When it comes to helping your business thrive, you have no greater tool than SEO. But what if you’re trying to get more exposure in your specific state, region, county, or town? This is when local SEO should become your priority in order to increase local customers and leads.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about local SEO and describe six ways to improve your local SEO advertising today.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a type of digital advertising that deals specifically with optimizing your website for local searches. This means that the top results of a search like “San Francisco restaurants” will list businesses that are specifically located in San Francisco, California, instead of a random pizza joint in Reno, Nevada.
Many users use Google specifically to search for local stores and businesses, which means it’s absolutely essential for your business to be discovered online. While this might seem complicated, it’s actually quite simple to get started. Here are the top ways to improve your local SEO advertising today.
Update Your Google My Business Account
Before you can start optimizing your website for local searches, you need to make sure that your business is appropriately listed in Google My Business. Otherwise, you could end up missing out on valuable leads and traffic opportunities.
To get started, head over to google.com/business and sign in with your Gmail account or create a new one if needed. Once you reach the dashboard, make sure the following contact information is correct:
- The name and full address of your business. You can add a link to your website or blog if desired.
- Your business phone number. This field should include a local area code to make it easier for customers to call you.
- Hours that your business is open.
After you have these areas set up, verify your listing by clicking on the verification button near the top of the page next to My Business Account.
From there, simply follow the instructions and place a checkmark in all of the boxes that appear. Typically, you’ll need to upload at least one photo of your business and verify your physical address in order for your listing to become approved.
Create Content Based On Local Events or News
To improve your local SEO efforts, create original content that centers around local events or news. Original content about local events and news is particularly effective because you’re engaging with customers while also creating more potential backlinks and references to your business for local searches.
Simply use Google’s search bar to see what types of topics are trending in your area to get started. Then, if you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, take a look at what other local news websites in your area are talking about and find a way to chime in on that conversation.
Ask For Reviews From Your Customers
One of the quickest ways to get other people talking about your business online is by asking for reviews on popular websites such as Facebook, Yelp, and Trip Advisor. This will give other customers good insight into what type of experience they can expect when doing business with you and will also help you get listed higher in local searches.
To get started, simply create a URL with your business name and ask customers to post their reviews online when they visit your business. This is an excellent way to build a social presence right from the beginning.
Ensure Your Website Is Optimized For Mobile
According to Google, mobile is the primary way that people are using search engines. That means it’s essential for your business website to be fully optimized for mobile devices so that potential customers will find you when they are searching nearby or on the go.
If you don’t have a responsive website design, it’s time to invest in one. You don’t want your business to be left behind as more and more people use smartphones and tablets for online searches.
Keep the design of your website as simple as possible and include as few ads as you can – Google penalizes websites that try to spam search results with too many ads or other distracting content.
Separate Each Of Your Services Or Products By Page
While it might be tempting to host all of your products on one page, you’re missing out on an opportunity to provide more information and relevant content to your customers. Instead, make sure that each product or service has its own page so it can be easily found when potential customers search online.
This is especially important if your business offers a wide array of products or services. Spreading out your products and services by category rather than lumping them together on one page makes it much easier for customers to quickly locate the content that they’re looking for. And it enables you to target multiple local keywords naturally and organically.
Utilize Local Keywords
As Digital Authority Partners explains, another way to ensure your business website is being found online for local keywords is to use them whenever possible throughout your content. If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, using phrases like “local store near me” or “in-store” isn’t going to do much good. These phrases don’t contain information about where someone can find you. Instead, use more targeted keyword phrases like “Pizza joint in Mankato, MN” or “best-sliced pizza in Mankato” to get the best results.
While figuring out local keywords may require some research, it’s one of the best ways to make your website stand out from the competition. If you’re unsure of where to start, using online keyword research tools such as Ahrefs or Google Analytics will help you determine what types of keywords are best for your business to use to get the results you’re looking for.
If you’re uncertain where to start, get professional assistance to ensure that you’re using targeted keywords that provide real value for potential customers. SEO consultants can help you determine the keywords that will be best for your business and can also make recommendations to ensure your website gets positive results from local searches.
Whether you’re just starting your business, or you have a long-established company, it’s critical that you take the time to learn how to use local SEO for your business, so you can increase traffic to your website and get more customers in the door. Use the tips mentioned above to help your website start getting positive results from local searches for the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your business.