Local SEO is a key component of any business’s online marketing strategy. In fact, according to a 2017 study by Acquisio, 75% of mobile searches that have local intent lead to in-store visits within a day. So if you’re not optimizing your website and Google My Business profile for local search, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to drive new customers.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your local SEO and boost your chances of appearing in the map pack and organic results. Here are some of the most important ones:
1. Create Local Content
One of the best ways to boost your local search rankings is by creating locally targeted content. This includes blog posts that focus on local events, attractions and businesses. You should also consider creating videos that showcase your products or services in a local setting. These videos will help your company stand out from competitors and increase engagement with potential customers.
2. Optimize Your Site
This includes making sure your website is mobile-friendly and that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all platforms. It’s also a good idea to make your website as easy to navigate as possible, as search engines reward websites that are user-friendly.
3. Do Your Keyword Research
Conduct thorough keyword research to find the terms that your target audience is using to search for businesses in your area. Then, incorporate those keywords into your site’s content and page structure (including title tags, headers, and meta descriptions) to improve your ranking on SERPs.
4. Build Links
This is an evergreen SEO basic—the more quality links you have, the higher your website will rank in the SERPs. So be sure to reach out to other businesses in your local community and ask for links. You can also build links by creating guest posts on relevant blogs and websites.
5. Add a Map
As a local business, you should always include a map on your website so customers can easily locate your store or office. This is especially important as 86 percent of people who look up local businesses on Google do so from their smartphones.
6. Mobilize Reviews
A review is a powerful signal to search engines that your business is legitimate. So encourage your customers to review you on Yelp, Google and other popular sites. You can even place a “Review Us” button on your website and in your emails. Remember to respond to all reviews—good or bad—in a timely manner.
7. Use Social Listening
This is a relatively new way to gain insights into your audience’s needs and preferences, but it’s already having an impact on local SEO. By listening to what your customers are saying on social media, you can better understand their concerns, interests and frustrations—all factors that may influence their buying decisions. This information can help you shape your local SEO strategy and improve customer service.