The digital marketing space is no longer a playing field for big giants. Today, even small businesses know how to leverage the Internet to outpace their competition. That’s why local search engine optimization has become a powerful tool for all types of businesses.
When 4 out of 5 consumers search online before making a purchase from a local business, it makes sense to improve your rankings with local SEO marketing services in order to enhance online visibility and get found by more customers.
Local SEO is an effective way for businesses to promote their services or products to local customers at the exact time when they are searching for them online.
Local results appear when people search for local businesses near their location. Search engines like Google favor the most useful and relevant results for each local search.
If your online business does not have the accurate information matching the searcher’s intent, you won’t get found by them. Local competition is heating up, so just getting found online is not enough, you need to be at the top to get the maximum clicks. You can hire a reliable local SEO agency to help you get the top spot on Google SERPs for your local business.
An important feature of local search is “near me” term or City Name. Let’s check out how a typical local search result looks like. Here is a search result for doctors in [city name]:
NAP in local SEO stands for Name, Address, Phone. Google places a lot of weight on NAP information. Make sure they are accurate, correct, and consistent.
NAP information is essential to get listed in the Google 3-Pack Local Listing. Studies have shown that there are higher chances of getting clicks on the Google 3-Pack Local listings. Previously, local listings were shown in a pack of 3, 5, or 7. Now it has been reduced to just three local listings per search result. So the competition is getting tougher every day.
Create your own Google My Business listing page and provide the exact name of your business, full address of your business, and a phone number to get a high chance of being noticed by Google and your customers. Have a consistent NAP in your social channels, social bookmarking sites, citations, and directories.
We often get this question from our clients after site audit, “Do I need to create city-wise landing pages?” And our answer is – “Yes, you have to.” Being just unique is not enough. You have to be local. Creating highly optimized, city-specific landing pages is crucial for the success of your local SEO campaign. According to Google’s Search Quality Rater’s Guideline, there should be two parts of the content in a local landing page: main content and supporting content.
Main content should discuss the benefits and features of products or services you offer and the supporting content should focus on the targeted location. If your target location is an entire state or region, create state-specific web pages.
Other non-commercial ways of providing local content to your audience is by adding a FAQ section on the website, writing location-based blogs, posting reviews and testimonials from local customers and press releases. Don’t forget about the power of social media images!
Google announced the release of “Knowledge Panel” in 2012 and since then it takes the top spot in Google search results. It appears at the right side of the SERPs. See this is how it looks:
Your business information in the Knowledge Panel helps customers to discover more about your business along with your contact address and working hours. Google your business and see what information is available in the Knowledge Panel. Update them when you change address, phone number or anything. Just like NAP, it also needs to be accurate and correct.
Before we tell you why your website needs to be mobile-friendly, here are some mind-blowing stats:
88% of consumers searching a local business on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
97% of customers search online to find a business near their location.
2 out of 3 customers are likely to purchase from a local business of their website is mobile optimized for their location.
Approximately 52% of web traffic originates from mobile devices.
With more than half of the online searches taking place on mobile devices, it is important to optimize your site for mobile visitors. So how can you do it? Make your site design responsive and test it on various mobile platforms.
Developing an Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is even more beneficial in terms of SEO rankings. AMP is one of the top SEO ranking factors according to Google’s search guidelines. Remove unnecessary features and provide concise content.
[Know here what are the top SEO ranking factors that can help you secure a good rank in SERPs.]
Shrink image file sizes to improve site speed. Design mobile-specific call-to-action buttons for better conversions. Remember, Google’s algorithm favors sites that look good on smartphones. Getting a mobile-friendly website for your local business will significantly impact your SEO rankings.
People love to share their opinion online. If you have noticed, both Google 3-Pack Local Listings and Knowledge Panel display ratings given to the businesses by their customers. A business with a 5-star rating gets 25% more clicks than businesses with 3-star ratings. Ranking your local business also depends on the customer reviews, so make sure you get more reviews, and most importantly, good ones from your real customers.
As 85% of customers trust online reviews before they make any purchase decision, you must manage customer feedback and spread the word on all channels. Create spaces on your web pages where customers can leave their reviews or ask them at the right time. But do respond to every review as it shows how much you care for your customers.
Consistency is the way to win the SEO battle. You can just set-up an SEO campaign and forget it. SEO rankings don’t happen overnight, it’s a long-term process. Your website and online information need to be optimized and updated from time to time. You have to be consistent in:
Keyword usage: Stick to the location-based keywords you have chosen and work on them regularly to get a better position on Google’s SERPs. Take help of a local SEO agency for keyword research and create customized SEO campaigns to increase the chances of getting more clicks, traffic, and conversions.
Content Creation: Be consistent with your content. Updating your blog section with fresh, unique content consistently can keep your website at the top of SERPs.
NAP and Knowledge Panel: As we said earlier, make sure to maintain consistency in your NAP info and Knowledge Panel.
Social Media: Posting on social media regularly is a no-brainer. Lack of consistency in social media postings will let you down and you may lose connection with thousands of potential customers in your local area.
[Do you know? How long does SEO take?]
Local Search Engine Optimization tactics do not differ much from organic SEO. The only difference is that you have to incorporate the “local intent” in all your marketing efforts.
If your business specifically serves local people like doctors, lawyers, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, supermarkets, malls, etc., then these aforementioned tips will definitely help you to improve your search rankings and get more customers. As the most trusted company specializing in local SEO marketing services, we know what all the tactics, strategies and follow proven methods to optimize your business for local search.
Local SEO when done right can capture a lot of business for you. But it requires a creative and strategic approach, and we are masters in that!
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