10 Local SEO Marketing Tips from Local SEO Experts
While overall search engine rankings have a huge impact on your business and its profits, don’t overlook the importance of local rankings.
According to research conducted by Google, local searches entered into a smartphone led 50% of those searches to shop in a local store. This happened on the same day they conducted the search.
With numbers like those, you can’t afford to ignore local SEO. To help you master it, we’ve culled the top 10 tips from local SEO experts. We’re sharing them with you in this awesome article.
Tip 1: Make Sure You’ve Filled Out Your Listing On Google Maps
If your business isn’t searchable on Google Maps, local SEO experts agree that people won’t just lose interest trying to find your location. Many people won’t even know your business exists at all.
Make sure you’ve submitted your website to Google Maps and that you’ve claimed your listing there. When filling it out, always give complete information.
But don’t stop there. Upload photos of your business to make it easier for customers to recognize, and so you can be sure you’re putting your best “face” forward online.
Tip 2: Don’t Forget About Online Reviews
Local SEO experts agree: online reviews can make or break your business.
In fact, 88% of shoppers trust online reviews just as much as they do recommendations from their friends and family members.
You don’t necessarily need to pay people to write positive reviews for your business. You do need to make sure you include customer testimonials on your website, that you’ve signed up for local review services, and that you’re encouraging your shoppers to leave you reviews online or offering discounts or rewards to those that do.
Tip 3: Do Your Keyword Searches
While creating engaging and original content that visitors to your website will actually want to read – and bookmark – you still need to use relevant keywords to make sure your target market can easily find your website!
Keywords, local SEO experts agree, are hugely important when it comes to boosting your site’s ranking. They often can be tailored to better click with (no pun intended) local commonly-typed phrases and popular searches.
So, you know that keywords are essential, but how and where to find them?
If you’ve decided not to yet hire professional SEO services to help, look into using free keyword generation tools. Especially popular are services such as Blumenthal’s free keyword category tool.
This tool allows you to enter your type of business and then peruse all the synonyms pulled for you by the local Google database.
Remember – no keyword stuffing! If you’re struggling, consider hiring a content writer to help you seamlessly incorporate keywords into your web content.
Tip 4: Create Targeted Location Pages
Even at the local level, you’ll find that your business serves some areas, districts, and even neighborhoods more than it does others.
Local SEO experts agree that once you’ve figured out where in your region you seem to be consistently doing the most amount of business, you’ll need to target those locations specifically.
Doing this will boost your site in the rankings of these specific successful locations. To help speed up this process, be sure to include the location you’re targeting in the URL tag, as well as the title tag. Don’t forget to include that location when you’re writing your content!
Think of this as your location keyword strategy. Remember that there’s no limit to the number of exact locations you can pinpoint here.
Tip 5: Make Sure You’ve Clearly Listed Your Business’s Name, Address, And Location – In Multiple Places
We’re not just talking about registering with several listing services or in ad copy.
Remember: not everyone is accessing your company’s website for the first time at its homepage. They’re coming to your site from a variety of links and search engine results.
Sure, while sometimes, they do land on your home page, it’s not a guarantee. You’ll lose valuable conversion opportunities, especially at the local level, if you’re not clearly placing your name, address, and phone number (we’d even venture to say you should add your store/company hours to the mix) in the header or footer of every internal page of your website.
If you have multiple locations, the same rules apply. Make sure you’ve also verified that your NAP is equally accessible and visible on your mobile sites, as well as within any apps you’ve developed as a part of your business.
There’s nothing more frustrating to a customer than taking the time to read about all the wonderful offers a company has to offer – and then being completely unable to find the location. Don’t make customers do they work to find yours: they won’t.
Tip 6: Get In Touch With Local Media
We’re not just talking about print ads. Much of local business success depends on name and brand recognition just as it does on word of mouth.
Use local SEO experts, content writers, and other creators to help you publish your articles, create content that is shareable, well-written, and optimized for local markets and media.
Don’t pay more for digital ad space in giant online newspapers. Instead, target the local publications, tv shows, and even other popular blogs and websites in your area.
Even better? Scour the popular social media accounts in your area, and ask popular users to do a collaborative sponsored post about your business.
Tip 7: Make Sure Your Website Is Optimized For Customer Satisfaction
Especially at the local level, when users have dozens of other options literally at their fingertips, local SEO experts agree that the accessibility, loading speed, intuitiveness, and even design appearance are all factors you need to pay attention to.
If your page doesn’t load fast, they’re likely to click over to your competitor’s. Especially for local businesses, who may not be able to compete with the price points of larger chains, customer satisfaction is what keeps people in your stores – and the same goes for your website.
If it’s not optimized for their use, why should they do business with you?
Tip 8: Don’t Overlook Direct Data
Direct Data is a process that individual companies go through in order to gain a higher ranking factor – and it’s something that local SEO experts already know is super important.
Basically, local companies will give more detailed data about themselves with the goal of improving their site’s ranking. Plus, these pieces of data appear directly in the search listing of your business – think of them like a micro-second elevator pitch.
If users share their locations with search engines, direct data can help make sure your name comes up at the top of the list of best places in the area. If you’re a restaurant, direct data gives customers info like whether or not you deliver, your opening times, if you’re vegetarian, and what the price point of your restaurant is.
Tip 9: Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
Remember: not every search happens in a web browser on a computer or laptop.
In fact, Google reports that in over 10 countries, mobile searches have already outpaced desktop ones – and that number is rising every day.
Your website’s ability to be accessed online is now a part of your Google Ranking Factor, and keep in mind too, that you’ll need to build up your presence on mobile apps that can help local consumers find your stores or learn about your services.
Plus, local SEO experts know that mobile access means you can offer in-store, same-day deals to local customers in banner ads or through automatic downloads – a great incentive to get people in your store as soon as possible.
Tip 10: Don’t Ignore Voice Search
In addition to mobile searches, more and more people are using voice searches to find the local products and services they need. If they’re driving, then think of them as “already on the way” to your store!
So how can you gain access to voice searches? Think about it: we write and speak in different ways – what keywords work for web-entered text searches won’t be the same in voice searches.
Either research or ask your team to compile voice search keywords and phrases – and make sure you’re equally considered follow-up questions that are far more common in voice searches than in online ones (where users just have the option to open up another browser tab or click a link.)
Now You’re The Local SEO Expert!
We know you’ve enjoyed these great tips, and that you’re more than ready to start implementing them into your content marketing strategy. If you’re looking for more SEO tips and tricks, check out our blog.
If you’re ready to hire local SEO experts that can make a big impact on both your local and global search engine rankings, contact us to get an SEO audit and to learn more about what our team can do to help you grow your website and your overall business.