Local SEO is becoming essential to gaining and maintaining a competitive edge in the digital age. If you are a business or brand that wants long-term success across search engines, you have to put a sound local SEO plan in place.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a powerful form of local online marketing focused on providing results based on the searcher’s current location. For example, if you initiate a search query ‘pizza places in Edmonton’ on Google, it will show up some businesses on top that are selling pizza in Edmonton. The question is; If you are running a pizza restaurant in Edmonton, does Google show your business in its results? Local SEO will help you optimize your site or a page on your site so that it shows up for local queries in search engines.
Over the last few years, local SEO has gained unprecedented popularity given the rise of smartphones usage and improved internet access. Millions of online customers use search engines and business directories like Yelp to find relevant businesses within their vicinity. In 2017, 86% of consumers relied on the internet to find a local business. Here is what you can do to dominate local search:
Google My Business is key
Google My Business is an easy-to-use and incredibly important tool that helps organizations and businesses manage their online presence across Google. Without this tool, you won’t be showing up on local map listings in the search results which Google shows for most of the local search queries. Make sure you add all the necessary information to your profile.
It will take you few simple steps to create, verify, and activate a page for your business on Google My Business. Once your profile is fully verified and activated, it’s time to optimize your presence. Google gives you a variety of features that you can utilize to optimize your Google My Business listings.
On-page optimization refers to all kind of SEO-related activities you perform on your website. On-page factors account for more than 20% of elements that help a website rank in terms of local SEO. From title tags and meta descriptions to NAP (name, address, phone number) and images, make sure every on-page element on your site is optimized for local search. Make a strategic use of local keywords while optimizing title tags, alt tags on images, and meta descriptions.
Your SEO efforts are not going to get anywhere unless your website is fully optimized for mobile devices. It is critical for your business to have a mobile responsive site as Google keeps updating its mobile search algorithm to display listings that can easily be viewed on mobile devices.
Mobile optimization is important because the majority of local searches are performed on mobile devices. Think beyond intuitive user experience, interface design, and responsive layouts in order to serve your local customers well. Put your site through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see where you stand.
Use of local content
When you optimize a business website for local search, incorporate local keywords into your content. For example, you can add the name of your local area to your most important keywords that reflect your business. Local keywords usually have a lower search volume but they produce great results.
It is a great idea to create a separate local news and blog section on your site. By doing so, you would be able to post regular content about your niche-related events. Local businesses such as plumbing, legal services, restaurants, etc. have a lot to gain by implementing these basic SEO tactics.
It’s critical to be as authentic as possible when listing your business on different platforms like Yelp, Google or Bing. Keep updating your business information; upload images that are current, original, and high-quality. Fake or edited images can hurt your efforts. Besides, respond with constructive feedback when someone reviews your business.
- Create schema and place it on your site
- Build quality backlinks
- Get citations from authoritative websites
- Optimize to rank in Local Listing Map Pack results
- Build credibility through local reviews
- Use Google Analytics to track every activity
As a tech-savvy business, you must develop an effective local SEO strategy to get maximum ROI from your marketing budget. If your business is not ranking highly in your area, you could be losing customers to your competitors. Use local SEO as a tool to outrank your competitors.
About Reach First
We are Reach First, a leading online marketing agency in Edmonton where we develop and implement result-driven SEO strategies focused on your long-term success. Whether you need to optimize your business for local search or want to launch search marketing campaigns to reach a global audience, our SEO and online marketing specialists have what it takes to get your business on top. Visit our site to learn more about our online marketing services and portfolio!