Why Local SEO Marketing?
As a local business owner, you are probably aware that reaching new customers is essential for growing your business. While traditional marketing such as newspaper ads and posters can target the older customers, if you want to broaden you customer appeal to a younger audience you’ll need to get acquainted with local SEO marketing.
Even if you are already established in the digital marketing and have run a few pay-per-click ads, SEO is still essential for an effective marketing campaign. According to Imforza, 85% of users ignore paid ads and focus on organic search results. This statistic only proves the value of SEO. The following local search optimisation tips will help you to use the power of SEO to improve the marketing strategy of your local business.
What is Local Search Engine Optimisation?
Before we start with the tips on improving your local SEO, let’s just make sure that you have an absolute understanding of the concept.
You have probably heard about this term, but if you want to use it as a tool in your online marketing campaign you need to be completely aware of what it represents.
First of all, local search results differ from regular search results. Local SEO utilizes many of the aspects of regular SEO, but its focus is targeting users in a specific city or region. Your local SEO marketing is designed to reach those customers and bring them either onto your site or into your store. That is, local SEO for small business strikes precisely when local customers need your services or want to buy your products.
Local SEO can make it easier for business to matter where they are in real time.
1. Google My Business
Google My Business is a feature of Google search that displays a list of local businesses on a map, based on the users’ search.
When users conduct searches using “near me” or “in (location)”, this triggers the Google My Business listings.
The reason why Google My Business is a crucial factor in your local search engine optimisation is that it will help you to get numerous new customers by popping up in their Google search results.
If you want to improve your ranking, the first thing you need to do is to get an owner-verified listing. It will enable you to include all the information potential customers need such as:
- Phone number
- Hours of operation
Claim your listing by searching for it on Google My Business. Just find your business listed on the page and claim it. In case you don’t see your business listed among others, then make your own listing.
Make sure that you include as much information as possible if you want to improve your visibility.
2. Keyword Research
The importance of doing a keyword research can never be emphasised enough.
If you are trying to rank for a keyword such as a restaurant, bait shop, tool store, etc., you need to show search engines that your site is a relevant result for it. This requires including that keyword on the page you want to rank.
Search engines analyse the pages and determine what they’re about. Keywords are an essential part of this because they determine which searches your page has the chance to rank for.
Conversion-Uplift recommends the following six steps if you want to do an effective keyword research:
- Identify important topics to your business
- Produce a list of keywords for the general topic
- Examine related search terms
- Combine head terms and long-tail keywords
- Undertake keyword research into what your competitors are targeting
- Keyword list reduction
One of the keywords tools you can use for finding keywords which are relevant to your business is Google Ads Keyword Planner. It will allow you to find the right keywords to target.
3. Local Link Building
Links remain at the core of Google’s search algorithm and they have the same importance when optimising for local search.
Why is that? It is because when another site links to yours, it drives traffic and signals to search engines that your web page can be trusted.
Not to mention that by linking to credible external sites, you will help the users to find additional information that’s relevant to their interests. This tells search engines that you are providing solid information to support your site’s content.
The best way to build links is by creating content. When you create content, you are giving a chance to blogs and other business sites to link it as a source for their readers. The content can be anything from blog posts to videos.
In order to get some high-quality sites to link your web page, you need to provide them with an equally good content. You can resort to some writing services if you want to make sure that what you offer will get their attention.
Reach out to any business that you find to be related to yours, send them an email and let them know why your content will benefit their users. You can even offer to mention their business in your content in return.
4. User-Generated Content
This is one of the main things that Google pays attention to. Previous experiences of your customers are what local search engine marketing relies on when recommending your business to other users.
Encourage people to leave positive reviews on your Google+ page, Yelp, or similar pages. If you want Google to value your site you need to obtain some good and real reviews for your business.
The more active you are on the review sites, the more will Google pay attention to you. Search for review sites in your niche by searching your keywords plus “reviews”.
User experience is also what other users rely on when choosing where to go or which service to choose. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 67% of frequent online shoppers read customer reviews before purchasing a product for the first time.
Here are some simple and effective ways to get your users to leave reviews and create content:
- Solicit reviews via email or by approaching your regular customers
- Create live videos and build a closer relationship with the customers
- Offer entry to a contest or a giveaway to those who leave a review
- Publish user-generated pictures which motivate them to get interactive
- Give your customers a sense of direction by creating a call-to-action (CTA)
5. Responsive Design
According to Engage 121, 88% of mobile searches are for local businesses. In addition, the most recent statistics for digital marketing show that people will also call or go to that business within 24 hours. A mobile-optimised website will significantly ease this decision.
Considering that, you need to adapt your website so that the users can have an easy access to it over their mobile phones. In order to achieve that you need to implement a responsive design.
A responsive design enables your content to be viewed on all technological devices such as mobile phones and tablets without any troubles. It adapts to every device that the customer is using.
This is especially important for local businesses since people tend to search for services which are near them over their phones.
If you want to keep people interested, create a sleek and modern design which enables simple navigation. It will help the users to quickly access the information they need.
By including a responsive design, you’ll give the users a positive experience which will spark their interest in your business and keep them on your site. By doing so, you will be able to increase your SEO ranking because Google’s mobile first indexing policy means your mobile responsive page is now the baseline for how they determine rankings.
No matter what your local business is about, the goal is always the same which is to increase the number of customers. Local SEO is one of the main ways to do that in today’s technology-driven world. Keep your business up to date and embrace the fact that local SEO is bound to create an even greater stronghold in the future.
This local SEO guide will help you to understand the various aspects of local SEO and apply it to your small business as well. There is no better proof of its benefits than to try it out yourself and wait for the results.
Daniela McVicker is a writer and editor at Grabmyessay and Topessaywriting. She graduated from Durham University and has an MA in Psychological Science. Daniela also has experience in digital marketing. Besides doing her work as an editor and writer, Daniela has been applying her knowledge of psychology and marketing in order to contribute some valuable insights to small business owners who want to find and apply best practices and innovative approaches to their SEO marketing strategy.