You've secured a prime location for your physical store, but have you considered your online presence? In today's digital age, local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial for small businesses.
Just as having a visible storefront is important for attracting foot traffic, having a prominent online presence is vital for reaching potential customers in your area. In this guide, we'll explore the world of local SEO and provide practical tips to help your business thrive in the online realm.
How Mobile Search is Changing the World
The rise of smartphones has dramatically changed consumer behavior and search patterns. With the widespread use of mobile devices, your customers now make purchasing decisions while on the go. Whether they're searching for a local mechanic or a nearby restaurant, they rely on their smartphones to find the products and services they need. In fact, statistics show that 68% of smartphone users have used mobile search to look for a product or service. Moreover, 67% of these searches are influenced by the user's location.
Choosing Your Keywords
To optimize your website for local SEO, it's important to choose the right keywords. Think of search engines as virtual librarians categorizing web pages, blog posts, images, and videos in a vast digital library. By selecting relevant keywords that have a reasonable search volume and manageable competition, you can guide search engines to index your content effectively. If you're a local business, make sure to include your city or county name in the keywords to enhance your visibility in personalized search results.
Use Video and Dominate Local
Video content is becoming increasingly dominant online. Creating high-quality videos optimized with your targeted keywords can significantly boost your local search rankings. In fact, videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google compared to regular text pages. When producing videos, remember to include your keywords in the title, description, and meta-tags for optimal results.
Optimize Your Website for Local
Several on-page factors play a critical role in optimizing your website for local search. These factors include title tags, URLs, headings, image tags, web copy, meta descriptions, physical address, and phone number. Incorporating your location keywords strategically in these elements can improve your search engine rankings.
For example, using location keywords in title tags, URLs, and headings can give you an advantage. Including your location keyword in the first and last paragraph of your web copy, as well as alt-tagging images, can further boost your visibility. Remember to ensure your physical address and phone number appear prominently on every page of your website.
Get Registered on Local Directories & Websites
Registering your business on local directory sites like the Yellow Pages and Yelp is essential. Not only will you gain direct exposure and potential customers from these sites, but you'll also benefit from local links that improve your local SEO rankings. Make sure to use the same address as your website when registering on these directories to maintain consistency.
It's also worth seeking a presence on local platforms such as newspapers, local press, local charities, local TV stations, local radio, and your local city council. Tools like getlisted.org can help you discover additional platforms where your business should be listed.
Include Your Location on Your Social Media Profiles
Social media platforms have a significant impact on search engine rankings. Establishing a presence on high-ranking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is crucial. Ensure that your profile on these networks includes your location, name, address, and phone number, exactly as they appear on your website. This consistency will strengthen your local SEO efforts.
Get Reviews From Local Customers
Genuine reviews from your customers are highly valuable for SEO. They improve the weighting of your local links and enhance your reputation. Encourage your customers to
provide feedback and share positive experiences online. However, it's important to note that you should never fabricate reviews or offer incentives for positive reviews, as this can be seen as spammy and harm your credibility.
Don't Ignore Mobile
Mobile search should not be overlooked. Approximately 40% of all mobile searches on Google have local intent. With Android users logged into Google by default, personalized local results are generated automatically. Even iOS users can access Google Now, a local information product that provides real-time updates. To maximize your reach, ensure your local SEO strategy caters to mobile users.
By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can significantly improve your local online presence. Even if your target audience isn't exclusively local, the personalized search and the importance of local SEO make it an essential component of your overall online strategy.
With the increasing reliance on mobile devices, local SEO is more critical than ever before. Take advantage of these tips and make sure your small business stands out in the digital landscape.