Does your business have physical locations? Do you only operate in specific geographical areas? Then you need to optimize your website for local SEO. Therefore, when your potential customers search the terms ‘near me’ or ‘in location,’ your site should be among the results.
Local SEO is one of the best ways to ensure that your business appears in relevant searches. However, suppose you do not have content that responds explicitly to local search intent. In that case, the chances are that you are losing business to your competitors – even if they are further away from the potential customer.
Read on for our top tips and tricks to get your local SEO strategy underway…
Google Business Profile
Formerly known as the Google My Business page, the Google Business Profile should be the first step you take in your local journey. Claiming your profile is free, relatively quick, and easy and will improve your ranking. The profile page is essentially you telling Google what your business does, where it is based, and when you are open. You can also add photographs, post messages, announce offers through the profile, and manage public reviews.
It is fast to set up your Google Business Profile initially. However, you will need to spare some time periodically to check it over – members of the public, competitors, third-party applications, and disgruntled ex-employees can all change your profile.
Those changes can range from giving the wrong information to your customers/potential customers to lowering your search engine results position – so log in once a month to ensure that everything is still accurate and ensure that the critical metrics of trustworthiness and authority are optimal.
Name, Address, Phone
Your name, address, and phone details, or NAP, are at the core of your local listings – after all, they tell searchers who and where you are. So make sure that these are accurate and that the format and information match where you have them listed.
Therefore, we mean that the address should be precisely the same – so if your website has you listed at Suite 5, Building 1, Street Name, City Name, State Name, Zip code, but a directory listing does not have the suite number, you may be penalized. This consequence is because it can look to the algorithm as if the address is conflicting or different – and if the algorithm is not 100% sure of your address, it might not show you as a location-based result.
Speaking of business directories, you ensure to list all relevant directories, both for your industry, sector, and locality. This cross-referencing helps you in a couple of ways: firstly, you get free backlinks which are great for conferring authority and trustworthiness. Secondly, you are front and center when a user searches those directories. Yes, most people will likely use Google to find you, but you still need to have a presence for those that use the Yellow Pages or a local business directory.
Reviews are a crucial part of the buying process, and you ignore or underestimate their power at your peril. As consumers, we all want to know that the product or service we are spending our hard-earned dollars on is of high quality or appropriately suited for our purpose. As a result, reviews from existing or previous customers and clients are the best way to get that social validation.
They are also an essential part of the digital marketing mix. The search engine algorithms consider your reviews when they calculate your position (it all feeds back into those all-important trustworthiness and authority metrics), so listing your reviews on your site and your Google Business Profile is essential.
Positive reviews are, of course, ideal. You can also leverage negative reviews to your advantage, however. For example, if someone complains that they had to wait for a long time for service. Then your best approach is to thoroughly and clearly explain the situation that led to that delay, apologize, and outline what you are doing as a business owner to make sure that it does not happen again.
Most potential customers will accept that these things sometimes happen and respect your clear-headed response and apology. Never get into an argument with a campaigner, though – you may be 100% correct in everything you say. But, on the other hand, you may appear aggressive, rude, and not customer-focused to a third party.
Local keywords and content
Your content needs to make use of keywords – that is SEO 101. For local search engine optimization, though, you need to make sure that you are using local keywords, so instead of describing yourself as a nail salon, you would write nail salon in Reno, for example.
Although this is a simplified version of local keyword usage, you will need to spend some time conducting thorough keyword analysis and research. Once you have completed that, it is time to build out your content – build everything from blog posts and articles to your website pages and social media posts around your target keywords.
Regarding the content itself, readability is the game’s name. Everything you create needs to speak to the audience – make it engaging, informative, and accurate. Ensure that you do not fall into the trap of ‘keyword stuffing’ (when there are so many keywords used that the content does not feel organic), as your visitors and the search algorithms will become discouraged.
Suppose this all seems like a lot of work (and doing it right takes a lot of time and skill), then you can always use an external agency. Digital Authority Partners is a web development agency in Las Vegas.We have helped our clients with every element of their digital presence for many years, including the all-important local SEO. Get in touch with the team to learn more.