Having a solid SEO strategy is one of the most important responsibilities that entrepreneurs have for their business. Not only can it increase the amount of traffic to your website, but it can also boost your online presence, as well.
But, there’s more to SEO than keywords and meta tags. Local search can help bring in customers in the local area who are looking for your product or service.
There are many ways that local SEO has over traditional SEO. In some cases, it’s the best method of action to take.
Let’s take a look at how local SEO tactics can benefit your business.
1. Google My Business
Using Google My Business is crucial if you want your customers to be able to find you on the Internet. Your audience is most likely looking for two things: your company’s address and your hours of operation.
This free service from Google allows you to input this information so that your audience can find you. But, that’s not where the benefits end.
Once Google verifies that you are a legitimate business, it will provide you with analytics information that will give you insight into how your customers are finding you.
This will help you better refine your local search strategy and ensure that you get more visitors in the future.
2. Structured Data Markup
While the name may sound confusing, this concept is one of the most important you can integrate into your local search practices. Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper can help increase your SEO ranking just as much as other tactics.
To better understand structured data, let’s break it down.
When search engines try to display website data that’s in HTML form, they might not always get the information right. Structured data is a way to organize HTML so that Google knows the basic information about your site.
Thus, it can also display it correctly. To put it into perspective, Google will display your company’s location, hours, etc. underneath the link to your site on the search results page. This provides the user with a high level of convenience.
This strategy may seem off-putting at first due to the fact that it involves HTML coding, but there are ways to circumvent having to learn to code.
The aforementioned tool from Google can do most of the heavy lifting for you and allow you to get this process out of the way as fast as possible.
3. Reputation Management
Managing your company’s reputation is vital if you want your consumers to trust you. When people leave reviews for your business on pages like Yelp or Google Maps, you need to acknowledge the feedback they give.
There will always be that small handful of people who are never satisfied under any circumstances. Unfortunately, you can’t do much to change their mind. But, you can leave a polite and articulate response to their complaint that others can see.
This will show the public that you care about what your customers have to say and that you are willing to do what you can in order to resolve an issue.
4. Content Optimization
It isn’t enough to throw a few keywords on each page of your site and call it a day. Your tags, URL, meta descriptions, and headers should all have information about your region or city that you operate within.
Not only will this till search for information about your business and help them index your website, it will also make it easier for your local audience to find you.
Of course, you should also place your keyword into these locations as well in order to make sure that your site’s SEO ranking stays strong.
5. Review Sites
When was the last time that you purchased a product or service from a company that had no information online? Chances are that you never have.
People tend to check online reviews before making a decision, and they are more likely to do business with companies that have positive reviews. Furthermore, Google actually ranks your pages based on your company’s reviews.
Yelp, Google +, and Whitepages are all platforms that you need to keep in mind when fine-tuning your local search strategy.
But, as previously mentioned, make sure that you listen to what your reviewers have to say so that you can improve the experience your future customers have.
6. Build a Link Profile
It can be difficult to get your website to the first page of Google without having other sites link back to you. It may be tempting to engage in practices such as buying links, but this can harm your ranking in the long run.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy (or fast) way for you to do this. But, the best way to get other sites to throw you a link or two is to create content that people want to share.
When your blog post or video spreads throughout a large number of users, you’ll become more popular among your audience and other websites will begin to look at you as an authority in your industry.
Local search takes this a step further. If you can get websites that your local audience views to link to your site, you’ll be ecstatic when you find out how much your traffic will grow.
In order to accomplish a task this specific, you may have to reach out to someone who has a presence in your local industry. It may not work right away, but if your content is high enough quality, someone will be willing to link to it.
7. Local Ranking Research
Local rankings are a great way to figure out how well you are performing online and what areas you need to improve on in your local search strategies.
For example, your business may have strong word-of-mouth advertising among your audience, but your local competitor may have a larger online presence.
In the long run, your competitor will an advantage because people who move to or visit the area are going to use Google to find them.
You can also use this information to determine whether or not a recent business tactic worked or not by checking traffic for spikes or dips.
Local Search Is Necessary
Just like basic SEO, local SEO tactics are important for the growth and development of your business. In fact, it can be difficult to succeed without them, and you’ll spend much of your time trying to catch up to your competition.
However, catering to your local audience with compelling online content and smart content optimization, you’ll be on the path to reach your goals.
Looking for what you can do to optimize your local SEO? Get in touch with us here.