Local SEO is focused on increasing your business’s visibility to local customers. Whether it is your company that they are specifically searching for or just anyone providing related products in your area, local SEO can help your business appear high up in the suggestions. The recent surge in smartphone use has particularly augmented the importance of ranking high in local searchers. A study shows that 50 percent of customers who conduct a local search visit a store on the same day. That shows just how many customers you are losing by ignoring local SEO.
Whether you are managing your website yourself or with the help of the a company, following tips offer a good place to start as you work to increase the visibility of your business in local searches.
1. Create a business listing on Google My Business
Your Google My Business Listing contains the first information your customers come across when they search your business on the internet. Claim your listing to ensure you have full control of the details provided, including company description, opening hours, contact information and images. Also, be sure to provide category information to make Google identify your industry and include you in local searches related to that industry.
2. Create citations
Citations are all the places on the internet where your business name, phone number, and address have been mentioned. Google uses citations from popular directories or portals such as yelp.com to boost your site’s ranking in local searches. You can manage these citations yourself, or use Navads to manage them all from one location.
3. Seek positive reviews
Positive reviews have been shown to work wonders in attracting new customers, but that’s not all. Search engines also use reviews to measure your credibility and decide where to rank you in relevant local searches. Google My Business is the best place to solicit reviews that have an impact on your search ranking. Both the quality and quantity of customer reviews are important in your ranking.
4. Update your information
When creating business listings, keep in mind your phone number or even business address may change. Be sure to save all login credentials for your directory account to make necessary adjustments whenever there is a change in your business information.
5. Optimize your website
Optimizing your website for local SEO is not the same as optimizing it for general SEO. The two are however complementary. In local SEO, keywords, content and other general SEO factors do not count. All you are needed to do is provide information that will help Google locate you and identify your industry.
The best way to optimize your website for local searches is to have your company name, contact information, and address listed on all your pages, preferably in the same format as in your Google My Business Listing. You can also include the name of your city and state in your meta descriptions, title tags, and website content.
6. Make use of social media
Page ranks are also partially dependent on social signals. Whenever someone shares, follows or likes your post, a signal is sent to Google. You need to be in as many social media platforms as possible and interact with as many people in your locality as possible. Sponsor local sports teams, advertise events within the city, offer discounts to residents, and don’t forget to share everything on social media.