Local SEO Guide
Local customers play an important role in the success of any local business. This is precisely how local SEO comes to the fore. It helps the providers of such services overtake their competitors on the search engine results page (SERPs). That said, you need the combination of a smart strategy and a professional approach to make the most of the concept.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can go about it.
Keyword research and implementation
In general, SEO is all about using the right keywords and placing them in your ad content in the right way. You might want to use it to bring in as many prospects as you can to pay a visit to your business arena. For this purpose, it is best to look for keywords that relate to your business but are less likely to face competition from your competitors.
You can either take the help of Google to find out such highly valued keywords or get to know more about it from your friends or even potential customers. There are several ways to accomplish this task.
Though it takes some time, it pays dividends in the long run for businesses that stick to this concept.
You will need to be a little creative to identify the right set of keywords. This can be a little tricky. After all, it is easier said than done.
It’s no rocket science, though. You can begin with the basic search queries that a customer is likely to use. For instance, you can either add common search terms in your targeted keyphrases such as “near me” or “reliable your service near me” “best your service near me”.
You can also make similar considerations while choosing keywords for your business.
While some providers hire specialized SEO experts to identify the keywords, others do their own research. Regardless of the approach, you adopt for the purpose; it is important that you choose keywords that have lower competition.
Going with a long-tail keyword may not be easy to fit into your content. It may also look or sound a little uncommon. But such keywords are easy to rank due to their low competition.
So, as far as possible, try choosing a long-tail query that has low competition but directly relates to your business.
List your business on Google (GMB)
Now that you have the keywords for your local SEO campaign along with an effective strategy, you are ready for the next step. What you need to do now is to list your business in one of the categories on Google My Business.
Steps to add your business on Google My Business
- Visit https://www.google.com/business/ and verify the current address of your company. You need to perform this step if you haven’t confirmed the registered address of your business.
- You will see various fields. Fill them up to go to the next step.
- Add the categories that matter the most for your business without using your keyword too many times.
- To help your target audience understand your listings, add a description. Do not forget to add a call-to-action button so as to encourage them to take prompt action.
- For better results, use a separate listing for each location without any repetition. You will be able to avoid duplicate listings by using each listing for once. In case you spot duplicate listings, think about merging them.
Local search is the part that can boost your business manifold. When you miss this key piece of the puzzle, you are losing a major chunk of your regular customer base. With Google placing a high importance on its ‘near me’ feature, businesses need to list themselves on Google My Business Listings.
To optimize your website for local searches, enlist your business on local search engines. Claim your location, provide essential information like business hours, website links, and contact details. It will boost traffic and you will be amazed to see a rise in your SEO score through increased site traffic by merely enlisting as a local business.
Get citations, backlinks, and reviews for your business
Citations are the mentions of the contact data of your business on the Internet. Getting consistent citations will help build a credible image of your brand in the eye of your target audience.
You can manage the citations, backlinks, and reviews on your business website with the following steps:
- You can either use the MozLocal citation scoring tool or any other irrelevant tool for this purpose. The next thing you need to do is provide both local and national directories with your business information for its proper listing on the web.
- The registration of your business on different directories will also help you get the relevant links. This apart, you can also take some other steps such as guest blogging, review of your competitor’s website, and create profiles on social media. With these steps, you can build useful content for your business and also share it with your target audience.
- Most business owners think that getting Google reviews isn’t a big deal, but this is precisely where they get things wrong. Posting reviews about your products and services that aren’t genuine will only draw criticism. Instead, try getting genuine reviews from your customers by putting a system in place. Also, invest in the reputation management of your website to counter the effect of negative reviews on your brand.
Make relevant changes to your website to facilitate your local SEO campaign
- Choose a keyword for each website page and make the necessary changes to the title tags by adhering to the character limit as per Google’s SEO guidelines. The ideal number of characters is between 50 and 55 words.
- On the homepage, mention the primary service of your business along with its location.
- Instead of using the titles separately, think of the ones that you can merge with the keywords of your local SEO campaign. This will give your business postings a thumb up on Google’s SERPs.
Analyze your content before submission
Website content audit plays a crucial part in optimizing a website to be SEO friendly and bring the best user experience. Your website content needs to be fresh, useful, and relevant to your targeted traffic requirements.
When time passes, the content on your website can become irrelevant or inaccurate. Therefore the ranking will go down as Google hasn’t seen your updated information, and by default, the search engine will downgrade your website and prioritize other new contents that are fresh and meet user needs.
Identifying whether your website is facing those issues requires auditing your website content to find out the core problem and modify it accordingly.
- Before submitting the content, take a look at it with a critical eye. You can make it engaging by including text and images that directly relate to your business.
- Apart from implementing Google authorship, also make a point of checking the website load speed of your website. Both your potential and regular visitors may switch over to other sites if it is too slow.
- A responsive website is ideal for viewing on mobile devices as its pages can auto-adjust to different screen resolutions. In addition to it, you can also include an XML sitemap plus local business schema to capture the attention of your business prospects.
- Put the finishing touches to this step by removing duplicate content, if any, and adding a web page for each location if your business is based on two or more geographically distinct places.
Make your website mobile-friendly
We all understand the worth of our mobile phones in this era where it is no less than oxygen to human beings. In such a scenario, the maximum time is spent on mobile. Even searching for similar businesses like yours in the local, anyone would consider typing it on their mobile rather than switching on their laptop to do the same.
So if your website is not mobile-friendly, then there are high chances that you will be missing the prospect click on your page. So consider getting your website mobile-friendly, fast, and secure at the same time so that the users can have a bang on experience while browsing through your website.
Also, if your website has large-sized images, ensure that it doesn’t take much time to download. Otherwise, the user may lose interest in your page and would rather think of switching to some other website to quench the thirst of their queries.
Create a social media presence for your local business
The world is a global village, and social media is the local village. If you do not publicize your website, no one will know about it. No matter how interesting and informative content you’ve put, you need to let people know about your website.
Create business pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and any local website. Keep posting original, interesting, and engaging posts regularly and your contact information accessible to all. You will notice the surge in traffic in just a few days.
Social media is one of the best ways to spread the word about your business and connect with consumers and networks worldwide.
Continuous posting in social media accounts can be very tedious though. It becomes very painful and time-consuming to keep track of all the audience engagements, negative reviews, inquiries about your products and services. Also, it will not be secure if you are sharing login with multiple social media coordinators.
These days there are some tools that can assist you in effortlessly schedule your posts. They will also keep track of engagements and so on.
Here we will discuss the best free social media management tools for your business:
- Hootsuite is one of the most well-known and trusted apps in social media management for scheduling and marketing. It has a free plan which can be sufficient for most small businesses. With the free plan, you can manage three social channels and can post up to 30 scheduled posts. For accessing more features you may have to get access to the paid version.
- Crowdfire can be used to schedule social media posts. It keeps track of how every post is doing and any conversations within your channel. The free package lets you connect up to 4 social media accounts and schedule up to 10 posts.
- TweetDeck is one of the most recognized tools for managing content on Twitter. It is a free application that allows you to handle numerous (unrestricted) Twitter accounts from an integrated interface. It is a trustworthy tool for businesses that are looking for real-time tracked and organized engagement abilities on Twitter platform.
Help your targeted prospects reach out to you
To help your target audience locate your business with ease, add the contact information of your products and services on the contact page. You can also include the same on the homepage and the footer of each page of your website.
- Be careful while editing the meta description of your business. You need to not only make it different from your competitors but also stick with the character limit. Give your local SEO campaign a boost by adding a unique Meta description to it in not more than 160 characters.
- You can add relevant keywords to the header tags without stuffing the latter with the former.
- Canonicalization of your pages in a specific location will make your local SEO campaign more meaningful. Besides, adding a blog section to your website will enable you to share the updates related to business and service with your prospects from time to time.
Secure your rankings and monitor your Return on Investment (ROI)
- Having more blog posts and an active social media presence will not only encourage proper communication between your target audience and you but also earn more backlinks, citations, and reviews. This will help your website secure one of the top spots on Google’s rankings.
- Keep an eye on the progress of your business to find out how it is doing. You can use Google Analytics and RankRanger in conjunction with a reliable CRM tool to monitor both the online and offline leads of your business. Besides, you can also close sales to increase your business revenue with these steps.
Pay attention to customer reviews and invest in reputation management
Brand reputation gives a solid base to a brand to popularize its goods and services among clients. Gone are the days when people used to go by recommendations. These days, the majority of the customers rely on online reviews to judge the usefulness of a product.
Once your business establishes its online presence and becomes popular among its potential clients, the latter will look for ways to know more about its offerings.
By offering your services with your head and heart together, you will be able to gain the trust of your clients. Consequently, it will help you earn positive reviews.
Encourage your customers to share their valuable feedback about your services. This will be your best bet to find out if your services are up to the liking of your prospects.
Customer testimonials can go either way. It may be positive or negative. Critical reviews about your business, if not dealt with, can impact its image. Reputation management is the only tool with which you can handle the problem with a professional touch.
Never overlook the importance of replying to a customer query if you find it in any of the reviews. This practice will not only boost the image of your brand among potential customers but also help you retain your existing clients.
Keep an eye on your competitor
To do well in your business, you will need to stay ahead of your competitors. It is easier said than done. However, a well-planned strategy can see you through all the challenges.
Steps to do SEO Competitor Analysis:
- The first and foremost thing you need to do is analyze the backlinks profile of your competitor. It will help you analyze the backlink portfolio of your competitor that is responsible for their higher ranking.
- Put your competitor’s address on Google to find out more about their citations. This way, you can keep in touch with the sources from which you can get your own citations.
- Also, think about carrying out a thorough assessment of their title tags and categories corresponding to their “Google My Business” (GMB) posts.
- If you already know about your competitor brands, you can use any keyword research tools available on the internet to search for your competitor’s ads-based keywords. This step will keep you posted about the kind of keywords you need to make your local SEO campaign successful.
Following the local tactics is just like a cherry on top of the cake which allures the potential clients to come and enjoy it. Same is the case when you set up a business online and wish to have a good clientele.
Keeping the dominant role of local SEO in digital marketing for long-term business growth in mind, you might want to adopt the strategy for growing your business niche. You can accomplish the task with finesse by following the steps above.
Now that you have learned the secret of how you can propel your business to the heights of success, get started with it now!