How to effectively implement a Local SEO strategy
For small businesses with a physical location, one of the biggest struggles is how to get more of your prospective customers and clients to know who you are and visit you where you are. With the right strategy in place, local SEO can be the answer to your struggle. By ranking high on Google Maps, or getting your business listed on Google, you can increase the number of people coming across your business in the discovery and consideration stage, and increase your traffic and visitors.
People nowadays are searching for information on all types of topics and looking to locate reliable providers to help solve their problems and meet their needs. Focusing your efforts on local search engine optimization ensures that your website and business information attracts potential customers and stays ahead of the competition.
The key to successful local SEO is consistency, optimization, and relevancy. This helps your business get discovered by more users in your area. While local SEO can be overwhelming at first, with the right strategy in place you can begin to see your listing climb higher on Google SERPs.
Why Does Local SEO Matter?
Now, more than ever, using a smartphone or smart home assistants like Siri and Alexa is how people find answers and solutions to everyday questions and problems. With these devices, and location settings, “near me” searches are much more common, especially with voice search. Google Maps listings also populate first, so not optimizing your brick and mortar business for this means you are missing out huge opportunities for new calls, traffic, and conversions.
Google Map listings and reviews also add tremendous credibility to your business and provide social proof that helps new customers make the decision to purchase for you or visit your business.
The fact of the matter is, the higher you show up in search engine results to more people will be aware of your business and the more people trust your business. Which brings more traffic and visitors to your location. So using optimizing your business and producing relevant content that’s rich with local search terms is important to your brand’s growth goals.
Without correct local SEO, your business could be losing out on a significant amount of traffic.
SEO Strategies to Improve Your Local Ranking
1. Claim your business on “Google My Business”. First and foremost, you need to create and optimize your Google My Business Account. This is a free feature, but one of the most essential for getting Google to recognize your business and establish your presence on the search engine. Google My Business and Google Maps provide local customers with necessary information and directions when they are searching for a business or provider. Make sure you have an up-to-date listing with Google My Business. Also, make sure to optimize your profile by providing as much accurate data as possible to your account. Upload images of your store or office interior and exterior, add images of your services or products, your logo, and all other information about your location, such as your business’s name, address, phone number, operating hours, acceptable payment methods, etc.
2. Encourage your customers to review your business online and respond sincerely to customer reviews. Thanks to sites like Yelp, customers now search for businesses and check out their reviews. Now when people search for local businesses, Google reviews also appear in the search results. Most people, especially new customers, view positive reviews as a personal recommendation. So your businesses need to do everything possible to encourage their customers to leave positive feedback.
3. Optimize your business description, as well as other metadata, for search terms that your target customers may use to search. Including your city, and adding local landmarks or neighborhoods is a great way to meet the needs of local and voice searchers. Think about the most common keywords which customers may use when searching for your type of business. For example, if you have a hair salon in Dallas, Texas, located on Greenville Avenue, where a typed search might be “hair salon Greenville ave Dallas” a voice search for someone driving around maybe “Where is a hair salon on Greenville Avenue?”. Adding relevant terms maximizes your opportunities to be seen.
4. Consider voice searches. The growing number of voice searches emphasizes the need to optimize local content and listings so that they show up in these types of searches. Another option is to optimize your content for featured snippets, which Google uses for voice search. Creating a list of features or a FAQ section is ideal for a snippet.
5. Think mobile-first. Over 85% of users search using a mobile-devices. Each year that number trends upward. A well-designed, mobile-friendly site is essential for a business trying to establish a local presence. This means important information should be easily accessible when users land on your website from search. Your design should be clean and responsive. Your images should be high-quality and only used when necessary. Most important is your page speed. Websites with quick load times have longer site visits.
6. Social counts. Your social media presence is also important to your search discovery. Having a good presence on social media platforms will enhance local visibility and make it easier for people to locate you. Make sure that your social media pages are updated regularly and have accurate NAP details as well as reviews. Your social media channels build your brand credibility, improve brand visibility, and attract more potential consumers.
While on the topic, NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. This is an important part of geo-targeted searches. You want to be sure the name, address, and phone number for you or your business is correct across all sites it’s listed on. It is best to add your NAP citation to the header or footer of your website as a crawlable HTML text. Taking your NAP citation and adding it to site directories such as your social channels, local business directories or blog posts will also help improve your local SEO.
The more accurate information you provide about your business, the more likely it is that you will be featured.
Remember, SEO is a long-term game, and you should commit to investing the time and content needed to see significant results. Now that you have all the tools for a successful local SEO strategy, you can continue optimizing your website by creating fresh, relevant content that never stops building your network credibility within your local community.
Idealgrowth is here to answer all of your local SEO questions and help you get your listings optimized for improved local listings with a detailed SEO campaign for your business in the Dallas area. Feel free to contact us today to get started.