Small businesses profit a lot from local searches because 46 percent of all Google searches are for local information. If your website isn't optimized for local search, you could be losing out on potential customers who are looking to shop in your area. Local SEO is crucial if you want your business to remain relevant and on SERP. You'll have a good understanding of how to optimize your business for potential customers who use local searches to pick which things or services to purchase.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of enhancing the visibility of local businesses, primarily those having physical locations, in search engines. Best practices of Local SEO can help businesses increase organic traffic from searches made by customers in nearby locations. Local search engines use signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide the most relevant local results to the user. Local SEO allows businesses to promote their products and services to local prospects and customers who are seeking them.
Surefire Local SEO Tips
1. Optimize for Google My Business (named as Google Business Profile)
Google prefers to deliver content it can trust and verify; Google Business Profile has become the pinnacle of local search.
To make sure you're ready for Google Business Profile, do the following:
Make a Google Business Profile account and verify it.
Within your Google account, use Google Posts.
Encourage your consumers to leave online reviews.
Respond to reviews honestly and clearly, indicating your location.
If Google can confirm that your business is real, it may award you a coveted sidebar place in Google local search. This isn't just for SEO purposes. By having reviews and keeping your contact information, you may make it easier for potential clients to find you.
2. Post to Google Business Profile and engage on social media.
Google now prioritizes content shared on social media more than before. Now that you've produced a beautiful Google Business Profile page, post it on social media to gain better connections.
3. Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are all the same across all platforms.
You must make it easy for people as well as search engines to find you. To accomplish this target, set up your NAP (name, address, and phone number). This should be incorporated as crawlable HTML text on your business website. Avoid the common mistake of putting the NAP inside a picture; unlike HTML text, images cannot be indexed by search engines. The NAP is mostly found in the site's footer or header.
4. Make online directories and citations more effective.
These four map data aggregators supply enough amount of map data for browsers like Apple, Yelp, Bing, Google, Trip Advisor, and other companies.
To maintain factual consistency, make sure your citations are uniform and full throughout these four data aggregators. Misspellings, abbreviations, the absence of a suite number, or an inaccurate phone number can all be frustrating. If Google is unable to determine which information about your organization is accurate, it may not appear in search results at all. Also, make a point of deleting any duplicate listings you see. If you highlight your community's Chamber of Commerce membership, you'll get a bonus point and an external inbound link.
5. Conduct a local search engine optimization audit.
Once you've learned the fundamentals, it's tempting to put your foot on the brake. Rather than simply making changes and seeing what sticks, a complete detailed audit of your website is recommended to know where it stands and what needs to be improved to accomplish your goals. The following targets should be included in a local SEO audit:
Google Business Profile Audit: Where does your Google Business Profile show up in the search results?
GSC Audit: Is your site crawlable, according to Google Search Console?
Audit Your Citations - Are all your citations in the leading business directories, correct?
Analysis of Competitors - How does your site perform compared to your competitors in terms of inbound links, content, design, and positioning?
On-Page SEO Audit - Does your website include all the on-page SEO features that help you rank?
6. Improve the structure of your internal linking.
While external links to your site are beneficial, changing your internal linking structure will also assist you to boost your SEO rankings. It performs the following functions:
Assists with website navigation
Assists with website hierarchy and information architecture.
Page authority and ranking power are distributed among pages.
7. Make sure the URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content are all optimized.
Content-wise, each new blog post represents a new indexed page for your site, a new page on which to target a geographic search phrase, and a new chance to be found in the top search engine results pages (SERPs). To optimize a piece of content for search engines, you should employ high-volume keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and body.
8. Create pages for each business location on your website.
If you have multiple physical locations, create location pages. On your location pages, readers will find information such as your name, address, phone number, store hours, unique business descriptions, parking/transit information, promotions, and customer feedback. It's also crucial to avoid duplicating content across multiple location pages. For single-location businesses, make a geographically descriptive About Us page. You'll get a lot of bonus points if you put a Google Map on your website's location page.
9. Create details that are specific to your local area.
Google is becoming more intelligent, which means that content creators may now write for people rather than search engines. While writing about general issues, to appeal to a broad audience, narrowing your focus and writing about local or industry news to appeal to a specialized audience is frequently more important. To establish yourself as the local authority for your sector, promote local industry gatherings, news, employees, and other instructive information on your blog. Consider creating top-of-funnel material that isn't just about your company's products. If you're a local security firm, for example, and you're looking to attract new businesses to the area, provide a helpful resource to help them get to know the area. A map of local service providers could both be useful to your persona and offer highly pertinent on-page local signals.
10. Make certain that your website is mobile-friendly.
The two types of searches, local and mobile, are closely intertwined (61 percent of all Google searches are performed on mobile).
11. Obtain relevant and authoritative inbound links.
Each inbound link shows Google that you're a legitimate business, and they may also help you enhance your domain authority. Below are a few ways of obtaining inbound links:
Sponsorships or Partnerships
Guest Blog Posting
Begin by reaching out to your personal network, which may include the Chamber of Commerce, BIDs, licensing bureaus, trade associations, resellers, vendors, and/or manufacturers, as well as other affiliates.
12. Get involved in your community.
The more active you are in your community, the more digital exposure you will receive. Cooperating on a campaign with a nonprofit, organizing a volunteer day at your company, sponsoring an event (even an online one), or appearing in the local media as an expert in your industry, can help you generate coverage, and brand recognition, and inbound connections.
Local SEO Tools
1. Whitespark Local Citation Finder
Any internet reference of a local business's name, address, and phone number is referred to as a local citation. Citations are crucial because they help local businesses appear in internet searches, and when local businesses maintain their citations to assure data accuracy, trust in these online listings grows. Whitespark is well-versed in this universe. Whitespark manages your local listings, gives recommendations for where your company should be listed, analyses your competition, and grows and monitors your citations for better local search rankings.
2. Screaming Frog
This desktop tool searches website links, pictures, CSS, scripts, and apps from an SEO aspect. Are you curious whether you have any 404 errors on your site? Do you have any concerns concerning the lack of meta descriptions or H1 tags on your website? Screaming Frog has a free version that analyses up to 500 URLs and a commercial version for $200 per year that analyses an unlimited number of URLs.
3. Moz Local
Moz Local is less expensive than most of its competitors, and it will validate and disseminate your company's listing across the search ecosystem and on Google and Facebook. Moz Local will also collaborate with data aggregators to boost listings, ensuring that your business is seen.
Ahrefs helps with backlink checking, which is important because these links (directed toward your website) are used to determine website authority. In addition to competitor analysis, keyword research, and information on the anchor text used by other websites when linking to yours, Ahrefs offers other services.
Buzz Stream analyses influencers, tracks conversations and provides reporting insights into your outreach campaigns, team performance, and link placements to help you earn local backlinks.
BrightLocal is a complete SEO toolkit created specifically for local businesses marketing needs. The tool can assist you in generating and monitoring reviews on local sites, analyzing rivals in your area, and determining your local search success. BrightLocal also offers client access and white-labeled reporting, making it a fantastic fit for both agencies and brands.
Local SEO is a very crucial part of any online strategy for local businesses. If you have a shop or a service area, local SEO will help your audience find you when they search online.