Small companies may benefit significantly from local search since 46 percent of all Google searches are for local information. If your company isn't local search optimized, you may be losing out on local clients who are prepared to make purchases. In other words, local SEO is crucial if you want your business to stay relevant.
For small businesses, ranking for a local keyword or your target keywords might be challenging. It might seem not very easy to push your way to the top of the search engine results pages when there are bigger, more resourceful firms targeting those exact phrases (SERPs).
How could small companies do well on search engine results pages? Fortunately, there is more than a decent probability when local SEO is used.
This introduction to local SEO (search engine optimization) for small businesses is provided here.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhances local companies' exposure to search engines, particularly those with a physical presence. Businesses may increase organic traffic from queries made by local consumers by adhering to local SEO best practices.
Search engines employ signals like local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to collect data for local search to provide users with the most relevant local results.
Businesses may position their goods and services for local prospects and consumers who are looking for them by using local SEO.
Why is local SEO important?
Search engine optimization (SEO) for local searches includes enhancing your company's website and online profiles. It's a technique for positioning your website for location-specific inquiries so that visitors looking for local companies like yours may find it.
Suppose a person searches for a "Seattle wedding photographer," and you're a Seattle wedding photographer. In that case, you want to appear high in the Google search results so you can catch their attention and, ideally, convert them into a new customer.
Ranking, however, doesn't always come effortlessly in local search.
It would be best if you had a local SEO plan based on the search terms your target audience uses, the phrases that tend to work best for your website, and the strategies your rivals use to rank higher than you. Then, you may use a range of local SEO strategies to beat the competition and draw in fresh local clients.
What is local SEO for small businesses?
Local SEO for small companies has never been more crucial as consumers depend on internet information to make offline purchases. In fact, according to one survey, 78 percent of mobile local searches end in an offline purchase. Those outcomes are without dispute!
The chance to establish your website as an authority and inform your target audience about your goods and services are two more reasons to optimize your website for local SEO.
It's unnecessary to focus all your local SEO efforts on boosting sales. Additionally, you may employ local SEO techniques to direct visitors to your website to enlighten or educate them.
Local SEO Tips
Google My Business optimization
Since Google, unsurprisingly, feels most comfortable publishing material it can vouch for and verify, Google My Business has emerged as the pinnacle of local search. Using Google My Business, your company can better fulfill Google's requirements.
If you want to make sure you're optimized for Google My Business, you should:
- Make a Google My Business page and confirm it.
- Utilize your account's Google Posts feature.
- Encourage your clients to post testimonials online.
Google may provide your company with a highly sought-after sidebar space in local search if it can confirm that your company is legitimate.
Also, don't only do this for SEO purposes. For example, you may make it easier for prospective consumers to locate you if you have reviewed and updated your contact details and business hours. Due to the upheaval in consumer purchasing habits and corporate operations in 2020, finding current information is more crucial than ever for consumers.
Use social media to interact and publish to Google My Business.
Google now places a greater emphasis than ever before on social network material.
Once you've created a stunning Google My Business page, share it on social media to better integrate search and social.
Make sure your name, address, and contact information are accurate online.
It would be best to make it simple for users and search engines to locate you online. To do this, set up your NAP, name, address, and phone number (with area code). Of course, this has to be accessible HTML information on your website.
Avoid the typical error of placing the NAP inside a picture; unlike HTML text, images cannot be scanned by search engines. Instead, the header or footer of the website is the most typical position for the NAP.
Improve citations and directories on the internet.
These four map data aggregators provide a significant portion of the map data for American businesses like Apple, Yelp, Bing, Google, Trip Advisor, and others.
- Quick Update
- Neustar Localeze
Check that your citations are accurate and consistent in all four data aggregators since consistency is essential.
Misspellings, abbreviations, omissions of suite numbers, and incorrect phone numbers are examples of discrepancies that might cause issues.
Google may not display your company in search results if it cannot identify whether its information is accurate.
Be careful also to eliminate any duplicate listings you come across. Bonus points if you highlight your community's Chamber of Commerce membership will earn you an external inbound link.
Analyze your local SEO efforts.
Once you've mastered the basics, it could be tempting to apply the brakes. But SEO is a continuous, logical process. It helps to do a thorough audit to determine where your website stands and what needs improvement to reach your objectives rather than stopping there or just making adjustments and seeing what sticks. These elements might be part of a local SEO audit:
- Google My Business Audit: How do the SERPs display your Google My Business? Is the data true and correct?
- Audit of Google Search Console: Can a robot read your website? Are there any mistakes in it that would prevent indexing?
- On-Page SEO Audit: Does Your Website Comply With All Elements That Help With Ranking?
- Citation Audit: Are your citations accurate in the leading business directories?
- Analyzing your competition: How does your website compare to theirs? Are there any gaps that need to be filled up that you have? How do you compare to others in terms of your website's inbound links, content, design, and positioning?
- Website Audit: How effective is your website?
Boost the internal links on your website.
Although adding external connections to your website is desirable (I'll cover this in more detail later), improving your internal linking structure can also help your SEO local rankings.
Why are internal links important? What it accomplishes is:
- assists with website navigating
- helps with website hierarchy and information architecture
- distributes across sites the power of page authority and ranking
Optimize the content, URL, headers, and meta descriptions.
When it comes to the content of your website, each new blog post is an opportunity for your website to be indexed, target a local search keyword, and appear higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The URL, title, header, meta description, and body of every piece of content you create need to be optimized for search engines by employing high-volume local keywords. Consider showcasing client success stories and case studies if you're having problems coming up with geo-targeted content.
Your website should include location pages.
Create location pages if you have many physical locations. On location pages, readers may find your name, address, phone number, business hours, unique shop descriptions, parking and transportation details, specials, and client endorsements.
It would be best if you refrained from using the same material on several location pages. Instead, create a locally detailed About Us page for companies with a single location. If you include a Google Map on the location page of your website, you'll get major additional points (s).
Make regional content.
Due to Google's ongoing technological advancements, content producers may now write for consumers instead of search engines. Although blogging about broad subjects can draw a large audience, it might sometimes be more crucial to narrow your emphasis and write about local or industry news to attract a local audience.
Promote regional industry events, news, employees, and other educational information on your blog to establish yourself as the local expert in your field. Consider creating top-of-the-funnel content that is different from what your company offers.
Create a valuable resource to familiarise prospective firms with your city, for instance, if you're a local security company attempting to entice them to the region. For example, a citywide events calendar or a map of nearby services might be helpful for your persona and offer on-page local signals that are incredibly relevant to your persona.
A mobile-friendly website is a must.
Local and mobile searches are interconnected (61 percent of all Google searches are performed on mobile).
People will often use your website on mobile devices to check up on reviews, get driving directions to your local business, and obtain contact information. In fact, since 2017, mobile "near me" search volume has surged by 250 percent (Think With Google).
Make your website mobile-friendly to make it simple for your visitors and clients.
Obtain authoritative and relevant inbound links.
Every inbound link informs Google you're a genuine business, and inbound links may also increase your domain authority. This makes inbound links one of the most potent ways to improve your local SEO. Here are several methods for obtaining inbound links:
- Partnerships or Sponsorships
- Blog Posting by Guest
Start with your network, which can include the Chamber of Commerce, BIDs, licensing authorities, trade groups, resellers, suppliers, manufacturers, and other affiliates.
Consider holding a community event, sponsoring a webinar or meet-up, advocating a local cause you care about, and cultivating connections with influential individuals. Additionally, be confident to ask potential partners to include you in their partner directory.
Conclusion: Local SEO for Small Business
You may start focusing on signals that will improve your site's digital presence in the local-focused search ecosystem now that you have a better knowledge of SEO fundamentals and how Google ranks local search results. By doing this, your company will appear higher on the results page, increasing the likelihood that more prospective consumers will discover it.
Various variables influence your visibility in these searches, but local search is an evolving field. You may use Moz's yearly survey to create your local SEO strategies playbook so that you are aware of the signals that are becoming more and less significant. You'll be able to serve more customers in your geographic area and expand more quickly as you start to strengthen each key signal area.
What happens if I don't make my Google My Business listing official?
Negative evaluations of your company might be posted if you don't claim your listing. For instance, one of your rivals may take ownership of your listing and bombard your company with unfavorable evaluations.
If I have various locations where I do business, can I establish separate Google My Business listings?
You can, indeed. However, as I stated, you must maintain everything consistent.
Should I be worried about search engines like Bing and Yahoo, given that Google is the world's most widely used search engine?
You should, indeed. Despite being the most popular search engine worldwide, Google, you can't know whether a significant portion of your consumers also uses other search engines. By improving your listing on various search engines, you may be seen everywhere your customers look for you.
Should I put up my Google My Business listing using a different Gmail account?
You might utilize your current Gmail account if you're convinced you can manage the local SEO procedure without further assistance. However, it is preferable to establish a different Gmail account for your GMB listing if you want the help of Local SEO service like ours.
Can I delete negative comments from my listings on GMB and other sites?
You cannot, regrettably. However, as a type of damage management, you may reply to unfavorable evaluations. If you believe they are spam, you might also mark them. Search engines like Google are in charge of the remainder.
To be on the Local Snack Pack, do I need a website?
This depends on how many businesses in your area provide comparable goods or services. If any have one, Google will rank them higher than someone without a website. Additionally, all search engines will have the final say if you do local SEO without a website. How? The algorithms of search engines are updated often. Occasionally, this leads to poorer ranks, and companies without websites suffer the most.