Local SEO is a process of optimizing your business’s online presence so that you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) when people in your geographic area look for products or services you provide. This includes brick-and-mortar businesses like restaurants and retail stores as well as service providers such as plumbers and auto repair shops.
In August 2015, Google made one of its biggest changes in local search history. The change dramatically altered the way users and SEO experts saw search engine results when looking up a specific location, business or address. Since this update, marketers have been experimenting with ways to optimize their websites for local search results.
To improve your chances of ranking high in local searches, start by researching keywords that are relevant to what you offer. This will help you find search terms that your target market is most likely to use when looking for local businesses or services, and will allow you to build a list of keywords that can be used in your online content, website structure and listings.
Another important step is to create distinct web pages for each of your products or services. Ensure that each page is optimized for the relevant local keyword and contains valuable information about your product or service. This will help to boost your ranking on SERPs and increase the amount of organic traffic that you receive from Google.
Once you have identified the most relevant keywords for your business, be sure to include them in your website’s title tags, header tags, meta descriptions and content. Avoid over-using the keywords, however, as this can be viewed as spammy by search engines and may result in your site being demoted. It is also a good idea to include your local city or town in your URL, as this can further enhance your rankings on SERPs.
Make sure that all of your online business listings are up to date with correct contact information, hours of operation and any changes in products or services. This will ensure that you are being represented correctly on all of the major online business directories, including Google Business Profile, Yelp and TripAdvisor. It is also a good idea to get your business listed on all of the top review sites as this will further boost your rankings in local search.
Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that local SEO goes beyond just your online listing and content. It also includes things like your physical location, which can be included in your online listings and on your website. For example, if your business is located in a busy shopping center or on a main street, be sure to include this information on your website and online listings.
Local SEO is a crucial part of any online marketing strategy and should be considered in tandem with other online marketing initiatives, such as paid advertising. By taking the time to implement this into your online marketing strategy, you can drive more local customers to your business and increase your chances of growing your business and surviving in today’s competitive marketplace.