Remind yourself how often have you searched google for a service or product ‘near you’? We all have done it countless times, because it offers multiple options with convenience, and allows you to find the best match with reviews, ratings, and much more.
Local advertisements and word-of-mouth provide a great opportunity of attracting customers, but we’d be lying if we don’t agree that SEO has beaten them all.
In today’s article, I will discuss how local SEO works, and top six strategies you can incorporate in your SEO plan to move in the right direction. Let’s get started!
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO can be defined as optimizing searches for businesses, products, or services within a specific area. These search requests may look like, ‘best barber near me’ or ‘barbers in [city/state/country]’.
In simpler words, local SEO is manipulating google search results as per the location they’re requested from or a specific place they’re requested for.
Usually, when a user requests local results, Google’s search engine shows three types of results. They’re:
Sponsored: Most sponsored results appear prominently at the top of every search result. The only downside is, they cost money!
Snack Pack: Just after the search results appear the snack pack section. It highlights top-ranked business listings in a specific location.
Organic: The organic results are further down, as they appear after the snack pack. This means, even if your business ranks first in the local searches, it will show under the organic results unless it qualifies for the snack pack.
This means your local SEO strategy should involve getting ranked on the first page of local organic searches, along with making your way into the snack pack for the best results.
Boost Your Local SEO Strategy
To boost your local SEO strategy and improve your local search ranking, here are six essential steps:
- Optimize your Google My Business listing
If you’re new to SEO, my one advice to you is to not take Google My Business (GMB) lightly. Claim your listing on the Google My Business website and ensure that you do everything to optimize it.
GMB is the cornerstone of an effective SEO strategy. You may start optimization by adding photos, business hours, additional categories, and phone numbers. Remember to share updates and fresh content regularly, and engage with customers to enhance visibility in local searches.
- Get Hands-on Mobile Optimization
A huge mistake you could do is ignoring mobile optimization. Your business MUST be optimized for most smartphones, as they become more and more common.
You may ensure that your website is mobile-friendly by creating a responsive design that provides a seamless experience. Feel free to add click-to-call/chat buttons on your website and GMB listing to increase your customer’s convenience of contacting your business directly from the search results.
- Collect Customer Reviews
We already shared how word-of-mouth increases sales when local businesses are concerned. Local SEO includes customer reviews as a sign of reliability and credibility for your potential customers from their neighborhood.
For performing better at local search rankings, focus on collecting authentic reviews, especially positive ones, improving your visibility, and reputation. You may request or generally encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like Facebook, Yelp, Thumbtack, etc.
- Focus On Local Content & On-Page Optimization
As discussed, your aim should not be ranking on the first page of organic search results only. Rather, you must ensure being among the snack pack list.
For this, create localized content using location-specific keywords. You may further optimize meta tags, and headings, with relevant local keywords too. While you’re at it, don’t forget to upgrade on-page optimization. Ensure that your business address, phone number, and other contact details are easily accessible on your website.
- Build High-Quality Backlinks
You can enhance your local SEO strategy by acquiring quality backlinks from local websites and directories. This includes seeking partnerships with local businesses, sponsoring local events, or participating in community initiatives to earn relevant backlinks.
You may also introduce your business to popular online directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and other industry-specific directories. Ensure accuracy, and similarity of details for maximum effectiveness.
- Utilize Social Listening
Social listening goes beyond marketing insights, elevating your local SEO strategy. Monitor conversations to know more about your target location, audience interests, and customer feedback.
For example, if you came to know about the increasing demand of a specific service or product, you may want to offer it to your local customers. Social listening can help you develop long-tail keywords specific to your target market and industry.
Ready for Local SEO?
I hope this article cleared the majority of the questions you were unsure of. So, get your business on Google My Business today, and ensure that the people near you know and appreciate you!
Remember, SEO requires ongoing effort and adaptability. Stay updated with algorithm changes, monitor your rankings, and keep optimizing your strategy to maintain a strong local search presence in the longer run.