For smaller businesses, focusing on creating a comprehensive local SEO strategy is crucial when it comes to marketing your goods and services to local consumers. SEO is a long game, and most professionals will advise you to wait at least a few months before results actually appear. This is why local SEO strategies are so crucial in making sure you’re a big fish in a small pond and not the other way around.
With Google research studies demonstrating that four out of five consumers prefer search ads to be tailored to their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings, optimizing your website for local SEO will generate more neighborhood-specific website traffic and lead to an increase in conversions. It will help your brand compete against larger companies that optimize for broader keywords.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO involves improving the visibility of local businesses online when it comes to search engines. By following certain strategies, those with brick-and-mortar locations can target customers in their vicinity.
Because search engines rely on items like social media pages, links, and local content to gather information, companies that optimize their pages for this data can boost traffic from nearby customers. Through relevant keywords, search engines show users the most relevant local products and services to potential clients.
Benefits of Local SEO
For many businesses that have a physical location, investing in a local SEO strategy is extremely value-adding to your business. Compared to other digital marketing strategies, it is also relatively affordable and provides long-lasting results.
Greater online visibility
Local SEO enables your business to be visible online so that it can be found by the right people.
By finding relevant and timely search results, potential customers are more likely to contact your store, visit your physical location, or do business with you. This translates to greater sales numbers and relevance over your competitors.
Build connections with nearby businesses
A local SEO strategy will also help your business build a local network and gain the support of other companies in your neighborhood.
For instance, you can cross-promote your products on each other’s social media accounts, get referrals from a larger customer base, and gain popularity from each other’s blog posts. The end result is more clients and better business relationships.
Gain potential repeat customers
Local SEO strategies can help you capture shoppers who are traveling to your neighborhood from far away places in addition to locals that live in the area.
If they’re interested in your goods and services, they’re more likely to build a long-term business relationship with your brand and spread the word.
Save on advertising costs
For customers who are looking for shops, restaurants, and services in their area, ranking high due to local SEO will increase the likelihood of them doing business with you.
This saves you from any additional costs that you may have spent on other forms of advertising, such as newspaper ads, social media ads, or local billboards.
Top Local SEO Strategies
Now that we’ve explored the potential benefits of local SEO for your business, here are some strategies you should consider employing to boost your local presence online and achieve greater visibility on search engines.
Make a Google My Business account
One of the best ways to rank higher on Google Maps and show up on local Google searches is to update your business profile on google. You’ll need to create a free Google My Business Account, which enables customers to easily call, message, or ask any questions about your business and the services you provide.
There are plenty of customization options to get you started, and you can even keep track of website clicks, calls, and bookings for added convenience. It functions like an online business listing that provides all the key business information a potential customer is looking for.
Create locally relevant content
Another great way to improve your local visibility is to create content that is relevant to your target market. By speaking directly to a customer’s wants and needs, you’ll have their attention and potentially their business as well.
This involves writing blog posts that center around local news topics, events, and activities, featuring photos and videos about local causes and any partnerships you have, and creating location-specific pages on your website if you have multiple branches.
Use local keywords in blog posts
To help you make the most of your blog posts, it pays off to use local keywords that are the most relevant for your customer base. To help you find these, using Google’s Keyword Planner tool can filter keyword searches based on a geographic location.
This should give you a good starting point to find targeted keywords that you can then incorporate in your website, including blog posts, social media content, metadata, and URLs.
Create a Location and About Us page
An About Us page should be informative for customers in your area and give them a succinct yet clear idea of what service your business provides. In addition, you can also include customer testimonials and promotions on your website for better engagement.
A location page should include details like store hours, name, address, and phone number, availability of parking, and Google Maps information. However, if you have multiple locations, creating different content per page is the key to better local engagement.
Get high-quality backlinks
An effective local SEO strategy involves getting external links, or backlinks that lead customers to your page. This is a link from another website that leads customers directly to your business page, to do so, you can create informative blog posts that encourage others to link out to your content.
Contacting guest blogs on reputable sites with a high domain authority can also get you the backlinks you need. Other avenues include your personal network, including resellers, vendors, and your local Chamber of Commerce.
In this day and age, engaging with local influencers with a high social media following can also help you boost your audience base. Hosting a community event and partnering with influencers in your niche is a great way to promote local pride on a blog post.
Take part in your local community
To get digital PR for your brand, you can make plans to partner up with key organizations in your area. Think outside of the box and see what works for you. This can be partnering with a nonprofit organization, hosting an event with volunteers, sponsoring a competition or online event, or getting interviewed by the local media.
It’s a fantastic way to earn press releases, gain some inbound links, and boost brand awareness. As long as you choose to do something that’s relevant to your industry, you’ll send the right online signals and generate buzz.
Make use of social media platforms
Another budget-friendly way to improve your local SEO is to maximize the use of social media networks. Search engines like Google will take into account any information you post on your Instagram account, Facebook profile, Twitter accounts, and even LinkedIn and Youtube channels.
This can help position you directly in front of your audience base and spread awareness to different target audiences.
Who Should Consider Using Local SEO?
While local SEO can be integral for many small businesses with a physical location, there are particular industries that can maximize this host of benefits.
In particular, restaurants can benefit greatly from taking advantage of local SEO. This is due to their address information and customer reviews being highly prominent in search engine results.
This information is especially useful for customers looking for places to eat in real-time, whether they’re looking for a family-friendly location, date night spot, or searching for a particular cuisine in their neighborhood. The ability to make reservations and look up online menus is also beneficial for online viewers.
Lawyers & Law Firms
With a Forrester report demonstrating how mobile is influencing $1.4 trillion in offline sales, mobile users searching for legal advice will definitely be impacted by local SEO strategies.
Often, customers are looking for lawyers in their area who have an intimate knowledge of any state-specific rules and regulations. It’s much more convenient to select an attorney or law firm in the first few pages of the search results and use the call button for a consultation.
Doctors & Medical Practices
Lastly, local SEO can also be particularly handy for those in need of medical advice or aid. Searching for a doctor nearby or a doctor “near me” provides maximum convenience when it comes to scheduling recurring appointments, as opposed to traveling long distances.
Doctors and clinics also have the advantage of making use of appointment-setting features, showcasing positive customer testimonials, and providing clear directions to their physical location.
However, not all businesses will be able to reap maximum benefits from local SEO. This includes retail stores that operate exclusively online.
Despite this, having a clearer understanding of SEO basics can help grow your company’s digital footprint. Because every business’s situation is unique, partnering with a reputable digital marketing agency can give you a customized local SEO strategy that caters to your needs.
Contact us today at Bliss Drive to take advantage of our local SEO services and ensure sustainable and long-term growth for your brand!