Page, it also encourages more local customers to interact with your business. According to a study published by BrightLocal, 85% of customers believe online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. If you are looking to generate more customer reviews try the following tactics:
- Ask for a review in person after closing the sale
- Send a post-purchase email or text asking customers to write a review about their experience
- Respond to existing reviews is a professional way (that includes both positive and negative reviews)
Step 3: Optimize for Voice Search
With the popularity of voice assistant technology skyrocketing, voice search is becoming vital to Local SEO. Optimize your website and your business for long-tail keywords that people typically say. Focus on questions that start with who, what, when where, why, and how.
Step 4: Create content based on local news stories or events
Nothing builds authority more than content that directly speaks to a local issue. As a business owner, you can focus on building content that is hyper-local and directly impacts your target audience. Some strategies for creating engaging local content include:
- writing blog posts about local news stories, activities, or events
- creating videos about local causes, charities, or events that your business supports
- setting up location-specific webpages on your website with high-quality local content
Step 5: Optimize your website for mobile
The shift to mobile search from desktop search is happening faster than people realize. Mobile visits to websites jumped from 53% in 2016 to 63% in 2017. More importantly, 75% of all mobile searches that exhibit local intent produce in-store or offline visits within 24 hours. In short having a mobile website that performs, is vital to in-store success, and success in general.
Step 6: Focus on Local Keywords
Search keywords are the most important aspect of growing your business online. Your keywords should be relevant to local customers, it is just common sense.
The Google Keyword Planner helps you filter keyword searches based on locations so you can get a better sense as to what popular search terms are locally. Once you have them they should make appearances in your website’s content, meta content, and URLs.
Step 7: Use your location to your advantage
Website pages that mention a specific location for your business must contain the following elements in order to rank well:
- Store hours
- Name, address, and phone number (NAP)
- Individualized descriptions
- Parking availability
- Google Maps attached to each location page
If you have multiple locations, make sure to create unique content for each page. If you are just situated in one location make sure to talk about your company’s involvement in any local promotions, partnerships, or charity events.
Step 8: Take advantage of online business directories
Online directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, Mapquest, and YellowPages are great ways to boost your local SEO. In each business directory make sure to include the following basic information:
- Accurate business name, address, and phone number (must be consistent across all directories)
- A backlink to your website
- A thorough description of your business
Step 9: Seek high-quality backlinks
In a recent Moz.com Local Search Ranking study link signals are the 1st and 2nd most important factors in ranking for both the local pack and for the localized organic results. If you are looking to generate high-quality backlinks you should focus on the following tactics:
- Create high-quality content on your website so others will want to link to your content
- Guest blog of reputable websites with a high domain authority
- Engage with local influencers on social media to get them to link back to your website
For a list of high-quality backlinks, you should submit your website to check out our recent blog post: 65 High-Quality Backlinks.
Step 10: Create a website page for each product/service you offer
Avoid the temptation of creating a mega page for all your products/services. Instead, dedicate one page each to the product or service you offer. Why? Your local SEO ranking is not as powerful when you lump everything into one page. This is because search engines do not see your brand as an authority in one specific area. In fact, by lumping everything into one page it lowers your ranking possibilities. If you have multiple locations just create website pages for each location. So if you are a lawyer it becomes Baltimore Lawyer, Washington DC Lawyer.
Why Local SEO is so important
SEO is changing drastically. You never know when Google or another search engine will introduce new features for its search rankings, but you can always count on these changes coming. That is why Local SEO is so important. Focus on the 1o items we listed above, and your business will take advantage of local searches. Not only that it will have a solid foundation for when new SEO features are introduced.
MarketKeep is a digital marketing agency for small businesses and start-ups based in Towson, Md. Our goal is to help small business owners plan, place, and optimize their digital marketing strategies. MarketKeep is proud to offer our clients the following services:
Website Design – As a website design company we build websites that represent you and your brand and instantly builds a connection with your customers online. To learn more about our website design capabilities please contact our website designers.
SEO Company – As a Maryland SEO Company, we partner with small businesses to help grow their organic presence online through on-page, off-page, and reputation management techniques. To learn more about our SEO services for small businesses please contact our SEO team.
Pay Per Click Experts – As your SEM Agency MarketKeep will plan, place, and optimize your SEM campaigns so that you are maximizing your SEM campaign. To learn more about our SEM Services please contact our SEM team.
Social Media Management – Tired of running your social media accounts on a daily basis? Not sure what to post? As your Social Media Marketing Assistants MarketKeep will plan, place, and optimize your social media strategies. To connect contact our Social Media Management Team today.
Local SEO – So many of us rely on our phones to find businesses and products that are close by. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to connect with customers in your backyard. As a Local SEO agency MarketKeep helps to position your business online to acquire Local SEO searches. Learn more by contacting our Local SEO Agency Team.