If you’re not familiar with local SEO, it’s the process of using location-based keywords to optimize your website and content to show up at the top of search engines.
1. Get Your Brand on Online Business Directories
One of the best local SEO strategies is to appear on business directories. You’ve got plenty to choose from, including the following:
Google My Business
Bing Places for Business
2. Add Reviews and Testimonials to Your Site
Now that you have business listings on Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, and other platforms, it’s time to harness the ranking power it can give you. One way to go about this is to ask your customers to leave reviews on these sites.
Then you can add a review section on your website to help encourage more feedback. This will help with your local SEO and potentially earn you more business. Roughly 84% of consumers trust peer reviews so if you’re getting enough positive feedback, it can have a great impact on your business.
It’s also good practice to comment on reviews publicly, saying thank you.
3. Go Mobile
29.8 million Canadians own a smartphone. More than half of the population own a tablet.
All these should already tell you that going mobile is critical to your marketing campaigns. As such, to reap the most out of your local search marketing strategies, you also need to make them revolve around going mobile.
With so many people doing local searches through their mobile devices, you can suffer a major loss when your online assets don’t show up that well on such gadgets. Mobile-friendliness is also a key search engine ranking factor, making this characteristic even more important.
Always remember that majority of consumers want convenience, speed, and ease of navigation when it comes to websites. When you can’t provide them these, they most likely will go to the next website. Which in all likelihood is a direct competitor of your brand.
4. Use Schema Markup
Schema.org markup is a way to give the search engines a little more information about your business.
It’s possible that you can get the jump on some of your competitors by using markup because many websites, even this late in the game, aren’t using it.
However, it will take some professional assistance if you’re not a web developer. Adding markup to a site is a complicated process.
5. Get Backlinks From Non-Competing Local Businesses
Speaking of backlinks, you should get some from other local business websites.
There are plenty of businesses in your area that you might work with on a regular basis. Those businesses probably have websites of their own.
Approach the business owner with a quid pro quo offer: you’ll provide a backlink to his or her site in exchange for a backlink to your site.
6. Know the Ranking Factors for Local Search Terms
As important as keyword research is knowing what your target market uses for their local searches. In essence, local search research is also a form of keyword research. The main difference is that you need to include very targeted keywords.
Remember: Your potential customers use local search to find businesses specific to their location. And Google now automates its search results to display relevant businesses based on the searcher’s location. This in mind, you should also include your location when coming up with your web content.
For instance, when creating blog posts for your New York business, you’d want to include the word “New York” in them. Say your business is all about flower arrangements. Then, you’d want to incorporate “flower arrangements in New York” in your web content.
Through this local search tactic, you provide your brand with better positioning not just online, but in the physical world too. And because local search marketing revolves around your target market’s terms, then you’re positioning yourself on their more favorable side too.
7. Get More Visitors That Stay Longer On Your Website
Google’s new artificial intelligence algorithm RankBrain looks at the time people spend on your site (“dwell time”). The more that people like hanging around your web page, the better your site will rank.
That’s why you should post content that keeps people on your site.
Video content is a great way to make that happen. Just embed some YouTube videos that are at least a minute in length and offer valuable info.
8. Optimize for Voice Search
Tens of billions of voice searches occur every month on devices like Alexa, Google, Siri, and Cortana. Many of those searches are looking for local businesses.
That’s why you should optimize your site for voice search.
9. Blog About Local Events
If you want to get the attention of people in your community, write about things that are happening in the community and post them online.
Aggregate a few local news sources in your favorite RSS reader. Then, browse them and blog about items of interest that you think will attract the attention of local folks.
For example, if the local high school football team wins the state championship, write a blog post congratulating them.
Keep in touch with your community and your community will keep in touch with you.
10. Make Your NAP Consistent
In SEO NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone #. While it might seem innocent enough, people screw this up time and time again, and inconsistent info on the web will destroy any chance you have for ranking in local search.
When building all of the citations, be sure to use the EXACT NAP info you have on your Google My Business listing. Any inconsistencies here will hurt your presence dramatically.