The level of competition for online presence has gone up several notches over the past few years with companies vying against each other to be the first name on local search results pages.
Having the best SEO strategy is as important to present-day companies as door-to-door salesmen were back in the day. Local search visibility can make or break an organization and is something that requires attention and investment if you are to succeed.
Search engine optimization is the new buzzword in the world of online advertising with every huge conglomerate molding their business profile around it. It is no longer enough to simply build a good name for your company if you cannot achieve the required visibility among competitors of equally good standing.
The target for most businesses, especially the smaller ones, should be to dominate the local searches, as this is where the majority of their customers reside. Gaining national visibility will do little for your business if the people who are seeing your products are too far away to buy from you. This is where a good local SEO strategy comes into play.
What Is Local SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is one of the latest tools that the internet has awarded businesses who wish to drive traffic and increase their foothold on local businesses. Local SEO strategy, on the other hand, works by going a step further and focusing on dominating local search results to reach the right kind of audience.
Local businesses that do not have the support of their community have little chance of success and appealing to the consumers around them should be one of the most important factors to consider when advertising. A variety of SEO tools are available that focus on things like keyword research and link building to improve visibility on local business listings.
This guide will help you to make the best use of local SEO strategy to gain the desired Search Engine Results Page (SERP) presence, to attract new customers, specifically local customers, who can have an immediate impact on your business.
Factors Unique to Local SEO
Local SEO trumps regular SEO due to a few additional tweaks and considerations that are taken into account to further target a more localized and relevant audience. These are:
- Location of business
- Creation of a solid Google My Business listing
- Attention to online reviews
- Keyword research
- Activity on social media platforms
- Rating on Google maps
- Direct online references for the business
How To Boost SERP Ranking Using Local SEO Strategy
One of the best tools at your disposal is the on-page SEO option that you can use when editing the overall structure of your business profile that you intend to insert into the search engines. Once this is done, you can further implement the following strategies to target creating organic results from local searches.
Use Google Business Profile
There is no better tool to use other than “Google My Business,” which is used to create a good Google business profile for your business. Setting up the account is simple and only takes a few minutes, and anyone with rudimentary computer knowledge can easily do it.
Setting up your Google Business Profile involves the addition of important information such as phone number, physical location, business name, operating hours, webpage address/link, and business catchment area. Lastly, the listing is then categorized according to the products or services you provide.
Insert Updated and Consistent Information
Nothing causes confusion more, or rouses suspicions in potential customers, than coming across opposing information about the same business on different pages. It usually means that the business in question is poorly managed or, in the worst-case scenario, is somehow fraudulent in its dealings.
Any unverified information will affect your online ranking and negatively impact your local visibility. Ensuring that any and all vital information about the business that is being posted online is accurate requires a bit of attention to detail and due diligence. Once the seed of doubt is planted in the mind of customers, it is very difficult to salvage your reputation.
Localize Your Content
Being the first name that appears on a local search page means very little if your content fails to appeal to the local community members. Every community has its peculiar quirks and nuances that make it unique, and this is more so in smaller towns. You should make use of these to build the authenticity your business needs
To fully assimilate your business into the hearts and minds of local consumers, it is necessary to adopt these characteristics as part of the overall image of your business profile. Local intent will be more beneficial if you, for example, use the vernacular of your area on your webpage, or make reference to a local story.
Add Location Pages or Links
Creating dedicated location pages is a tool you can use to increase your local search visibility and local rankings by signaling to the Google search engines that your business listings belong on specific pages frequented by your target market.
Many of your potential customers initiate location-based searches to avoid being bombarded with irrelevant search results that make references to businesses that are too far away to be of use. Adding links and pages that are dedicated to your location will ensure that any localized search will include your business address as one of the top results.
Add Genuine Reviews From Locals
Nothing builds trust more in consumers than hearing from other consumers who have had a positive interaction with your business. your online reputation is further solidified if you respond to reviews and show a willingness to interact.
The more localized these reviews are, the more your business ranking will grow on the search engine result pages. It does not always have to be positive reviews either; even negative reviews if handled correctly can signal to consumers that you are concerned with customer care. Make use of rating software and strive to meet the expectations of local searchers.
Include Minority Language Options If Possible
Certain towns, communities, and neighborhoods, have become synonymous with different cultures due to the prevalence of foreign nationals. Take, for example, Chinatown in the New York Metropolitan area of Manhattan. The sheer density of people of Asian descent in this area means that any business wishing to make a positive local impact should consider adopting one or more of the common Asian languages such as Mandarin or Korean.
By listing some pages of your business in Mandarin, you increase the chances of coming up on a local search conducted in that language, and the chances of the searcher being close to your business are very high.
Engage on Social Media
Social media has the potential to become one of the most powerful weapons in your arsenal. Popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, regularly afford users the option to view content that is more suited to their places of residence.
Adding your location to your business profile will ensure that users who are interested in the type of product or service you provide, and who happen to be within your area, are more likely to see your business on their home pages.
Optimize Your Meta Description
Due to the abundance of similar business listings on local search engines, your Meta description must be optimized to the right tone and effectiveness needed to make you stand out in a crowd. A lot of times searchers will only look at the name and details of a business after the Meta description has caught their eye.
You should make it as catchy as possible while also putting in as much information as you can that you think might appeal to locals. A good Meta will ensure that your listing appears as one of the organic search results that Google posts in response to a local search for a particular product or service.
A local citation is the mention of your company on a part of local search results for a product. Your business could have been mentioned in a particular webpage, blog post, directory, or social media platform. It no longer has a particular bearing on your local SEO ranking, but being mentioned in a positive light across different platforms does no harm to your business.
The final takeaway from this discussion should be the importance of reaching the right customers who can engage directly with your business. Appearing on every local search should be your main target when considering implementing a good Local SEO strategy. Local marketers know very well the importance of local customers.
Making use of on-page optimization is one way of ensuring that you strike the right tone that not only generates search volume but targets the right search intent by creating web pages that have a positive impact on a successful business.
Use tools such as search algorithms and mobile SEO to appear on local results that are visible to a wider audience. Being dominant on local search results pages is easy once you put in the required dedication and effort using Local SEO.