Local SEO tends to get overlooked often. However, even in a post-pandemic world, people still want products and services that are close to where they live. And they aren’t patient about it either. This is where local search engine marketing comes into play. Your business needs to be able to show up exactly where people are looking. They need to be able to trust you enough to pick your business even though there are potentially dozens of others that offer the same things such as SEO Services, especially if the primary form of business you get is through a physical store.
What is Local SEO?
To understand where to start, we need to first understand what local SEO is and why it’s important. Simply put, local search engine optimization is a kind of SEO that only focuses on results that are in a local area.
Searches that can typically come up would be:
Donuts near me
Salt Lake City Dentists
Malls in Los Angeles
So why is this important? Usually, people who do a local search for a business will go to that physical location that same day. This leads to more sales, especially when it comes to a specific product. There’s also a sense of community with more and more people looking to support local businesses over big box retailers.
So when you do local SEO right, you allow people to find information regarding your business fast, making that one extra step toward a sale.
Local SEO Ranking Signals
Now that we know what local SEO is and why it’s important, here are a few things to consider making sure your business rankings on search engines.
The first is to make sure you have a Google My Business account. If you don’t have one, it only takes a few minutes to set up and it’s free. Part of getting your GMB account set up would be to choose the correct category for your business, so if you happen to be a donut shop in your town you would want to ensure that it is listed as such, as well as pictures of your business and what you sell. If you want, you can even take pictures of your staff and customers (with permission, obviously).
Like Google My Business is Bing Places for Business. While Bing is sometimes scoffed at, it still pulls in about 33% of the market, so it’s still worth pursuing.
Online directories are an excellent means of ranking your business through local search engine optimization. This would be listing your business in apps like Apple Maps, Yahoo Localworks, Yellowpages, FourSquare and others. Review sites are also helpful. Part of your GMB account would also include a review option, but sites dedicated to reviewing businesses like Yelp, Glassdoor, Angie’s List, the BBB, and others can only help.
With that also comes the power of positive reviews. The more positive reviews a local business has, the higher it is likely to rank through the power of local SEO. And if you’re more visible to potential customers, those potential customers become current customers.
Respond to Reviews to Improves your Local SEO
Be sure you take the time to genuinely respond to the reviews you get as well. When it comes to local SEO for businesses, search engines love to see some form of engagement with customers when considering their rankings. Don’t just respond to the positive reviews either. The more negative reviews without a response can negatively impact your ranking.
Social media business pages can also help with your local SEO ranking. Making sure your business page on whatever platform you choose, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and so on, is taken into consideration by Google and other search engines.
The impact may be small compared to the other options mentioned, but it is still something Google takes into consideration.
Content for Local SEO
As always content is king. So regardless of whether your goal is to reach a global audience or even just keep your reach to within a few square miles, you still need content.
And yes, that would include content for each of your locations.
That doesn’t mean that you need to create a brand-new website for each of your locations. Just one page on your main site is enough. And keeping content specific to that location can only assist in your local SEO efforts.
Another page to consider is a Frequently Asked Questions, or FAQ page. This shouldn’t be overlooked since it can be seen as a one stop shop for all local SEO needs. With the shift toward mobile and voice search, your FAQ page is invaluable.
Are you running any specials at your business? Anything that is location specific helps improve your local SEO ranking. And it helps your local audience feel special as well.
Small towns, or closer communities, may like when you host or partner with local events. These help bring your community closer together and bring advertising for your business, building people’s curiosity of who is involved with building the community.
Of course, there is always good old fashioned blog content. Opening a new location? Blog about it! Incorporating a new product? Blog about it! Adjusting your prices? Blog about it! The possibilities are endless!
There is a lot more to consider when it comes to executing your local SEO plan, but this can certainly help you get started. Through content, link building, reviews, and so on, your local SEO ranking will go from getting clicks, to the ringing cashier.
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