With an increasing number of users searching for local businesses online, it has become crucial for small businesses to adopt a strong local SEO strategy.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for better online visibility for local searches. It helps improve your online traffic and hence boosts revenue.
In this article, we will discuss ten local SEO strategies for small businesses that will help you target local customers and rank higher in the local search results.
Top 10 Local SEO Strategies For Small Businesses
- Focus On Local Keywords
If you are a local business, you want to attract customers in your area rather than the whole world. So you need to focus on local keywords for your business to attract more potential clients from your region.
These keywords target specific geographical locations and make finding you easier for a buyer. Let’s say you run a carpet cleaning business in Austin, TX. You won’t get the desired results using generic keywords like professional carpet cleaning or similar words.
But if you optimize your keyword with the suffix ‘in Austin’ or ‘near me,’ it will increase the chances of ranking higher. So when Austin residents search for carpet cleaning in Austin or carpet cleaning near me, it will show your business.
But first, you should conduct local keyword research and optimize your business for on-page SEO. While researching, consider two factors, relevance, competition, and search volume.
The keyword should be relevant to your business and your goals. For example, you should buy the keyword ‘professional carpet cleaning Austin’ if you run a carpet cleaning business in Austin. It indicates a buying intent from the customer and leads to faster conversions.
Also, check the keywords your competitors are using and see if they receive more traffic than you. If that’s the case, the problem is not with the keyword. But if they don’t receive traffic, consider changing the keyword.
- Search Volume
Lastly, your keyword should have a search volume. It means people should be searching for it online. There is no point in investing in a keyword with no search volume.
- Set Up & Optimize Google My Business Profile
Using Google My Business Profile is one of the best local SEO strategies. Your Google My Business profile is like a mini website. It provides a quick look at your business and essential details about it. You can add your information on the GMB profile and also list and claim your business. Another purpose of a GMB profile is to have your business show up on Google Maps and receive reviews.
So if you haven’t set up your GMB profile, do it with the following steps.
- First, visit the Google business profile and fill in the required information like business name, category, and address.
- Then to claim your business, search for it and click your business name. Click on Claim this business, manage, and follow the verification steps.
- If you want to update your business info, search my business on Google. Open your business profile and click edit profile and business info. Click on save every time you edit something to save the changes.
- Once you set up your GMB profile, you can share offer posts and talk to your customers directly through messaging.
But these were just the basic steps of setting up a GMB profile. If you optimize it, you will get even better results with your local SEO. Here are some tips for that.
- Provide Up-to-date Information
- Add a ‘from the business description’ to stand out from your competitors.
- Choose a specific category for better discovery searches and to unlock category-related features.
- You can also add attributes unique to your business. For example, if you provide free wifi in your cafe, add it to the specific attributes.
- Post high-quality images to your profile to get discovered in image searches and increase engagement.
- Regularly add posts about announcements, offers, and events. It sends a positive signal to Google.
- Monitor and seed your Q&A section to highlight your best features and provide accurate information.
- Build Local Citations & Listings
Citations are the mention of your business details like address and phone number on site that is not yours. It includes directories and listing websites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and others.
These local citations are an important part of local SEO strategy as they tell Google your business location and which search results you should appear in. They are also a great way to drive traffic to your site.
But you should ensure that the details you provide for listing are identical everywhere. If Google gets confused about which information about your business is correct, it may not show it at all.
So check that there are no mistakes like incorrect spelling, abbreviations, suite numbers, and contact details. A great way to reduce these issues is to delete all the duplicate listings in your online directories.
- Gather & Respond To Reviews
Reviews are an important ranking factor for Google. The same is true for Local SEO. Reviews work because they confirm to the users that their choice is right. According to a survey by Bright Local, 88% of consumers look at online reviews before choosing a business.
To give you an example, here is the search result for carpet cleaning in San Antonio.
Here the top-rated companies appear first in the local Map Pack search. It indicates that the businesses are well-known among the residents of San Antonio. Some people won’t even look at the organic search results and make decisions based on the reviews.
Another thing to note from this example is that the number of reviews matters more than the rating. So even though the second result has a 5-star rating, it only has around 200 total reviews. Compared to that, the first result has more than 700 reviews.
So from this example, it is clear that both the quality and quantity of reviews matter in ranking in Map Packs. While Google Maps is the largest review base, other sources include Yelp and Tripadvisor.
- Add Location Pages To Your Site
If your business has more than one physical location, adding location pages to it is a great way to generate local leads. It also works if you provide service to different locations.
These pages include relevant information about your business, like address, operating hours, and phone numbers. But you need to create a unique location page and avoid duplicating them. Here is an example of a location page done right.
The base of this company is in Sugar Land, TX. But it also provides carpet cleaning in Missouri City. The company ensures that residents of Missouri City can find their businesses easily by creating this unique location page with local information.
- Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Another obvious Local SEO strategy is making your website more mobile-friendly, as 56% of users in the USA search for local businesses with their mobile. They are convenient and easy to use on the go for navigation. So if your website is too slow for a mobile device, you may lose a large number of local customers. Avoid this mistake and make your site responsive to mobile users.
You can also do the following things to optimize your site for mobile devices.
- Choose a proper WordPress theme to ensure everything on your site is readable on mobile.
- Create a website that doesn’t just look good but also has a good loading speed, as a 3-second delay can make a user leave the website.
- You can check the loading speed of your site on Google PageSpeed Insight and other third-party apps.
These changes will make your site more mobile-friendly and enjoy a better SERP ranking and lower bounce rate.
- Leverage Social Media
Google considers three major factors for ranking: Relevance, distance, and prominence. And with social media, you can create a buzz about your business and raise your prominence points.
A strong social media presence should be a part of the digital marketing strategies for small businesses. It can help boost your brand awareness and impact your local search ranking.
So if you share content in local social media groups and target audiences on social media based on location, it helps you raise brand awareness in Target areas. It also leads to increased local traffic and Google reviews.
Also, you should add backlinks to your profile through high-authority social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It will boost your online citation list and improve the overall backlink profile.
- Add Structured Data
When you search for a local business, Google displays key information like working hours, reviews, and contact information. It is due to the Schema markup added to the site.
Schema markup is an important part of technical SEO. As well as a strong local SEO strategy, which can improve your local ranking.
For instance, check out the snapshot above. Here the water damage restoration company in Indianapolis has added the review schema to their site. So when locals search for a water damage restoration company, they can see the reviews and ratings in the organic results.
It helps them make quick decisions about their preference and increase the chances of conversion. You can easily add markup with WordPress plugins.
- Create Local Content
Content is king, and it is also true for local SEO. You should create content to implement your local search terms and keywords. But it should also be a way to attract local customers and provide value to them.
The content can be anything from a blog to a location page. But it should focus on your business from a local perspective. A great way to do that is by adding details about the location, like climate, places to visit, and economy, to your location page.
- Get Viable Inbound Links
Getting backlinks from authoritative sites is a surefire way to improve your DA and local ranking. The more links you get to your domain, the more it will indicate to Google that you are a legitimate company.
However, you will need to get high-quality backlinks from trusted sites. Doing so can be tricky sometimes. But here are some tips to build a strong backlink profile.
- Write Guest Posts for local companies.
- Run a local event to gain media coverage.
- You can also send your product for review to the best review sites in your area.
In short, being a part of the local community and participating in local events can help you gain valuable backlinks.
A good local presence is important for a business, and Local SEO can help with that. By implementing these local SEO strategies for small businesses, you can increase your brand awareness, boost conversion rates, and improve ranking.
First, find keywords that match local search intent and your business goals. Set up a GMB profile and keep it up-to-date with fresh information and regular posting. Then build the local citation lists and provide identical information to all the listing sites.
Encourage the customers to leave reviews on different platforms like Google, Yelp, and others. Also, optimize your site for mobile users to not miss out on increasing local traffic from mobile devices.
Moreover, make your presence felt by sharing relevant local posts on social media. Add structured data to provide key information about the business to the clients in organic search results.
Create engaging local content like a blog series about local traditions and how your business fits in. Lastly, have a strong link-building strategy and get backlinks from media outlets and high authority local sites.