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John Vuong
John Vuong 10 June 2019

9 Local SEO Strategies You Need to Become Successful

Local SEO is an excellent way to market local businesses online. It also helps businesses stand out in local searches, and gain more traffic through online leads even if you do not have a business website. In this article, you will learn about some effective local SEO strategies that can help optimize your local presence.

According to a 2018 Local Consumer Review Survey, 54% of internet users aged 18-34 used the web daily to look for a local business.

As Brian Harnish described it, local SEO focuses on optimizing a website to be visible on local search results. It is like making sure that your website will be on Google when someone searches for “local store near me” or “local store [city name].”

If you are a local business owner, now is an excellent time for you to take advantage of local search engine optimization.

So, how can you ensure that you appear on the first page of search results with local SEO? Read on to find out.

1. Responsive and Fast Loading Site

Users want a website that loads fast, especially if he or she is on mobile and looking for a seamless service. Moreover, Google knows that site speed is an integral part of excellent user experience.

According to Mary Ellen Coe, president of Google Customer Solutions, 54% of people get frustrated when a brand’s mobile website takes a while to load. As a result, it can affect a business’ bottom line by up to 20%.

Delays cause friction, and friction costs time and money. If you want your local business to be successful online, attract and keep your audience with a fast loading website.

2. Google My Business (GMB)

As a local business owner, have you ever considered what your customers would find when they search for your business online?

It is essential that your address and phone are readily available on the web. Even parking information if you have space. That is where Google My Business comes in.

Sure, your contact information can be found on your website. However, GMB indexes all the content you provide for consistency. So when customers search for you on the Internet, it will be readily available. Moreover, GMB signals play a role in your local SEO strategy.

Here’s how you can optimize your local business on GMB:

  1. Make sure your business information is accurate and updated

  2. Ask for and respond to reviews

  3. Connect with your customers via GMB

  4. Post some updates

  5. Use Google My Business Insights to track the customer journey

When used correctly, GMB is a great local SEO tool that can help increase your business bottom line.

3. Google Business Profile

Google My Business offers Business Profile that lets you create a free website in three easy steps.

It features customizable and mobile responsive design. You can even have your own domain, and it updates automatically whenever you make changes on your Business Profile. That means that you can easily manage how internet users view your business online.

On the other hand, it makes updating your Google listings easy with just a click of a button.

4. On-Page SEO

Other than optimizing your GMB account, you also need to improve the on-page SEO elements on your website. Here are five website elements that you can update for local SEO:

Internal Linking Structure

Although external links pointing to your site is crucial for online success, your internal linking structure also matters. That’s because it supports your website navigation, plays a role on your website information architecture and hierarchy, and it distributes page authority across your site.

URL and Meta Information

Every new content is another indexed page on your website. This is a great opportunity to use location-based keywords on your URL and meta information.

Content

Aside from URL and Meta Information, you can also create local content. Use the power of content and content marketing to promote local industry gatherings. You may also write about relevant events in your area to attract a local audience.

Location Pages

This is great if you have more than one location for your business. A location page should include name, address, and phone (NAP) details for each branch. You may even add parking information and promotion activities.

Mobile Responsiveness

According to The Local Search Association, 52% of smartphone users look for local information while on the go. Some of them are looking for direction, contact information, or reviews. Mobile search and local SEO go hand in hand. Thus, it is essential that you have a mobile-friendly website.

5. Optimized Local Listing

Local listing and directories can take your business one step closer to the top spot on local search.

Consider listing your business on Bing Local and Google+ Local. You can also leverage map aggregators such as Express Update, Neustar Localeze, and Factual. Depending on your location, there are also various online directories and review sites available.

Just keep in mind that consistency of your business name, address, and contact information is the key. Misspellings and discrepancies on your business address can be problematic. Worst, Google may not show your business on local searches at all.

6. Matching NAPs

As mentioned earlier, consistency is vital. Meaning, your business name, address, and phone numbers (NAP) must be listed the same across the web. That way, it will be easier for users and search engines to find you.

Inconsistencies in NAP can make your business invisible online. And if users cannot find you on the Internet, you are losing potential customers. This can hurt your bottom line. Not to mention that the money you spend on setting up a beautiful and functional website will go to waste.

Another thing you need to know: When setting up your business NAP, make sure that it is a crawlable HTML text on your site. NAPs are usually located on the website footer.

Furthermore, avoid the mistake of adding a NAP within an image. That’s because images are not crawlable.

7. Proper Citations

According to Moz, a local citation “is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number for a local business.”

Why is citation important for your local business, you ask? Because it can impact your local search rankings. Moreover, citations make it easier for internet users to discover your business.

One of the easiest ways to get online mentions is listing your website on social networks and business directories. As further explained in Moz, there are different types of local citations:

Major Local Business Directories

This includes Google My Business, Acxion, Neustar Localeze, Infogroup. Facebook and Yelp are also part of this category. That’s because they allow the inclusion of business information, as well as user-generated reviews.

Geo/Industry Specific Directories

These are citations specific to your location or industry.

For instance, you own a dental clinic in Ontario, Canada. The best way in optimizing a website in Canada these days is to get listed on Canada-based online directories. You may even opt for online directories for dentists.

Everything Else

Other ways to earn citation is through a variety of online publications. This includes guest posts, podcast interviews, getting listed on the government database, and more. You may choose to contact the people responsible behind these platforms for a citation or let it happen organically.

8. Optimized Service Pages

Owners of small businesses often neglect to maximize their service pages. What you need to understand is that these pages are crucial in your local SEO strategy.

That’s because it generates conversions, drives leads and gives you an insight into what matters most to your customers.

9. Website Authority

Back in August 2018, Google announced that it rolled out a broad core algorithm update. This update appears to focus on a website’s authority and relevance, with the former becoming a critical local SEO factor.

This makes perfect sense as a user would go for a business with a solid reputation. As Jesse McDonald puts it, “Trust is essential for any business to lead customers further down the buyer’s journey.”

Below are some quick tips on how you can build authority for your website:

  • Publish really helpful and relevant content

  • Get reviews from real customers

  • Be a community resource

When it comes to local SEO, authority can help a business boost its search rankings. And this can have a positive impact on your overall digital marketing campaign.

Let Your Customers Find You Online

It is not difficult to get started with local SEO. And when done right, it will be easier for your target customers to find you online. Start optimizing your website for local search today so you won’t miss great business opportunities.

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