Making a strong online presence is not easy when it comes to search engines.
Some businesses spend years to trying to rank their websites on Google, and still never get a top ranking spot they're working so hard to achieve.
But you don't have to be the part of them.
In this article, I'm going to tell you some simple local SEO tips that will ensure your business ranks toward the top of the search engines when a user searches online for businesses in their area.
But before we discuss these tips, let's know about the local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of ranking your website or business in local search results. For instance, when people search for something like, "plumber in California" or "HVAC services in California".
If you have implemented proper SEO on your business website as per to your geographic area, the more are the possibilities to rank on top position in search results. Local SEO is great for businesses to promote their products and services to local customers. It will help you to position your business on search engines so you’re seen by people searching for the services you offer.
Here're some reasons why local SEO can help you in your business:
- More than 64% of customers use the internet to find local services.
- Local search marketing is highly targeted and helps potential customers discover your business.
- 88% of local customers trust online business reviews.
- Only 44% of businesses have claimed their Google My Business listing.
- Many of the best local SEO opportunities (such as Google My Business) are FREE.
5 Tips to Improving Your Local SEO for Your Small Business
If you're starting out, it's good to get these best practices in early. It will enable you to get the benefits and see results as soon as possible. In order for your business to do so, here are some local SEO tips and best practices you can implement today.
1. Get listed on Google My Business
This is the most important way to boost the local business ranking in Google search results. It is similar to a local business listing where you have to create Google My Business account.
Listings are totally free that enables you to put your NAP (name, address and phone number) and show you on other types of Google searches as well—including Maps.
Google uses a 3-pack to determine the top three relevant businesses in local searches, using terms like "plumber in California". These are displayed first on the results page (even above result 1), and give a ranking boost for your brand.
Once you’ve verified your listing, you can start working on your profile. Edit all of your business’s information and keep it up-to-date. Google will either call you or send you a letter to verify your business ownership.
But, like many things in the SEO world, getting ranking not as simple as that. In order to optimize the listing, you have to responding to Google business reviews and engaging with customers.
You can do that by straightforwardly asking your previous customers and politely ask them to leave a review. There are more ways to secure user reviews such as give them a discount or coupon code to use your service.
The more positive reviews you get on Google, the higher you'll rank in your geographic area.
2. Update your NAP and make them consistent
It's not easy to stay on top of your Google My Business listing - you need to make sure that you’re using a consistent NAP.
NAP stands for “Name, Address, and Phone,” and it is very important that shows the online ID of your business.
Regardless of just entering your business name, address and phone, you need to be edited in a uniform manner. Leaving it inconsistently will make your business website goes down in search engine ranking.
So, make sure your contact and location information is updated and consistent across your business website, social media channels, directory listings, and other relevant platforms.
3. Engage in local link building
Along with NAP, this is probably the most important of all local SEO tips. In order to rank your small business in local searches, you have to create relevant local backlinks to the other businesses.
Why? Because the site you're getting a backlink from is already well-established and locally-optimized, there's a great chance that the site has good SEO value.
A good strategy to gain backlinks from local business websites is to write an interview with local companies. After you've done this, these companies will give you a backlink to a page on your website where you've published their interview.
Find Local Blog Opportunities
Search for the existing local blogs in your niche or industry. You can see what kind of posts are popular or topics they cover.
Look for specific location blogs:
- "city name" + "industry" + "blog"
- "zip code" + "industry" + "blog"
- "country" + "industry" + "blog"
- [locale topic blogs]
- [locale bloggers]
- [locale blog]
- [intitle:blog locale]
- [inurl:blog locale]
- [intitle:post locale]
Another great way – submitting your business to local directories.
Local directories are emerged prior to search engines as the means to help people discover websites online. These directories are awesome for gaining backlinks to your local business website because the site is already optimized and ranking for many keywords.
However, you should be careful while creating directory links.
That’s because directory links are the crucial part of link building, and are only successful if done in a specific way.
Creating backlinks from a spammy site could lead to the Google penalty and gets your business down.
Here are some things you should check before submitting your link:
- Have Domain Authority (DA) of 30+
- Must have Moz spam score less than 2
- Should have a decent amount of traffic
- Should be a niche directory site (not like Yell.com and Yellow Pages) – they are highly location specific.
4. Optimize your website for local searches
One of the most important SEO technique is the keyword research. For local SEO, you have to do keyword research in the same manner as global websites so. The only difference is that you are targeted for a specific geographic location.
There are two ways to perform keyword research to optimize your small business. These two ways depending on the number of locations you want to target.
In general, if your small business is limited to one town or city, your site should be optimized for that area's local keywords. If your business service for different locations, you'll need to use a different keyword strategy.
For instance, your company might be a travel agency in San Diego area. You could just optimize your site for that area's search keywords or you can expand your keyword research for several locations.
The key is to create a different landing page on your website for each location you have. In this way, you can build your Local SEO strategy for multiple cities on a single website.
For keyword research, you can use various tools to find local keywords your potential customers are using. Choose low competition keywords with high search volume that are relevant to your business.
After finding your local keywords, add them to:
- Title and description
- URL structure
- Headings (including H1, H2, H3)
- Image alt text
There are plenty of tools that can greatly help your keyword research for local SEO. Some of the best ones are:
5. Track ranking positions for local searches
Now that you have created a local SEO strategy for your small business, you’ll need to keep track of your ranking positions to see what’s working and what’s not.
You’ll want to track keyword ranking, which competitors are beating you in a specific area and which type of backlinks you are gaining for your business website.
I recommend SEMrush for this part of the job, simply because it takes care of all the essential things for you.
The SEMrush's Position Tracker Tool allows you to track your website’s ranking for target keywords and your competitor's keyword rankings across multiple devices and locations. You can target customers in a particular city or town and track them by ZIP code.
To do this, just go to SEMrush dashboard -> Create Projects -> Position Tracking — And add your details including competitor list and keywords along with your ZIP code.
Here, you can easily see which competitors are ranking on top 10 positions in Google. For instance, I have added only a single keyword "directory submission sites". You can add multiple keywords and competitors list to track your rankings.
In this way, you can keep an eye on your competitors and more ranking opportunities.
Now you have some ideas to implement Local SEO for your small business. Just remember you also need to track your progress in order to know how's your local SEO efforts are actually going.
Did you like this post? If you have any suggestions or queries related to Local SEO strategies, do let me know in the comment section below.