Local search plays a pivotal role in the success of small businesses. This is because most consumers turn to search option for local information. Thus, if you have not taken measures to ensure that your business is optimised for local search, you will lose out on quite a lot of potential customers. To put it in simpler terms, if you want your business to stay relevant, you need to have local SEO on your side.
It might be a bit tricky to understand how business can be optimised for local SEO. To make things easier, we have put together a comprehensive guide that will provide you with all the tips and tools you need to get the job done.
Once you go through this guide, you will understand how your business can be optimised to reach out to potential customers using local search to determine the products or services they should opt for.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO provides businesses a means to promote their services and products to enhance their local prospects and attract potential customers. Search engines use signals like local content, citations, links, and social profile pages to collect information for local search. The search engines then use all the information to ensure that the user is provided with the most relevant local results.
Local SEO Tips
• Optimise for Google My Business.
• Improve your internal linking structure.
• Optimise URL, title tags, headers, Meta description, and content.
• Add location pages to your website.
• Create local content.
• Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
• Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent online. • Optimise online directories and citations.
• Get inbound links with relevance and authority.
• Engage on social media and add posts to Google My Business.
1. Optimise for Google My Business.
Google My Business has become crucial for local search. This is understandable since Google would undoubtedly be more at ease in sharing content that can be supported and verified. Google My Business is the tool Google uses to ensure that your business is in line with Google’s requirements. If Google confirms your business as authentic, it can be rewarded by the search engine as it would get a sidebar space in Google’s local search.
If you want your business to be optimised for Google My Business, you will have to create a Google My Business page and have it verified. You will also need to use Google posts within the account while at the same time encouraging customers to share their views online. Your business will have to respond to the reviews authentically and specify the location. For instance, while responding to specific feedback, make sure that you mention the city and state from where the customer had posted his review.
2. Improve your internal linking structure.
External links are undoubtedly ideal for your site. However, your SEO rankings can significantly benefit from your internal linking structure as well.
Perhaps you are wondering how internal linking can be of help.
For one thing, it supports the navigation of the website.
It also provides assistance in information architecture with website hierarchy.
The internal link also distributes ranking power and page authority among pages.
If you are looking for ways for improving your internal linking structure but are unsure of where to commence, you can take a look at Neil Patel’s posts, The Seven Commandments of Internal Linking that Will Improve Content Marketing SEO
3. Optimise URL, title tags, headers, Meta description, and content.
When we talk about content, you need to understand that every new blog post matters. These blog posts are a new indexed page of the site wherein they should be used for targeting a geographic search phase. These pages provide you with a unique opportunity to make your presence felt on search engine results pages or SERPs.
Whenever a new piece of content is written for your website, make sure that it is optimised for search engines. This can be done by incorporating high-volume keywords in the title, header, URL, Meta description, and body. In case you find it challenging to think of geo-targeted content, you can highlight case studies and success stories of the customers.
4. Add location pages to your website.
You will need to create location pages if your business has multiple brick and mortar locations. Location pages make sure that your readers get all the information they need with ease, including your name, address, phone number, store hours, unique description of the store, among other things. You can also feature parking and transit information, testimonials from satisfied customers, and promotions on the page.
It is advisable to refrain from duplicating content on multiple location pages. If your business as a single location, it would work in your favour if you create an About Us page, which is descriptive and tells the readers everything that you need to do. It will be excellent if you add a Google Map on your website on the location pages.
5. Create local content.
Google continues to evolve to enhance the user experience. Thus, content creators can now put their efforts into creating content for users instead of search engines. You might be interested in writing about general topics to attract a wide crowd. However, it is advisable to focus on local and industry news as well so that the local audience can be drawn your way.
You can assume the position of the local authority for your industry if you promote local industry gatherings and news along with relevant educational content on your blog. You need to broaden your horizons and think of content that would go beyond the product or service that your business sells.
6. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
Mobile search is an integral component of local search. Most people use their smartphones to conduct local searches.
People use their phones to look for reviews, find directions to your business location, and lookup contact information, among other things.
It is vital that you make it easier for your potential customers to browse your website by making it mobile-friendly.
These free tools will help you in your quest for a mobile friendly site.
7. Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent online.
It is necessary that people and search engines are able to find you with ease. To make this certain, you need to set up your NAP. This refers to your name, address, and phone number with area code. Include this on your site in the form of crawlable HTML.
Refrain from including the NAP merely within an image. Unlike HTML text, images cannot be crawled from search engine texts. You can place the NAP in the header or footer of your site.
8. Optimise online directories and citations.
If we talk about Australian companies, three leading map data aggregators provide important map data for various search engines, including Yelp, Google, Bing, and Apple, among others. These include
Consistency is mandatory. Make sure that all the citations on your site are consistent, completing across the main data aggregators. It will be problematic if you have discrepancies like abbreviations, wrong phone numbers, or misspellings featured.
If Google cannot verify the correct information about the business, it might not display your business in search results at all.
Make sure that you remove any duplicate listings that you come across.
9. Get inbound links with relevance and authority.
If you want to boost your local SEO, inbound links can be a powerful ally. Inbound links are a means of letting Google know that your company is legitimate. At the same time, they enhance your domain authority. You can get inbound links by following means:
You can start with your own personal network. This can include business improvement districts, Chamber of Commerce, trade associations, and other affiliates.
- Sponsorships or Partnerships
You can sponsor webinars or meet-ups and host community events and promote something local. This will allow you to build relationships with influencers and prominent people. Once you are comfortable, you can see if they would be willing to feature you on their partner directory.
- Guest Blog Posting
You can also attract links by being a guest blogger. Talk about other people in the industry, acting as a resource provider. By being an active participant in community conversations, you can increase the buzz around you, resulting in inbound links and social media growth and media coverage.
.edu links are considered the backbone of domain authority. You can earn links if you feature in scholarships in your location. Make sure that it is relevant to your industry, and the right signals are sent to your domain. Moz built up a solid guide on the steps to success for effective scholarship outreach.
10. Engage in social media and add posts to Google My Business.
Google gives immense importance to the content shared on social media.
Once your Google My Business page is ready, make sure that it is shared on social media as much as possible.
Local SEO Tools
We have discussed in great length how business can be optimised for local SEO. Let us now look at some of the tools that can help you improve your ranking in the relevant areas.
Price: Starter, free; Small Business, $17/month; Specialist, $24/
Month; Agency, $32/month; Enterprise, $80/month
The local citation refers to any online mention of the name, phone number, or local business address.
Citations can be quite helpful as they make sure that local businesses surface in an online search. Local businesses managing their citations actively to ensure that the data is accurate makes these online listings more trustworthy.
Whitespark understands this well. Thus, it provides you with services of local listing management, while recommending where the business should be listed. It also examines your competition and works towards enhancing your citation growth to improve your local search rankings.
Price: Starter, free; Unlimited, $200/year
This is a desktop program that crawls links and images of websites, scrip, and apps from an SEO perspective. If you are curious about the presence of any 404s or are confused about the missing Meta descriptions, Screaming Frog can help you out. It analyses up to 500 URLs free and also offer an unlimited paid version for $200 annually.
3. Moz Local
Price: Basic, $129/year; Plus, $199/year; Complete, $299/year
Comparatively less expensive than other options, Moz Local makes sure that your business listing is verified on Google and Facebook while at the same time distributing your listings across the search engine platform.
It also collaborates with data aggregators to push listings to enhance the visibility of the business.
Price: Lite, $99/month; Standard, $179/month; Advanced, $399/
Month; Agency, $999/month
Ahrefs can be quite helpful in checking backlink. This is crucial since these links are an indicator of the website authority.
At the same time, it also offers services of keyword research, competitor analysis, and insight into anchor text used by other websites for your backlinks.
Price: Starter, $24/month; Group, $99/month; Professional, $299/
Month; Custom, $999/month
BuzzStream makes it easier for you to earn local backlinks. This allows you to build relations with local influencers. This is done by tracking conversations and giving detailed insights into your outreach campaigns and link placements, among other things.
Price: Single Business, $29/month; Multi-business, $49/month; SEO Pro, $79/month; Enterprise, contact for pricing
This comprehensive SEO tool is focused on catering to the marketing needs of local businesses.
You can use this tool for generating and monitoring reviews on local sites. It will make it easier for you to understand the local search performance while at the same time, allowing you to analyse competitors.
Local SEO is pivotal for every local business. Local SEO can make it easier for potential customers to find you, thereby enhancing your sales significantly.