Brick and Mortar businesses can benefit a lot from local SEO in terms of growth via local search.One study found that 46% of all google searches are looking for local information, while 97% of search engine users searched online to find local businesses, which simply means if your local SEO isn’t optimised, then your business is losing potential customers in your neighborhood.
Local SEO is simply optimizing your business’ website in order to improve its ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs), increase brand awareness, traffic and leads.
Create and Optimise your Google Business Page
This is the first step into building local SEO for your business. It is important and helps with local search results. You’ll be required to give details about your business; Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP). Once this is done, Google will either call or send a letter to the address for verification, and then index your business details for search.
From this point on, you would need to optimize the page by posting content via Google Posts, asking customers to leave a review about your business on Google My Business, and lastly, endeavour to engage the reviews you receive. Also, find a way to infuse your company name and location (City/Town, State) into your replies as it helps with the index. Lastly, ensure to keep your contact information, business hours, and location(s) updated.
Research has shown that 61% of Google searches were made on mobile phones, which led to Google introducing mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first means the indexing and SEO ranking from the mobile version of the content. This means you will get the best out of it and improve your local SEO if your website is mobile-friendly. Aside from the improved SEO, a mobile-friendly website will also improve potential customers’ experience when they visit.
Optimise URL and Tags
For improved local SEO and SERP appearances, use targeted high-volume keywords as well as include your city or town or region in your titles, URL, body, header, and meta description of your content. Every new article or content you put up on your blog is indexed and can be discovered on the SERPs by potential customers. For example, if you’re a car locksmith in Chicago, you’d want to include location-specific keywords in your page titles and headers.
Add Business Information on Online Directories
Another method you can use to boost your local SEO and SERP is to add your business information; business name, address, all contact information, and website on directory websites. Platforms like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Factual, Facebook, Neustar Localeze, Foursquare, Express Update etc., are business directories you should consider adding your business’ NAP (name, address, phone number) in order for their users to find you in local searches.
Be sure that your business’ NAP has to be uniform on all platforms online, here’s why; these websites communicate together and this positively affects how Google ranks you in local SERP.
Targeted Content For Locals
As a content creator, you should also consider writing articles and social media contents targeted to your neighbourhood or local audience. You could strive to become a local authority in your industry, covering industry related events, news, DIYs, and education.
There’s a chance that you may begin to get inbound links to your contents on your blog or website once a while from other local services; local journalists, non-rival businesses with blogs, user generated contents.
These activities will drive local traffic to your website and social media, which in turn improve your SERP on local searches.
You Need Reviews
It is very important you encourage your customers to give reviews on directory platforms and Google. Positive reviews from all these websites boosts your Google My Page. This improves your ranking on SERPs thus making your business easy find in local search from potential client, leading to more sales
You can offer incentives to customers to give you a review. It could be a discount (5% to 10%), a free gift/souvenir (pen, key holder, or a free product. The options are limitless to you, just get creative.
Run a Local SEO Audit
It won’t hurt to carry out a local SEO audit to know your current standing and what you should work on to improve your SEO and SERP.
- Google Search Console Audit helps you determine if your website is encountering indexing error and to know if search crawlers have access to your site.
- Website Audit helps you find out exactly how your website is performing.
- Google My Business Audit helps you check the accuracy of your business information on it, and how your Google Business Page appears when potential customers run a local search.
- Competition Analysis to compare your website and its contents to that of a thriving competitor. You can always look to competitors for ideas to improve yours.
- Business NAP Audit to ensure that your business information is uniform on all directories.
- On-Page SEO Audit to ensure that all your titles, pages, content, inbound, internal links, and title tags are all aligned to your keywords.