The search engines have updated their algorithms, making it more important to have a local SEO strategy. In these articles, I’m going to tell you, how to optimize your website for local SEO. In this blog post, we’ll see how to optimize your website for Local SEO.
The competition within your local area can be fierce, there is no doubt about it. My focus is to help educate small business owners and independent service providers, so they understand how they can increase the traffic to their websites.
These strategies will not only allow them to rank higher in local search engines, but also build trust within the community.
Alright, let’s get started.
What is local SEO, and How does local SEO work?
Local SEO is the practice of providing the best online experience to your customers. The customer can be local, or your business can be targeting local clients.
Most of the time, we use Google or Yahoo! to search for our favorite products. Not only we don’t follow other channels, we also tend to stay in our city and use local websites and yellow pages.
But to sell your products and services, you need to be known and used by people around you. Local SEO is all about that!
In local SEO, your business is made more accessible on Google Places and other local search engines such as Google, Yelp, Bing, and Yahoo by increasing its visibility. On the internet today, it’s regarded as the most effective technique to find new clients for your business.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has its own set of rules that allow a company to rank high for specific keywords or phrases. Local SEO, on the other hand, is a process that assists a company in ranking high in search results based on location-related criteria.
Local SEO is becoming more and more popular these years, even though it was always an essential part of SEO.
As the level of technical expertise has increased over the years, so has the role of local search in many businesses’ online marketing strategies.
At its very core, local SEO is about targeting your website towards customers that are looking for your services near their location.
What are the benefits of local SEO
Local search engine optimization can be intimidating. Maybe you’re not sure how it works or if your company even needs it. The truth is that local SEO can provide numerous benefits to your company.
I think it’s safe to say that local SEO has changed the way local businesses rank online. Just look at your Google results for a product or service in your area.
The results are filled with local business listings, instead of traditional web pages.
6 key benefits of local SEO
- Easy Listing: With Google My Business replacing practically all other local directories, listing your business online has never been easier, and it’s completely free.
- It will increase visibility of your business: Any time a person in your local region searches for your business, it will show up. As a result, your visibility in Google Maps and Local Search Results will be significantly enhanced.
- You’ll get Ratings & Reviews: Reviews and ratings that are of high quality make your business appear more reputable.
- You can compete with other local business: You will rank better than your competitor. ****A good example of this is if you offer high-quality items or services and have better-optimized a company’s listing than your competitors.
- Gaining new customers & customer retention becomes easy: It’s a great way to reach a larger audience. People are more likely to buy from you again if you currently provide high-quality products or services and have strong ratings and reviews, compared to rival companies.
- You’ll experience higher conversion rate: SEO is like running ads without paying anything. This is a great way to convert local search terms into sales.
Why Google gives importance to local SEO?
Because for Google, customer experience is a priority. Google wants to give best experiences to its searchers.
If local SEO is done effectively, visitors will be able to discover the service provider’s phone number or location on a map.
Google gives importance to local SEO because it is not only important for local businesses like restaurants, cafés, and shops, but also for dentists, doctors, lawyers, accountants and basically any other professional service that requires physical location to be known.
Local SEO is important. It’s an area of search engine optimization which often gets overlooked. Local SEO ensures that your business is found online by clients in your locality.
Your clients are more likely to turn into paying customers if they do not have to travel far to find you or know that you are close by.
Here are the Steps to Optimize Your Website for Local SEO
Every company, whether local or not, has an online reputation. You may not understand why, but you can be certain that your customers are considering it, which means you should be as well. Let us now discuss some steps you can take to optimize your website for better local SEO.
Here, I assume that you are done with the on-page SEO of your website. If not, then check out this article first –
1. Create a Free Google My Business Account
Google My Business is a project by Google that allows company owners to manage all of their current and future business listings in one convenient place.
Google My Business is one of my favorite tools in Google Search Console. It allows you to directly connect with your customers on Google Maps, since nearly every local search is done using a smartphone.
Google My Business makes it easy to manage your business on Google. You can create, edit, or delete your business listing, post photos and videos of your business, get directions to your store, and more.
Click here to get started with Google my Business.
2. Remember to include Schema Markup on your website
Schema markup allows you to add information about your business, products and services directly into the code.
Schema Markup or Schema.org is a way for sites to make better use of popular search engines. There are a couple of different types of Schema markup, and you can choose from plenty of options to display it on your website.
Schema Markup allows you to utilize HTML to show the importance of certain content on your site. When search engines like Google and Bing, like AOL and Yahoo! see this markup on your page, it’s like they’re seeing new information.
Go here to learn more about schema markup.
3. Remember to keep your website’s NAP citations up to current.
NAP citations are an important part of local SEO. Building out your citations to include your NAP information is a cornerstone SEO tactic.
NAP citations are the references to your company or business name, physical address, and phone number (or email address) that appear on the pages of directories like Google My Business (formerly Google Places), Yelp, and Insider Pages.
4. Don’t forget to list your company in local directories.
If you want to climb to the top of the SERPs, I recommend you list your business in local directories.
Having your business listed in local directories is a no-brainer, right? Businesses have been doing it for years, and it’s still an effective way to get new clients or customers.
All businesses want to be found easily on the internet, and the best way is to be found on local business directories. There are many that can help you show up higher in local search results
We all know that link building is important if you want to rank well on search engines. I have been building links for over three years now and have worked with a lot of companies from link building strategies to white hat link building.
I have seen what works and what doesn’t work. One of the best ways that I have found to get natural links from authority sites is to list your business on local business directories.
5. Request reviews from your consumers and post them on your website.
Sometimes consumers would rather make a decision after reading other customer opinions.
When starting out, getting reviews can be somewhat tough.
Everyone loves a good review. Providing a platform for your customers to give you a review about their experience is a great way to prove your value to potential new customers.
It’s also one of the best ways to get more reviews on your products (which can increase traffic, leads, and conversions).
6. Create local content by researching local search terms.
Creating local content has become critical for achieving success in local SEO.
Google sees local search as a way to help people with specific needs, rather than using a single site that contains information about any location in the world.
Google has made it clear that they are attempting to meet this goal by providing users with the results of their searches.
You must have online content if you want to rank high on Google. The best way to do so is to reach out to a community or network that you already know has your target audience.
For example, if your target audience is physiotherapists in New Delhi, your local network will be physiotherapists in New Delhi.
Now you must create something that will be useful to your local network.
Read: Top 10 tips to improve your local SEO
Related read: Must use local SEO tools for better local SEO result.
To wrap up
Local search is important because it contributes to the overall user experience. If you live in a city with many competing businesses, you will most likely prefer to do business with a local.
You want to know that if you leave a negative review, your friend will not read it.
As a result, the Covid pandemic worked as a catalyst, causing significant changes in the way we work and conduct business. People began to use and rely on online services in greater numbers. Local businesses should establish an online presence or risk falling behind in the competition.
If you are new to online marketing and have no idea where to start, then start here: Digital marketing for small businesses.
Also, here are my recommended digital marketing tools & resources for small businesses
If you want me to assist you or if you are having any challenges with your digital marketing, then reach out to me here.
Read more: Local SEO Frequently asked question