Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) currently holds one of the most dominant positions in digital marketing. Four out of five customers today use local searches to find businesses around them. Without a solid local SEO strategy, you could be losing out on a significant amount of traffic. Want a local audience to find your business online? Invest in Local SEO. It’s a branch of SEO that optimizes your website to appear in local search results.
Optimizing your local SEO allows you to market your products, services, and brand to local leads and customers. By focusing more on ranking in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) in a specific location(s), your local business can compete better against larger brands with unlimited resources. Here are seven tips to improve local SEO for your business.
1. Create a Google My Business Account
Optimizing your business profile on Google is among the most effective ways to gain visibility on Google Search local results and Google Maps. To gain access to your profile, you need to set up a Google My Business (GMB) account. The information you provide in your account dashboard appears in Google Search local results, Google Maps, and Google Search Knowledge Panel.
Here are a few tips on optimizing your Business Profile:
- Create a GMB account and verify that you own the business
- Provide accurate information
- Include your hours of operation, business logo, images, products/services you offer/sell, and acceptable payment methods
- Encourage customers to leave their online reviews
- Respond sincerely to customer reviews
Use your GMB dashboard to publish posts announcing new products, special offers, and events
2. Optimize Your Content for Local Keywords
Focus on keywords that are relevant to your local customers. The idea is to create content that ranks highly for popular search terms in your locality. Leverage tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner, which will help you get an idea of the most popular search terms in a given area. Create a list of the locally relevant target keywords so you can incorporate them into your site’s copy, meta content, and URLs.
You also want to identify subtopics and region-specific hotspots and landmarks in your content. For instance, if you run a tour company, your subtopics would be related to the area’s top tourist attractions.
3. Optimize Your Website for Mobile and Voice Search
Today, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. Almost everyone has a mobile device, and that’s where your potential customers spend most of their time. This confirms that optimizing your website for mobile viewing can go a long way in improving your local SEO and making your business visible to a broader customer base.
So how do you optimize for mobile? Here are some tips to achieve this:
- Ensure your website has an intuitive User Interface (UI) for great User Experience (UX)
- Ensure your website loads quickly (less than three seconds)
- User larger fonts that are easy to read
- Avoid filler and focus only on the information you need (use images and copy sparingly)
- Ensure you have a responsive website (the site should be able to resize/adjust seamlessly to different devices)
As voice search continues to gain traction, especially among mobile device users, it’s vital to optimize your content for how people speak in everyday conversation or ask questions rather than how they type out their searches. Voice search continues to grow rapidly every year. Consequently, you’ll also have to adjust your content to fit a more conversational tone.
You also want to consider the user’s intent when optimizing for voice. Users will usually perform searches when they need a specific piece of information. If a potential customer asks Alexa, for example, what your phone number is, you need to ensure the information is readily available.
4. Create Dedicated Local Pages
If you operate your business in different areas locally, location pages are a must. For example, if your business is based in Dallas, TX, and you operate in nearby areas such as Fort Worth and Plano, you would create similar pages for the other locations besides your Dallas page.
Be careful when targeting multiple locations because you need to create unique content for each page. Don’t copy-paste exact descriptions on each location on your site. Google may flag it as duplicate content, which will lower your search engine ranking.
Each location page should provide relevant information, such as:
- Store hours
- Individualized descriptions
- Name, address, and phone number
- Google Maps attached to each location
If you only have one location, creating an “About Us” allows you to focus on local, relevant information.
5. Get Reviews
According to various research findings, well over 80% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Encouraging your customers to leave online reviews helps to improve your local search ranking and visibility.
Here are a few tips to encourage genuine reviews from your customers:
- Ask for a review after closing a sale
- Respond professionally to existing reviews, including the negative ones. Address complaints and thank reviewers
- Text customers or send a post-purchase email asking customers to write a review. (An internal survey can help you screen customers in advance to avoid asking for reviews from dissatisfied customers.)
6. Take Advantage of Online Business Directories
Creating a local listing will help you improve your local SEO and boost visibility. This means getting your business name, phone number, and address into online business directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, MapQuest, Foursquare, Manta, and City Search. Your listing signals to search engines that your business is trustworthy and well-reputed.
Your company listing should include basics such as:
- A thorough description of your business
- Accurate and consistent business name, address, and contact information across all directories
- A backlink to your website
7. Focus on Link Signals
Link signals are backlinks pointing back to your website. They’re critical for local pack results and localized organic results. Links will boost your local SEO, but you need to focus on high-quality backlinks.
Here are a few tips on getting high-quality backlinks:
- Create high-quality, relevant, and informative content, so others want to link to your site
- Engage local social media influencers and encourage them to link back to your website
- Guest blog on reputable sites that rank highly on SERPs.
SEO is dynamic. Search engines such as Google introduce new search features on SERPs for local searches often, making it crucial to always stay on top of local SEO. Local search will work for you only when you do local SEO the right way. By implementing these smart tips, you’ll improve your local search visibility while also creating a solid foundation when search engines introduce new SEO features.
If you don’t have the expertise to make the adjustments, consider hiring an SEO agency. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, Dallas has plenty to offer. Hire a company you can trust.
Are you looking for a reputable SEO agency that delivers real results? Contact theSOULwithin LLC for local Dallas SEO services. We specialize in creating sustainable, long-term SEO strategies for local businesses in Dallas, TX and the surrounding area. Contact us today for more information.