Four out of five customers use search engines to look for information on local services and products. In such a scenario, it becomes important for businesses to make use of local SEO and rank higher for such search results.
When businesses do not utilise local SEO to be visible to these four out of five customers, they lose out on almost four-fifths of their potential customers. Using local SEO, small and medium-sized businesses can target a local demographic and attract them towards their services and products. This is why businesses need to learn how they can smash local SEO.
Local SEO is a vast concept and pinning down exactly where to begin can be quite overwhelming. If you are finding it difficult to smash local SEO, a local SEO guide is what you need to gain some head-start.
Here are the best tips for local SEO that can help set you apart from your competitors as well as gain visibility in a local demographic:
Claim all your business listings
Your website isn’t the only place where information on your business is present. There are numerous online local directories where your business information is put up for customers to refer or add reviews to. This includes your Google My Business listing. When you are looking to smash local SEO, claiming all of these business listings becomes very important.
Reach out to your customers and ask them to post reviews
85% of customers believe in online reviews of a business. Moreover, search engines take into account online reviews related to your business to decide upon your ranking. Thus, to smash local SEO, you must reach out to your customers and ask them to post reviews.
Whether it is a peer-reviewing website or your Google My Business reviews section, the presence of positive reviews enables search engines to boost your local search engine rankings.
You can either ask for a review in-person or send out an email post-purchase. Make sure to include the link of the website where you wish for them to post a review for you.
Bring consistency to your NAP citations
Using a local SEO tool, you can search for all your business listings and claim them at the earliest. Once this is done, you then need to work on making all them consistent. Your NAP or Name, Address, Phone Number needs to be consistent across all of these listings. Here is an example of inconsistency in NAP:
My Business Company My Business Company
11-22 My Road, 11-22, My Road,
Notting Hill, London Notting Hill, UK
Phone: 0111 222 3333 +44 (0111) 2233322
Here, the company’s address and phone number both are not the same. These might seem like minor inconsistencies to you; however, search engines consider this a massive error and penalise the local search rankings of such businesses.
Make your business website mobile-friendly
One of the most important tips for local SEO includes making your business website mobile-friendly. Customers interact with a brand twice more on mobile devices than they do via any other channels.
If you are looking to smash local SEO but aren’t adapting your website for mobile devices, search engines will penalise you heavily.
Here, the mobile website of the Huffington Post has shorter headlines and loads of whitespace as compared to their desktop website.
Search engines want to give the users the best browsing experience and will only display mobile-friendly websites on the first page.
To make your website mobile-friendly, you should restrict your use of heavy copy and only put high-quality images. You will also need to pay attention to the site loading speed, UI/UX layout, fonts, whitespace, and more.
Create content around local stories, businesses and events
When you are targeting a local demographic, you need to provide them with local value. This is a super important part of any local SEO guide.
Doing so helps you catch their attention and enables them to relate directly to your business. The idea is to create content around local stories, businesses and events.
For example, if you are a plumbing service called “Company X,” you could create articles such as
- Using “Company X Baking Soda” to clear out drains yourself.
- Home improvement ideas to add a spark to your house
Create location-specific landing pages
If you serve multiple locations, you could also create location-specific landing pages. Now, consider that your plumbing service provides services in three different areas of London – Stratford, Notting Hill, Camden Town. Now, you could create location-specific landing pages with the following URLs:
This plumbing company based in London has a different landing page for all the areas that they provide services in.
Work on getting high-quality backlinks
Link signals are one of the most important factors you need to take care of when looking to smash local SEO. Search engines give the highest priority to a strong link signalling game and rank such businesses higher in local searches than their competitors.
An excellent way to get backlinks is by getting others to link to your content. To be able to establish this, you need to create high-quality content that offers value. This is why creating content around local stories, businesses and events can be very beneficial. Another way of getting high-quality backlinks is to guest blog on the websites of other reputable businesses.
Shift your focus to local keywords
When you search for “best pasta places,” you wouldn’t get a list of all the best pasta places in the world. Your search results will be localised. Thus, if you wish to rank higher, you need to focus on optimising your content for local keywords.
Instead of putting your efforts in the keyword “best pasta in the world,” localise it. So, if you serve great pasta at affordable rates at your Soho cafe, focus on working on the keyword “best affordable pasta in Soho.” This way, you will rank higher in localised searches and gain more visibility with the users.
The concepts of local SEO change rapidly; however, some strategies stay evergreen. The key with these tips for local SEO is to understand their relevance and then mould them according to what suits your business the best.
Stay on top of all your marketing strategies, constantly evaluate market changes, make adjustments as and when your business grows and evolves, and you will be able to smash local SEO in no time.