Many businesses do not realize how powerful local SEO can be to their marketing strategy. 46% of searches on Google are about local information. That’s mind boggling. Developing a productive local SEO strategy is a cost-effective way of turbocharging your marketing campaigns.
With an actual number of online shoppers looking for “near me” businesses, you’ll want to align your digital assets to optimize for local searches. Otherwise, a lot will be lost in the market.
In this article, we’ll help you grasp the benefits of a local SEO campaign, proven local SEO strategies, and the SEO tools you need to succeed. Implementing some of the strategies may need financing, and you need to scout for accessible business loans from lenders.
Let’s explore local SEO further.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhances search engine visibility for businesses within a city or geographical locality. Local SEO works well when you have a physical store in the locality where you’re running a local SEO campaign.
Typically, shoppers looking for businesses like restaurants, barbershops, salons, or automobile garages, will be expecting Google to return a company within their locality. A well-executed local SEO strategy can help drive organic traffic to your website and foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.
Benefits Of Applying Local SEO In Your Business
1. Enhanced online visibility
The success of any marketing campaign is its ability to reach the target audience effectively, and convert sales. If your business isn’t appearing on the first page of Google, prospective buyers are likely to be unaware of your business. Adopting a local SEO campaign is one way to crack into the coveted sweet spot on Google searches where you have a higher chance of getting noticed.
2. Attracts more relevant online traffic
Gaining massive traffic to your website is one thing. Attracting the kind of traffic that purchases from your store is quite another. That’s where local SEO helps you target local consumers who could come to your brick-and-mortar store and make an inquiry or a purchase.
The chances of a customer from across the globe popping into your restaurant because they were impressed by an enticing recipe on your website are pretty marginal. Right?
3. Increased sales
If you’re attracting relevant traffic, you can expect a boost in sales. That’s because you’re attracting local customers searching for your products or services in readiness to buy. The convenience of being near the customer further entices them to buy from you. This gives you an advantage over a competitor who may have similar or superior products but is several hours away.
4. Lower advertising costs
Rather than battle it out with huge corporations for organic SEO ranking or investing in high-cost options such as newspaper ads, you can employ a local SEO strategy to gain visibility. You can leverage Google as the perfect advertising platform for free.
You’ll be surprised that a well-implemented local SEO plan can yield more clicks than many costly paid ads.
5. Builds networks with other local businesses
Building networks with other local businesses is an integral part of creating synergies and referrals across companies in a locality. You build valuable networks that help bolster the community’s economic status by making backlinks to other local businesses. These vital links help grow trust and build the reputation of your business.
6. Growing customer confidence
Somehow customers trust brands that rank highly on Google. They perceive such a business as being reputable. This helps to build loyalty and trust in your brand. By employing a local SEO campaign, you exploit a legit shortcut to ranking highly in your locality, thereby winning customers’ confidence in your city.
7. Repeat customers
With local SEO, the local community gets to know you. Communities naturally strive to support local brands by contributing to the local community through job opportunities and more. This leads to repeat customers increasing their loyalty to a local convenience store.
Factors That Affect Your Local SEO
Google relies on a mix of local SEO ranking factors that you need to know to formulate a winning local strategy for your business. The local SEO algorithm that Google uses depends on several factors. If you focus on optimizing those areas, you stand a good chance of ranking highly.
Here are the key factors to enable your business to rank well in highly competitive local packs.
- Google My Business signals: What’s critical here includes your main GMB (Google My Business) category, the keywords employed in the business title, and other GMB categories.
- NAP (Name, Address, & Phone number) consistency: Your business NAP should be accurate and consistent in your digital space for improved local searches. Your physical location NAP needs to match your HTML NAP.
- The physical address and its proximity to the online searcher.
- The Domain Authority of your business website
- Inbound links: The quantity and authority of inbound links establish your business dominance locally.
- Customer click-through rates from Google searches. Mobile click-throughs that lead to product purchases are a critical Google ranking factor for local SEO.
- Review signals: the quantity, frequency, and diversity of reviews on your business.
- Social signals: These mainly emanate from popular social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and IG. You’re bound to get more citations online when your business is seamlessly linked to your social media pages. That’s because customers will more naturally engage with your company and make citations as they interact on your social media page.
Local SEO Strategies You Should Consider
1. Consider using Google My Business listings for your business
If you want your business to rank high for local SEO, you should use Google My Business listings for your business. It’s one of the essential considerations to rank highly on local SEO.
You need to create and verify your Google My Business listing by adding accurate information on the name and address of your business. Optimize this information by ensuring your details are accurate and consistent throughout your online presence. Select the correct categories that apply to your business, and use relevant keywords when making your business description.
Optimize your Google My Business further by adding your business location on Google Maps and accompanying your content with selected photos as you list your business. Motivate your customers to share reviews of your business online and respond to feedback promptly.
2. Optimize local citations
Local citations refer to the frequency of your business getting mentioned online. That would refer to your business name, reviews of your services, images, videos, or press releases that mention your business.
To get more local citations, be visible on popular sites that users check for new businesses. Have your business details constantly appearing on such sites as Express Update, Yelp, Foursquare, Factual, and Neustar Localeze. When your business appears in online directories, it helps increase your business’s mentions on the Internet.
If you do not feel up to the task, you may need an SEO expert to help you crack all this stuff up. If you’re hard up for cash, you can approach a lender for some affordable business loans to help.
3. Create local content
Content forms a vital component of local SEO strategy. By creating evergreen and relevant content, you position yourself as an authority on local issues of interest to your community. When you put out stuff that addresses problems at the heart of your local community, they’ll follow you.
This isn’t necessarily about selling your products or services but adding value to the community. If you run a restaurant, you could bring out the nutritional value of local herbs or provide a homemade regimen for managing seasonal flu in the area. You can also share industry trends or the latest local news.
4. Find out local keywords
Local content goes hand in hand with local keywords relatable to your target audience. Research keywords with a high search intensity in your area using tools like Google Keyword Planner.
Incorporate the popular keywords in the local area in your content, meta descriptions, and URLs. By doing so, you’ll be creating content in a language that reverberates with them.
5. Make your website mobile-friendly
61% of local searches on Google are performed from hand-held devices. People searching for “near me” businesses will be looking up your location, contacts, opening hours, and reviews from their mobile gadgets. A mobile-friendly website loads faster and more efficiently when accessed from smartphones and other mobile devices.
It’s worth working with a professional web designer to optimize your website for mobile devices, even if you have to fundraise or borrow by applying for small business loans. That way, your customers will find you more easily.
6. Run a local SEO audit
Deploying a robust local SEO plan isn’t a destination; it’s a journey. At times, you need to pause and evaluate whether your strategies are working and how you can improve. Carrying a local SEO audit entails checking on optimization on your Google My Business listing, Citations, On-page SEO, and analytics on your web performance. That would also be an excellent opportunity to gauge how your local SEO campaign is fairing compared to the competition.
Hire an SEO expert to help you perform a comprehensive local SEO audit to ensure you tie in all the loose ends. If you find the cost of hiring higher than your revenue, consider some affordable small business loans to refine your local SEO strategy.
Tools That Can Help You With Your Local SEO Campaign
- Moz Local: local business verification on Google
- SEMRush: SEO tool
- BrightLocal: SEO tool
- Whitespar Local Citation Finder: Business online citations
- Ahrefs: SEO keyword
- GrowthBar: SEO software tool
- Buzzstream: Backlinks tool
- KWFinder: SEO Keyword tool
Start a local SEO campaign for your company today by optimizing your website for local searches. Position your business for growth with an optimized local SEO strategy. If your business cannot afford to hire an SEO expert to formulate an effective local SEO strategy, consider self-funding or opt for affordable business loans.
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