June 9, 2020
Local search marketing is a subset of search engine optimization (SEO) that’s ideal for businesses that need to attract more customers in their city, state, or region. This is done by optimizing the business’s online presence to push their website to the top positions in Google search results for relevant geo-targeted keywords.
When local customers see your business on the first page of Google search results, especially in the ‘local pack’ section, you’re much more likely to increase customer traffic than if your website is on the second, third, or fourth page.
Check out our local SEO tips to see how to improve your website’s presence in organic search results to attract more business. For more digital marketing insights, subscribe to our podcast and newsletter!
Local SEO Ranking Factors to Optimize
There are a variety of ranking factors that affect local SEO but here are the top five you should optimize to increase customers visiting your local business online or in person.
1. “Google My Business” Listing
If you haven’t already, claim your business on Google My Business, a free listing service. Doing this establishes your business’s presence on Google and helps it appear in search results, particularly Google Maps. It’ll also help your business appear in the ‘local pack’ section on the top of the first page of search results which is prime real estate.
Already have a Google business listing? Here are some optimization tips:
- Verify your listing
- Include detailed, accurate, and up-to-date information
- Add your logo, hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, products/services, and quality images
- Respond quickly and politely to customer reviews
- Create and add content with Google Posts
- Regularly check your listing
It’s crucial to incorporate relevant geo-targeted keywords on your website’s content so Google knows that your website is a relevant result for those keywords. Keep in mind, however, to only use one geo-target keyword per web page because if you throw a bunch in there, search engines won’t know which keyword the page should rank for in search results.
For example, if you have multiple locations, have a separate page for each business location rather than only having one page with multiple business locations.
When creating a geo-targeted page, make sure to incorporate the keyword in your title tags, meta description, headings, and body copy. However, avoid excessively using the keyword as it can be seen as “keyword stuffing” which can actually hurt SEO. Essentially, incorporate the keyword in a way that looks natural and won’t negatively affect the visitor’s experience.
More than half of all website traffic worldwide is mobile so having a website that doesn’t look or perform well on mobile will lower your page rankings in search results. Google is all about the user experience so if your website doesn’t deliver on mobile, it’ll be harder to rank on the first page for valuable keywords.
How to make your website mobile-friendly:
- Have a ‘responsive’ web design
- Reduce page load speed
- Improve readability
- Use images and copy wisely
- Add social media share buttons
- Create an intuitive design for a better user experience
According to BrightLocal, “82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, with 52% of 18-54-year-olds saying they ‘always’ read reviews.” Not only are reviews important for attracting local customers, but they’re also considered user-generated content which all boosts SEO.
Here are some tips and considerations for online reviews:
- Politely ask for a review after a purchase or service is completed
- Send a post-sale email or text asking customers to write a review (we recommend screening them via an internal survey so you don’t approach dissatisfied customers)
- Respond to existing reviews by thanking the reviewer and addressing any complaints
- If you’re receiving more neutral and negative reviews than positive, take it as an opportunity to see if there’s something you need to fix with your business.
An important ranking factor of SEO is backlinks which are links that point to your website from another website. Not only do backlinks drive traffic, but they also signal to search engines that other websites trust you. Backlink quality is also crucial as it indicates how trustworthy and reputable your website is which will help improve your rankings in search results.
How to get high-quality backlinks:
- Create great content that others will want to share and link to it
- Guest blog on reputable sites
- Connect and engage with local influencers
In addition to backlinks, what your website links to also matters – these are known as ‘outbound links.’ Make sure to only link to other websites that are credible and relevant to your page’s content.
Drive Business with Local SEO
Local search marketing is an effective SEO strategy for driving business both online and in-person. By optimizing these five ranking factors for local SEO, your business will have better positions in search results pages which will, in turn, increase customer traffic.
Call 407.682.2222 or contact us below for a free 30-minute local SEO strategy session!