For people who have an idea of how search engine optimization works, there is no doubt about the importance of global SEO.
However, if you’re a small business whose revenue stream comes from customers who visit your physical location, it wouldn’t hurt to give local SEO a little more attention than usual. Particularly when you’re getting people from SEO services to do it for you.
If you’re a florist, an owner of a pizza place, an operator of a massage parlor, or any local business, you must put in place a local SEO strategy to help you get closer to reaching your business goals.
Why local SEO?
The fact that 46% of all Google searches are local according to Hubspot means local SEO can make quite an impact on your local business.
Those searches have become even smarter, with users typing in location-based keywords when they’re trying to find a place to eat or a specific service within a particular area. When users do that, Google will recognize the query as having local intent and will serve up all options specific to the business and the location in its search results.
Of course, you have to have high local SEO rankings to get to the top of search results, which is why you need to do local SEO and maximize it. Here are some ways to maximize your local SEO.
1. Put up more localized content
If you want to solidify Google’s understanding of the relevance of your business to its location, you might want to publish content that is geared towards locals. Once that happens, your chances of ranking for a broader range of keyword searches become better.
Blog posts and features about local events, activities, and news can also help earn your business and your brand the attention, recognition, and loyalty of residents.
2. Optimize for mobile
When searching for products or services online, about half of mobile users seek local businesses, making use of their smartphones and tablets to find addresses and any information they could find to get what they want or need.
For this alone, a local business should already optimized for mobile devices, whose users have long outnumbered those who do their searches on the desktop.
Add the results of a 2017 study by Acquisio that says, 75% of local-intent mobile searches become actual visits to the business in 24 hours, and there’s no reason for any local business not to go mobile friendly.
A local business can optimize for mobile by boosting website speed, using appropriate fonts, and going for a responsive design, among other things.
3. Location-specific keywords for title tags
There are few better ways of letting Google and other search engines know that your website and business are directly linked with a given city than using location-specific keywords for your title tags. You’re more likely to appear in local search results if your keywords for title tags are, say, “top pizza place in Tucson” or “best AC repair in Mesa.”
4. Get high-quality links
Officially, Google has said that backlinks are one of the top three search ranking factors. And if those backlinks are of high-quality, the better it would be for your ranking prospects in the search results.
If you’re shooting for better local SEO rankings, you will need to work towards acquiring backlinks from authoritative sites in the area.
You may want to get more involved in community events and activities because such participation not only invites goodwill, but also raises the possibility of getting backlinks from local authority sites.
5. Google My Business
Google My Business is a listing service that you will want to avail not only because it can have a direct impact on your local SEO ranking, but also because it’s free.
When you claim your free Google My Business profile, do not forget to provide the most essential information about your business. Your name and address, contact numbers, business hours and other pertinent details should appear in your profile. You will also have to verify your
Google My Business profile as you claim it. Unverified profiles tend to get passed over by verified ones for higher rankings.
After verifying your Google My Business profile, go ahead and build profiles on Yelp, Yahoo Local, Foursquare, Bing Places, and other local search engines to cast a much wider net.
There are just some of the many techniques you can try to maximize local SEO for your business. It’s best that you make time to learn other methods so you can choose which one would work well for your site and help you boost your revenue stream.