Local SEO solutions will engage your customers and potential customers with your website. Optimizing your local SEO efforts gives you the opportunity to ensure your business appears in the top of Google search results, meaning your customers will more likely choose your business to patronize.
A variety of tactics go into a marketing strategy. Utilizing word-of-mouth referrals and placing ads in local media are great ways to get the ball rolling on announcing your business’ presence to the community. Digital marketing is becoming a bigger and bigger part of any small business’ marketing strategy. Small business local SEO is essential to ensuring a well-rounded marketing push.
What is Local SEO for Small Business?
Here’s an interesting statistic: Social Media Today found that 46 percent of all searches on Google are seeking local information; additionally, 97% of users searched online to find a local business. Those statistics are enormously important to demonstrate the necessity of digital marketing for local businesses, and local SEO solutions.
Think of it this way: if a small business is not ranking in local search results, it is not getting the attention it deserves. Local SEO is absolutely an essential tool to grow your business and stay competitive. If you are not doing it, odds are your competitors are.
Put in the Work: How to Improve Your Local Search Engine Rank
Let’s answer some of your most pressing questions about local SEO and how it works.
First of all, local SEO is defined as the moment someone searches for shops, restaurants, services, or any other local business located in a specific location. For example, someone may search “hair salon near me” or “best Italian restaurant near me”. When this type of search is conducted, Google understands that the person is seeking products or services near their current location. Your job as a business owner is to make sure that your website, social profiles, and other online mentions will get in front of the person’s query by placing in the top page ranks in Google’s results.
Local SEO for small businesses is essential because it will:
- Make you more noticeable online
- Provide potential customers with your location so they actually come visit your physical store
- Engage with targeted traffic, which will help you convert queries into sales
- Make your business more trustworthy to potential customers
Get in the Local Snack Pack
It would be great if actual snacks were involved. Alas, Google search results are organized into three categories:
- Sponsored. Sponsored results are first on Google’s search results list. Sponsored results are those marked with the label “Ad” or “Sponsored”. This means the top search result or results are paid for by the company itself and is usually part of its digital marketing or digital advertising budget.
- Snack Pack. This is second in Google’s search results list. The snack pack refers to the box that features the top three business listings that match the user’s search results. This is the sweet spot when it comes to unpaid search results! The snack pack is featured above organic search results, and gives the business great visibility to the searching potential customer. Even better – some searches will not have any sponsored ads, so the snack pack would actually come first in this category. Conduct some competitor research, which is typically included in a local SEO package from a local SEO marketing service company, to see if there are any paid ads in your business’ category.
- Organic Search Results. All the rest of the search results, located below sponsored ads and the snack pack, are all the result of organic search. While you may be on the first page of organic search results, it is tough to break through the coveted snack pack space.
Your Small Business Local SEO Strategy Goal
Your goals for local SEO strategies are two-fold.
- Rank on the first page of organic search results
- Be in the snack pack
This way, your local business will have the best boost of visibility and will improve your opportunity to reach your target audience. Following are six tactics to boost your local SEO goals.
Optimize Local SEO for Amazing Visibility
Following, you will find six of the most important things to do to boost your local SEO strategy.
1.Google Business Profile. This is one of the simplest and most important things you can do to boost your local SEO. Google My Business is a tool provided free of charge from Google! It allows you to create a business listing. Plus, it is actually one of the top things that Google looks at when its algorithm decides where to rank your local business. Will you get into the snack pack or organic search results? If everything else is the same and you have a Google My Business profile but your competitor does not, then you will be in the snack pack while they are in organic search results. Google My Business needs the following information from you:
- Your full business name. Double check for errors and be sure to be consistent across all platforms, including your website and social media profiles.
- Your business’ address
- The exact location of your shop on a map
- The category of your business
- Phone number and website
Once these sections are filled out, your business will need to be verified. This extra layer of protection ensures only the true owner will get the business listing. This verification process is conducted via a phone call or postcard. Once verified, do the following:
- Upload photos of your business, inside and outside
- Add in your business’ hours of operation
- Include additional categories that are relevant for your business. For example, you could be a coffee shop first, and a bakery second.
- Add in alternative phone numbers, if applicable.
You are not done yet! The best local SEO strategies will include optimizing your Google My Business profile. Share business updates, post new content, and share future events.
2.Optimize for Mobile Users. People with smartphones are using them to find businesses like yours when they are out and about. It is essential to make sure you have a robust mobile-friendly site to reach those potential customers!
- Create a mobile-friendly website to ensure easy navigation
- Add in click-to-call buttons so smartphone users just have to click one button to immediately place a call to your business
3.Ask for Reviews and Ratings. Believe it or not, customer reviews play a big role in your ranking in the snack pack or organic search results. Don’t be shy to ask customers for a review! Those who have a positive experience with your business will be happy to provide you with a simple review of their products and services from you. Not only will ratings and reviews boost your online visibility, but they also serve to boost your reputation. When you have great reviews, others will be more inclined to visit your location. Collect reviews from:
- Your website
- Your Google My Business profile
- Consumer directories
- Social media
4.Engage in Local Link Building. Link building is another essential tool to boost your Google search results. However, Google knows when the link you are linking to is good or bad. For example, you must make sure all links you utilize are from respectable, relevant, and local entities. For example, consider building links from:
- Licensing bureaus relevant to your business
- Trade associations that your business belongs to
- Local Chamber of Commerce or other community business organizations
- Sites with a .edu, as they carry a greater authority than .com websites
How can you go about collecting links? You will need to ask! Ask for a partnership, where you and another business agree to link to one another. Or, ask a respected local authority if you can write a guest post for their website, including a link back to your site.
5.Name, Address, Phone Number Consistency. Name, address, phone number is the meaning behind the acronym, NAP. Place this essential information on every reputable website you can think of, like:
- Google Maps
- Bing Maps
- Other local directories
The more mentions of your NAP across the internet, the more Google recognizes that that information is trustworthy and respectable. The most important thing: Be sure that all of your NAP information is exactly the same across all of the profiles!
6.Monitor Socials. Social listening is the act of finding out what your potential customers are saying about your business and/or industry on social media. Once you see what they are saying, make note of it and be sure to address it organically in your website content. For example, if you see that people are looking to get their hair done at a salon like yours, but also want manicures, consider expanding your services to meet the needs of your consumers.
Invest in Digital Marketing for Local Businesses
Excellent local marketing services are here to help. The experts at BizIQ will take the guesswork out of your day-to-day digital marketing strategies. Small business SEO companies, like BizIQ, offer SEO and digital marketing strategy packages designed with affordability and impact in mind. BizIQ’s team of digital marketing experts stays on top of all trends and can help small business owners achieve their marketing goals for 2023 and beyond.
BizIQ offers comprehensive SEO strategies to get your brand noticed. We pledge to be an affordable and effective option for small business owners. Let us focus on your digital marketing so you can focus on producing the best products and services.
Optimize Local SEO Efforts FAQ
Why should I use local SEO? If your small business is not ranking in local search results, it is not getting the attention it deserves and you’re leaving money on the table. You have to engage with local SEO strategies to become a more visible and profitable business.
What is SEO? Local SEO kicks in when someone searches for a local business located in a specific location. When you use keywords that are pertinent to your business industry and your local community, your potential customers will find you way more easily!
Why is Local SEO for Small Businesses Important? By engaging in local SEO strategies, your business will be more visible online. Potential customers will know your location so they can visit your shop. Plus, when you engage with targeted traffic, you can convert search engine questions to sales. Finally, local SEO makes your business more attractive and trustworthy to potential customers.