Start to build your local SEO strategy with our six easy steps. Our previous blog was all about local directory listings, where we learned that the main local listing platform is Google My Business (GMB). However, just having a GMB listing isn’t enough, you need to be active on more local directory listings and optimise your website to work with them. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point, don’t worry – we have put together our top six tips for building your local SEO this year.
Building your local SEO strategy is important and will improve your business over time, so it is worth your effort. A study conducted in the US last year by The Manifest found that only 30% of small businesses had invested in an SEO strategy. As you would have heard numerous times from me and other digital marketers, SEO is absolutely essential to your business in order to be found and rank in Google searches – and therefore is essential to the long-term success of your business as a whole.
A very valid saying when it comes to SEO is “you need to be in it to win it”, and this is especially true for local SEO. Competition for local search results has become brutal, so you need to be at the top of your game. To get started, work through these actions and find yourself well on the way to better local rankings.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the action of optimising your website to increase traffic, leads and overall brand awareness for people searching locally.
How does local SEO work?
The basis for successful local SEO is to include keywords associated with your relevant industry or products into your business website content. These keywords then flag your website in search listings when potential customers type them into a search engine.
Local SEO tips to help increase your local searchability
There are many factors when it comes to search engines deciding rankings, however, you can utilise the power of local SEO to help you rank higher and give your website greater credibility.
1. Create a Google My Business account
If you follow our blogs but have not set up your GMB listing yet – you’d better get cracking! We have harped on about this in a few different blogs, but for good reason. GMB is the most effective way to rank higher on Google Maps and local search results. It really pays to optimise your listing and business profile to gain visibility. We actually consider this more important than email marketing and social media advertising!
To optimise your Google My Business listing, use local keywords in content with strong backlinks to your site. Also, be sure to list your business on other local directory listings (see our previous blog on local listings). Ensure you add information like phone number, business location address, working information, and a link to your website and other business profiles. These added details will elevate your local business listing and make it more effective.
2. Optimise for voice search
Phone assistants and home speakers are becoming more and more popular as smart home device uptake increases. With this in mind, it is good practice to optimise your local SEO to handle how people may ask questions. This means adjusting some of your keywords in your content to suit a more conversational tone. Think about how people would speak to ask about your products or services.
For example, if I wanted to find a coffee shop to take a client to, I would ask my Google Assistant for “recommendations on a coffee shop near me that is good for a business meeting with free WIFI”. A business optimised for this request would mention they are a coffee shop, in (location) that offers free WIFI and is great for business meetings. Boom – optimised for voice search!
3. Regular reviews from clients and customers
Having customers write reviews for your business and products is one of the best ways to optimise your local listings and boost local SEO. It also builds a level of trust that helps to draw new customers in. According to research conducted by Bright Local in 2019, a whopping 91% of people trust online customer reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and 95% of customers read reviews before making a purchase!
We have covered reviews in previous blogs, so below are some links to help you get more reviews for your business.
4. Improve your social media presence
Even though you might be posting daily, quantity has nothing to do with ranking. Since algorithm updates back in 2019, social media favours quality over quantity much more than in the past. Read more about posting quality content on your social media in our blog post here.
Social media plays an essential role in SEO which is often overlooked. Most people understand the importance of social media but may not have the knowledge or understanding of how to leverage the platforms for business success. Remember that almost everyone with a smart device has at least one social media platform they visit regularly, so it makes sense that socials are a great way to reach a wide clientele.
When a customer searches for a local service, the social media of this business, brand or service will also show on the SRP (Search Results Page). Your social media will give visitors a quick insight into your business as they scroll through your content, which can help in their decision to buy from you.
5. Ensure your website is mobile friendly
This one is so important; how often have you come across a website on your phone that isn’t mobile-friendly! Do you stay and play? No, you usually leave right away! Many people will then put that website into the TOO HARD BASKET!
Trends have shown that as smartphones and devices have become increasingly popular, most searches are conducted via mobile devices. Making your site mobile-friendly will not only increase mobile traffic, but will also help to improve local search engine rankings. Google’s algorithm favours mobile-friendly websites as it offers a better experience for users.
Extra tip: Website performance plays an essential role in how well your website ranks in an organic search. A slow website is also detrimental to user experience, so check with your provider on how you can increase your website loading speed.
6. High-quality backlinks
Backlinks, also known as “link signals”, are links to your website that are placed on other websites and social media platforms that mention your brand and|or service. Backlinks can take some time to see results which is evident from the graph below provided by MOZ.
Ensure they are quality backlinks
The quality of backlinks to your site is so important. To gain high-quality backlinks, be sure to generate high-quality content and place it on your site. This will make others want to link back to your site. Guest blogging on reputable sites with high domain authorities will also help locals SEO as these sites usually have a high reader return and search rate.
These six recommendations aren’t everything you need to do to become a local SEO superstar, but they are a solid start. These tips will improve your business searchability and ranking over time if you stay consistent.
If this all seems a little too much or the advice has gone over your head, don’t worry. At CLP Advertising, we have the knowledge, understanding and passion to help you. You will be surprised how easy and affordable it is to have our team help you through this journey.
Book in with Ellie for a FREE 30-minute assessment meeting, where we will give you an obligation-free quote or go through some one-on-one training.