Local SEO is all about primeing your website so that it ranks high in local search engine results pages (SERPs). This enables your business to be seen first when prospective customers are searching for the products or services you offer. Local SEO is different from traditional SEO in that it focuses on the geographic area in which your customers live and work. In addition, it includes strategies for ensuring your website shows up in relevant searches on mobile devices, where more and more people are doing their online shopping.
In a recent survey, Acquisio found that 75% of local search engine traffic that exhibits “local intent” produces an in-store visit within 24 hours. That’s why it’s important for your business to use local SEO tactics, even if you have multiple physical locations.
Like traditional SEO, local SEO involves researching keywords that your customers will type into a search engine when looking for the products or services you provide. In a local context, these might be words or phrases like “ice cream shop in San Clemente” or “plumber near me.”
It’s also important to build and maintain a strong online presence across the platforms where your customers spend most of their time — that means having a robust Google Business Profile, listing all your correct information on major review sites, such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, and being active on social media.
Getting your name out there by writing blogs and articles that mention your company will also help you rank higher on local SERPs. It’s a good idea to focus on locally-themed topics, such as events, news, and popular trends. Using local city names and neighborhoods in your articles will also give you an edge over competitors who don’t do so.
Another great way to boost your local ranking is to run link-building outreach campaigns that target other local websites, regional blogs, and news outlets. Encourage these publications to include a link back to your site in their articles, and remember to use the keywords that you’re targeting in the anchor text. However, don’t overdo it; keyword stuffing is a surefire way to get your page or listing demoted by search engines.
The last thing you’ll want to do to improve your local ranking is to optimize your website for voice search. This involves making your website easy to understand, fast to load, and mobile-friendly. Also, be sure to include the NAP (name, address, and phone number) on every page of your website — search engines use this data to determine how accurate your business’s location is.
Lastly, it’s important to respond to both positive and negative reviews on Google My Business and other review sites. This will show search engines that you care about your customer experience and are actively working to improve it – which, again, is key to ranking well on local SERPs.