The most important tool for any local business that serves customers in a specific geographic area is search engine optimization. It’s how you get found online when someone searches for the services or products that your business provides in your city, town, or region. Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website, content, and other assets to rank well in local search results. This includes your Google Business Profile, which appears in local packs and on map results when people search for businesses like yours.
Local SEO is different from traditional SEO in that it focuses on optimizing your digital presence and focusing on search terms that have local intent. When someone searches for a place to grab lunch in their neighborhood or needs to hire a plumber to fix a leaky sink, they have a very specific need that they want to be met. Search engines know this, so they focus on providing the best results for that user’s intent.
Getting involved in your community is another great way to improve your local SEO because it helps your audience find you, but it also gives you the opportunity to showcase your brand to potential customers. Local events, sponsorships, and even just getting your staff out and about in the community are all good ways to build your local SEO. This kind of content shows search engines that your business is a part of the community and is a legitimate, trustworthy source of information.
Your website is a key piece of your local SEO because it’s the most important digital asset that you have. You can optimize your website to rank for specific keywords by adding them to your meta descriptions, header tags, and page titles. Then, you can create relevant, high-quality content that talks about those keywords to attract your target audience.
Citations are another important part of local SEO because they’re mentions of your name, address, and phone number in places online where you’re likely to be found. This can include directory listings, social media profiles, and review sites. When you’re creating your citations, make sure that you use a consistent format so that search engines can understand the relationships between your NAP information and other data on the web.
Reviews are one of the most powerful factors in local search because they demonstrate that your business is popular amongst your customers. Research has shown that 81 percent of consumers read and trust online reviews, and 97 percent say customer ratings influence their buying decisions. So it’s important to ask your happy customers to review you online and share their experiences with your business. You can also encourage them to review you by placing reminders on your receipts, business cards, and in-store signage.
If you’re ready to take your local SEO to the next level, contact us for a free SEO consultation. We’ll help you understand how to optimize your website, content, and other assets to reach and engage your local audience.