Search engine optimization (SEO) is an effective and widely utilized digital marketing strategy to help boost the online visibility of a business to a national audience. Local SEO is a subset of this approach, and helps keep your brick-and-mortar business relevant for customers in your local community. It’s a more focused approach to SEO and ultimately the goal is to help improve foot traffic and revenue by targeting potential shoppers that are close by.
While every business needs a tailored plan of action created by digital marketing pros that addresses its unique goals and needs, there are some steps to include that are universally effective when it comes to local SEO success.
Take Advantage of Google My Business
If you haven’t already claimed your Google My Business (GMB) page, now’s the time to do it. Once you’ve done that, fill out the information thoroughly — make sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are correct and match the information on your website for accuracy. Optimize your page as much as possible; specify services and products offered, invite customers to leave Google reviews, post plenty of pictures, and update posts frequently.
Doing this will help your business information stay visible when people are performing “near me” search results. Showing up in the sidebar of Google results is like having a neon “Open!” sign pointing directly to your GMB information. Optimizing and consistently updating your GMB page is also a great way to help your business show up on Google Maps.
Post Locally Relevant Content
If there are local events or news that you can tie into your business, posting relevant content can catch the attention of customers in the community where the action is happening. Blog posts about local non-profits, sharing info about other local small businesses, and interviews with local industry leaders are all great ideas to help draw in shoppers and establish your business as an authority at a local level.
Think beyond the blog, too. If you’re a franchise or a multi-location business with only one website, adding separate pages with locally specific content for each location can increase traffic and encourage visitors to convert into customers.
Be Consistent On Social Media
While Google is one of the most often-used search results, many people use social media platforms to look for local business. Posting engaging content and doing it frequently increases the odds of your information showing up in search results. You can use social media platforms to share important local news and events, post links to your website and blog content, and promote other local businesses.
Social proof is the modern version of word-of-mouth; it’s a great way to build trust during the research phase of the buyer’s journey. Google recognizes any link to or mention of your business on social media and the reward can be potentially higher ranking in search results.
Rely On Reviews
Did you know that a recent study shows 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family? While promoting content that you write about your own business is great, people rely more on what other customers are saying about you. Not only that, Google loves promoting local business listings that have multiple (real & accurate) positive reviews.
Don’t be shy about asking customers to leave their feedback through reviews on your Google My Business listing. Depending on your comfort level, it can be subtle encouragement or an outright request. Even if the feedback isn’t so great, you should respond accordingly and show proof to potential customers that your business is accountable, transparent, and willing to make things right.
Call In The Experts
While the above tips are great ways to boost local SEO efforts, there are other, more technical strategies that are best left to qualified marketing pros: Website optimization and layout changes, converting your site to be mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive, citation building and link building, and directory submissions require expertise and tools (and time!) that business owners don’t often have.
The best way to see true ROI from your local SEO efforts is by partnering with an agency like D3FY that can create a comprehensive digital marketing plan that starts with an audit of your current online presence. To find out if we can help your business, contact us for a free assessment. We can help your business make more money, find more customers, and build better relationships using Google My Business, social media, and local SEO.