There are over 3.5 billion daily internet searches across the globe on Google alone. Usually, when users search for services or products online, they are more inclined to go for the top-ranked pages on the results.
As such, if your business does not rank highly in the search results, you will not attract traffic and leads to your website. In consequence, if your site gets no traffic, this means that you are effectively missing on valuable potential clientele. So, how do you get your small business ranking high locally?
The answer is simple, optimize your local SEO!
Understanding Local Search Engine Optimization (Local SEO)
Local SEO is a set of tactics geared towards increasing your business’ visibility to individuals residing within or visiting your operational area. In essence, local SEO is vital to small businesses which operate regionally as opposed to nationally. This approach thrives on capitalizing on location-based targeting, meaning that your business is visible when individuals are within your business vicinity.
As per a ReviewTracker’s study in 2019, 35 % of every online search is local. By optimizing your local SEO, you effectively benefit from more leads, website traffic, as well as conversions because this approach is more relevant to your local customer base. In essence, it is a strategy that helps smaller businesses compete with larger institutions with unlimited resources.
Now that you know the importance of local SEO in getting your small business to rank highly locally, how then can you do this practically? Here are a few ways you can optimize your local SEO and subsequently rank higher locally.
1. Claim & Optimize Your Google My Business Page
A Google My Business page significantly influences your business visibility and not just on Google.
When an online user searches for your business, Google will subsequently pull information off your GMB page and display it on the right side of the search results in a distinct panel. This ideally increases the visibility/exposure of your business, which is fantastic for small businesses, since you not only get that much space on the Google’s first page of organic results but you also instantly show everything your business is all about; however, as earlier mentioned, this is only possible if you have a Google My Business page.
To start, you will have to create a new GMB account or reclaim your current one, if you already have one. If you are uncertain, visit Google.com/business and search your business name. A GMB page comprises numerous key details including price, address, category, ratings, pictures, and operation hours, among others.
Here are some examples of properly created GMB Profiles.
As you can see there are a few major things these profiles have in common that make them stand out: they cover the basic contact information and hours, but they also go an extra step. They have professional photos, examples of their work and a generous amount of reviews.
Although these might seem like small changes, they help you stand out locally. Users like being able to see pictures of you or your work, sometimes they will even call from your GMB without having to go to your site if you but your best work up. Reviews also play an important role, a company with 20 5 star reviews will out shine one with only 3 reviews even if they are also 5 starts. Taking these extra steps will really help your GMB stand out!
2. Optimize Your Website Content For Local Keywords
While having a website is essential to rank locally, you need to optimize the content on your website with unique keywords which are relevant to your local target audience.
To effectively do this, you can utilize various free tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner which helps you find relevant local keywords courtesy of its location filter feature. This tool is excellent for helping you identify both relevant and most popular local keywords, your target audience frequently use. Once you list down several significant local keywords, your next step is to incorporate them within your website content, titles, meta descriptions, as well as your URLs.
Nonetheless, before including these local keywords in your content, you must evaluate their competitiveness. This you can do using free tools like Ubersuggest to identify whether your competitors are also using these keywords. If you find that these same keywords are working for the local SEO strategy of your competition, they might do the same for your business!
3. Take Advantage of Online Local Business Directories
The more the eyeballs you get on your business website, the more the business you will subsequently generate. As such, it is vital to ensure that your website appears in numerous places online to increase your reach.
Directory listings significantly contribute to your visibility and ultimate ranking and are a vital local SEO component. Typically, listings represent a business’ virtual profiles which comprise essential details like business name, address, website, telephone numbers, among other pertinent details.
In fact, local directories form part of the most popular places where online users search for various local businesses. As such, it is vital to add your business directory listings to every popular directory within your industry.
These directories usually rank quite high in Google search results with respect to local searches. Any user who views these directories may be subsequently redirected either to your business or website but ONLY if you optimize your business listings. So how do you take advantage of the business listing? Consistently listing your listings on multiple significant directories!
List your GMB on numerous other major directories like UpCity, Angie’s List, or Yelp as these listings will promote your business visibility even in relatively smaller forte directories. In essence, the more the directories your small business is listed (and CONSTANTLY to emphasize), the higher your online visibility gets.
4. Update your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone segment)
These are by far the most vital components of both your local business directories and Google My Business listings as they inform your potential clients on how to contact you. As such, ensure that every detail is accurate and continuously updated, or you risk losing potential clients.
What’s more, be sure to refrain from the use of abbreviations or any confusing thing and avoid misspellings. Also, regularly update your listings accordingly and ensure that all your details are ideally consistent across all your listings.
You Can Find Success with Local SEO
The innovative SEO industry is fast evolving and as such, to fully exploit its potential benefits, it is crucial that you not only optimize your local SEO accordingly but that you also keep yourself updated with the latest trends as they pop up. That said, if you want to get your small business website to rank locally, you need to take advantage of local SEO.
Invest your time in developing a valuable local SEO approach, keep track of what is working for your competitors, and capitalize on the recent SEO trends to stand out from the competition. Follow these actionable tactics as outlined here to optimize your local SEO, and you will eventually rank higher locally.
We know ranking for competitive keywords can feel like an uphill struggle. Theses local SEO rankings will help you get your foot in the door and visitors to your website from relevant local searches; while being significantly less competitive. We hope you can apply what you’ve learned to your business and start reaching more of your local customers today!