You’re on vacation, walking around and exploring the destinations, and all of a sudden get the urge for an ice-cream cone. What would you do? You may take out your phone and Google “ice cream near me.” You’ll meet with a list of areas for the closest ice-cream shops within the region.
You can then choose one and order your favorite flavor on a cone with sprinkles and think to yourself, “Thank you, Google.” Ok, possibly you may not do the last part, but you should!
Local SEO – the backbone of success for a business with an online presence.
Being able to discover the area of any business near you quickly is a huge convenience that’s easy to take for granted. And it’s all thanks to those businesses for signing up for a Google My Business page. Google My Business is a valuable tool for getting your business in front of nearby customers looking for your products and services.
If you have a small business that hasn’t given much thought to how you can take advantage of a nearby search, you’re missing out. Improving the site for a nearby search could be a fanatic way to reach buyers and get traffic to your site.
Think of this focused strategy as a way to assist you in competing more effectively against larger national brands that have infinite resources to spend. By focusing on specific local-SEO to-dos, you’ll be able to neutralize the advantage of more generous brands that routinely optimize for broader keywords and depend on brand recognition, rather than value suggestions, to bring in traffic.
How to capitalize on local SEO?
According to Google – 97% of buyers search online for local business, whereas 46% of all searches are local. And without local SEO, your business can be losing out on a significant amount of traffic.
Here are some top SEO tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of local business marketing.
1- Create your Google My Business Account
When you think about utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) to take advantage of your business, you likely focus on getting your site to rank in Google’s results using different content and keyword strategies.
With nearby SEO and Google My Business, there’s a bit of a twist. When you search “ice cream shops near me,” you’ll see an enormous map at the top of your screen in addition to information on shops listed within the main search results such as the name, address, site, phone number, and reviews for each business.
Many individuals don’t realize that the information does not come from the business’s website; it comes from its Google My Business profile page. In case you don’t have a Google My Business profile set up and verified, you’re missing out on a valuable opportunity to get in front of nearby customers.
To get access to your Business Profile to make these optimizations, you would like a Google My Business account related to that profile. Once you give all of the asked information in your Google My Business account dashboard, all of that data will be included in your Business Profile, which shows up on Google Search nearby results, the Google Search Knowledge Board, and Google Maps.
Google My Business pages are free, and they take about 10 to 20 minutes to create. Do not forget about the verification. Ensure that you’re the owner of your page and can make edits to your pages in the future.
2- Enhance your site to be mobile-friendly
Presently in 2020, nearly 60% of online searches are carried out on a mobile device. HubSpot found that 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a nearby business if they have a mobile-friendly website.
Way back in April 2015, Google updated its calculation to include mobile-friendliness signals in its ranking algorithm. After that, in July 2019, Google made a mobile-first indexing standard for all recently indexed sites.
But still, numerous businesses haven’t adapted. It is imperative to create a mobile-optimized site to compete within the local search results. Here are a few tips to optimize your website for a mobile-friendly local SEO.
- Make sure your website loads quickly.
- Make use of larger fonts that are easy to read.
- Use the media carefully, convey only the information you want.
This will ensure that maximum value is derived from the limited screen space of the smartphone.
3- Take the benefit of business directories
Local directories are one of the prominent familiar places where users seek local businesses. So, you should include your business listings in all well-known directories in your niche. These directories often rank high in Google search results for nearby search inquiries.
Anybody who checks these directories can be redirected to your website or business in case you optimize your listings. This will assist you in increasing your organic search activity and assist you in getting qualified leads.
Your business listing should include the following basics:
- Exact business name, address, and phone number across all directories.
- Add a backlink to your website.
- Add a description of your business.
Updating the name, address, store hours, parking availability, and phone section are the foremost vital components of your Google My Business listings because these will give your contact details to potential customers. Significantly, all of your details are accurate and updated. Otherwise, you might lose high-intent consumers.
Ensure that there are no incorrect spellings and avoid using abbreviations or anything confusing. In case there is any change in your contact details, update all of your postings accordingly. Also, ensure that these details are consistent with overall postings. Otherwise, individuals might get confused and won’t know which one to trust.
4- Ask for Google Reviews
Reviews are one of the ways that your business can stand out from the competitors. Specifically, you should aim to have higher average ratings and more visit reviews.
To achieve this, you’ll need to ask for reviews continuously. Most businesses struggle to induce customer reviews online. This is because it takes effort on your customers’ end to compose a review. Simultaneously, reviews are greatly vital for building your online credibility and improving your local Google rankings.
You can follow these tips to ask for a review:
- Make it a part of your business process – The imperative thing is to persistently ask your customers for reviews (using e-mail, phone calls, and in-person) and make the process as easy as conceivable for each customer to write a review for you.
Getting positive reviews will likely be a moderate process, but it adds up over time and will allow you a real competitive advantage that is troublesome to duplicate. The key is to consolidate asking for reviews as a part of your regular business processes. If you ask for reviews, you’re much more likely to induce reviews!
- Ask the customers to be more specific – In case possible, ask your customers to include references to particular services/products in your reviews. Google is more likely to highlight your posting for a specific service if a reviewer has referenced that service in their review. Google will then often show little extracts of a relevant review mentioning that specific service.
5- Publish a regular post to your business profile
To improve your local business online, it is also recommended to publishing regular updates to your Google My Business profile using the “Posts” function.
Posting regularly to Google My Business can have a positive impact on local rankings. Google’s posting function is sort of similar to social media posts on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and others.
Some ideas for posting upgrades include:
- Promotions and sales
- New web journal posts
- Announcements about new services.
You can even create content based on local stories or events to grab your local customer’s attention. For example – Let’s say you have a local real estate business. You can create different pages, one for each of your locations, where you’ll highlight hyper-local content around news events or changes within the local real estate market. This regular writing post strategy might also assist you in getting ranked for each particular location.
To wrap up
Clicking into the nearby search results can be huge, especially for small businesses. These were some five tips you can use to improve your local SEO. It is important to take time to create an effective local SEO technique. Simultaneously, it is also important to keep an eye on the recent SEO trends. That’s because the SEO industry is advancing fast.
You never know when Google will introduce new features on its SERPs for nearby searches, but you can check on the changes coming. That’s why it’s essential to remain on top of local SEO continuously. By implementing these five significant tips, you will ensure that your business doesn’t just take advantage of profitable local searches and includes a strong foundation when new SEO highlights are introduced.