If it’s not e-commerce that you run and you have a place where people can actually visit you to buy your product or service, then you should really be focusing on your local SEO to reach your customers. You can’t be a stranger to sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor, you have to care about your Facebook profile, Google My Business and Google maps. You want your potential clients to find you when they look for your niche of products or services in your area. In fact, if you have a small local business, local SEO should be something to focus on primarily. So it’s a good idea to use a tool like Rankitor to see what your current situation is and how you can improve.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
A well-prepared and well-executed SEO strategy can continue to drive you significant traffic without forcing you to constantly spend money on marketing campaigns. It will allow your customers to find you every time they’re looking for a product or service that you offer in that specific area, which is more beneficial for you than ranking high for the whole country or industry. According to statistics, most people use the internet when they’re searching for something in their region, and half of them decide to go visit the place on the same day. Additionally, it will help you to promote any temporary events – meetings, sales, workshops, etc. Proximity is also one of the factors that Google takes into consideration while ranking search results. Localization, contact information, and localization-optimized content can all help you to pop up high on SERPs.
It’s especially important for small, local businesses, but even big corporations or retail chains can optimize for specific locations with a great effect while they carry on their international and national SEO strategies.
How Can You Win At Local SEO?
You can get professional help to plan your SEO strategy very carefully, but if you don’t have the right budget, there are some things that you can do by yourself to improve your situation.
- Make Sure Your NAP Is Consistent. NAP stands for name, address and phone number. If you want Google to notice you and rank you high in local searches, you have to make sure that your NAP is right and the same everywhere, not only on Google My Business but also on your website, social media profiles and different directories. If it’s not consistent, Google will ignore or even penalize you.
- Don’t Forget Mobile Searches. According to studies, most of the users use their phones to search for something locally at least once a week, and more than three-quarters of them end up buying the product or deciding on the service. That’s why it’s extremely important to have and optimize the mobile version of your website. Make sure that it’s easy to navigate and it doesn’t take forever to load.
- Get Reviews. It is both a major ranking factor and something that speaks to your potential clients. Most people say that they trust online opinions just like the ones they get from their friends and families. If you want to rank high in Google, you need to focus on Google Reviews.
- Respond To Comments And Reviews. It’s extremely important to stay open, honest and approachable. A bad review can happen to anyone and it won’t ruin anything for you if only you react in the right way. Own your mistakes, apologize and explain your side of the situation. Very often, reviewers are willing to work with you on the solution and change their review later.
- Remember The Local Link Building. Links always mean that your content is relevant, helpful and simply on point. People like it as well as Google. In the general SEO strategy, you would aim for getting backlinks from authoritative sites, but when it comes to local SEO, it’s not only their authority but also localization that matters. Does the local newspaper have a website? Or is there a community newsletter? Maybe a local blogger? All of these pages can provide you with valuable links.
- Target The Right Directories. It’s not quantity over quality anymore. It’s not enough to post your NAP everywhere you can. On the contrary – it can do a lot of harm to your ratings. Google got smarter and it doesn’t like spamming. That’s why you should focus on top-ranked directories – these are the ones that pop up first in your search results and have the highest organic traffic. You should focus on Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor, but don’t forget about more local pages.
- Create Localized Content. It’s relevant for Google, but also for any potential customer that can be looking for answers and solutions. Show people that you’re also local, that you’re from the same place as them and that you care about the community as much as they do.
When you run a business and you want it to succeed, you should take every opportunity to promote it. Local SEO is definitely something not to be overlooked.