People are already looking for your local business online, but can they find you? If you don’t have local SEO in order, you’re leaving your potential customers in the dark.
Focusing your efforts on local SEO can help put your business in front of your target audience. This applies when users search for something like “seafood restaurants in Sydney” or “event planning Brisbane”. With the right tactics, you can boost your organic search visibility and rank high in the local search results.
Give your business an edge with these proven strategies:
Claim and optimise your Google My Business page
Local SEO starts with Google My Business optimisation. Google My Business is a free listing allows you to put your NAP (name, address, and phone number) and other business details like hours and website on Search and Maps. Once Google verifies your listing, it will provide you with a sidebar space in local search.
You can manage what users see when they search for your business, such as positive reviews and great photos. This, in turn, helps attract new customers and leaves a good lasting impression.
Google My Business comes with powerful features that can help you with your local SEO efforts and stand out in the local competition. You can promote your events or showcase your products with Google Posts and track valuable metrics in Insights. If you have multiple business locations, you can set up a separate page for every area.
Get citations for local SEO
A citation refers to any mention of your site or business on the Internet and is considered a major local search signal. It can be found on websites, social platforms, and local business directories. Think of this as modern-day Yellow Pages – it presents your NAP. Examples include Chamber of Commerce websites, Yelp, Bing Places, and Google My Business.
Search engines gather data about your business across the web, and they use local citations to assess your online reputation. The more quality citations you have, the better you’ll rank in the search results.
Local citations establish social proof that you are a legitimate business. That’s why it’s crucial that you associate yourself with reputable sites and directories to win Google’s trust. You’ll want to avoid linking to or getting links from low-quality, spammy sites as much as possible.
Keep your business information current
If you don’t have the right information, don’t expect to be found. If your address, contact details, and other essential details are inaccurate, people are less likely to visit your business. This confuses search engines as well.
Ensure that your business description is consistent, accurate, and up-to-date. Discrepancies like abbreviations and misspellings may prevent Google from identifying which information about your business is correct. You should also remove duplicate listings to avoid issues on SEO and user experience.
Make your site responsive and mobile-friendly
According to studies, 88% of consumers use smartphones to conduct a local search. Most of them look for your phone number, business hours, and directions to your store. What’s more, 50% of consumers visit a store within a day after smartphone searches, with 18% leading to a purchase. As mobile continues to outweigh computers, you’ll need a responsive website to make it easier for your customers to learn more about your business.
Take advantage of customer reviews
Online reviews do more than just helping your customers make a sound decision. They fill the gap in your site because they provide fresh and relevant content. You can see what keywords your customers are using, helping you fine-tune your marketing strategy. More importantly, you can secure the top spot in local search results and Google’s Local 3-Pack if you have high ratings.
Google trusts your customers more than your business, so always encourage them to leave a review. Furthermore, don’t flag negative feedback unless you think it’s fake. Bad reviews not only help you improve your service, but also attract more customers by showing how you’ll respond in case an issue occurs.
Make the most of social media
Social media platforms are free. While they are not considered a major ranking factor, they can still be crawled in the search results. These are a great tool to reach your audience and stay in front of them. Having Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even LinkedIn profiles will not only help expand your network but also increase your online presence.
Use Schema markup
Schema markup helps search engines gain a better understanding of your website. It is a code that you add to your HTML to categorise key details about your site and tells Google what the content on your page means. It also creates rich snippets to show relevant information about your site.
If you enter any search query, you’ll notice that not all results are represented the same way. By making your pages appear more relevant and prominent in the search results, users can easily navigate your site and learn what your business is all about. There are many types of information you can highlight, like star ratings, menu, products, and events.
These local SEO strategies should help you focus your efforts on the right path. They may seem like a lot of work, but these will definitely pay off in the end. Make it easier for your target users to find and access your site, and you can turn them into paying customers.
Want to make your business stand out in your area? As a digital marketing platform, DigitalMaas provides tailored solutions that align your objectives. Sign up today to get your free site audit.