If you’re a small business that serves the local community, implementing a successful local search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is essential for increasing your online visibility and driving more traffic and sales.
SEO with a local focus involves optimizing your business’s online presence for the people searching for a solution in their geographical area. It helps potential customers in your community find your business more easily and improves your chances of generating new leads and sales.
For example, if you’re an HVAC company or retail store, local SEO can help customers in your area find your business when they search for the services or products you offer.
By implementing local SEO effectively, you can increase your online visibility, improve your credibility, and stand out from the competition in your community.
The Role of Local SEO in Small Business Marketing.
Here are a few of the ways that local SEO can benefit your business:
- Local SEO improves your online visibility, making you easier to find. By optimizing your website and other online profiles for local searches, you not only increase your visibility in search engine results, but it can also help you rank higher in the results.
- When customers see your business showing up in local search results, it can increase their confidence in your business. It improves your credibility and trustworthiness.
- Local SEO can help you stand out from the competition. Many small businesses compete for customers in the same area. By optimizing your business for local search, you can underscore what differentiates you from your competitors and make your business more attractive to potential customers.
By optimizing the SEO tools for your business regarding local searches, you can increase your online visibility, improve your credibility, and stand out from the competition—all important components for growing your business.
The Essential Steps for Successful Local SEO Implementation.
In this section, you’ll find the essential steps for implementing local SEO for your small business.
- Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing. Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including in search results and on Google Maps.
By claiming and optimizing your listing, you can help your business show up in local search results and make it easier for potential customers to find and contact your business.
Google uses the information in your profile to help match what searchers are looking for. Be sure to fill out your Google business profile completely and keep it up to date, such as hours of operation. Responding to reviews shows potential customers you care about customer service.
- Use keywords in your website content and metadata. In order for your website to show up in local search results, it’s important to include relevant keywords in your content and metadata. This includes keywords related to your business, your products or services, and your location.
For example, if you’re a bakery in New York City, you might include keywords like “NYC bakery,” “artisan bread,” and “cakes and pastries” in your website content and metadata.
- Build local backlinks. In addition to optimizing your website, it’s important to build backlinks from other local websites. This is when your website address appears in social media posts or on other websites.
For example, a website for people with gluten-related allergies might list bakeries that carry gluten-free baked goods. If your website appears there, then people can link to your website from that website. This is a backlink, and it can help improve your website’s search engine rankings and increase its visibility in local search results.
You can build backlinks by partnering with other local businesses, organizations, participating in local events, or providing valuable content on your website that other local websites will want to link to.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews. Online reviews can have a big impact on local search rankings. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, as well as on other review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.
In your Google My Business account, you can generate a link to provide to customers to leave you a Google review. Positive reviews can help improve your business’s visibility in local search results and attract more customers.
Investing in Local SEO Is Worth Your Time.
While implementing the steps above represents an investment of time, it will pay off with an improved online presence and a higher ranking in SEO results. When your business pops up near the top of the list on a Google search, you are seen by potential customers as a credible choice and worthy of their attention. Plus, it can put you one step ahead of the competition.
It’s easy to get started by simply making sure your Google business profile is completed. Then, work on adding the other elements as you can. Local SEO is a powerful tool—don’t leave it languishing in the toolbox.