30 Mar A Complete Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses In 2022
If you are a small business looking to make a name for your business in the market, then Local search is a vital tool. According to some stats and reports, around 46% of searches on Google are made by people looking for local searches. As a business, if you are optimized correctly for local search, you are missing out on some great opportunities. Local SEO for your business is essential to target the local customers in your area and turn them into potential customers.
However, this process of optimizing your business for local SEO is not always. Many small yet crucial aspects need to be considered firsthand. Luckily for you, we have created this comprehensive guide covering some essential Local SEO tools and tips. You can familiarize yourself with these tips and get ahead in your race for Local SEO and bring in more sales. Optimizing your business for Local SEO will help you show your business on top of every local search result.
Understanding the Definition of Local SEO
Local-based Search Engine optimization is the phenomenon where certain strategies are applied to improve the visibility of a business. For example, if someone from your local market is looking for your niche services, you need to want your business to show on top. This is where Local SEO comes into the picture. By optimizing your business for Local SEO, you can improve the rankings of your business and increase its visibility.
All the major search engines in the market rely on information like social profile pages, citations, local content, and links. These different inputs are used in algorithms of search engines to place a business in rankings. As a business, you can improve your rankings for local searches with the help of Local SEO. This way, you will become the ultimate provider for every search made related to your business niche.
Best Tips For Local SEO
Optimize Your Business for GMB (Google My Business)
For a local business looking to perform well in local searches, Google My Business is the angel in disguise for them. Whether you are looking for an office cleaning service or roofing repair, Google is the ultimate place to find every answer. For businesses, Google My Business is the link that allows them to optimize their listings on Google. If you are looking to optimize your business listing on GMB, there here’s what you need to do.
- First, create an account with Google My Business on their official website.
- Now go on and verify your account before beginning the optimization process.
- Use Google Posts for better engagement with your account.
- Interact with customer reviews and ask your customers for more feedback.
Additionally, while responding to any customer review or query, try to be authentic and specific about the location of your business. For example, if you have received a review from product A from city/state B, please include it in your reply.
You can frame your response as, “Dear customer, we appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback about our product A in city B. Your words matter to us, and we look to offer the best of services for you. Thank you – Name of your company/team.”
If you put significant efforts into getting authentication from Google, your business will possibly get a better response. Google will reward your business with some coveted sidebar in every local search made on Google. Keep every information on GMB about your business up-to-date and reach as many reviews as possible. This will improve your Local SEO performance and allow you to provide the best experience for your customers.
Sharing relevant and authentic information sets your business as a genuine provider in the eyes of customers and Google. However, due to the global pandemic of Covid-19, there has been a huge shift in the ideology of customer requirements and the mode of operation of every business.
Keep Posting Regularly On Social Media & Google My Business
In the current era of the digital economy, social media platforms have become a vital sharer for businesses. Whether you are looking to promote your content on Facebook or endorse your business on Google My Business, these social media platforms help get valuable customer feedback. Since Google has an integrated dashboard for GMB, it’s also one of the best places to get real-time data about your business.
As a small-scale business owner, you should consider using your Social Media presence for better customer satisfaction and client loyalty. If you have started a YouTube channel for promoting your service, consider keeping a schedule for posting videos. This will help you improve your presence on YouTube and your business.
Keep checking the keywords folks are using to search for your business. For example, if people search for roof repair services in city B, create a video talking about roofing services and target a relevant local audience with the video. This way, you can get more traffic from Google search results for lucrative keywords.
However, keep keyword optimization to an optimum level as apps like Google My Business have strict rules related to Keyword Cheating and Algorithm Spamming. On the other hand, you can towards bringing in more conversions from your social media marketing campaign.
Your Business’s Name, Address, And Contact Information Available Online Is Upto The Mark
This is one of the most important things for you to consider. Even if you are getting your business name on Google and other search engines, if your customers can’t reach you, what’s the use? Your customers will always prefer choosing genuine providers than scammers. Ensure that all information on your business, like address, phone number work details, are available online.
You should also make sure that Google has a high-quality image of your business. This will also help in improving the overall user experience. You do not want to spoil the online reputation of your business with poor quality data or wrong information. If a customer reaches your business online, he needs to be supplied with relevant and authentic information about your business.
Optimize Citations And Online Directories
This is the golden key to boosting up your local rank on Google. Whether you are looking to sell books online or get engaged in other forms of online marketing, citations and directories work as an instrument in promoting your business. Consistency is the key to success for every business. Make sure that every citation is consistent across every data aggregator available online.
If your company is based in the United States, you might want to consider the four giants of the USA’s data aggregator market. These four companies are the major map data provider for top companies like Google, Yelp, Apple, Trip Advisor, Bing, etc. These four names include
- Neustar Localeze
- Express Update
Go ahead and check that every piece of information across these map-data aggregators is correct and identical. If there is any discrepancy in information across these platforms, your performance will degrade. In addition, if a customer follows a link from a third-party website to your website, he’ll end up viewing your product or service.
Keep Performing Audits For Local SEO Performance
SEO is a continuous process that needs regular boosting with modification based on audits. To get better results from your SEO, keep up with regular Local SEO audits to keep a check on your results. You need to keep up with how your SEO is turning out for your business and where you need to implement a positive change. An audit helps you see your website’s current standings and helps you work on every weak link. You can certainly achieve your business marketing resolution with timely audits and necessary updates. Here are some tools for performing successful audits for your business:
- Google My Business Audit – You can use it to check how your business appears in any SERP and whether every information is correct or not.
- Google Search Console Audit – It is a tool to find any error on your website, not only on Google.
- On-Page SEO Audit – It is ideal for checking your on-page optimization.
- Structured Data Markup Validation – It is better to check for any data markup on your website.
- Citation Audit – It helps you to check any Citation issues on your website.
- Competitors Analysis – Keep an eye on your competitors and see how they perform in the current scenario.
The simple act of keeping track of various SEO audits will help you to make a good plan for managing your business marketing. With these tools, you can get better results from your SEO. However, if you want to get the best results with local search, you should continuously work on improvements and optimizations for Local Results.
Work On Enhancing Internal Linking Structure Of Your Website
This is a great way to improve your local ranking on Google. Internal linking structure helps you get better results from Google by making it easy for search engines to crawl through. A strong internal structure allows the following:
- Improves overall website navigation
- Works towards the information architecture of your website and its hierarchy
- Perfectly distributes ranking power and page authority among different web pages
Keep in mind that proper internal linking structure has led to a boost up of more than 80% of search results page ranks. Moreover, a website with an improved internal linking system conveys user expectations while providing relevant content and improving SEO performance.
Title Tags, Headers, Meta Descriptions, And Urls Should Be Perfectly Optimized
This whole process is related to your website design. Internal linking is a great way to improve the ranking of your website, but these factors play crucial roles in enhancing your website’s position on Google. Content is the ultimate key to boosting your performance in Local SEO.
Every page’s content needs to be perfectly optimized with keywords, headers, suitable titles, and well-drafted meta descriptions. They work well to create opportunities in SERPs of your business. Before posting anything on your website, make sure it’s highly relevant and contains high-volume keywords, URLs, and body structure.
Well drafted content with perfect use of different tools (headers, meta-descriptions etc.) will work as magnet to attract customers. In case you are having trouble coming up with highly interactive and geo-targeted content, you can try to highlight successful customer stories and experiences.
Involve Some Effective Location Pages In Your Website
The ultimate key to making your website rank for the correct keywords. Search engines interpret what you say differently and decide based on that. It is a great way to understand these differences and interpret them appropriately. For example, if a user searches for ‘New York dentists’ or ‘sea view villas in Houston,’ they are almost certain to get a relevant and well-optimized page out of 10 that can match every keyword requirement in those terms.
Although there are several steps involved, the best part is that this process will only work if you have content drafted for customers. While writing general content, try to add news or information about the local industry. Think of high-quality and high-priority content that will work to take your business on top. The excellent idea is to add a Google map link to the homepage of your website for a better understanding of your customer.
Create Content Focused On Local Market
This could be a great way to improve the visibility of your business and stimulate different actions from people. As we all know, using Google is to help people find something they want. When you’re trying to ensure that your business reaches more customers and is more visible, create local-oriented articles. Whether you are writing articles, blog posts or press releases try to cover happening and situations related to your local market.
Think globally about writing your articles that work towards local keywords but specifically target markets where you have a better chance of achieving a higher ranking. For example, if you are a newly established local furniture seller, you can try to target newly opened offices and restaurants with your content. In simple terms, target local markets or places where you have a better chance of finding a potential customer.
Focus On Building Mobile-Friendly Design For Your Website
As per the reports, mobile devices have grown in popularity year after year and have taken a step ahead of desktops. Mobile devices are the main source of accessing Google search results. Thus, smartphones and tablets now account for 63 percent of the total time spent on all devices. This trend is rising and will continue to rise in the coming years.
Thus you need to keep in mind that your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices and desktops. Make sure it is easy for people using mobile phones to find things quickly, and make sure your site works well across all different kinds of devices these users might use. For example, statistics represent that over 60% of searches on Google are made with mobile.
You do not want to miss this opportunity of targeting this immense smartphone user community. In the past few years, ‘near me” searches on Google maps have shapely increased to about 70%. Make sure your business is optimized for showing results with “near me” searches with Google My Business.”
Add Relevant And Authoritative Inbound Links
With this tool, you can rank more quickly and easily. Add relevant content that falls in your industry to your website. This will help search engines to understand that you are okay with the feature, and thus it’s beneficial for them. In addition, you will be able to establish a reputation as an expert in the industry by providing resources for other types of businesses interested in promoting their products or services. You can try these methods for adding inbound links:
- Partnerships or sponsorship with repopulate platforms
- Posting guest-post blogs
- Scholarships related to your niche
But keep it in mind that quality links always pass value from one website to another, rather than just spamming your website with low-quality links from irrelevant sites. To find out if any relevant people are willing to link their content to yours, and target people who have pages about similar topics as yours but on different subject matters.
For example, if you are a financial institution, also provide real estate information. All these little efforts help make your website more relevant in providing quality content to the people. In addition, links from reputable platforms build a better online reputation and help develop authority for your domain.
Be An Active Participant In Your Local Community
The more you will participate in local community programs, the better your digital PR will get overtime. Participating in local online events, non-profit campaigns, or volunteering in different campaigns is a great booster for an online reputation for your business. You can also try sponsoring any local event (online or offline) to share the word for your business among the local audience.
You can also add .edu links to establish domain authority. You earn some decent links when you feature any scholarship or grant in your geographic market region. However, it needs to be relevant to your niche so that it can send just the right signals you need for building domain authority. With better authority and a decent number of incoming links, you will certainly start feeling good as a business.
Google My Business is a great way to enhance your reputation and improve the online visibility of your business. Once you start the optimization process, you will get the first results quickly. Once your business’s profile is created and is verified, you can optimize it by utilizing all of these SEO methods.
You can try combining different techniques to find out which techniques work best for your business and industry. Do not forget to keep experimenting with new strategies by adding new content as well as changing existing content as per the results you receive. Happy Marketing!!