If you want to order a delicious take-out dinner, where do you search for the best new restaurant? The internet.
When you need a birthday present to take to a last-minute party, where do you look? That’s right, the internet.
When a consumer wants to buy a product or service they turn online, specifically, Google, to find the best options for their needs, and many want that option to be local and readily available to them. If you want your small business to be at the fingertips of consumers in your local area, who are ready to buy and can spread the word around town about how great you are, then you need to improve your local SEO.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website and marketing your business online, so it ranks better on Google for your local audience. For business owners that rely on people physically visiting their storefronts, improving your local SEO will result in more foot traffic through your doors. In fact, local searches lead 50 percent of mobile users to visit stores within one day.
So if you want your business to become a local sensation, check out these five simple tips for improving local SEO for your small business.
1. Create a Google My Business account.
One of the simplest ways to get your business in front of locals who’re searching the web is to create a Google My Business (GMB) account.
When someone searches for a local pizza restaurant, for instance, GMB will display your address, phone number, hours of operations, photos of your food and restaurant, and all the other info you entered into your account. By giving this information to Google, your business will be more likely to be mentioned in Google’s Local 3-Pack, which is the top three local listings that show up on mobile results.
Creating a Google My Business account will also help you get found in other search features like Google Maps. Not only will you be more easily discovered with a GMB account, but you’re also much easier to contact which increases the chances of locals giving you a call to make an order or stopping by your shop to buy.
2. Create local business profiles.
Have you ever googled a business and found almost nothing about them on the web, no photos, reviews, etc.? If that’s happened to you, you probably never visited that business – you chose a business with more social proof instead.
Boost your online presence and improve your local SEO by creating local business profiles on popular search-and-discovery sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare. Each profile you create is another platform for users to land on when they search online and you want to give consumers as many opportunities to find your business as you can, so claiming your business and optimizing your profile on many different sites is must.
Don’t forget to also look for any local online directories, or even your city’s website, to find local options where you can list your business information and link back to your website. Creating these business profiles will build your social proof, making consumers more inclined to check you out.
3. Collect reviews.
Getting glowing reviews from your customers is awesome, and it encourages other people to visit you too but not only that, reviews improve your local SEO too. According to Moz, online reviews are thought to make up 10 percent of how Google and other search engines decide to rank search results. That may not seem like a lot, but quantity, frequency, and diversity of your reviews on Google and other sites like Yelp play an important part in whether you rank on the first, second or third page.
To motivate your customers to give you great reviews, link to your review profiles on your website and social media and train your employees to ask for reviews when checking out customers. Search engines love online reviews because consumers love online reviews, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to boost your business’s chances of being “clicked on.”
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4. Optimize title tags with the local keywords
Another simple tip to improve your local SEO is to optimize your site’s title tags with your local keyword. A title tag is an HTML element that specifies the title of a web page, and you can customize that title to reflect what’s on your page and include a local keyword to get a better local SEO ranking.
For example, if your business is a pizzeria named “Bob’s Pizza” and you’re located in the city of Chicago, you can customize your title tag to display something like “Bob’s Pizza – Chicago.”
By including a local keyword in your title tags, search engines are notified that this web page is directly linked to the city. This means your business will be more likely to rank in searches from your geographic area as well as searches that include the local term, like “best pizza places in Chicago” for example.
5. Optimize your website.
Your website is the most crucial component to your local SEO, so don’t underestimate the importance of a few simple tweaks to your on-site optimization. One important step to improving your local SEO is to include your local information on every page.
Your local information, also known as the NAP in SEO speak, is your name, address and phone number. Adding your local information to the footer or sidebar of your website will further improve your site’s chances of being displayed in local search results.
One more simple tip is to improve your site’s internal linking structure. Many sites only have their important pages linked by the main menu navigation on the homepage or in the footer, but you should be adding relevant internal links within your pages’ content as well, including blog posts and service pages. After improving your site’s internal linking structure, your business is sure to rank better on Google.
Get ready to dominate your local search results with these simple tips to improve your business’s local SEO. Once you implement these easy strategies, your business will become the top choice for consumers online and will be leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.