Local SEO: How to Get Your Business To Show Up In Local Searches
Big box retailers and large brands have a lot of resources to put into their SEO and search marketing tactics. So it's easy to see why small, locally-owned businesses might think it's impossible to compete with companies like this by a web "search".
But, local businesses can beat big brands in search and show at the top of search results pages above them. They can do it through local SEO.
With the right content plan and SEO optimization, you can increase your organic rankings and stand out. These are the seven steps to optimize your pages for local searches.
Create Unique Pages for Your Locations
If you want to rank well locally, then your location pages need to be featured on your website. This can be hard for brands that have a national presence and main website, but the more space you’re able to give to individual locations, the better.
Each brick-and-mortar location needs its own page. This page should have a local phone number, API to Google maps for easy searching, and content unique to that location. As far as content marketing options, consider discussing the history of the location, people who work their, services offered, and unique features related to parking or directions.
Not only will these individual pages boost your SEO, they will also sell customers on your brand. They know everything they need to visit your location and take advantage of your products or services.
Incorporate Local Keywords in Your Meta Tags and Descriptions
While you’re creating local pages to attract customers, boost your rankings with local keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, and keyword targeting. Research tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer can help you come up with local terms to attract customers. For example, you might target local options like:
- Tampa hair salon
- Hair salon on Dale Mabry
- Carrollwood hair salon
- Hair salon near 33618 zip code
These terms provide micro-targeting for audiences in your area. Large cities like Tampa offer a lot of competition for brands, and you can target people right in your neighborhood with the right keyword planning.
Develop Local Content Your Readers Can Use
Once you have improved the content on your static information pages, you can start to increase your local rankings with articles for SEO. Review your target audience and consider the information they might need and other local resources they could use.
For example, the hair salon mentioned above could create a list of tips for keeping your hair styled at a beach wedding, or share some of the best places to buy prom dresses in the Tampa area. Both of these content options allow the salon to incorporate local keywords and target content to their hyper-local audience.
The more of a local footprint you have on your website, the more search engines will associate your brand with the town or city you live in.
Verify Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business allows you to claim your brand and update your information to appeal to customers. You can add hours, website information, photos, and valuable content to sell customers on your brand. It also helps you appear on search engine results pages when users search for your brand or industry.
Recently, Google launched Google Posts for Google My Business users. These posts create a social feed where you can update customers with deals, information, and news related to your brand. If you’re closed because of a storm, this is a great place to post about it. If you have an event this weekend, share it with people who might patron your business.
GMB is an essential tactic for local business marketing, and it's not a set-it-and-forget-it affair. You cannot update your listing once and then ignore it. Business managers need to respond to reviews, post updates, and curate information to make sure this tool is useful for driving organic traffic.
Use a Local Number and Physical Address on Your Website
While you may be tempted to use an 888-number to seem professional to your customers, you could actually put them off by not embracing your local roots. If you are a local business that caters to audiences in your area, make sure you have a local number on your website. For increased ease of use, implement click-to-call options for better analytics tracking and to feature your number in search listings.
Like most elements on this list, there are non-SEO benefits to featuring a local phone number and address: you can assure customers that your brand has brick-and-mortar locations in that town and customers can easily call someone who works there. This is particularly important for national brands, as customers might not want to work through a convoluted customer service process just to ask a simple question.
Increase the Mobile-Friendliness to Boost Local SEO
Customers who are looking for local businesses are looking to convert. Search Engine Watch reports that 80% of local searches end in a purchase. Whether the user is looking for a great restaurant that night or is in need of a car repair, they turn to their phones for immediate results and options.
If you want to attract more customers on their mobile devices, then you need to create a mobile-friendly website. Search engines rate mobile-friendliness of websites and aren’t afraid to ignore your brand if it doesn’t create a positive experience. Without a mobile-optimized business website, your organic traffic and sales are likely to suffer.
From a non-SEO perspective, creating a strong mobile website encourages users to convert on your brand. They will appreciate the ease of use of your pages and make a reservation or head directly to your location.
Make Sure Your Brand Is Featured on Local Listing Sites
The basic fundamentals of SEO also apply to local SEO. If other websites are mentioning your brand and linking to your website, then search engines will view your brand with authority and assign it an appropriate spot in the rankings. One way to build links back to your website is by managing listings on various review and neighborhood directory profiles.
Profiles help you build backlinks and help your brand appear more frequently in search. For example, if you have a profile on 813area.com, one of our network sites, your brand page will appear in search.
These business directory profiles should include high-quality descriptions of your company, photos, reviews, and updated hours and information about your brand. Not only do community listings offer local SEO value to your brand, they also drive sales. All of this information makes it easy for your brand to stand out and compete with others. By the time customers reach your website, they’re likely sold on what your brand has to offer.
The goal of local SEO is to make it easy for customers to discover your business and immediately take advantage of your products or services. By implementing these tactics, you can grow your local SEO and watch your business flourish as a result.
For local advice and strategy, contact MyArea Network today. We can set up a free consultation to review your brand goals and look for ways to optimize your online presence.