Local SEO is the SEO for small businesses, also referred to as Local Search Marketing. According to HubSpot, nearly half of all Google searches are local. That means most of the people make a Google search before getting in touch with local businesses in their neighborhood.
What’s more important is that a whopping 72% of the consumers visit stores right after searching. After seeing these numbers, I would like to go ahead and make a statement: local search is a great source to generate income for small businesses! It’s clear that unlikely international companies, the digital marketing funnel is way too shorter in SMEs.
The local search usually includes a service or a product and a location. Below are some local search term examples:
- Dry cleaning east Hartford
- East Hartford Walmart closing time
- Pilates west Hartford reviews
- Italian pizzeria near me
When you initiate such searches, Google returns with Local SEO 3-pack. This includes map & listing of the top three businesses that Google pulls from it’s Google My Business database. If you are searching for hotels or flights, Google uses a different database and often shows you all the best prices that are available.
Google undoubtedly dominates the local search market, but still, we also have to encounter lists like Yelp, Bing, and Apple Maps.
5 Essential Tips to Improve Local SEO
Here is the good news; you don’t necessarily need expert help to cover the local seo essentials. I’m going to name five essentials, and you can implement them yourself. There are many SEO companies for small business, and their starting point wouldn’t be so different anyway. Nevertheless, depending on the competition level, your local SEO action plan can get overwhelming, but for our purposes, we stick to basics.
1- Build a Top-Notch Website for Your Local Business
According to Moz, the best strategy to nail in the local SEO is to have a high performing website that is perfectly SEO optimized. I agree with that! Once your site is SEO optimized, you can start adding the local SEO, almost like an additional layer to your SEO efforts.
So before starting with your local SEO, make sure that your site has a considerable amount of domain authority. For that, you should be actively looking for link-building opportunities. Next, you should take care of your site’s performance issues. If your pages load slower than your competitors, no way, you are outranking them in local search results.
2- Claim & Manage your Google My Business Account Also Yelp & Bing
According to Ahrefs, 56% of the local businesses haven’t claimed their business in Google My Business listings. If that’s the case for Google, god knows how many percent of the small companies haven’t declared their yelp or bing profiles. It means only having your business accounts set up correctly gives your business quite an edge!
Check the links below to learn how to claim or set up these accounts:
3- Be Consistent with your Name, Address, Phone Number, Website (NAP+W)
Believe it or not, NAP+W citations are one of the most crucial local SEO ranking factors. NAP+W refers to name, address, phone, and website. Google and other platforms compare your NAP in your profile with the ones in other sites. That’s a reliable way of confirming whether you provided correct information or not. Thus, getting your NAP+W info cited in reputable sites consistently improve your local SEO rankings big time.
4- Proactively Ask for Honest Customer Reviews
The total number of reviews reflects the popularity of your local business, whereas your rates indicate the happiness level of your customers. Moreover, local reviews are a huge ranking factor in local seo. That’s why you should proactively ask your customers to review your business in online listings.
Reminder: this is not the best place to take a shortcut and get involved in review buying. Because both Google algorithms and potential buyers can detect those, and you can seriously hurt your business. An honest 4.1 is far better than a 4.9 when it comes to establishing a trusted brand.
Here is a Forbes article to back this up:
5- Create Unique Content to Showcase Your Business
The last essential part of local SEO is the content creation of any kind. For small businesses, a rock-solid strategy is to choose one channel that suits your company and nail it. A perfect example of this is Nusret, the salt BAE. This guy nailed Instagram with consistent video content creation, and his restaurants became a million-dollar chain.
If you are good at writing, you can start a blog; if you are a talker, you can kick-off a podcast channel. Into photography or videos? You could make a content plan for IG or YouTube. If your persona is instead the older generation, you can make use of Facebook. As long as you create better content than your local competitors and you got consistency, you can easily climb on top of the local search results.
Last Words: Local SEO Essentials
We have now covered the essentials of local SEO, and if you are just starting out, this is going to be an excellent guide for your small business. Nonetheless, to succeed in a highly competitive local search marketing environment, I recommend you to take a step further and apply advanced SEO techniques. For that, it’s best to work with a local SEO company for small businesses. Below is a great article to convince you: