There is no sneaky way to get your venture atop the search grid. The underlying algorithm quickly catches the shady entities and pushes them into the crowded virtual sea. If you run a genuine company that is willing to earn its reputation, your best bet is to learn the ropes and adapt when need be.
The Role of Local SEO
Despite all the toil, it is often impossible for small businesses to compete with big corporate gurus. This is why the role of local SEO becomes crucial. As per the SEO Tribunal, 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
Note that it is an optimization practice that offers excellent potential for driving more leads at your doorstep. Your main competition comes from fellow companies operating in the same paradigm. However, a well-crafted local SEO strategy brings an incredible opportunity to get ahead and stand out in local directories, search, and social media.
According to the Hubspot Marketing Statistics, 72% of the consumers who conducted the local search visited the store within five miles. This is a major reason why Google focuses more on providing geographically-related results based on:
So, if your business is close to where someone is conducting their search and has optimized local business listings, the chances of your name to pop up for potential customers go higher.
How small businesses benefit from local SEO
It doesn’t matter if you think your business is insignificant. You can make it climb the success spiral by deploying local SEO strategies. Here is how:
1. Create your Google My Business Profile
The foundation of a successful local SEO strategy initiates with a Google My Business account. It is one of the top-ranking factors for local search. So, ensure all information is correct, and the category you use to describe your business is also accurate. Alongside, insert business photos and relevant CTAs (calls-to-action), such as asking the prospects to check out your new blog post.
According to BrightLocal, a typical business receives 59 actions from their GMB listing each month. Thereby, it is crucial to track keywords in surrounding local areas to assess where your business has the most SEO clout. For a firm GMB account, verify against this checklist:
- Local numbers for every location
- Business hours
- Reviews from various sources
- HD images of your products and locations
- Accurate address across all locations are consistent with local directories
2. Go Mobile
Mobile SEO involves optimizing your site to rank higher in search engines and retain mobile leads on your page. A finding by Hubspot Marketing Statistics reveals that 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.
Mobile accessibility is paramount above everything else. If your site loads too slowly or does not respond well, you’ll miss out on many prospective customers. Work on the tips provided below to improve the user experience on your website:
- Make it accessible and functional on every website
- Ensure the text is readable
- Simplify the navigation
- Enhance responsiveness to fit every user’s screen
By improving the mobile performance of your website, you will witness a better ranking on the SERPs and a lower bounce rate. If your loading speed suffers even after optimization measures, you may consider upgrading your current website hosting plan. At the same time, perk up your mobile marketing plan to improve the visitor experience on your platform.
3. Identify Local Keywords
The geographical location in a keyword limits local keywords. It demands dozens of hours of fiddling with the keywords to filter out the relevant ones. For this purpose, expert opinion matters. Like for example, if you are located in Seattle, there are many Seattle SEO consultants like Setalks that can help you in locating effective keywords in the local marketplace.
The secret lies in initiating with a healthy mix of long-tail keywords. According to recent research by WordStream, the average conversion rate for long-tail keywords is 36%.
Your ultimate task is to brainstorm with creative genies on your team and scrutinize the keywords used by competing companies. Implementing local keywords in your content is not a complicated task. It takes creative curation of words used by the local population.
4. Land Local Backlinks
Building links from local peers can build up the relevance and prominence ranking signals of your website. Being a small venture, you should look for links connecting with:
- Industry-relevant sites
- Locally relevant sites
- High authority sites
Ideally, the more links you have directing to your business website, the better. Search engines count this as a sign of credibility. Even if you are a pro SEO agency, you need endorsements from your local fellows.
The goal is to pull your website out of obscurity. To serve this purpose, you can also reach out and offer to write a blog post. Or run a local event to garner media coverage. The aim is to grab maximum eyeballs on your venture by staying atop the search grid. As per a study by SEO Expert, 92% of the searchers will pick a business on the first page of local search results.
Therefore, make smart use of your creative juices and financial reserves to climb the grid.
5. Respond to Reviews
Get your customers to leave honest and optimistic reviews about your business. It will encourage more people to convert and also optimizes your Google My Business presence. Research by BrightLocal found that 90% of the consumers read online reviews before making the final purchase decision.
Ease the method of leaving reviews on your portal. For example, you can create a poll on the left side of your website, asking customers to leave their remarks by one click. Or you can ask their reviews on an email too.
Bear in mind; a steady stream of reviews is crucial for search engine optimization. With multiple directories to host them, you can cultivate as many reviews as possible. But make sure that it follows the medium protocol. Such as Yelp! where businesses are not allowed to ask directly for the reviews.
Meanwhile, respond avidly to all reviews. Ignoring negative reviews can leave a destructive impact on your local SEO strategy.
Assuming yourself to be insignificant against big industry players may take a toll on your motivation. It is about time you crawl out of your small tunnel and eye for a bigger prize. Local SEO can be the game-changer for your venture if you play the right cards.
Look up, and you will find countless stories where small businesses with smart local SEO strategies ended up with trophies. It is, indeed, a proven and reliable way of increasing outreach.
We hope all your dreams to take your company on the next level of success will soon fulfill.
About the Author
Alma Causey is a freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about fashion and tech. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.