10 Effective Strategies to Take Your Local SEO to the Next Level
These days, local search is becoming more important than it used to be, especially for businesses that rely on a local customer base, such as remodeling businesses, local locksmiths, roofing companies, etc.
A local search is when a consumer searches for a business in their local area. most times when these people search, they often use search phrases like “locksmith near me” or “locksmith in Long Beach, CA.”
This kind of searches brings tremendous beneits to local businesses. According to Google, the number of people searching the web using the term “near me” increase every year. And one interesting thing about this is that more than half of these people who search for a local business using their smartphones call or visit a business within 24 hours. That means people searching online for local businesses are usually ready to make a purchase.
However, if your business doesn’t rank high in local search results, you will most likely be missing out on these potential customers. But getting your business to rank for local searches is quite simple. You only need to improve your local SEO.
Well, you don’t have to lose your head on how to do that too. That is what this gude is created to help you achieve. In the following sections in this guide, we will be showing you step-by-step approach to improving your local SEO get the best results from local searches.
Simple Steps to Improve Your Local SEO and Attract More Qualified Leads for Your Business
1: Identify the Keywords Customers Use to Search for Your Business
Yes, this is the first place to start. When searchers search online for products and services relevant to what you offer, they do so using certain keywords or search phrases. For your business to show up for such searches, you need to know the keywords your potential customers are using to search for local businesses. These are the keywords you need in order to drive the most traffic and conversion.
To get relevant keywords for your business, you can try Google AdWords Keyword Planner. It is a free tool you can use to research keywords that can help boost your local rankings.
Get keywords your potential customers are likely going to use to search for your business, and ensure you include a city name too. When you have these keywords, you can now strategically incorporate them into your website and social media content.
2: Extend Your Reach with Local Listings
Gone are the days when a business has to do everything possible to make sure its business is featured in Yellow Pages. Today’s Yellow Pages are now local search directories like Google My Business, Bing, and some review websites like Yelp.
If you want your customers to easily find your business, you need to make sure your business is listed there. Or else, your customers won’t be able to find you.
So take a step towards that. Check these local search directories and review sites to claim your listing. If your business is not already listed there, then you should create a listing for it – it is very easy to do, and also free!
However, it is not enough to just create or claim your listing on these sites. You need to put in extra effort to see that your business gets the chance to be featured at the top of local search results. Below are some steps to follow to make the most from your local lsitings:
Inconsistency in your business information online sends a wrong signal to search engines about your business. When they are showing searchers businesses that match their queries, search engines want to see that they are only showing businesses that can be trusted to have what it takes to satisfy the needs of the searcher. One factor they consider is how consistent your business information is across various online platforms.
This includes your business name, address, and phone number – otherwise known as your NAP. These details about you must be the same across the board. For instance, if your business is listed in one place as “Johnny & Co. Locksmith” and in another place as “Johnny and Company Locksmith,” search engines will read these as two different businesses.
You should also make sure your NAP appears on every page of your website. You can get that done by simply including the information in the footer of each page.
It is not uncommon to see businesses showing up in local search directories in the wrong category. In fact, there are lots of businesses like that. Bet you don’t want to be added to this list. So, make sure you choose the correct category or categories for your business.
Consider the categories your potential customers are likely going to look up when searching for your type of business. at the same time, if the directories allow for multiple categories, it isn’t a bad idea to choose multiple categories for your business. That will increase your chance of being found easily by your customers.
Help your customers understand what exactly it is that your business does. So describe your business in the best way your business can understand it – even at a glance.
At the same time, don’t forget to use keywords you want to rank for in your description. Remember that your description will show up in search results, so you should not forget to include a call to action, too.
However, make sure you are simple and concise enough with your description. Keep it between 100 to 200 words.
Don’t forget to add photos in your listings – and include as many photos as possible. According to research, businesses that display more photos in their GMB listing tend to rank higher in search results. So go all out and include photos of your business location – both inside and outside. Showcase photos of your products or services, yourself, and your employees.
Also, get permission from your customers to post the “before and after” photos of the jobs you’ve done for them. This can go a long way in helping to convert potential customers in the future.
With local search directories, you will have the chance to link to your business website. Make it well-optimized so it can easily convert your customer. Landing pages with more words and images tend to do better on search results.
3: Optimize Your Website
Your website should be the next thing on the list, especially now that you have your listings settled. A good website contributes a lot to your ranking on search results.
Your business website should load as quickly as possible. Customers don’t appreciate being kept waiting for long before they could achieve the purpose of coming to your website in the first place. So, if your website is taking too long to load, it may be hard to keep users on your site. Howbeit, the more time users spend on your site, the higher you will rank on Google search results.
Apart from loading fast, your website also needs to be mobile-responsive. That means it needs to display correctly across different screen sizes, especially on mobile devices. Since most of the local searches conducted these days are performed using a mobile device, business owners need to pay special attention to ensuring their website is responsive enough to accommodate those searchers.
Also, include your keywords in your website’s title tags, headlines and body, as well as in your meta descriptions. Don’t forget to include your city in those keywords too. That will increase your chance of appearing on local search results for searches conducted in your area.
First concentrate on your website’s homepage, then you can go ahead to develop separate pages for each service you offer. For example, if you are a local locksmith, you can create a page for auto locksmith, residential locksmith, rekeying, lock repairs, etc.
4: Optimize Your Social Media Presence
Don’t leave out your social media in the show. Make sure you also have a consistent NAP across all your social medial profiles. Link all your social media profiles to your website.
Another thing is to leverage your Facebook pages to convert more potential customers. List your page as a local business to make it easy for you to ask people to “check-in” when they visit.
5: Build Internal Links
Keep your customers longer on your website to improve your search engine ranking. So endeavor to link to other pages on every page of your website. For instance, if your homepage states that you offer auto locksmith, residential locksmith, key repairs, etc. each of these terms should link to a page that better explains what the service is all about.
Your anchor text, which refers to the hyperlinked terms on your website, should include keywords or search phrases you are looking to rank for. And these keywords should also be the keywords your prospective customers use when searching online for your business. In addition, include hyperlinks in the body of your website and not only in the footer.
6: Build links with other websites
Link building is still relevant for ranking local businesses in search engines. So, it is important we mention building backlinks as one of the crucial steps you will need to take to improve your local SEO. A backlink is a link you get from another website to your own website.
When you have several backlinks on your website, search engines equate that to being a reputable and relevant website. That is, the more backlinks you have, the more honored you and your business will be in the eyes of search engines. Because of that, they tend to rank your website high in search results.
If you use Google Webmaster Tools, you will be able to see what sites are also currently linking to your website. You can significantly improve your SEO, by regularly getting new backlinks to your website.
So, what are the things you can do to get more backlinks for your website?
- Start by asking which websites are linking to one of your competitors. When you know them, ask them if they are also willing to link to yours, too.
- Write a guest post for an industry website or a website where most of your target customers are found. Then in your post, link back to your own website. This will not only earn you get an additional backlink; it can also be a good source of traffic to your website.
- Find local bloggers in your area that might be interested in what you offer in your company, then pitch them your business. The focus here is to get them to write about your business with a link back to your website. If you can get a link from a local newspaper, you can be sure it is a high-quality one. And that will mean a lot to your ranking.
- Find other businesses that might be interested in connecting with you to hsare link juice. This will come as a win-win for both of you. You will be getting a link from them and they will also be getting one from your site, too. Furthermore, if you can sustain this relationship, it can translate to something big in the future.
- Get more involved in the community by sponsoring or participating in community events. This will open you up to the opportunity to get quality backlinks from the event website to your website. If you are lucky enough, you can also use this method to get links from local listings too.
7: Build Trust By Getting More Reviews for Your Business
Reviews and testimonials don’t only impact customers when looking to buy your product or services but also have a way of impacting your local ranking on search engines.
The number of online reviews you have on reputable listing and review websites like Google My Business and Yelp can impact your positioning in Google’s local search results. The more reviews you get, the better chance to stand to get for the top positions.
So, find a way to increase the number of reviews on your business across various platforms. You can encourage your customers to review your business after having a good experience with you. However, if you are going to be doing that, you will also need to make it very easy for your customers to leave reviews on your business.
On your website, include links your customers can easily click to take them to where they can leave feedback on your business. You can also do that on your social media pages and in your marketing emails.
Nevertheless, you also need to monitor these reviews very closely. Respond to all reviews as promptly as possible – whether it is positive or negative. That will help maintain a reputable online presence.
8: Regularly update your website with fresh and quality Content
Fresh and quality content on your site draws that attention of search engines to it – that is obviously good for your SEO. So, you need to pay more attention to getting more quality content on your website. This could mean adding a blog if you think you have the right resources and time to manage one.
At the same time, you can also repurpose blog posts in your email newsletters. For example, if your business offers locksmith services, you could do a blog post explaining what type of locks is required for different doors in a home, how to take care of door locks, tips to avoid lock-ins, and current trends in the locksmith industry.
These are useful information your target audience might be looking for when they are searching to use your service or in case of an emergency. That will no doubt help to drive more traffic and conversion to your website.
9: Keep An Eye On Your Performace to Know How Well You’re Doing
Improving SEO is not something you do and get instantaneous results for. It takes time and effort. But by staying consistent in your efforts to do all the steps that have been mentioned above will soon bring you the results you desire. Your efforts should begin to pay off after a few months.
But don’t forget to track your performance to see how well you are doing. Remember that what can be measure can be monitored. So use a tool like Google Analytics to monitor such parameters as your website traffic, the number of leads you get, your ranking position on search results, and how many leads you are able to convert.
10: It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Do all the things we have highlighted above look overwhelming to you? There is no problem with getting some help. Improving SEO requires commitment and can also be time-consuming. Yet, it has a huge impact on the growth of your small business. So instead of neglecting it altogether, you can ask for help from the right people.
There are experts who are specialized in helping local small businesses improve and maintain their search engine ranking. These people know the right thing to do at the right time to take your business to the top of search results – you only need to reach out to them for help.
That will save you from the risk of making costly mistakes with your local SEO and at the same time, will help you save precious time sp you can focus on some other important aspects of your business.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get some works done for your local SEO? This is just the right time to do so. Most people searching to use a local business commences by searching online. If you will like to win more potential customers to your business, it is time you take local SEO more seriously. Your business will definitely thank you for taking that step.