Improve Your Small Business Visibility with Local SEO
June 2, 2019
It’s challenging to boost your online presence, especially if you’re a small business and are using the search engines to do so. In fact, there are some businesses that spend years trying to conform to Google’s algorithm without ever getting into the top spots. However, this doesn’t have to happen to you. With local SEO it’s easier to improve your website’s online visibility and get more customers.
What Local SEO Is
Local SEO is the process of getting your website to rank high in the local search results. This is great for businesses that have a brick and mortar store or service a specific geographic area. When people around you search for your services, it’s local SEO that positions you in front of them.
Why you Should Care About Local SEO
About 72% of consumers who perform a local search will visit a store that’s within 5 miles of their current location. These searches also lead about 50% people to visit stores that same day. However, local SEO is still important for businesses who focus on sales instead of in-store visits. This is because 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within the same period.
How to Boost Your Local SEO Presence
Clearly, local SEO matters. It can help your business grow. However, before you start doing any off-site SEO you’ll need to make sure you are not making any of these on-site SEO mistakes. With this in mind, you’ll want to heed these tips on how you can make your local SEO better:
Create a Google My Business listing that will act like a mini directory listing being displayed when your business is searched for. This helps your brand be displayed when someone uses any of Google’s search functions (e.g. Maps). Of course, it’s important to optimize your listing by collecting reviews. These are great to have anyway, since about 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a business more.
Get backlinks from other local businesses. These are important because when you look at sites that rank in Google’s first position you’ll see they have hundreds or thousands of backlinks pointing to them. To get these backlinks you’ll want to get other, locally-optimized sites to point to you. Relevancy is the key here, which is why you must focus on local sites.
Submit your website to local directories. This is where about 71% of people look before they visit a local business for the first time. When you don’t show up here, people may not even know you exist so they may visit your competitor instead. Of course, not just any old directory will work. Spammy sites can spell disaster for you, getting you on the search engine’s bad side. This is why you only want your website listed in directories that are for local people only, have a good Domain Authority (DA) score, have a decent amount of traffic, and don’t charge a fee for your listing.
You should find keywords to use to optimize your site for local searchers. If your business only has one location, make sure your whole site is optimized for that area’s local keywords. However, if you have several locations or expansion plans you’ll want to create a landing page for each of your locations so Google and your customers don’t get confused. In both cases you’ll want to make sure you add your local keywords to your meta title and description, URL structure, backlink anchor text, heading tags, and image alt text.
About 45% of marketers say blogging is their most important strategy. This really does create some great organic traffic, especially when you optimize it for local SEO. There’s no doubt that “content is king.” This is why you need to create content that your local customers would find interesting. Once you create this content and internally link back to your location’s landing page, search engines can easily scan and index your page, which in turn will help build your authority.
What to Expect
Once you’ve created a local SEO strategy to boost your small business search presence, you should use tools like SEMRush, Moz, and SpyFu to monitor your average keyword positions. They should rise with the addition of local keywords and additional content. You should also be receiving new traffic from your directory listings. When everything is search engine optimized, you’ll start getting a lot more store visits, sales, and new customers.