You’ve found your dream business location, you’ve made your website mobile-friendly, and you’ve even taken the time to create a catchy slogan that will let everyone know what makes your business unique. But if you want to make sure people are actually paying attention, then don’t leave local SEO marketing out of the equation!
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can help you gain online visibility and drive web and foot traffic to your new business before it even opens its doors.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online content and presence to rank higher in relevant search results for local customers and clients.
At its core, local search optimization is all about making sure you get noticed by search engines and your potential customers in the right ways when they are looking for businesses like yours in your area. Optimizing your local search efforts can be done in many different ways, but there are some basic steps you should always take, regardless of what industry you’re in or what other tactics you’re using to draw attention to your business online.
While it appears like an easy thing to do, many marketers actually make a mistake when working on their local SEO efforts. They often focus so much on getting the business out there, overlooking one crucial aspect: making sure that your website’s contact information is accurate so that potential clients can easily reach out to schedule appointments or ask questions about the type of service they’re looking for.
If a potential customer finds your website but has trouble reaching out to you because their phone number isn’t listed, then it’s likely they’ll just find another company that offers what they need instead.
And that is just one, and there are plenty of other areas of local SEO that need to be worked on to ensure you drive targeted traffic to your website and your physical store. We will talk about them below.
Why You Should Do Local SEO?
A recent study conducted by Ueni found that over 77% of local businesses struggle to gain visibility online.
If you want your business to be visible in local search results, you need to start focusing on local SEO. By optimizing your website and online listings for local keywords, you can increase your chances of being found by potential customers who are searching for businesses like yours. Plus, local SEO can help you attract web and foot traffic from nearby customers.
For example, if you’re a dentist located in Los Angeles with a new location in San Diego County, it’s worth investing time in local SEO to gain visibility among San Diego County residents. It’s important to know that the internet is both global and local.
So, while there are people all over the world who might use Google to find your dental practice, there are also locals within driving distance that will only search within their own city or county. To capture these potential customers, your dental office needs to invest time into implementing a robust local SEO strategy.
How to Optimize Your Local SEO Efforts to Maximize Your Visibility
Local search optimization can be tough if you’re trying to rank your business online in a major city or town, but it’s not impossible! Here are some tips to optimize your local search ranking to maximize your visibility and bring more customers through the door.
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1. Perform keyword research
The first step in any good local SEO campaign is keyword research. You need to understand what potential customers are searching for when they’re looking for businesses like yours.
You can use a variety of tools, like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer, to help you with this. Once you know the keywords that your audience is using, then you can focus on optimizing your content to include those words or phrases in relevant places.
2. Use keyword phrases in your business name
If you want your business to show up in local search results, you need to make sure your business name includes relevant keyword phrases.
For example, if you’re a computer technician in San Francisco, you might want to include keywords like San Francisco computer technician or Bay Area computer technician. Doing this will help you show up in related search queries like fix gta5.exe file download in San Francisco and get more customers through your door.
However, make sure that your location is accurate. There’s nothing worse than having someone excitedly drive to your store only to find out it’s not there because the address listed on Google Maps was wrong.
The good news is that updating your location on Google Maps is free and easy! All you have to do is go into edit mode, edit the address details so they are correct, and then save the changes.
3. Build local landing pages
Local landing pages are one of the most important aspects of local SEO. They are essentially the pages on your website that are designed to rank for specific local keywords.
To help you create effective local landing pages, do this:
- Use keywords people in your area are searching for.
- Include geographical information (city, state, or country) in the title tags of all landing pages.
- Make sure you include information about nearby attractions and events.
- Include or embed a map (and directions if possible) so customers can find where you’re located.
- Showcase your business’ offerings with features like product images, prices, contact info, hours of operation, etc.
- Make sure to use CTAs like Contact Us or Get Directions at the bottom of each page so people can easily get in touch with you if they have any questions or concerns.
4. Use keywords in your social media profiles
Your social media profiles are an important part of your local SEO efforts. Be sure to include relevant keywords in your profile information so that potential customers can easily find you.
Use a service like Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. Establish relationships with influential local bloggers. Influential bloggers may be able to write about your store’s products and services which could result in increased visibility.
5. Use a physical address
Use a physical address on your website and all your local listings. This helps Google understand where your business is located and improves your chances of ranking in local search results.
The best way to find the perfect address for your storefront is by using this simple trick: Find the closest public landmark near you (example: library, school, fire station) and use that as your street address.
Add Suite# or Apt.# if you have one, so it’s clear that it’s not a suite number or apartment number. You can also call 311 at any time during normal business hours to see what addresses are available near you.
6. Maps listing + Google My Business listing
Make sure your business is listed on Google Maps and Google My Business. This will make it easier for customers to find you when they search for local businesses. You can also claim your listing so that no one else can alter the information about your company.
If a customer has a question about a product or service or needs help finding something in your store, having this information ready will save them time and keep them coming back for more!
7. Include your information in relevant directories
If you want to optimize your local SEO, you need to make sure your information is included in relevant directories. Here are a few tips to help you find the right directories:
- Contact business associations and organizations like chambers of commerce.
- Use search engines like Google Maps or Yelp to find directories that list businesses near you.
- Ask friends or family members if they know of any business directories that could include your information.
- Browse through social media sites like Facebook or Twitter for possible options.
- Search online for a local business directory to see what comes up on the first page of the results.
8. Make sure you are in the right categories on Google Maps
If you want potential customers to find your business when they do a search, you need to make sure you are in the right categories on Google Maps. Here are a few tips:
- Research the most relevant categories for your business. You can do this by searching for similar businesses in your area and seeing which categories they are listed under.
- Once you have a good idea of the most relevant categories, claim your business listing on Google My Business and make sure you select those categories.
- Make sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online directories. Having consistent NAP information will help Google know that your business is legitimate and make it more likely to show up in search results. This takes us to the next important local SEO tip.
9. Focus on NAP citations and website optimization
Local SEO is all about making your business visible to people in your local area. And one of the best ways to do this is through NAP citations.
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number, and these are like online yellow pages listings. The more NAP citations you have, the more likely people are to find you when they search for businesses like yours.
To optimize your NAP citations:
- Use a consistent phone number format:
- Keep your contact information up to date: In addition to including accurate physical address, street name, suite/building name, city and state, or zip code (all required), make sure you include an email address so potential customers can easily reach out with questions or inquiries.
- Keep your contact information short and sweet: Don’t go overboard on content. Be concise! Make sure any additional information is linked back to another page on your website where people can access it if they want more detail than what’s on the citation.
- If possible, use an image of yourself with the correct contact information overlaid. Having a photo will increase engagement rates because it’s personal!
10. Add an image of your storefront
Another way to optimize your local SEO efforts and drive more traffic to your website and online store is to include an image of your storefront in your listing. Here’s why:
The storefront photo helps people see what they’re getting before they show up at your store, which can be a huge factor for a lot of businesses. Plus, if you’re running specials or deals on Facebook or Instagram, the photo will help people identify the offer and hopefully bring them into your store.
11. Have an optimized blog/website
If you want to attract local customers, you need to optimize your website for local search. And to do that:
- Fill out your contact information on the Contact Us page of your site so that potential customers can easily reach you. Include hours of operation, a map with directions to the store location, and a phone number where they can speak with someone who can answer their questions.
- Include store hours on all posts or blog posts about store closures or openings in order to keep people updated about when they can shop at your location.
- Link to content about products that are available in your store as well as prices of items so that shoppers will know whether they should buy online or from you directly. Linking helps consumers find what they’re looking for more quickly and easily than searching through pages of content online.
- Insert local keywords naturally throughout your content.
12. Take advantage of reviews, photos, and videos
Get reviews from customers and post them on your website and social media pages. Encourage customers to take photos of themselves at your store and post them online.
You can also make videos featuring your products or services and post them on YouTube and your website.
And most importantly, use keyword-rich titles and descriptions when creating your content.
Drive Web and Foot Traffic to Your Business with Local SEO!
Search engine optimization (SEO) has become a vital part of most businesses’ digital marketing strategies, and local SEO is no exception. If you aren’t optimizing your local listings for the search engines to find them, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities that could bring you more customers and revenue.
Luckily, there are many ways to optimize the local SEO efforts that can help you maximize your visibility online with little or no extra time or effort on your part. And we have discussed them in this article.
Let us know your thoughts about this article in the comments!
Author Bio: Jessica Bullet writes about the latest in tech and shares creative software solutions. He shares his personal experiences on new technologies like Red Launcher and how to make your Android phone smarter through his blogs!