The Complete Guide on How to Improve Your Local SEO Performance
If you own a small business, you may be wondering how you can improve your local SEO performance. Learn about the importance of local SEO and how to improve.
Search engine optimization is an essential piece of modern business. This is especially true for small businesses looking to make a name for themselves.
While SEO at large is important and helps businesses get exposure far and wide, many small businesses need to focus more closely on local SEO. Local SEO addresses the individuals in your area and helps you attract business to your brick-and-mortar location.
We're going to discuss a few local SEO tips in this article, giving you a little insight into the first steps you need to take to set yourself apart locally.
The Essentials of Local SEO
The principles of local SEO and regular SEO are pretty close, but a few small differences are key as you adjust your digital marketing campaign.
To get started, let us talk a little bit about what SEO is in general. Search engine optimization is the process of getting your website to rank highly in Google searches, whether those searches are close to your hometown or all the way across the world.
We adjust our website, presence, and content to fit the specifications of the search engine algorithm. Google's algorithm sets forth hundreds of factors that it uses to determine which sites are most relevant to a user search.
Certain searches are more tailored toward proximity and location, and those are what we refer to as local searches.
Let us take a look at the steps that are most important to ranking in searches that will attract local customers.
1. Set Up Your Business Listing Sites
The first thing you should do is set up and claim your Google MyBusiness listing. This is essentially Google's documentation of your business that contains all of your business and website information.
You might notice that certain Google searches offer up 3 boxes with business information and images. This section is called the "snack pack" and it is the most coveted position in search results.
It's impossible to rank in the snack pack without a working Google MyBusiness listing. It is not too difficult to do and having accurate information will go a long way toward letting people know where your business is, its hours, your website address, and more.
2. Hone in on Local Keywords
Keyword research is one of the key components of all SEO campaigns. Your keyword research puts a finger on the pulse of what your target audience is searching for online. It tells you where your customers are going, what they are looking for, and how many of them are present in your area.
Further, it tells you what sort of content you should be producing. A keyword phrase indicates what your audience is interested in, so it is your job to respond accordingly with relevant content.
So, local SEO requires that you have very location-specific keyword research. If you can nail this local research, you will have a huge advantage over your competition which probably isn't investing too much time in keyword research.
3. Try to Generate Positive Business Reviews
Another reason why it's huge to have a Google MyBusiness listing is that people can leave reviews. Keep in mind that one of Google's highest priorities is providing its users with websites that are high quality and relevant to the user's search.
Business reviews are a clear indication of how customers and users feel about a particular website. So, it's almost like business reviews are a direct route to rankings because positive reviews reflect a website that Google should rank highly.
If you can incentivize your customers to leave business reviews, you should do so. Each positive review is like a vote in favor of your website ranking highly and landing in the coveted snack pack.
4. Optimize for New Technology
One big way that people are searching for local businesses is through voice search. It makes sense if you think about it; many people are in their cars or on the move and can only speak to their phones for different options.
This is becoming a huge trend, especially as Google Homes and Alexas are entering the homes of millions upon millions of people. These devices are strictly voice-operated, so optimizing for voice can give you direct access to the top of those searches.
It is important to do research to find which keywords are trending in voice searches, though. In most cases, they are similar to your normal keyword phrases, although they tend to be a little longer and more conversational.
5. Create Content That's Location Specific
Many content creation efforts are made in a very general way. In a lot of cases, this helps people appeal to a broader audience and see success with a wider net.
In terms of local optimization, though, you will have more luck if you create content in response to local events, businesses, traditions, and more. Try to think of things that individuals in your area are interested in or would engage with.
Small towns tend to offer up a lot of local events and traditions that people look forward to and get curious about. You can create content that addresses those concerns and questions while gently promoting your own brand or products.
Doing this makes your content a lot more popular on social media and other platforms where people are sending relevant information to each other. Additionally, those are topics that people will search for in droves when the time comes.
6. Make Sure You're Optimized for Mobile
People are making local searches on the run in most cases. That means they are using their mobile phones and will access your website through that medium.
There is nothing worse than trying to browse a website on your phone when the site is not optimized to work on mobile phones. Google knows that as well, and you will rank better if your pages work well on cell phones.
Want to Learn More about Optimization?
Hopefully, the information above has given you some idea as to how you can optimize for local SEO. There is a lot more to learn, though, and we are here to help you move forward with ideas.
Explore our site for more insight into digital marketing and how you can make it work for your business!