Did you know that almost half of all Google searches come from people looking for local information? Millions turn to search engines to find small businesses nearby, making local SEO an indispensable tool in your digital marketing arsenal. While standard SEO can broaden your reach and put your brand in front of people from around the globe, local strategies focus on the people looking for businesses like yours right now.
Want to supercharge your local SEO? Let’s look at why local SEO matters and what you can do to attract potential customers in your area.
What Is Local SEO? (Search Engine Optimization)
Local search engine optimization (SEO) refers to strategies implemented to boost search engine visibility for local businesses. Overall, SEO is an important form of marketing that all companies with an online presence should prioritize. Good SEO strategies can improve brand awareness and make it easier for high-quality prospects to find your business by improving where you rank on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Local SEO goes further, aiming to improve SERP rankings and boost organic traffic from search engine users in and around specific geographic areas. It’s a powerful tool for small, local businesses, especially those with brick-and-mortar locations.
With local SEO, you can improve where you rank whenever people in your area search for businesses and content relevant to you. For example, the right strategies can help an eatery get more attention from people searching “restaurants near me.”
Why Does It Matter for Your Location-based Business?
Local SEO is paramount if you run a location-based business, such as a retail shop, restaurant or service provider company serving a specific region. Even if you sell products through an online store, most of your business will likely come from people in your area. You want to get your name in front of locals and visitors. It’s crucial to your success.
Think about how you use search engines like Google in your everyday life. You might search for restaurants to dine at, check out what stores are open when exploring your city or see what providers are available whenever you need expert services. Many even look for local places to buy specific products!
In seconds, you can see tons of information about local businesses. With a single search, you’ll see what’s around through Google Maps, learn about store hours, read reviews and more. Search engines consider geographic location when providing relevant results to queries, and optimizing your local SEO can help your business be more visible than ever to people who count.
Ways To Improve Your Local SEO
Ready to create a winning local SEO strategy? Many of the traditional SEO tactics will make a difference. But when your goal is to boost visibility to people in your area, there are several additional steps you should take. Here are a few techniques that can positively impact your local SEO.
1. Optimize your Google business profile
One of the best things you can do is optimize your Google Business profile. These profiles are business listings that appear on Google result pages. These profiles are information-rich, allowing you to provide updates about your company, give potential customers a glimpse of the products or services you offer, publish store hours, contact information and more.
Optimizing your profile can dramatically improve local SEO. Complete your profile and ensure all the information is accurate. Then, write compelling descriptions about your business and its offering. Including high-resolution photos and asking questions to build the FAQs section is also wise. Fill every field to make your profile comprehensive, ensuring it provides all the relevant information people need.
2. Include location-specific keywords
Improving your content can make a difference, too. Consider using location-specific keywords throughout your content. Perform keyword research to see what keywords are relevant to your business and understand words people use to find companies like yours. To cater to local searches, include city names.
One popular strategy is to create entire location-specific pages. This technique can be beneficial if you serve multiple cities and neighborhoods. Having content built for potential customers in those areas can make a substantial difference for your local SEO.
3. Build high-quality backlinks from local websites, directories and community organizations
Obtaining backlinks is an important part of standard off-page SEO. With local SEO, backlinking can signal to search engines that your content is relevant and authoritative.
Find websites that cater to your area. Every city has local directories and community organizations that like to keep locals updated about businesses in the area. Use those websites to your advantage. Having your company’s site in a local directory is a great way to get powerful backlinks while gaining more brand awareness. Go even further by collaborating with these sites. Doing guest posts can build authority and give you new ways to engage with potential customers.
4. Implement local structured data markup
Structured data, or schema markups, help search engines like Google understand what’s on a webpage, making it easier to categorize and present to users. There are many types of structured data markups. For local SEO, focus on local business markups that point to important information like your address, contact information, product highlights, etc.
Implementing these markups can help search engines provide more comprehensive information on result pages. There’s a clear difference between sites that don’t contain these markups and those that do. Structured data markups give people a wealth of information at a glance, encouraging them to see what business is all about.
5. Get online reviews and ratings
Finally, encourage your customers to rate your business and leave reviews. Ratings and reviews make a difference for local SEO. From a search engine user’s perspective, reviews give people more information about your company. They use them to get more insight into your business and how you operate.
For local SEO, ratings and reviews are another piece of the ranking puzzle. Generally, search engines rank sites with more authentic reviews higher. As you start collecting more reviews, your rankings will likely climb naturally.
Don’t stop at asking for reviews. Engage with customers through the review platform. Respond to people, even to say “thank you” for leaving feedback. That engagement matters. It can improve your credibility while showing potential customers that you care about your business.
Need Help With These Tasks? Work With Local SEO Experts
Improving local SEO is a multistep approach that takes time and careful strategy. If you need help seeing results, work with the local SEO experts at RankScience!
Experienced professionals understand the complexities of local SEO. They can identify opportunities to improve and develop custom strategies that provide short- and long-term growth.
Learn More with RankScience
When you need help dominating local SEO to beat the competition and get results, turn to RankScience. RankScience has over a decade of experience helping small local businesses, startups and large enterprises increase organic traffic and achieve higher rankings. We custom-build strategies that cater to your needs, using AI and proven SEO techniques to provide results you can see and measure. Let us help you pave the way to growth and continued success, improving your online presence for more visibility than ever before.
Reach out today to learn more and take the first steps to better local SEO!