We are all plagued by one common and inescapable stumbling block: rivals. It's a dog-eat-dog world, and being the biggest dog in town is critical for a local business. It will be difficult to compete with organizations that have auto-generated local listings or enterprises that have been in the local SEO game for years.
Google's ever-changing list of ranking criteria is another difficulty that many local businesses must deal with. With algorithm modifications like the Possum update, which allowed firms outside of city limits to compete for local areas provided they service that area, Google can completely derail your plan for small businesses wanting to show up in local business search.
You'll have a good understanding of how to optimize your business to reach potential clients that use local business searches to find local business and to pick things or services to purchase by the end of this course.
What Exactly is Local Business Searches?
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Local business searches are the discipline for improving search engine visibility for local businesses, especially those with a physical presence. Businesses can enhance organic traffic from local searches conducted by customers in nearby areas by adopting local SEO best practices.
Local search results information is gathered using signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations by search engines in order to offer the most relevant local search results to the user. Businesses can utilize local SEO to position their products in front of local customers.
Local SEO Tips
You must be present in these locations if you want to show them in local business search results. So, how to go about it?
1. Make Your Website Google My Business-friendly
Because Google prefers to distribute content that it can support and verify, Google My Business has become the pinnacle of local searches; Google My Business is their tool for helping your business satisfy Google's needs.
To make sure your Google My Business page is optimized, do the following:
- Create and verify a GMB page
- Use Google Posts within your account
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews online
- Respond authentically to reviews, showing the location
If Google can verify that your business is legitimate, the search engine may provide you with a coveted sidebar position in Google’s local business searches.
This isn't merely for the sake of SEO. You may make it easier for potential customers to locate you by having reviews and keeping your contact information and operation hours up to date. Because of the upheaval in consumer buying behavior and business operations expected in 2020, consumers need to find updated information now more than ever.
2. Participate in Social Media Discussions
Google now places a greater emphasis on material posted on social media than ever before. Now that you've created a great Google My Business page, post it on social media to bring social and SEO closer together.
3. Make Sure Your Contact Details are Consistent
You must make it simple for people and search engines to find you in local business searches. To accomplish this, set up your NAP (name, address, and phone number) (with area code). You should include this on your site as crawlable HTML text.
Avoid making the usual mistake of merely placing the NAP within a picture; images, unlike HTML text, cannot be indexed by search engines. The most typical place for the NAP is in the site's footer or header.
4. Improve the Quality of Web Directories and Citations
These four map data aggregators supply a substantial amount of map data for Apple, Yelp, Bing, Google, Trip Advisor, and other US companies.
Consistency is the key. Ensure that your citations are constant and full throughout these four data aggregators by using Express Update, Neustar Localeze, and Foursquare. Misspellings, abbreviations, a lack of a suite number, or an incorrect phone number can all be troublesome.
If Google can't figure out which information about your company is correct, it may not show up in local business searches at all. Also, delete any duplicate local search results you come across. You'll get extra points if you highlight your community's Chamber of Commerce membership, which will cause an external inbound link.
5. Conduct a Local Search Engine Optimization Audit
It's tempting to put your foot on the brake once you've mastered the essentials. Search engine optimization is an ongoing and intuitive procedure. Rather than stopping there or simply making changes and seeing what sticks, a comprehensive audit of your website is recommended to assess where it stands and what needs to be improved to accomplish your goals.
The following items may be included in a local business searches audit:
• Google My Business Audit - How does your Google My Business show up in the SERPs? Is all the information correct?
• Google Search Console Audit - Can Google crawl your site? Is there anything wrong with it that would make indexing difficult?
• On-Page SEO Audit - Does your website include all the on-page SEO features that aid in the ranking?
• Audit Your Citations - Are all of your citations in the leading business directories correct?
• Competitor Analysis - How does your website compare to that of your competitors? Are there any gaps in your home that need to be filled? How do you compare in terms of inbound links, content, design, and positioning?
• Website Audit - Is your website doing well?
6. Improve the Structure of Your Internal Linking
Although external links to your site are desirable, altering your internal linking structure will also help you improve your SEO rankings.
What is the significance of internal linking? It aids in the organization of material and the structure of a website, as well as the distribution of page authority and ranking power over multiple pages.
7. Optimize URLs, Title Tags, Headers, Meta Descriptions, and Contents
Each new blog post is a new indexed page for your site, a new page on which to target a geographic search phrase, and a new opportunity to be found in local business searches pages.
When you write a piece of content, use high-volume keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and body to optimize it for search engines. Consider showcasing customer success stories and case studies if you're having problems coming up with geo-targeted content.
8. Create Pages for Each Place on Your Website
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Create location pages if you have many physical locations. Readers will find your name, address, phone number, store hours, unique business descriptions, parking/transit information, promotions, and customer comments on your location pages.
It's also critical that you don't repeat material across multiple location pages. For single-location businesses, create a geographically descriptive About Us page. If you include a Google Map on your website's location page, you'll gain a lot of bonus points.
9. Create Information That is Specific to Your Area
Google is getting smarter, which implies content providers may now write for people rather than search algorithms. While writing about general themes will appeal to a broad audience, it's often more vital to narrow your emphasis and write about local or industry news to appeal to a specific audience.
Promote local industry meetings, news, employees, and other instructional content on your blog to establish yourself as the local authority for your sector. Consider top-of-funnel content that extends beyond what your company sells.
If you're a local security company, for example, and you're seeking to recruit new businesses to the region, build a helpful resource to assist them to get acquainted with your community. A map of local service providers and a city-wide events calendar may be useful to your persona and give highly relevant on-page local signals.
10. Make Certain That Your Website is Mobile-friendly
Local business searches and mobile searches are inextricably linked (61% of all Google searches are performed on mobile). People will use your site in a mobile context to check up reviews, get directions to your location, and discover contact information. In fact, since 2017, smartphone searches for "near me" have surged by 250 percent.
Make your site mobile-friendly to make it easier for your prospects and clients. Strikingly gives a great user experience with modern and mobile responsive website models from the premier responsive website maker.
11. Obtain Relevant and Authoritative Inbound Links
Inbound links are a fantastic way to improve your local business searches because each one shows Google you're a legitimate business, and they may also help you build your domain authority. Here are several strategies for obtaining inbound links:
- Partnerships or Sponsorships
- Guest Blog Posting
Begin with your personal network, which could include the Chamber of Commerce, BIDs, licensing bureaus, trade groups, resellers, vendors, and/or manufacturers, as well as other affiliates.
Consider sponsoring a webinar or meet-up, hosting a community event, advocating a local cause you care about, and cultivating contacts with influential people. Also, get in the habit of reaching out to partners to see if they'd like to include you in their partner directory.
As a guest blogger, you may get links. Talk to and about other people in your business and serve as a resource for the community. If you take part actively in community discussions, you'll notice an increase in inbound links, social media growth, and media coverage.
12. Get Involved in Your Community
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The more you get involved in your community, the more digital publicity you'll get. You can generate press, brand awareness, and inbound links by collaborating on a campaign with a nonprofit, hosting a volunteer day at your company, sponsoring an event, or presenting as an expert on your subject in the local media.
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Strikingly is a website builder that gives small business owners, professionals, skilled artists, and organizations the best tools and capabilities for running their own websites. After all, Strikingly lets you create a website for free. You can choose the design for an online shop, café website, catering business, online laundry shop, or even a little grocery store that accepts cashless payments and delivery orders using our easy-to-edit templates. When you have what it takes, it's really simple to assist.
Investing in a local SEO marketing strategy can help your local business search to generate meaningful leads. Local business searches aren't like the other SEO fads; it's here to stay, and it'll just get more significant as technology advances. Local business search marketing is still in its early stages, therefore firms that take advantage of local SEO prospects will be one step ahead of the competition and benefit from lucrative lead generating.