The competition for ranking online is tough. There are thousands of websites, companies, and businesses trying to fight for similar keywords every day.
But trying to conform to Google’s algorithms isn’t the only way to optimize your website. There are simple things you can do right now to improve your website’s SEO and target new customers simultaneously.
Local SEO is the implementation of specific keywords for local searches. It attracts local customers by targeting phrases customers are likely to type into the search box while still using industry phrases to bump standard SEO. Local search works by using a location-specific search instead of popular keywords that are difficult to place online.
Why Localized Keywords are Important
Approximately 72% of all consumers that perform a local search will visit a store within five miles of their house. It’s also driving half of all mobile searches online within a single day. That means that 50% of every mobile search will result in a store visit—that’s a lot of traffic.
Simply put, local SEO can attract more viewers to your website and increase the probability of your company getting sales directly related to the search.
How Do I Boost Localized SEO?
Small businesses simply can’t compete with many popular keywords. They don’t have the time, authority, or budget. But a small company can start ranking for local keywords, which can boost traffic and visibility online. To get started, here are five tips to help you maximize your local SEO efforts.
Build Your Google My Business Listing
Whenever a local search is entered into Google, the crawlers will pull businesses from their registry to suggest. The Google My Business Listing (known as GMB for short) acts as a mini business directory, naming companies when your business is searched for. With any search, Google will identify three businesses in a local search, displayed above all other results online. If your company is one of them, that’s a considerable visibility boost without having to do anything special for SEO.
To get started, fill out your business profile completely. Include your contact information, store hours, category, and an in-depth about section. Feel free to include any relevant keywords without making them seem unnatural. You’ll also want to reach out to potential customers to fill out online reviews. Reviews help boost your company’s credibility online, bringing your company higher than the competition.
Offer Dedicated Webpages for Each Service or Product You Offer
Although a dedicated website with all products and services may seem like the obvious choice, your local SEO may work better with several location-specific microsites. Consider dedicating one page to a unique service you offer. For example, a company targeting the local keyword sugar baby London would have a separate page for this term. From there, they would branch out to other locations independently.
This will help Google see the site as an authority (as the only content on the site is relating to that product), improving your rankings overall. Avoid masking your domain or website, if possible. Google has taken a strong stance against this method in recent years, labeling it a black hat SEO practice. You want legitimate unique pages, not multiple domains directing to the same content.
Encourage Reviews Whenever Possible
Reviews have two purposes when it comes to local search traffic. They encourage your credibility with Google, Yahoo, and Bing, influencing a customer to purchase from you. A recent study suggests that 85% of customers consider online reviews as strongly as in-person recommendations. To encourage clients to leave reviews, always ask for one at the close of a sale. You can also send a quick email or text asking a customer to leave feedback directly too. While Google is always a beneficial place to receive feedback, don’t forget about other popular directories. Major platforms like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and industry-specific platforms can also improve your visibility online.
Have a Responsive Website Design
Target Local Backlinks
Relevancy is crucial for ranking for local SEO, which is precisely why you need to target other locals. Google loves backlinks to your website. It increases your credibility (as other sites value what’s written on the page). When targeting local keywords, try to connect with local sites within the same geographical areas as your company. Avoid major publications and online content mills – they won’t offer anything for your local strategy (although they can improve your results in different ways). The idea is to find smaller, popular platforms catering to one specific region.
To get started, create a list of publications specific to your region. Review the content currently posted on their website, starting with any competing sites. Content can vary depending on the website but could include a sponsored post, guest blog post, press release, news story, or something similar. Once you have a plan, reach out to the content distribution team and pitch your idea.