Your business needs to rank well in local search results on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to drive more customers which in turn results in more revenue. But how do you appear on top of local search results just like that and attract people? Well, this is where local SEO comes into the picture. Every business that operates in a location has to do local SEO for its website to drive more customers to it.
Do you know? Nearly 80% of smartphone users search with the keyword “near me” before visiting the storefront. It simply means local searchers are your potential customers as at least 50% of users who search with the keyword “near me” visit the store within the next 2 days. So, if you ignore optimizing your site for local searches, then you are simply leaving a powerful card on the table for your competitors. Moreover, 46% of all searches made on Google are regarding local information. Therefore, local SEO is the key strategy to drive people to your store no matter if you have either 1 or 100 storefronts or you are service provider working from home. Hope you have understood why local SEO is important to your business. So, now let’s see some best tips to optimize your local business to rank top on Google.
Before that let’s see what is local SEO in simple words.
What is local SEO?
The process of optimizing the online presence of your business to drive more people through local searches made on search engines. It helps small businesses to promote their services and products on online real estate to make more business. Local SEO includes optimizing citations, website home page, business page, etc.
7 best local SEO tips to rank top on Google local searches
Claim your business on Google My Business
Let’s start with basics, you need to claim all listings that are under your business name and optimize them, remove duplicates, and update them.
Create a Google My Business page and verify your business with all the necessary details. It asks you for the name of your business, address, category of your business, phone number, website, and additional listing such as more categories, photos, opening hours, relevant services, etc.
As other search engines like Bing and Yahoo also experience local searches, you should consider listing your business in Bing Places, and Apple Maps. As you have already created GMB you won’t find difficulty with the latter.
Optimize your site for mobile devices
The rate of people using mobiles to search for something online is rapidly growing. More than 60% of people consider local businesses who have mobile-friendly websites. Hence it is highly important to make your site mobile friendly. Work on reducing the loading time, use pleasing templates with the easy-to-use interface while optimizing your site for mobiles. Also, you can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool to get reports about your site.
Ensure your NAP is consistent
Local SEO is easy but still, you need to be very careful. For instance, you can’t rank well for local searches if either your address, phone number, or business name is different in different places such as directories or citations. This is called NAP (Name of your business, Address, and Phone number). So, be precise when you are providing this information anywhere online. Ensure your NAP information should be consistent everywhere.
Citations & online directories
Having said that, you need to list your business in directories and citation sites along with Google My Business. You can find submission directories such as Express Update, My Business Listing Manager, etc. List your business and get found online. Remember we said about consistency. Maintain consistency, it is the key.
To improve your ranking on search engine result pages, you need links pointing to your site. Yes, backlinks play a vital role in determining your position. After all, they are trust factors in the eyes of search engines. So, plan link strategies to improve the number of quality links to your website.
Both internal links and backlinks are important. Link important web pages on your home page. Also, try getting links from your competitors, non-profit organizations in your industry, your clients, etc.
Try doing guest posting to established sites in your niche, and ask for a backlink with useful anchor text for your website.
Read our Advanced link building guide
Do on-page SEO
You are done with basic steps of local SEO, now let’s delve deeper into it to steal that top position in snack pack results. Wondering what are these snack pack results? Well, have you noticed restaurants with recipe pictures and ratings in search results in a box? Those are snack pack results. As they appear on top, they have half of the chances to get clicks. So, try to appear there.
All you need to do is include schema markup, use H1, H2 tags for titles, use a good number of relevant keywords on your site to rank well. Last but not least, post blog posts regularly to claim that you are active online. You can use the SEMrush SEO tool for keyword research.
Note: Don’t post content for the sake of posting. Publish content that adds value to your business and values your readers’ time. So, find topics such as the latest updates, events in your industry, local guides, and any useful information related to your niche.
Build brand awareness
So, search engines need to trust you first, then rank you. Positive reviews, social shares act as trust factors, or let’s say backlinks. You need a lot of positive ones, right?
Create your business page on social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and post interesting content related to your business regularly, announce deals and discounts to attract customers. Yes, social media marketing is the key to drive tons of free traffic. You can even create a YouTube channel and serve your niche audience to boost brand awareness.
Thus doing local SEO is not that hard, it is not completely easy either. You may have to sweat a little for gaining backlinks from your peers. However, the above-mentioned tips will help you to win top ranking on search engine giants like Google. Also, you need to remember that SEO is not a one-time task be it local SEO or complete SEO. So, keep an eye out for your competitors and check your listings regularly to make sure your business is up-to-date online.
You can make this job much simpler by seeking help from SEO tools such as SEMrush. They help you with powerful keyword research, link building, competitor analysis, content marketing, and social media marketing. Read our SEMrush review to learn how to use it for optimizing your website to rank better in search engine results.Try SEMRush 7 Day Free Trial >>