A strong local presence is essential to small businesses that operate on a regional level. By focusing on local SEO, you can prioritize appearing on search engine results pages (SERPs) in a specific location instead of nationally. If your business goal is to dominate a specific market in a certain area, local search engine optimization should be an important piece of your marketing strategy.
Local SEO has become even more essential in the last decade with so many consumers armed with mobile and tablet devices. Consumers are looking for businesses when they're on the go. In fact, Google estimates that 35% of all search traffic is local and proximity is one of the three major ranking signals for search results.
If you're trying to improve your business's local SEO, here are our top 5 tips:
1. Optimize your Google My Business listing.
There is a good chance you already have a Google My Business listing, but it is important that you optimize your profile for the best results. On average, a complete Google My Business listing gets 7x more clicks than an incomplete listing. Plus, Google displays local results on top of search results so you want to be sure you're taking advantage of this prime real estate by fully optimizing your listing. Watch our video on Google My Business for more of our best optimization tips.
2. Be smart about your social media strategy.
Social media is a great place to focus on locally appealing content that makes your brand more relatable to people in your community. Building a loyal following of locals is a great marketing tool for your business that can result in more local leads and word-of-mouth recommendations. Here are a few ways to optimize your social media for local SEO.
3. Encourage customers to leave reviews.
Glowing reviews about your business will not only improve your Google My Business and social media presence, but they also encourage more local customers to buy from you. Studies have shown that 85% of customers believe online reviews as much as personal recommendations. It is no secret that Google places a high value on online reviews. In fact, the number of Google reviews can directly affect your ranking in local search.
4. Optimize your website for local search.
Don't forget about your website when optimizing for local search. After all, this is your business's main online hub and the place where the bulk of your online traffic is going. Using localized keywords in your site copy will help Google rank your website appropriately and improve your local SEO.
5. Use the right directories.
According to Google, roughly four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. Yet many small businesses have not claimed a single business listing online. The solution to this is not to create a listing on every business directory you find. In fact, this can have a negative affect on yoru SEO. Be sure to find well-known, high-quality directories for your business listing.
When it comes to SEO, start locally. By optimizing your business for local search, you can gain an edge over your competition, attract more customers, and improve your search engine rankings.