Local SEO is important when you are running a local business.
Well, 50% of consumers who do local search visit the physical store within a day.
…that means if you are not optimizing your website for local search engine optimization, you are leaving lots of money on the table.
In today’s guide, you’re going to learn some proven local SEO strategies that will boost your local business.
Let’s dive right in…
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is quite similar to the organic SEO. The only difference is it contains the geographical component such as address, map, contact no, etc.
In other words, a local SEO aims to target local clients whereas your average SEO campaign targets the global audience.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
In short: Local SEO brings more clients to the physical shop.
In fact, 78% of local mobile searches convert in an offline purchase.
And local search queries are growing every day.
According to a study, 50% of local mobile users use their mobile phone to search business information like a local address.
Needless to say, if you want to appear on Google local search results, you’ll have to optimize your content for local SEO.
Must Read Article: Mobile SEO: Only Guide You Need in 2018
Should You Care About Local SEO?
Pretty much, yeah. Especially if you are optimizing for Google local search results.
Today, 45% of all searches performed on Google or local.
And Google continues showing its love towards local searches.
As a matter of fact, Google 3-pack appears in the top three spot in 93% of searches with local interest.
Additionally, you should optimize your website at first place for Google’ Pigeon update which aims to rank sites that provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results.
Top Local On-Page SEO Factors
When you are optimizing your website for Google’s local search results, you need to consider these important local on-page SEO factors first.
Run a Complete Website Audit
Before you start optimizing your website for local search, make sure you have run a complete website audit.
What is a website audit?
A website audit is a complete analysis of the factors that affect your website visibility in search engines.
In other words, website audit helps you find the weak elements in your website that affect your website performance and holds back your site to appear at the top in SERP.
Optimize Title Tags
When writing meta title for local businesses make sure you use your primary keywords in it with location.
However, if you have more than one primary keyword you can use them as sub-headings.
Let’s say you are a Plumber and providing your services in New Delhi then you meta title would be:
Plumbing Services New Delhi | Expert Plumber
Optimize Meta Description
Same as title meta description should also contain your primary keyword in it. Don’t forget to write a call to action.
If we take the plumbing services example then meta description should be something like:
The expert plumber provides best plumbing services in New Delhi at a cost-effective price. Call us now to know more.
However, Google doesn’t consider meta description a ranking factor anymore but a well-written meta description can increase your CTR (Click Through Rate.)
…CTR is a ranking factor.
Structure your URLs for Local Search
First impressions matter.
…and when it comes to URL users and Google both notice that.
A simple and short URL helps Google as well as users what is the page about.
Keep your targeted keyword in the URL and try to make it as short as possible.
An ideal URL structure would be:
domainname.com/kewyord + location
Google put more weight on the first 3 words of an URL. So, there is no need to write unnecessary words in the URLs.
Build a dedicated contact page
People want more detailed information about your business when they do the local search.
In other words, they want to see your business address, contact numbers, emails, and map to reach you.
Therefore, make sure you clearly show your “NAP” on your contact page.
Let’s see the Techmagnate’s contact page as an example:
NAP stands for:
Have consistent NAP details
It is important for Local SEO that your NAP details are same on the internet.
And, your NAP consistency starts with your website.
To put it differently, from social media profiles to business listing everywhere NAP information should be EXACT as you have on your website
Use structured data markup
Using the right schema markup for local businesses to your website tells Google about the nature of your business.
Moreover, it boosts your website’s local ranking.
Here is an easy to use Schema Markup Generator tool that you can use to create your Schema markup.
Just fill up your information, then copy the code on the right-hand side of the page.
Next, paste the code into the <head> section of your HTML document.
After adding the code to your website, make sure you test it with Google’s structured-data testing tool.
It will show you if you have placed code right on your website.
Optimizing your website for local SEO will boost your local SEO campaign as well as your local business.
Pay attention to XML Sitemap
A sitemap is an important element of a website and it helps search engine to understand about your web pages.
Having a proper XML sitemap can improve SEO.
In general, a well-designed XML sitemap makes it easier for Google to find your site’s pages.
…and you already know Google Google ranks web PAGES, not just websites.
Add a map to your contact page
Having a map on your website makes it easier for users to find your local business address.
Usage of Google maps has increased since Google started showing maps in local search results.
In fact, 150 million mobile users use Google Maps to find local information.
A perfectly placed map can boost your local business.
Optimize Your Website Content for Voice Search
Voice search is in trend and its going to stay.
In fact, 50% of all searches will voice search by 2020.
And you know what?
Mobile voice searches are 3X more likely to contain the local intent than text searches.
Whereas, 13% smart speakers owners use their speakers to find local business.
That’s a huge opportunity you shouldn’t miss when optimizing content for local business.
Create/Claim your Google My Business listing
Google My Business is a great place to start when you’re doing local search SEO.
Google My Business allows you to manage your business’s online presence on Google local search results.
Make sure you fill the right information when claiming your Google My Business listing.
Google maps show searchers a detailed profile of your business.
In fact, 86% of local searchers look for the business location when searching on Google Maps.
Claim Your Business on other Social Media Profiles
In order to make your local SEO campaign successful, you’ll need to claim your business on other social media channels too.
Social media is one of the best ways to reach your targeted audience.
When creating accounts on social media channels make sure your business information is same on every social media sites.
Now this is important…
Only setting up social media profiles won’t help you in your local SEO campaign unless you increase enough social media engagement.
Search engines will also notice your business information from your social media profiles, which will help you boost your local business.
Publish Local Content
There is myth around some bloggers that blogging is not for local business.
Trust me it works.
If you haven’t started, it’s time you should start a blog.
When creating a blog, make sure it is hosted on your own website for maximum SEO benefits.
For example – example.com/blog instead of blog.example.com
Blogging helps you target more local keywords in your content about your business.
Furthermore, you can do the internal linking to your more relevant page and link juice will pass on all pages.
Internal linking is an SEO ranking factor.
When writing content for your blog make sure you include location, city, and address of your business wherever you can.
One more important thing…
Don’t just write about your product but people’s interest.
People don’t care about your business all they see what value are you providing to them in your content.
Build Links for Your Blog
To get the full potential of your blog and attract to inbound you need to build links.
The best place to start is joining local communities where people like you share their thoughts and discuss some serious topics.
Engage with those communities and leave the link wherever possible – but don’t spam. Otherwise, they will kick you out and remove your links too.
Reviews Standout Your Business from the Crowd
Getting reviews can give you some serious boost to your local business.
In fact, 88% of consumers say that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
…and I’m sure you won’t take a chance to miss this opportunity.
Your business might get some negative reviews also.
If you get negative reviews don’t delete them.
You might be wondering…
Why can’t I delete negative reviews?
Here is the interesting part…
Negative reviews aren’t bad for business as you think.
Actually, having a mix of positive and negative reviews generate trust among users.
As a matter of fact, 52% of buyers say they trust a product more if they have a few negative reviews of their product.
That’s insane. I know but it’s true.
Moz found that Google reviews put some serious impact on Google local ranking.
You can create a shareable review link and send your friends and clients to leave a review on your business.
Remember – don’t be greedy when asking for reviews. Google might ban your business if they see the flood of reviews on your listing.
Citations are important for local search engine optimization.
What exactly are citations?
Citations simply mention your name, address, phone number and website on everywhere online – even if you don’t have a website.
Citations are important local SEO factors. In fact, it contributes 13% to overall local search factors.
When building citations make sure you mention real physical locations.
As I told you NAP should be the same when you’re doing local search SEO for business.
Mismatched NAP citations are responsible for 41% of local ranking issues.
Here is how to build citations…
Submit business in Local Search Engines
The major search engine like Google and Bing they crawl the web for business and store the information in their own database.
You can help them by submitting your business on popular local search engines like Foursquare, Hotfrog, and Yelp etc.
Make sure your listing gets live on these local search engines.
Publish content on Local Blogs
Local blogs work like a charm for local search engine optimization if you use it right.
These blogs already got authority and easily index in search engines.
The best part?
They are categorized with a particular city, region, or neighborhood.
When you get links from these local blogs search engine give more values to your website for that particular location.
There are several local blogs based on the locations that you can easily find by searching:
Target location/niche/industry + blog
List your business on Local directories
Similar to local blogs you can list your business on local directories too.
Local directories are still valuable for local search engine optimization.
Furthermore, they are categorized by business types and easily get indexed in search engines.
Local directories are strict and they only approve listing when you meet their guidelines.
This is the reason Google trust on high-quality directories and indexes them faster.
To find local directories simple search:
- [Target city] directory
- [State] directory
Now it’s your turn!
Local search SEO isn’t as hard as you think.
…and it is important for local business.
In fact, 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.
If you follow these Local SEO strategies you can easily dominate the Google local search results.
Make sure your website is optimized before you start doing local SEO.
Now, you can start promoting your local business using this local SEO guide.
Let me know what Local SEO techniques work well for your business?