If you operate on a regional level, local search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to the success of your business. While traditional SEO can improve your website’s visibility on a national or global scale, local SEO allows you to attract users conducting searches in a specific location to your website.
What Is Local SEO?
It’s a digital marketing strategy designed to boost your website’s visibility in Google’s local search results. Local SEO optimizes your online presence to attract more traffic from people searching for products and services in your area. Your business can benefit from local SEO if you have a physical storefront or serve a defined geographic area.
The Benefits of Implementing Local SEO
Increased Visibility in Regional Search Results
Local SEO increases the likelihood that your business will appear in relevant searches, putting your brand in front of potential customers in your area. That’s particularly important if you want your website to rank in Google’s local map pack – a box at the top of search results that highlights local businesses.
Higher Web Traffic
Improving your website’s Google ranking with SEO boosts local searches and can attract users in your area who are actively looking for the products or services you sell.
Improved Foot Traffic
Greater online visibility can translate to more foot traffic since people looking for your products and services are more likely to visit in person once they find your business.
Better Conversion Rates
Users conducting local searches have a higher intent to purchase and are more likely to complete a conversion than non-local users.
Lower Advertising Costs
A strong local SEO strategy saves money. You won’t need to spend as much money on paid search campaigns when your business ranks well organically in local searches.
4 Local SEO Best Practices
#1: Complete Your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile is crucial for a strong SEO presence, so claiming and optimizing it improves your visibility in Google’s Local Pack, Google Maps and regional search results.
Here’s how to do it:
- Claim your business: You’ll need to complete the verification process by phone, mail or email.
- Fill out every section: That includes your business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation and services. Your Google profile will perform better in searches if it includes all the necessary information.
- Choose accurate categories: That helps Google understand what kind of services or products you offer and increases search visibility.
- Add photos: Upload high-resolution images that showcase your business. Profiles with photos are more likely to receive website clicks and requests for directions.
- Write a compelling description: Craft a concise business description with relevant keywords that highlight your unique selling points.
- Utilize attributes: Make use of the attributes available in your Google Business Profile to showcase your business features, such as free Wi-Fi, wheelchair accessibility or outdoor seating.
- Post regularly: Regular posts can promote engagement, so provide updates on new products, events, offers and industry news.
- Keep information current: Ensure your information is updated as necessary, including your holiday hours and service changes.
#2: Integrate Local Keyword Targeting
Incorporating local keywords into your content allows search engines to identify where your business is located and which customers you serve.
Here are tips for implementing that strategy:
- Identify relevant keywords: Start by researching keywords that relate to your business, industry and geographic location. For example, if you own a bakery, target keywords like “[your city] bakery” or “best pastries in [your city].”
- Optimize title tags and meta-descriptions: Add local keywords to your page titles and metadata to inform search engines and entice users to click through from search results.
- Localize your content: Create content that’s relevant to a local audience, such as coverage of regional events, news and industry gatherings. You should also use keywords in blog posts, service pages, location pages and URLs.
- Use local keywords in structural elements: Incorporate local keywords in headings, subheadings, alt image text and the sitemap to enhance the user experience and provide context to readers and search engine crawlers.
- Create location-specific pages: Design separate pages if you have multiple locations and include keywords that are relevant to each area. Each page should also have the address, phone number, hours of operation and services or products at that location.
- Embed Google Maps: Code a Google Map of your business location into your contact page or location pages.
- Schema markup: That code provides search engines with your business address, phone number and hours of operation.
- Monitor keyword performance: Use Google Analytics to identify which keywords are driving traffic and conversions then optimize each page accordingly.
#3: Grow Authority with Reviews
Testimonials often contain local keywords that boost SEO, so ask customers to submit their reviews on your Google Business Profile. Positive reviews enhance your company’s local search visibility and build trust with potential customers.
You can generate more reviews with the following strategies:
- Encourage reviews in person: A face-to-face request can be effective, so remind your staff to ask satisfied customers for their reviews.
- Send follow-up emails or texts: Thank your clients for using your services or making a purchase and take the opportunity to request a review.
- Use social media: Create posts encouraging your followers to leave reviews. Emphasize the importance of their feedback and how much you’d appreciate it.
- QR codes in physical locations: Make it simple for consumers to leave a review by displaying a QR code that’s linked to your review page.
- Post review links: Include direct links to your testimonial page on your Google Business Profile and other relevant review sites.
- Leverage local events: Use those opportunities to encourage attendees to submit a testimonial.
- Respond to reviews: Actively responding to positive and negative reviews shows you value customer input and may inspire others to leave more responses.
#4: Gain Backlinks from Other Businesses
Backlinks boost your authority and serve as a vote of confidence from other businesses in your area.
Here’s how to get started:
- Collaborate: Partner with nearby businesses for joint promotions or events and backlink to each other’s websites and social media pages.
- Writing a guest blog post: Offer to write articles for a local business blog in exchange for a backlink to your website. Choose businesses that complement but don’t directly compete with yours.
- Contribute to charities or sponsorships: Nonprofit organizations often feature and link to their sponsors’ websites.
- Submit to business directories: List your business in regional online directories, chambers of commerce and business associations.
- Engage with online communities: Use your social media networks to connect with other local businesses, participate in forums and groups and occasionally link back to relevant content on your site.
- Build relationships with influencers: Partner with local influencers and utilize user-generated content to highlight your products or services on their websites and social media profiles to earn backlinks.
How Our SEO Experts Can Help Your Business Grow
We conduct keyword research and use on-page optimization to establish a strong local online presence for your business.
TouchStone Digital will help you create and implement a comprehensive local SEO strategy. Our specialists are committed to providing you with a competitive edge to succeed in the digital landscape.
Send us an email or call 419-299-9000 for more information.