Whether you’re running a law firm, a restaurant or a store, you need customers to discover your business online. That’s why Local SEO is so important – it’s one of the most effective ways to grow your local business. Local SEO is a combination of traditional search engine optimization (SEO) practices and techniques with strategies that help your website rank better in searches from people who live or work near you.
When someone searches for your products or services on Google, the search engine displays a completely different set of results than it does for a non-local query. This is because Google wants to ensure that people who click on the search results are getting the most relevant information. For this reason, local SERPs include things like maps, store hours and review information.
If you’re not ranking in the local pack, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to drive traffic and sales. But it’s not impossible to climb into the pack and get your business in front of the right people. The key is applying Local SEO best practices to your marketing strategy, and here are a few to start with.
Optimize Your Google My Business Page
Your GMB listing is a critical part of your local SEO strategy. This is because it lets people find you in Google Maps, and also shows up when they ask Alexa or Siri for directions or to check your business hours. Make sure your GMB page is complete and up to date with the correct name, address and phone number. It should also be optimized with a unique description that highlights your products and services.
Claim and optimize your business listings on other local directories, such as Yelp, Bing and Apple. These directories not only help search engines understand your location, but they also provide backlinks to your site — something that is a major ranking factor for both local and organic search.
Identifying the keywords that your target audience is using to find businesses like yours is an essential step in local SEO. Use tools like the free Yoast plugin for WordPress to get a list of keywords that are relevant to your business. Then, do some research to see what competitors are targeting and what terms they’re ranking for.
Aim to include these keywords in your content, such as in title tags, headers and meta descriptions, but don’t overdo it. Overusing keywords can actually damage your rankings, so it’s important to add them naturally.
Encourage your customers to share reviews of your business online. This is an easy way to generate positive content that will impact your local SEO and drive more traffic to your business. It’s also a great way to show potential customers that you have an established reputation in your community.
Ask your local suppliers or other local businesses to link to you. It’s a win-win for everyone involved: the fans of your suppliers will know that they can buy their goods at your store, and you’ll be able to rank higher in local searches.