When it comes to your local business, you want to find the best way possible to alert consumers to your close proximity and invite them in.
Yet, with evolving technology, you may be feeling left behind. No longer do customers simply wander down the street looking for what you offer.
Instead, consumers today increasingly search for similar products or services online.
If you want those consumers to find you, then, the key is to include a local SEO strategy into your marketing plan.
Otherwise, you’ll simply be hoping that potential customers will chance upon you or your website.
By developing strategic local SEO solutions, you can increase your ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs) and lead customers right to your front door.
Below, check out the best local SEO solutions to do exactly that.
1. Focus on Local Keyword Research
If you need to improve your local SEO results, you will want to focus more on conducting local keyword research.
Think about what your potential customers most often search for and what keywords they use or include in a query. This is key to building your local SEO strategy.
Supplement what you already know about your customers with what you find online. Identify and select the keywords that are most relevant to your particular business.
Also, add more location-specific references, such as city name, local landmarks or neighborhoods, street names, and any others that identify your location.
Incorporate them into your website. Use them strategically in your content, both in titles and the body of web pages and blog posts. Place them in your URL and in the site’s metadata.
Search engine algorithms will notice their inclusion, and the result will be a boost for you in search rankings.
2. Track Keywords and Positioning
Once you identify your relevant keywords and incorporate them into your website, you’ll want to track them to determine if they are working for you or not.
You can use Google Analytics or other online tools to monitor keywords and positioning in search engine results. By doing so, you’ll gain information as to:
- Your most valuable keywords
- Underperforming keywords
- Areas for improvement
The essential metrics to pay close attention to when it comes to keyword tracking are
- Position (where you rank on SERPs)
- Search volume on those keywords
- What pages are ranking for those keywords
With this information, you gain knowledge of how your selected keywords are performing and if you need to make improvements.
Continue to monitor your keywords and make changes whenever necessary.
3. Develop a Strong Presence on Social Media
Social media is the place to be today, including for local businesses. These popular platforms allow you to easily build a strong online presence.
Develop a social media marketing strategy to get you noticed and to attract and retain customers along the way.
You don’t need to be on all of the social media platforms, just those that you determine will be most beneficial to your business and those that you know you will continue to use.
If you are still unsure of which ones to select, however, start by thinking about your ideal customers.
Consider creating buyer personas to help you determine demographics such as age ranges and buying behaviors, then look at the various social media platforms and their main audiences.
Which social network should you be on?
Facebook provides you with access to the widest audience of all social media platforms.
A feature on this platform that is particularly helpful to you is the ability for users to geo-localize posts. By using the platform’s unique check-in feature, these users create passive advertising of your business and share it with their followers.
Instagram is another option, especially for improving your brand image and engaging more customers. Get creative in a way that fits your business image, including photos of products, events, behind-the-scenes moments, and more.
Others to consider are Twitter and its retweet feature and YouTube for video marketing.
Whichever ones you choose, go all in and customize your page header, promote upcoming events, market your products or services, and post attention-grabbing photos.
Also, be sure to focus on creating a social media profile and keep it consistent across the platforms you choose.
4. Add Beneficial Backlinks
Local SEO can benefit from adding beneficial backlinks to your site by other reputable sources.
A backlink involves another website linking to your website content. Two benefits of backlinks include:
- Backlinks can bring more qualified traffic to your website.
- Reputable backlinks alert Google that your website is considered valuable and authoritative. Search engines view backlinks as recommendations and increase the authority of your website.
Ways you can add backlinks include:
- Submit articles to online publications in your area and include a link to a relevant page on your website.
- Write guest blog posts for relevant niche websites and include a backlink to your site.
- Build authentic relationships with others in your community and surrounding location, and ask for a backlink when acceptable.
- Link to other local businesses that complement yours in some way, and they may link back to you. This is called reciprocal linking.
- Consider inclusion in reputable directories.
5. Increase Your Number of Online Reviews
Online reviews, when positive, are golden marketing opportunities for you.
They can serve as stellar recommendations for your local business, product, or service.
In addition, according to Google, positive, quality customer reviews improve your visibility and boost your rankings.
It’s no wonder, then, that the more online customer reviews you have, the higher you can boost your local search rankings.
Encourage both your returning and new customers to leave reviews by asking them outright or sending follow-up emails.
Also, be sure to monitor any reviews and be ready to respond. Handle these with care as they can directly impact your business and image.
When they are positive, acknowledge the reviewer and thank them for the review.
If a negative review comes up, instead of taking it personally, respond in a friendly way, such as you’re sorry they had a negative experience, and ask them to contact you directly to discuss the circumstances.
6. Utilize Geofencing
For a slightly more advanced approach to your local SEO, consider utilizing the advertising technique of geofencing.
As a location-based marketing tactic, geofencing allows you to reach mobile devices in a designated geographic location.
Geofencing accomplishes this by inserting a visual boundary around your physical business.
Whenever a consumer with a mobile device enters your geofenced location, it triggers your ads to appear on their device, alerting them that you are nearby.
7. Claim Your Google Business Profile
Claiming your free Google Business Profile is one of the best local SEO solutions.
This profile is essentially a local listing of your business with valuable information which can increase your visibility.
The information you include in your business profile has the potential to improve your search engine ranking and also your appearance in Google Maps.
The process itself is simple, with you completing a form and uploading photos. However, you will gain more benefits by taking the time to optimize your profile for best results.
You can accomplish this with the following actions.
Ensure Business Details are Correct
Ensure that the name of your business is correct, confirm the business address, and check any contacts listed. Make sure all this information matches what is on your website.
Also, add your website’s URL, list business hours (including holiday schedules) and identify the payment methods you accept.
Write a Good Business Description
Make the most of your business description by incorporating valuable keywords or phrases, as well as the locations you currently operate in. Include what products and services you provide.
Select the Most Appropriate Categories
The categories and subcategories you choose for your profile also play an important role in how potential customers find you. Choose categories that describe your specific business adequately.
Add High-Quality Photos
To attract more customers, add relevant, high-quality photos to your profile.
Wrap Up: Focus on Local SEO Solutions to Improve Your Website Performance
Local SEO is all about raising your visibility and standing out from your competitors.
You can accomplish this by optimizing your website with the right keywords, creating a backlinking strategy, encouraging more customer reviews, building a social media presence, utilizing geofencing, and claiming your free Google Business Profile.
With the help of these local SEO solutions, you can increase the number of local leads and cater your approach to reach them in the best possible ways.
To find out more ways to generate local leads, read our blog post!