Local search engine optimization is vital for businesses with brick-and-mortar offices. About 46% of online searches involve local information. Optimizing the business for local searches makes it easier to reach customers nearby. Up to 72% of local searches result in visiting the company and making a purchase. Here’s a guide to help you boost local SEO and attract more leads for your business:
Optimize Google Business Profile
The Google Business Profile is a free service from Google. It allows business owners to create a business profile and add relevant information. You can include the business name, contact information, address, products/service descriptions, logos, finished work photos, and more. The content can feature optimized keywords to help you rank highly for relevant searches.
Google displays business profiles as part of the SERPs(search engine results page), and the section appears at the top of the results. Optimizing your business profile increases the chances of being featured in the short-list of relevant businesses on the search result pages. Ensure you keep track of the business profile performance and update the information to leverage current trends and highly-performing keywords.
Research Local Keywords and Searches
Keywords play the most crucial role in search engine optimization, especially when targeting local markets. Local keywords are search phrases featuring a location keyword, like country, state, county, or local name. Other keywords don’t contain an actual place but use words such as “near me,” “nearby,” and “close by.” Google interprets such keywords as carrying location targets.
Your business will rank highly in SERPs for local searches featuring your business keyword. It’s important to research local customer browsing patterns, most-visited websites, and search keywords and language. Understanding how your potential clients find information online will make it easier to incorporate relevant keywords across each platform. Add a location-related phrase so Google can recognize the site as targeting local users.
Create Content for Audience Problems
Google and other modern search engines continue to advance search algorithms to identify sites designed for users, not machines. All businesses should write content to provide solutions for specific issues and subjects. To attract a local audience, you should write high-quality content answering their most pressing questions. Providing solutions and answers sets you apart as an expert in the field and can attract those looking to learn more before engaging.
You can write content promoting local industry events, trending topics, statistics, educational resources, and more. Such material can be featured in the blog section, exploring relevant issues of local interest. Ensure all content features optimized keywords and is structured to answer specific questions or offer help to the reader. You can also feature links to other resources or business videos and downloadable material for further reading.
Build Relevant Quality Links
Link structure is vital for on-page navigation and user experience. Inbound links from other authority websites also play a crucial role in SEO. You need to build an SEO-friendly link structure featuring quality internal and external links. Google and other engines value inbound links because they indicate authority and appreciation for your content/website. Think of Google like a popularity contest. The more that other sites link to you, the more value you have in the eyes of Google.
Link building is challenging, and the wrong links can hurt your SEO. Businesses can start with personal networks like the Chamber of Commerce, licensing bureaus, resellers and vendors, trade associations, and manufacturers. You can also sponsor community events and webinars. Active participation in the community allows you to build new relationships and networks, translating to quality inbound links and better local SEO.
Optimize Online Citations & Directories
Directories provide citations and mentions of your business. Modern online guides offer opportunities to include more information about your locations, addresses, products, and services. Great examples include Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Yellow Pages, BBB (Better Business Bureau), and Whitepages. You can claim citations in online directories and optimize the business descriptions with local keywords.
Many people use online directories to find business contacts. Search engines like Google also value such citations, so claiming your mentions across major directories can positively impact your SEO. Research popular guides that locals use and ensure your business is listed and properly cited. Such citations are essential for local SEO because they create consistent information about your business, establishing trust with Google and other search engines.
Perform a Local SEO Audit
An audit is probably the first thing you should perform when looking to boost local visibility. SEO audits examine various aspects encapsulating the optimization process. An audit involves reviewing keywords, links, content, website features, user experience, website speed, and more. The goal is to establish current SEO metrics and their performance and identify how to improve your ranking.
You can complete various audits, including Google business profile audit, search console audit, on-page SEO audit, citation audit, and competitor analysis. Audits can reveal areas of improvement and what needs changing. You can also evaluate website performance to determine if your efforts yield the desired outcome. Your SEO team will use audit results to determine the next course of action for better results.
In order to succeed with Local SEO, you should understand Google’s E.A.T. methodology. Everything we have talked about fits into this methodology. Google released this information to help guide local businesses to succeed in search. Below I’ll review what Google wants to see in local businesses online.
We talked about creating content that would answer questions or provide more information about what your clients are looking for. For example, if you were looking for a pest control company that uses pet-safe products you might search for ‘pet safe pest control’ which google would lead to your site that talks about the pet safe options available.
When we talked about link building and how Google is like a popularity contest, this is creating authority. Not all links are the same. Avoid PBN(private blog networks) as Google constantly looks for these sites to devalue.
Trust is about making sure your site is safe for your visitors. Ensure all code is updated and use Secure Certs to protect your visitors. Also, make sure your data is consistent across local listing sites.
Reputable Local SEO Services
Search engine optimization is not complex. Google wants to provide its users with a good experience. When websites provide a good experience, Google will reward those sites with higher rankings. Working with a reputable company specializing in geo-targeted SEO can help you navigate the process for better ranking, traffic, and customers.
As an award-winning SEO agency, we focus on client needs to provide highly-effective SEO services. Our team has over 10+ years of experience in SEO and business marketing, so we know what works. So whether you’re looking to optimize your business profile or overhaul a website to target local markets, we are ready to help
You can position your website in a visible and coveted spot on a search engine results page when you partner with an experienced SEO company. This company should be providing reports, answering your questions, and getting a lot of work done – but do you know what an SEO company actually does ?
The entire process can be rather involved, but it basically comes down to a lot of research and creating an informative and well-structured site that provides value.
SEO is an investment, and it’s a strategy that takes time. You need to know what your SEO agency is doing to ensure that your customers can always find your site.
Remember: even if the channel you’re considering is all the rage right now, it might not fit your brand. Always make informed decisions that directly relate to your company. Otherwise, your message won’t be delivered to its intended audience and you’ll have wasted time, effort and money.
What is SEO?
The end goal for search engines is to provide good results for users, so the search engines use algorithms to review sites to find the best possible match for a given search. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of making a website appeal to search engines.
High-quality content and optimized backend elements of a site help increase the value of that site to the search engines and your potential users. When a search engine identifies a site that provides helpful information, it is more likely to feature it on the results page for a relevant search term.
Now that we’ve covered the basic definitions of what we’re trying to achieve, let’s get into what we do to make it happen.
Monitoring the Algorithm
Algorithms are a big part of SEO, but the thing is, not a lot is known about them. Search engines like Google keep the details under wraps and rarely provide insight into the inner workings. Experienced SEO companies research how search engines respond to different sites to better understand how the algorithms work.
The more we learn about algorithm behavior, the more effectively we can improve a site and make sure it gets included on a results page. It means staying up-to-date with industry standards and a lot of testing and revamping to make sure everything is running optimally.
Before an SEO company can outline a strategy to help your site rank, it needs to understand your current status and what is happening within your industry. Some of the questions an SEO will want to answer include:
- How does your site currently perform?
- What are the relevant keywords for your industry and your business?
- Does your site have unique title tags and meta descriptions? Does your site have schema markup ?
- Is your site user-friendly?
- What sites are you linking to, and what sites link back to yours?
After learning all about your site, we look at the competition. We need to know what your competitors are doing right and what they are forgetting to do because that could open up opportunities for your site to shine. There are also certain expectations and standards within an industry, and it’s essential to ensure your site is employing the best practices.
After all the research has been done, your SEO agency will create a custom strategy to help your site rank. This approach will address areas that need improvement to create a well-rounded, effective and welcoming website that appeals to users (and search engines). A strategy will likely be a multifaceted approach and could include:
Keywords are perhaps the most well-known aspect of SEO, and for a good reason – they matter. Keywords align with the search terms people are likely to use, and they clue in search engines to the gist of the content on a page.
An SEO company will explore all the possible keywords that are relevant to your products or services and determine how difficult they will be to rank for. It may be worth it to go after those difficult words if they prove to be the most lucrative.
Quality content pulls users into a site by providing helpful information about your products or services and beneficial and relevant tips. Good content helps generate sales by turning users into customers and shows search engines that your site has something of real value to offer.
Your SEO firm should optimize your website content and provide a steady stream of new content that is relevant to your products.
Your site needs to deliver a good experience on any device, but most traffic is mobile. Your SEO company will make sure that your site can accommodate mobile users and ensure they have a positive experience.
Even the most patient person will not stick around if a website takes a long time to load. A laggy site or a slow load time will push users away, and search engines will take notice. Experienced SEOs know how to find the fixes that will speed up your site and make it load fast enough to keep your clients on the site.
Metadata is basically data about data. This information is provided on the backend of websites, and it helps search engines understand what is happening on a given site. Metadata helps search engines find the appropriate sites based on a search query, so your strategists will use this opportunity to make your set more attractive to users and search engines.
After the strategy is in place and your site has been optimized, it is time to hurry up and wait… sort of.
It can take months to see results from an SEO strategy, but that doesn’t mean your company isn’t doing anything during this time. The entire process is ongoing. Data will be compiled as search engines and users interact with your site, and there is still plenty of work to be done after that first wave of data comes in.
“Clickthrough rates” and “session duration” provide more insight into how users interact with your site, and this is an opportunity to fine-tune everything further to better connect with your audience.
There is always room to grow and improve, and there is always a competitor looking to overtake your spot. Adjusting and keeping up with your SEO strategy is essential.
What’s more, SEO is always changing. Some aspects stay relatively consistent, but search engines routinely update their algorithms. Sometimes updates can be significant and drastically change the course of the internet, but more often than not, the changes are minor. These updates are intended to help improve the process to deliver better results, and updates can impact how a search engine reacts to a site.
An experienced SEO company stays current with updates and is ready to adjust your strategy accordingly
Focus on What You Know
Creating, implementing, and monitoring an SEO strategy is time-consuming, especially if you don’t have experience with this type of work. An SEO agency can handle all of this, so you can focus on what you do best while taking care of the new leads coming into your optimized site.
We’re here to help you find out if we’re the right fit to be your SEO company.