Local SEO Solutions: The Top Tips and Practices Explained

3d rendering of industrial workspace showing local seo on computer screen. All screen graphics are made up.

About 97% of search engine users have searched for nearby businesses. Nearly 90% of these searches result in a call or visit to the business within 24 hours.

Search engine optimization (SEO) can help your website appear in front of your ideal customers. Local SEO solutions can help you reach nearby customers. With a local SEO strategy, you can boost traffic to your store and website.

As your website ranks higher on search engines like Google, more people will see your business. Then, you can boost brand awareness, recognition, trust, and credibility.

Want to stand out from the competition? Here are the 10 local SEO tips you need to succeed. With these tips, you can get ahead of the curve in 2021.

Read on to learn more about local SEO!

1. Update Your GMB Listing

First, it helps to understand a little more about why local SEO is important to your business. A few benefits of SEO include:

  • Increased brand awareness and visibility
  • More in-store foot traffic
  • Ease connecting with on-the-go customers
  • More targeted website traffic
  • More credibility within your industry
  • Increased brand trust
  • A boost in brand loyalty and customer retention
  • Increased conversions and ROI

Before you can start experiencing these benefits, you’ll need to update your Google My Business (GMB) listing.

Google prioritizes sharing information that it can verify and support. You can use your GMB listing to help Google recognize your business. Your GMB listing also gives customers relevant information about your company.

Your GMB listing will appear in a prominent space in the top right corner of a Google search page. Updating your listing will help you take up more space. This space provides customers with your:

  • Business name
  • Hours
  • Phone number
  • Location
  • Directions
  • Website
  • Customer reviews

By updating your GMB listing, you can ensure local customers have an easy means of finding your business. If your location or phone number is inaccurate, you could lose a customer instead.

Optimizing Your Listing

First, create and confirm your Google My Business page. Make sure the information you provide matches what appears on your website.

Updating your listing could help you appear in the local 3-pack. The 3-pack features three local businesses on Google Maps. If you appear in the pack, your business could stand out from others nearby.

Once you claim your business, add your company logo. Feature any additional information about your business, too. For example, what payment methods do you take?

You can post photos of your products, services, or storefront as well.

Ask your happy customers to post their reviews on your GMB listing, too. We’ll discuss reviews more a little later on.

By keeping your GMB listing up-to-date, you can strengthen your local SEO and keep customers informed.

2. Check Other Local Listings

Where else does your business appear online? It’s important to make sure every listing features the same information. Otherwise, you could risk confusing your customers.

Look for any business listings that are relevant to your niche and industry. Do you appear on any directories? These directories often rank high on Google search pages.

If someone’s searching for a “dentist office near me,” they can use the directory to explore different options. Consumers can find your company listed, then visit your website from the directory.

If your information is inaccurate, you’ll miss that lead!

Make sure to update your information if you ever change offices or phone numbers. Make sure there are no misspellings and avoid abbreviations.

3. Start Researching

Before you can start using the rest of these local SEO solutions, consider your target audience. The better you know your customers, the stronger your local SEO strategy can become. Otherwise, you’ll struggle to reach those customers.

With audience and keyword research, your local SEO strategy will have a better chance of expanding your reach and visibility.

Audience

About 80% of local mobile searches result in an in-store purchase. Before you can attract customers to your store, you need to know who they are.

What demographics do your customers fall under? What problems are they experiencing? How will your product or service solve that problem?

If you’re targeting a broad audience, use customer personas to break them into groups. Smaller groups will help you create a personalized strategy for each one. Then, you can create content that will appeal to each group.

For example, a 50-year-old male will likely have different priorities than a 22-year-old female in college.

You can create your customer personas based on:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Language
  • Education
  • Marital status
  • Household income
  • Buying behaviors
  • Interests
  • Pain points

In order to craft content with your customers in mind, you’ll need to understand their search intent. What do customers expect to find during a search?

Google’s machine learning abilities enable it to determine the user’s search intent. The intent usually falls under one of these categories:

  • Informational
  • Navigational
  • Transactional
  • Commercial

Understanding what your customers expect can help you appeal to the search intent. If your content matches their intent, your search ranking could rise.

Keywords

Now that you know more about your customers, you can determine what keywords they use in a search. How do they find your business online?

First, use Google Analytics to learn more about the people who are already using your website. What keyword did they use in Google to find you?

You can also gather keyword research by using tools like:

  • SEMRush
  • Ahrefs
  • Answer the Public
  • Google Trends
  • Google Keyword Planner

Look for a mix of long-tail and short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords use four or more words in a search. Look for location-based keywords, too.

Location-based keywords might mention a region, landmark, street, or zip code. You can use these keywords to appear for local searches.

Optimizing Content

When you start using these local SEO solutions, keep a single target keyword in mind for each post. Write with your target keyword in mind. You’ll want to avoid keyword stuffing, too.

Putting a target keyword in a post too often can hurt your ranking. Google might even penalize your website.

Instead, you’ll want to place your keyword in each post’s:

  • Page title
  • URL
  • Opening, closing, and body text
  • Meta descriptions
  • Image alt tags

To avoid keyword stuffing, match each target keyword with a few secondary keywords. You can sprinkle these keywords throughout your content.

Don’t forget to keep the customer’s search intent in mind!

This SEO for beginners guide can help you get started.

4. Gather Happy Reviews

About 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. In fact, the likelihood consumers will choose a product increased by 270% if it has five reviews. Gathering customer reviews can improve your online reputation.

They also work as social proof. Google will recognize that you’re a helpful resource in your industry. Your ranking could improve as a result.

There are a few ways you can start gathering five-star reviews.

First, feature a button on your website that directs visitors to your GMB listing. Use a strong call-to-action (CTA) and encourage them to post their reviews. You can even send an email reminding consumers to post their reviews.

Placing a button on your website or in your emails will make leaving reviews more convenient for the customer.

You can also ask customers directly by:

  • Phone
  • Text
  • In-person
  • On social media
  • On your invoices and receipts
  • A reviews page on your website
  • A thank you page on your website
  • An email
  • A popup on your website

Using a few different avenues can increase your chances of gaining a review.

You can save yourself time by using a review generation tool. These tools can gather reviews through SMS, landing pages, and email campaigns.

Otherwise, focus on improving your customer service. Customers will want to leave you a review if you impress them.

5. Get Mobile-Optimized

one-second delay in mobile load times can hurt your conversions by 20%. In fact, consumers who have a negative mobile experience are 60% less likely to make future purchases. It doesn’t matter how beautiful your campaigns are.

If you frustrate your mobile website visitors, you could lose them for good.

Check with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is already optimized. If it’s not, it’s time to update your website.

It’s important to make sure your website is fast and easy to use. Remember, a lag time can frustrate users. They’ll leave without clicking around.

Google also uses mobile-first indexing. It looks at the mobile version of your website to establish your ranking. If you’re not optimized, your competitors have the advantage.

UX Design Trends

Consider working with an experienced digital marketing agency that offers local SEO solutions. Ask if they’re up-to-date with the latest user experience (UX) web design trends. UX design focuses on creating an easy, convenient customer experience.

Updating your website with UX in mind can boost your local SEO ranking.

You can learn more about the principles that make a great website here.

6. Start Crafting Unique Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king.” For local SEO, you’ll need plenty of it!

Focus on creating unique, branded content on a schedule. Quality over quantity is important. However, it’s not enough to create one post every month.

You can create different types of content, including:

  • Blog posts and articles
  • eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Lists

Try different formats to determine what best appeals to your target audience. Don’t forget to have a single target keyword in mind for each post.

Make sure you’re writing for your customers, not for the search engine. You can become a local authority in your industry with your content. Try writing educational content or cover local industry news.

Create location-specific pages on your website, too. These pages will help you appeal to local customers. Include your:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Store hours
  • An image of the storefront
  • A unique store description
  • Parking information
  • Customer testimonials
  • Specials and promotions

Make sure your content is helpful and informative. Answer any questions your customers have. Let them know you’re there to help.

Try adding a Google Map to your website for each location page, too!

7. Stay Social

You can expand your reach by sharing your location-based content online.

For example, you can send out an email featuring your latest blog posts. You can also guest blog on someone else’s website. Guest blogging can benefit your link-building strategy.

Visitors on another website will see a link to your business. Google will notice you’re attracting more traffic from various resources. Your ranking could improve as a result.

Try posting your content on social media, too. As people start to engage with your content, comment back. Create a two-way conversation with your audience.

Make sure to link directly to your content to help visitors find it with ease.

8. Build Your Links

Link building is an important component of any local SEO strategy. Google uses link building when determining your ranking. You can add internal and external links to your posts to get started.

Internal links send readers to other pages on your site. External links refer to news, journals, studies, and statistics on other websites. Try linking to authorities within your industry.

Their Domain Authority can benefit yours.

As you generate more links to your website, Google will take notice. Your ranking will continue to rise, helping you reach more customers.

9. Structure the Data

As you use these local SEO solutions, don’t forget to structure your data. Google uses bots to crawl and index website content. Structuring your data will help Google understand your content.

For local SEO, you can use a Local Business structured data markup. The markup will tell Google your:

  • Website
  • Business name
  • Business hours
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Department pages
  • Review pages

Structuring your data will help people find relevant information on your website. Our search engine optimization services can help you get started.

10. Become Part of the Community

You can work with a digital marketing agency that offers local SEO strategies to improve your PR, too. Find ways to participate in your local community. For example, you can sponsor an event or volunteer for a nonprofit.

Then, talk about your experience in a blog post. You can also send out a press release to let locals know what you’re up to.

Getting on the Map: 10 Local SEO Solutions You Need to Succeed

Don’t leave customers struggling to find your business. Instead, consider these 10 local SEO solutions. With a strong local SEO strategy, you can boost brand awareness and expand your reach.

As your ranking improves, you’ll reach more customers to improve your ROI.

Need help with your local SEO strategy? That’s what we’re here for!

Contact us today to discuss our local SEO services.

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