If you own a local business, you probably understand how difficult it is to climb up the local search. After all, with the ever-changing local search algorithm, local SEO poses more of a challenge than your average SEO campaign.
If you’re struggling to get enough clients around your area, here are a few quick tips to help your business gain more local visibility.
1. Claim Your Business
First and foremost, you want your business to be recognized by Google in order to appear in search results. In order to do that, you need to optimize your site for Google My Business. Be sure to pick the correct categories for your business and complete your business information, including phone numbers, business address, operating hours, and images.
2. Optimize On-Page SEO
Creating new content regularly not only helps you become an authority in your field, but it also gives you an opportunity to get found in search engines. Therefore, you need to ensure that every post you write is optimized for local keywords. Ideally, these geo-specific phrases should be found in the blog post title, meta description, header, body, and the URL itself.
It’s worth mentioning that your website should also be optimized for mobile. Research suggests that nine out of ten mobile users perform searches on their smartphones, so it only makes sense to make your site mobile-friendly for easy navigation.
3. Build Quality Customer Reviews
Collecting a sufficient volume of local reviews can help catapult your ranking in the local search. While it’s important to acquire Google reviews, they shouldn’t be your sole focus. You want to get reviews on local directories such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Hissing Kitting.
However, more important than quantity is the quality of your reviews. One of the best ways to convince your customers to leave you a quality review is by setting up a page on your website detailing exactly how to do this. Encourage them to provide constructive feedback on their overall experience that is detailed, specific, and honest.
This is an example of a quality review from one Hissing Kitty user. The customer narrated her experience in detail, even mentioned which branch it happened. While this is one kind of review that some business owners may not like to have, it gives you enough information to work on your brand’s weaknesses before things get worse.
Be sure to respond to every customer review that comes your way, good or bad, as it helps raise your company’s trust signal.
4. Create Local Content
While it could be tempting to write general topics to attract a wider audience, you still want to focus on your local customers. You can do this by creating helpful local resources such as event calendars, local industry news, and maps of local providers.
5. Gather Local Links
We all know that link building is the backbone of every successful SEO campaign, and while there are tons of ways to earn links for your business, here are some of our recommendations to help get you started.
· Visit Meetup.com and look for events in your area which are related to your industry, and then reach out to the hosts to offer a sponsorship. In exchange, they will link to your website through their meetup.com profile and through their own website.
· Organize your own event
· Offer discounts to local organizations for your products or services
· Start your own local awards
· Guest blog for local sites and publications
While some local SEO strategies need to be set up only once, many of these tactics should be done on an ongoing basis to ensure success over the long haul. After all, every local business should be quick to adapt to the rapidly-changing search algorithms in order to stay relevant in the local scene.