Google Loves Local SEO
Google favors local SEO because it increases satisfaction among consumers looking for products and services near them. By connecting with the nearest business, clients can be served faster when they need a service or product.
Local SEO for Different Types of Small Businesses
Many types of small businesses stand to benefit from using local SEO marketing, including:
- Contractors and developers
- HVAC maintenance, repair, and installation services
- Cleaning and janitorial services
- Autobody and automotive repair shops
As a business owner who is thinking about how to learn local SEO and successfully implement SEO marketing for your local business, know that there are strategies that can help you stand out from your competition.
These types of businesses can cover wide geographic areas or hyper-local and are places where people are likely to search on Google. The trick is to make your business appear prominently in local search engine results.
Below are the Top 10 local SEO Tips and Strategies to ensure you stay on top of your game.
1. Create Your Google Business Profile (GBP)
One of the best local SEO techniques for local search success is creating your Google Business Profile. Seasoned SEO professionals use this platform to leverage their local-based strategy.
GBP is a free feature from Google that helps small businesses boost their online presence. Such a feature is part of Google’s growing portfolio of utilities for small businesses, including Google Maps.
Set up Your Google Business Profile (GBP) Profile
Bright Local gives the following steps for setting up a GBP profile:
- Create your Google account – Before you can set up a Google local business listing, you need to create a Google account. Visit google.account.com. Select “create an account” and follow the instructions to create your account.
- Visit the GBP gateway – Type your business name in the box. This allows you to check if another business is already using it. If not, click “add your business to Google.”
- Add your business name and add its category.
- If your business provides home deliveries or services, enter the location of your business and indicate the areas that your business serves.
- Add your contact details.
Google Business Profile (GBP) Listing Tips
Optimize your GBP listing because it ensures that your local business is in the best position to be easily found by potential clients.
Here is how to optimize your GBP listing:
Consumers trust businesses that have 4-star and 5-star reviews.
Avoid spammy tactics – Do not use automated content on your GBP page. Keyword stuffing is another big no-no for GBP. If Google detects spam activities on your GBP, it will flag your website and business as dishonest.
Respond to Negative Reviews
Reach out to your disappointed clients and try to apologize for any bad experience they have with your business.
In short, show them that you care about their situation and promise that you will deliver a better client experience the next time they engage with your business.
Use GBP Tools
One such tool is Google Marketing Kit. This tool allows users to create:
- Free stickers
- Free posters
- Social media posts
GBP also allows people to follow your profile on the platform the same way they can on Instagram or Facebook. With such functionality, you can update your followers on your business:
- New social posts
- Blog posts
- Product updates
2. Get Reviews From Clients
According to a study conducted by Moz, one of the factors that Google considers for local search ranking is review signals. The ranking aspects considered here include review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.
So, focus on encouraging clients, particularly positive client reviews. It can work wonders in boosting your visibility and enhancing the reputation of your business.
The concept of review signals does not only apply to GBP. It also applies to directory sites and social media sites. That is because Google expects businesses to have reviews posted on these sites.
Getting your clients to write glowing reviews is one of the best ways to attract local audiences to engage with you. According to a 2017 local consumer review survey, at least 8 out of 10 customers consider online reviews as much as they consider personal recommendations.
3. Optimize for Voice Search
Voice search started as a small concept. It has evolved to become an essential tool for local search optimization. The ease of using voice search is second to none, and online product searchers cannot get enough of it.
Today, the market is experiencing a voice search revolution, so much so that every consumer is expecting all businesses to optimize voice search for product searchers and clients.
Optimize your voice search local SEO with the following strategies:
Understand Your Clients’ Device Behavior
Real-time data on consumer insights allows businesses to understand how consumers use voice search and their devices to perform voice searches.
Use Conventional Keywords
Focus on long-tail keywords because naturally-spoken phrases are usually longer than the shorter phrases used in creating content.
Build FAQ Pages
Remember Voice searchers usually express their questions starting from these words: who, when, where, what, and how. Ensure that you also build your FAQ pages with questions starting with these words.
Provide Content With Schema Markup
Google deciphers language by taking note of schemas, and schemas are the tools that add information to your site. That makes you ready to answer queries from your potential clients.
4. Local News Stories and Events for Content Creation
Let’s say you run a pest control business. The trick is to create different pages for each of the local locations you operate and create hyper-local content that talks about the latest pests based on the season and what is active in your local service area. That is how you rank your pages for every locality your business serves.
Thus, you should create content based on local keyword searches and centered on local events and news. So, also use industry keywords that target local audiences.
In other words, any local event that resonates with your home or business audiences should be considered for building your local SEO content, which is one of the best ways to link and direct local users to your website.
5. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Here are the stats for mobile optimization for local businesses:
- In 2018, a study compared desktop and mobile device utilization for visiting websites. The findings of the study showed that there was a fast shift to mobile from desktop. Mobile website visits were 57% in 2016 and 63% in 2017, while website visits from desktops were continuously shrinking.
- Research by Acquisio and LSA found that more and more mobile searches end with an in-store visit. Researchers found that 75% of mobile searches with local intent culminate with an in-store, offline visit within 24 hours.
Some of the ways you can improve the user experience for mobile targeting include:
- Improve the load time of your website pages.
- Implement an easy-to-use navigation system by integrating a responsive design.
- Do not use too many redirects – Make sure that users can access the website page they have requested rather than giving them a page other than the one they needed to access.
6. Leverage Local Keywords
Local keywords can help you capture local audiences that search your products online. To be able to know the best local keywords to use in your content and ads, always start with the root keyword. Based on this keyword, come up with long-tailed keywords for high-intent purchasers.
If your website is still under construction, you better study the keywords that your competition is using and see if you can use them on your site.
7. Use Location-Specific “About Us” Page
If you have multiple offices in different locations, create unique pages and content for each. These pages should include information depending on the following unique details:
- Google map
- NAP (name, address and phone number)
- Products and services
- Parking availability
- Operating hours, etc.
8. Use Online Directories
Online business directories are websites that allow businesses to post their information. Some of these websites include YellowPages, MapQuest, Foursquare, and Yelp.
Ensure that the information you input in directories is consistent across all these platforms. Otherwise, Google will get confused about inconsistent entries and cause it to flag your business and website.
Here are two tips:
- Display your business information (NAP – name, address, phone number) prominently on your homepage so people can quickly locate it.
- Your information on directories needs consistent management. Directory citation management, along with mobile-friendliness, is a ranking indicator that matters much for local SEO.
9. Leverage Link Signals
Link signals for local SEO are backlinks leading to your website, and according to a study by Moz, these signals are essential elements in ranking in local packs.
Local packs or snack packs are the three websites suggested by Google for searchers that search for products offered by your business.
A local pack is a map-based display that searchers can use to find business addresses, star ratings, and contact details.
It is usually displayed in the upper left corner of the search results page.
With this part of local SEO, the trick is to earn high-quality links from high-quality, authority sites.
Here are three tips:
- Create unique, quality content that competes well.
- Let authority sites be aware of your existence. Link your content to them.
- Use guest posting. Connect with authority sites by sharing your content with them and, if possible, guest-post content on their sites.
10. Create a Dedicated Page for Products and Services
It empowers your local SEO if you dedicate one page to each product or service your business offers.
That is because Google does not see a brand as an authority in only one specific area. Thus, crowding everything on one page is counterproductive for your SEO ranking.
If your business has many locations, you must dedicate a unique page for each branch and each of your products or services. Location-based SEO also needs to use different keywords (e.g., plumber Asheville, plumber Hendersonville, plumber Black Mountain, etc.).
All the staff here at Cube Creative Design and I are ready to help you and your business become more visible in local search results on Google. Contact us for a free consultation today!