Small businesses often face challenges competing with larger corporations for brand recognition and online visibility. However, with the rise of local SEO and 46% of all Google searches looking for local information, small businesses can now almost level the playing field.
Local SEO is especially important for small businesses as it focuses on improving your search engine ranking for location-based queries, making it easier for potential customers to find your business when they search for products or services in your area.
From optimizing your website and content for local search to creating a strong presence on social media and local directories, we’ll cover everything you need to know to attract more local customers and grow your business.
By the end of this article, you’ll have the tools you need to dominate your local market and establish your business as a trusted brand in your community.
Local SEO for small businesses: 5 strategies to master
Local SEO tends to be quite difficult to navigate for beginners. However, if you can go through the process of mastering these 7 key strategies and tips involved, you’ll be able to improve your local SEO with only a little help.
1. Use listing websites and directories
One of the most important factors to local SEO for small businesses is having a profile on Google My Business (GMB).
While GMB is an indispensable directory for your local business, it is not the only one. Yelp is also another local SEO directory that helps you link back to your business website, incorporate an accurate citation, and correct any existing errors.
It is also important that you find out more listings websites online as the internet is filled with them. Just like GMB and Yelp, these listing websites also display your address and other important business information for prospective local customers. Some examples include Foursquare, Bing Places, and many more.
In addition to the listing and directory options mentioned above, you can subscribe to a less popular outlet like Facebook.
2. Identify and incorporate local keywords
The lawyers at Hasbrook & Hasbrook rank on the first page of Oklahoma-related law searches. They have succeeded in ranking on Google’s first page with a collective monthly search of about 9,130, according to SEMrush Research.
This law firm prioritizes the terms Oklahoma, OK, and Oklahoma City in many of the headings on their written content, throughout their website. Many of their blog posts focus on topics that are relevant to the people of Oklahoma, and they made sure to include Oklahoma University in the bio of the lawyers who work for them.
To rank on the first page of your local searches, you have to do some research to find out the keywords that are related to your business and location. Then create high-quality content that combines your location and your organization seamlessly.
This should help: 5 Vital Elements For Creating High-Performance Blogs
3. Use social media
Google has stated that local listing is based on three factors. The factors include prominence, relevance, and distance.
Relevance simply implies how much your website answers questions on searchers’ minds and how useful your website is in meeting searchers’ needs.
Distance refers to how close your physical store is to the searchers.
Unfortunately, there are only seldom things you can do when it comes to relevance and distance. This is because no matter how relevant your website is to a certain demographic, there will always be people who will consider an alternative closer to them.
And you cannot move your physical store every time you get a new website visitor who is outside your locale. But, there is a lot you can do when it comes to prominence.
Google gauges prominence based on how popular your business is. The amount of signal links and online buzz that your business generates on social media is what translates to your level of business popularity.
This is why it is important to develop your social media handles. In doing this you’ll have to maximize the business listing features available on the various social media platforms, let’s say Whatsapp:
You also have to constantly build content revolving around your business location. Content that talks about your city and the landmarks close to you.
You can also decide to take it a step further by finding appropriate groups and location-based online communities to share some of your social media content, in a bid to build local prominence.
Worth reading: The Power of B2B Social Media Marketing: Why It Matters
4. Optimize for mobile viewing
According to Hubspot marketing statistics, 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site. This is why as far as local SEO is concerned, mobile optimization is crucial.
If your website is too slow or barely responsive to commands, you could lose a huge amount of your prospective mobile customers.
And considering that 53% of mobile searchers are likely to ditch your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, how mobile users interact with your website should take priority in building a formidable local SEO strategy.
If your website page speed is too slow, consider upgrading your current website hosting plan in other to assure a smoother experience for your mobile-based visitors. Although this might be expensive, considering the number of prospective clients attached to mobile searches, we are sure it is worth it. While doing this, you might want to incorporate voice search optimization too.
5. Create localized website content and include your business Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP)
The words ‘near me’ and ‘close by’ usage on Google searches have surged by over 900% in the past 2 years. Customers who search for businesses are now becoming more specific with their searches. How do you take advantage of this?
Find a way to incorporate your business location into your website content. Add your address and phone number to your website contact page and link some of your blog post content to your location.
For example, if you are a fashion designer and your business is situated on Broadway, New York City, you can write content on your official website with titles like:
New York City and the Fashion Industry or The Best Fashion Brand Near You in NYC.
On these topics, you can take the liberty to include your business address and show your prospects how your business serves the NYC Community.
Furthermore, considering that 70% of all localized search results will send visitors to a physical store, your NAP or any information relating to your business, will be instrumental in ranking your business locally on search engines.
Once you can strategically involve your NAP in your written content, you can now focus on optimizing local keywords to aid your local SEO ranking.
6. Prioritize customer reviews
Prioritizing customer reviews isn’t just about making it easier for customers to provide feedback or address their complaints effectively. It also involves strategically displaying positive reviews from your local customer base to convince and reel in more leads.
Seeing that 49% of local clients trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations, it is important to make a good first impression after optimizing your site for local visibility.
Your good business reviews can be displayed on your website, social media accounts, and even your listing site like GMB and Yelp. Although these listing platforms have different guidelines for reviews, you can take advantage of their review options to the best of your ability.
Also, do some research to find out the best review website for your business. This is because the services and products you sell will determine the kind of reviews website that your business will thrive on.
Local SEO for small businesses is especially important in making sure that you maximize and thoroughly explore the customer potential within your locale. By implementing the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can improve your visibility and attract more customers to your business.
However, we understand that not everyone has the time or expertise to manage their SEO efforts effectively. That’s where Ojehs, Inc comes in.
As a professional blogging agency, we can help you create high-quality content, optimize your website, and improve your local search rankings. With our expert guidance, you can focus on running your business while we handle your online presence.