As shoppers shift from shopping in brick and mortar stores to online, it’s imperative that local businesses get on board with optimizing their digital presence. This includes not only ensuring that your business website has the right keywords and keyword density, but also working to make sure that you’re present on popular local search engines and social media sites. Local SEO can help you target your ideal customers and boost brand awareness in your community.
The first step in any successful SEO campaign is research. This will help you determine your competitors, their marketing strategies, and the terms that your customers use to search for the products or services you offer. To get started, perform a search on Google and take note of the local SERPs that appear. This will give you an idea of the types of searches that your prospects are conducting, as well as how you’ll need to adjust your keywords accordingly.
Once you’ve completed your research, you’ll need to create a list of targeted local keywords that you’ll need to optimize for. For example, if you sell kitchen accessories at your boutique in Brooklyn, New York, you’ll want to ensure that you’re using the correct NAP (name, address, phone number) across all of your online channels. This includes your website, Google My Business profile, and claiming and optimizing review sites like TripAdvisor.
You’ll also want to be sure that your business has a mobile-friendly website. According to Safari Digital, this is one of the most important local ranking factors. Moreover, it’s essential that you include a map on your website so that your local customers can easily find you. In addition, make sure that your phone number is clickable on a mobile device, and that you have a complete Google Business profile. Finally, claim and optimize your reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other local review sites.
Local SEO is different from organic search engine optimization in that it takes into account a range of local-specific factors in its ranking algorithm. This is in addition to the traditional ranking factors such as keyword targeting and backlink profiles. To learn more about the specific local factors that Google takes into consideration, check out this helpful resource from Search Engine Land.
In addition to boosting your visibility on local SERPs, focusing on Local SEO can also help you make it into the “map pack” of Google results for relevant searches. This is a list of the top three local businesses that appear at the very top of Google’s search results, and it usually appears above regular organic search results.
There are many different tactics that you can employ in order to optimize your website for local search, but the most important ones are claiming and optimizing your Google Business profile, creating unique location pages for each of your locations, adding a map to your site, and getting on board with the main local review sites. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to start implementing on-page SEO techniques.