Ways to Improve Local SEO for your Small Business
In this time of uncertainty and unpredictability, many businesses have closed shop due to the pandemic. Dating back to last year, even large enterprises were forced to close several stores that led to massive layoffs.
Meanwhile, a survey shows that only 30% of small businesses utilize search engine optimization. This finding reinforces the notion that 70% of local businesses miss out on plenty of opportunities because they have no SEO strategy in place.
The following are some actionable tips you can perform to ensure the success of your small business local SEO:
- Optimize for Google My Business
- Get Regular Customer Reviews
- Voice Search Optimization
- Maintain Engagement on Social Media
- Ensure your Website is Mobile-friendly
- Create Localized Content
- Utilize Location Pages and a Location-specific “About Us” Page
- Create a Dedicated Webpage for each Product or Service you Offer
Optimize for Google My Business (GMB)
One of the most effective ways to perform better on local search results and rank higher on Google Maps is to optimize your business profile or Google listing. To help your business meet Google’s requirements, creating a Google My Business (GMB) account associated with that business profile is the way to go.
Once you link your GMB account and finish providing all the required information, you can start optimizing your business profile online by performing the following:
- Verify ownership of the business upon creation of your GMB account.
- Utilize Google Posts within your account.
- Make use of images, and don’t forget to include vital information, such as your business hours, payment methods you accept, products and services you offer, and your company logo.
- Ensure the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date.
- Make sure your responses to customer reviews are authentic. Specify your location when you can. For example, “We highly appreciate your feedback on [insert product or service here] in [city, state]. Thank you from the [your company name] team.
- Create posts about special offers, products, and events announcements, to your business profile using the GMB dashboard.
Once your business gets authenticated, Google will find it easier to reward you with a sought-after sidebar space in its local search result pages.
Eventually, optimizing your business profile will be beneficial not just for SEO but also for improving your clients’ experience while finding you online.
Get Regular Client Reviews
Getting your customers (preferably those with pleasant experiences) to write a glowing recommendation for your business is another surefire way to optimize your GMB presence and encourage local clients to conduct business with you. Most customers refer to client reviews and treat them as personal recommendations by a close friend or family member.
It’s imperative to ask your customers to leave a review, especially after having closed a sale. Apart from asking for a recommendation in person, you may also send a text or email asking customers to write a review after purchasing. In the case of dissatisfied clients, make it a point to address the complaints stated in their not-so-favorable reviews.
In general, promptly respond to customer reviews professionally and thank them for taking the time to submit their feedback. You should capitalize when customers see that you’re responding to comments and reviews. Doing this will also prompt them to engage your business by leaving more comments.
Voice Search Optimization
Voice searches have increasingly become popular and are expected to grow more rapidly in the coming years. Currently, consumers usually perform a voice search when they’re after quick and useful answers to specific queries about items or places.
You can optimize for local SEO by adjusting keywords placed in your content. Also, you need to adapt to how people ask questions when they speak into devices rather than type out their queries. Rather than the usual optimization, adjusting your content’s SEO is a must to cover typical question starters, such as who, what, when, where, why, and how, and fit your prospective clients’ more conversational tone of speaking.
Customers usually use long-tail keywords when performing a voice search compared to when they’re doing a regular one. For this reason, paying attention to user intent is also beneficial when you’re optimizing for voice.
Prospective clients usually do this search when they need a specific piece of information quickly. So, when they inquire about your hours of operation through voice search, the information should be readily available.
Maintain Social Media Engagement
One of the things that many people overlook is the essential role of social media in SEO. Most, if not all, own a smart device nowadays with at least one social media platform. The type of reach that social media has makes it one of the best platforms to boost local SEO.
Usually, when a customer searches for a specific local service, the social media accounts of these local services also land on the search engine results page. Hence, it’s important to ensure that your social media account provides a quicker insight into your brand and services to influence your target clients’ decision-making process positively.
While social media don’t impact your rankings directly, you can support your SEO campaign with a sound social media marketing strategy in place.
If you’re unsure of what to post or share online, here are a few ideas:
- Local news and industry updates
- Your local blog posts and SEO content
- Purchase links
- User-generated content from local clients
- Interactive quizzes and polls to keep your local leads and followers engaged
- Latest news about community events you’re sponsoring
Ensure Your Website is Mobile-friendly
60% of all Google searches are done on a mobile device. If this figure indicates something for local searches, it’s the fact that they go hand in hand. Thanks to advancements in mobile technology, it’s now easier for consumers to find directions to your location, obtain contact details, and look up reviews on their smart devices.
As a business owner, you’d want to ensure your website is optimized for mobile to be a major player, not just in local SEO but SEO as a whole.
Some of the tips you can implement to increase your site’s mobile friendliness include:
- Larger fonts that are easier to read
- Intuitive user interface (UI) to ensure great user-experience
- Use copy and images sparingly. Convey only the information you need
- Work on your site’s load speed (it shouldn’t exceed more than three seconds to load)
Also, it’s equally important for your mobile site to have a responsive design in place. A responsive design ensures your site content displays correctly, regardless of the device type that consumers use to access your site.
In 2021, a whopping 70% of eCommerce sales in the U.S. will come from mobile devices. If you haven’t yet, it’s high time you optimize your site to provide customers with a smooth mobile experience and improve local SEO for your small business. Otherwise, they’ll waste no time hitting the back button.
Create Localized Content
Writing quality content about general topics usually attract a vast crowd. However, most of the time, honing your focus and creating local content to attract a particular audience becomes more important.
By promoting local news, industry gatherings, and other educational content on your blog, you can become a local authority for your industry. Come up with top-of-funnel content that’s beyond what you sell in your business ordinarily.
Also, creating local content allows you to earn high-quality backlinks from local companies in your area. Like other content types, Google also looks at the number and quality of backlinks found on your website when ranking local content. The more reputable backlinks you get, the higher the ranking your site gets in local search results.
As more local businesses link to your site pages naturally, the more you increase the public’s awareness of your brand.
Utilize Location Pages and a Location-specific “About Us” Page
If your business has more than one brick-and-mortar location, it’s a must to create location pages. At the minimum, these pages need to provide the following information:
- Business Hours
- Contact Details - your company name, address, and phone number
- Testimonials/Customer Reviews
- Parking Availability
Keep in mind to create unique content for each page if you have multiple locations. Also, you’ll get bonus points if you add a Google Map with a marker on your respective location pages.
If you have a single location, create an “About Us” page that focuses on relevant, local information. If you’re a florist, your “About Us” page provides the perfect avenue to mention your flower shop’s involvement in supplying products to public functions and events in your community.
Create a Dedicated Webpage for each Product or Service you Offer
On more than one occasion, you might’ve been tempted to place your products and the services you offer on a single page. You deserve a pat on the back if you’ve succeeded in resisting the urge.
If you lump all of them together, the possibility of ranking well decreases significantly because search engines will fail to see your brand as an authority in a specific area. The best thing to do is create a dedicated webpage for each unique product or service you offer.
The same goes for if you’re a business without various products or services but have different locations. In this case, you can simply utilize location-specific content.
For example, “solar company” becomes “Florida Solar Company” or “California Solar Company.”
As an owner, taking the time to optimize your small business's local SEO is beneficial, not to mention crucial to your entire SEO strategy’s success. While SEO tactics change rapidly, implementing these actionable items we mentioned enables your business to take advantage of conversion opportunities from local searches.
Investing in local SEO for your small business ensures that you’re on top of local SEO and help secure your spot at the top of search results pages. Besides, it shores up your company’s foundation and prepares it for new SEO features introduced in the future.
To know more about local SEO strategies and other services we offer, get in touch with us today!