As everyone knows, search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for ranking highly in search results and getting more traffic to your website. However, not all SEO is created equally. Local SEO can have more of an impact on your business, particularly if you own a storefront that relies on foot traffic (i.e., a retailer or restaurant).
That said, while local SEO is crucial for success, not everyone knows how to take advantage of this kind of service. So, with that in mind, let’s dive deeper into the world of local SEO and discuss five tips to maximize your results.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website and landing pages for a specific location, such as a city. This way, your brand is more likely to pop up when users search for businesses like yours within that geographical area.
In this case, local SEO works by cross-referencing the relevancy to a user’s search query (i.e., best bookstores near me) and the proximity of your storefront to their current location. As a rule, the closer you are, the higher you’ll rank in search results.
Benefits of Using Local SEO
If you’ve been trying to build organic SEO traffic to your website, you know that it can take a while to see substantial results, even if you optimize every piece of your site. Fortunately, local SEO works differently than regular search results, so you can rank higher and get more traffic (both online and in-person) without having to spend extra money on paid advertising.
Again, your proximity to the user’s current location can supersede other factors that may push you down the rankings with a regular search. For example, you could theoretically be in the top spot in a local search without having a website or much of an online presence.
So, if your business depends on customers finding you nearby, investing in local SEO can help drive more traffic to your office or storefront, thereby increasing your bottom line and strengthening your revenue stream.
5 Ways to Maximize Your Local SEO Campaign
Fortunately, ranking highly in a local search is pretty easy when you focus on the basics. However, in addition to the elements we’ll share here, it’s also important to provide valuable information to your site visitors. The more engaging your content, the more likely that Google and other search engines will rank you above other similar businesses within the same area.
That said, here are five ways to maximize your local SEO marketing:
Manage Your Google My Business Listing
Google offers a free service called Google My Business (GMB). One of the most important things you can do is claim your listing as quickly as possible. This listing is valuable for local SEO because it contains tons of information, such as:
- Business Name
- Hours of Operation
- Products or Services Offered
- Reviews From Customers
- Phone Number/Email Address
- Photos of Your Business
Since each element can help spur engagement with your audience, you need to ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date. Another reason to claim your listing as soon as possible is to prevent someone else from claiming your business. If that happens, unscrupulous individuals may charge you to release your listing by holding it hostage.
Best of all, since Google itself manages this listing, the information here will directly affect your ranking in local searches. Also, if you have incorrect details on another listing site (i.e., the yellow pages), Google may pay attention to your GMB listing first to verify what’s true and what isn’t.
Focus on Relevant On-Page Content
If you know a little about SEO, you may have heard of “off-page” and “on-page” content. While off-page optimization is crucial for local SEO, you can’t forget about relevant on-page content too. For this kind of SEO, you need to focus on location-specific content, so make sure to incorporate city names and other location data.
If you have multiple storefronts or offices, separating these places with unique pages or websites is important. That way, Google won’t think they’re duplicates and ding your ranking for the “oversight.”
Check Out Listing and Review Sites
One of the best ways to boost your profile with local SEO is to get listed on third-party sites like Yellow Pages, Yelp, and more. Best of all, you can reach out to these sites and provide updated information, including contact details and a website link. Since these listing sites need accurate information to be valuable to their visitors, they should be happy to include any details you provide.
Off-page SEO like this is valuable because it creates a link network to your website. The more sites that point to your landing pages, the higher your ranking and the more authoritative your brand looks to Google.
Review sites are also valuable, especially if they’re industry-specific or can boost your brand’s profile. As we’ll discuss in the next section, gathering reviews can be extremely helpful in boosting your local SEO strategy.
Solicit Reviews From Customers
First things first – you can’t solicit positive reviews from your customers. It’s illegal to incentivize customers to leave high-quality reviews, as per the FCC. However, there’s nothing wrong with asking your clients to review your company. When asking for reviews, utilize these tips:
- Ask Everyone – Don’t just send a review link to customers you know love your brand. Ask everyone so you can get a good mixture of realistic reviews. Even if someone has a bad experience, you could use it as an opportunity to show how well you handled the situation.
- Focus on a Couple of Review Sites – Rather than try to solicit reviews for every site you know about, focus your attention on a couple of them, such as Google Reviews or Yelp. This way, you can boost your profile on these high-traffic sites, giving you better traction overall.
- Make it Easy – If possible, provide a link for customers to leave a review. This way, they don’t have to go through the legwork of finding the site and locating your business. The more streamlined the process, the more likely you can get reviews from more people.
Put Your NAP on Each Page
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. These three pieces of information are crucial for telling Google that your web pages are related to the same business location. Adding these details to every page on your website can boost your local SEO because Google knows how to index each page correctly.
Again, if you have multiple locations, it’s imperative to have unique pages or sites for each one. If you list multiple addresses and phone numbers on a single page, web crawlers may get confused and not index the page correctly.
Overall, every detail counts for local SEO, no matter how small it may seem.
Bonus: Work With a Professional Local SEO Service
While you can take care of these tips yourself, it’s often best to outsource the work to a professional SEO provider like BizIQ. We can handle the details for you, so you can worry more about running your business and serving your customers. Plus, we have years of experience and insight that we can use to your advantage. Finally, with competitive pricing plans, you can maximize your return with a relatively minimal investment.
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Utilizing Local SEO Services
While the five tips we outlined are crucial for success, you must also ensure you’re not sabotaging your local SEO strategy. Here are five common mistakes that could undermine the entire process.
When checking out listing sites, make sure to pay attention to duplicate listings. These can happen for various reasons, but they can tank your rankings pretty fast if they’re not removed. If you spot a duplicate, make sure to reach out to the site owner immediately so they can correct the oversight. Also, if the duplicate occurs because you have multiple locations, you can provide updated details so the listing site can still provide accurate information.
Poor Site Content
While you don’t technically need a website to rank in local searches, having one can help boost your profile and drive traffic to your store. However, if someone clicks on a site link through Google or a listing site, you want them to be impressed with what they find. If you only have a main page with some limited information, it can actively hurt your brand by making you seem unprofessional.
Overall, it makes sense to invest in high-quality content that reinforces the idea that customers should visit your storefront or office.
Local SEO largely occurs on mobile devices, so you need to make sure your site is as mobile-friendly as possible. Not only can a mobile-optimized site make it easier for customers to discover your brand, but Google actively penalizes companies that don’t optimize for smaller screens.
Unresolved Negative Reviews
While you can’t avoid negative reviews, you can control how you respond to them. Actively reaching out to irate customers can benefit you in a couple of ways. First, you may be able to get the review taken off the listing or review website, boosting your overall ranking. Second, a proactive approach shows potential customers that you care about providing great service. So, even a terrible review can work in your favor.
Generic, Non-Localized Keywords
Local SEO is all about ranking for a specific location, so you must incorporate that into your keyword research. For example, it doesn’t make sense to try and rank for “best toy store” if you’re only located in one city. While you might need generic SEO to sell to customers online, you also have to provide location-specific data for those people who want to visit your storefront. So, something like “best toy store in Atlanta” is better and will show Google how relevant your site is for those local searches.
Get Better Local SEO With BizIQ
Now that you know the value of targeted local SEO, we’d love to help your business thrive! We’ve worked with countless brands of all sizes to maximize their position in local searches, and we want to do the same for you. Our talented team can help boost your online and in-store traffic faster than you might think. So, contact us today and see how we can improve your bottom line.
FAQs About Local SEO
Do Reviews Matter for Local SEO?
Yes, reviews do matter for local SEO. Google and other search engines pay attention to the number of reviews a business has and ranks them accordingly. While reviews aren’t necessarily more valuable than other SEO elements, they are essential for getting more customers to visit your storefront.
Do I Have to Change My NAP Everywhere?
Yes, if you update any information related to your business (including details like hours of operation), you must change it everywhere. Not only can it be confusing for customers to see multiple addresses or phone numbers, but Google might ding your site as well.
How Long to See Results From Local SEO?
On average, you can see tangible results within about four to six weeks. In most cases, simply updating the basics can be enough to help people find your business in local searches. However, you should be active on your GMB page and review sites so you can build a stronger online presence.
Let BizIQ Help You Generate the Best Results From Local SEO
Local SEO can make or break your business, so you need to make sure you’re getting the most traffic for your investment. BizIQ is the best option for your brand, no matter your size or location. Whether you’re just starting or want to enhance your current branding, BizIQ has the tools and experience necessary to elevate your company to the next level! Contact us today to find out more.