Local SEO strategies for small business

Local SEO Strategies For Small Businesses

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Local SEO for small business is really big business! If you are still wondering why you need local SEO strategies, think about this. According to Google itself; 4 in 5 consumers conduct local searches and of those consumers, up to 50% visit a store. These consumers are also purchasing from the store – 18% of local searches result in sales.

If you combine those numbers with the fact that over 3.5 billion searches are processed by Google every day, the only clear conclusion is that local businesses can profit greatly from excellent positioning in local search results.

If you have been following local SEO strategies for few years, you will understand that local SEO for small business and big brands change all the time. As a small business owner, you are competing with other companies, and you need to tell Google where your business is located.

If you fail to let Google know what you offer and where you are, you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table.

Telling Google about your business will not only make your business appear on Google search results more frequently but will show you to the relevant audience. Unfortunately, local SEO for small business looks a bit confusing and that’s how it will look to a lot of small business owners in the next few years.

Can your small business benefit from excellent positioning in Google local search results?


Well, that could be considered the million dollar question, and we’ll be doing justice to it in this article. In this article, you will learn effective local SEO strategies that you can implement today.

We will be providing you awesome local SEO tips because ranking your local business can generate positive signals to Google and to your business growth. To make this easy for you, let’s explain local SEO in a simple term.

What is local SEO?


Local SEO for small businesses has grown over the last few years, especially given the increase in the use of smartphones and better connectivity. Although local SEO for small business has some similarities with organic SEO, it is quite different.

Local SEO mainly focus on results that are relevant to consumers or searchers current location. For instance, if I search ‘integrated marketing agency’ on my PC now, Google would provide the results that are close to me.
Local SEO Strategies Small Business - Integrated Marketing Agency

Keep on reading! So you can increase your chances of getting found easily on Google using the local SEO strategies you will learn in this article.

Why do you need local SEO for​​​​ small business?


More and more consumers are turning to the internet to look for information about local businesses.

The following statistics will show you why you need local SEO for your business:

46 percent of Google searches are local

46%

64%

64 percent of local consumers use Google and other search engines as the major way of finding local business

78 percent of local mobile searches purchase products offline

78%

96%

96 percent of desktop owners do local searches

In addition to the above, local search is timely and highly targeted, and also offers a high return on investment. 


let’s get down to the Top
10 local SEO strategies for small businesses.


#1 Conduct An SEO audit

There is a saying that two things are certain in life: taxes and death.

But if you have a website, the third thing that is certain is SEO... In specific an SEO audit. A site audit will help you find anything that is wrong with your website and its layout. You’ll be able to uncover the parts of the site you need to tackle so that you can get the maximum returns.

Here is how to conduct SEO audit of your site:

On-page content

  • Relevant Keywords: Check if your website’s meta data as relevant keywords. Without the relevant keywords in the header, meta description and title tag, it would be hard to rank your site.
  • Check duplicate content: Check for internal duplicate content. There are many tools out there like Siteliner or Copyscape to check for duplicate content. And anything more than 20 to 30% duplicate content needs amendment.
  • Contact information: If you do not have precise contact information, then you are causing harm to your local business. So ensure you clearly state your contact information on your site.

Off-page content

  • Google+ Verified Business: As a local business owner, you need a Google+ verified account else getting into Google’s local space would be difficult.
  • Citation audit: The backbone of local SEO is a citation. The more citation you have, the higher your ranking in local SEO arena. You can use Moz’s citation checker for this.
  • Backlink/penalty analysis: We now live in Panda, ThinkBrain and post-Penguin world, so you have to look for any shady backlinks that can cause Google penalty. You can quickly use Ahrefs to analyze this.

Do you want more traffic!

We're guessing you just said yes!


Why's that?



Because high quality traffic means something!

What's traffic mean for your business...

More Leads and Sales
😎



Get Started with an analysis below


#2 develop a local keyword strategy


If you have a local business, then you need robust local SEO strategies in place. Unfortunately, only a few businesses understand how vital it is.

Even if a small business has a strong presence online and excellent SEO strategies, going with a local SEO strategy can bring highly targeted customers to the physical location and website of a business.

The first thing to do is to research what your competitors are doing. Find out how they are targeting each location. Do they dedicate pages to each location? Do they put contact details on each page? Just put the URL of their contact page into Google Keyword Planner, and it will show you the keywords Google is associating with them. Then add those keywords to the keywords you are targeting.


When you are researching local keywords for your local business, use Keyword Planner to find search volumes for your business location. It is not enough to stick to your main location (city) alone but think about your locality – locations that are near to your service or your exact area. For instance, if your business is search engine optimization and your company is in Vancouver, rather than simply searching for SEO, you can search “SEO Vancouver” etc.

Don’t mind the individual search volume for each local keyword because cumulatively, it can bring you significant targeted traffic. Also, remember to include longtail keywords because they can provide high conversion ratio.


#3 create and optimize local content (landing pages and blogs)


Creating and optimizing local content is a vital part of local SEO strategies, and you need to get it right. Aside from the content required to be placed on the website homepage, you need to start a blog section on your website. Writing and optimizing your blog can boost your traffic and bring you a lot of real customers.

Here is how to optimize your local content:

  • Research your keywords
  • Put the keywords you researched to work by ensuring you include the keyword in the title, first 100 words, H1 and H2, paragraph.
  • Write your blog about something people really care about, and create high quality content
  • hand-o-right
    Make your content long enough. Try to make it 750 words at least, and if you can write up to 2000 words, you will enjoy even more traffic.
  • hand-o-right
    Watch your analytics. If you genuinely care about local SEO for small business, you shouldn’t only post your writing and walk away. You should monitor it regularly and edit it accordingly.

#4 local listing


You have probably heard of the big online directories like Bing, Google and Yelp. But how exactly can these platforms impact your small business SEO?

Local listings are the online portfolios containing your business’s information like address, name, hours, phone number and other data. Most of the websites that provide this are free to use, but you need to add your information manually.

The objective of local listing is to make your local business accurate and searchable online.

Businesses listed with photos and information often seen as credible and authoritative, and always get better search engine optimization. If your data is not correct, you may be giving away traffic to other sites – the more reason to regularly update your business listings.

When you are listing your business on directories
make sure the following are listed:

  • Business name
  • Photos
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Categories
  • check
    Reviews and rating

#5 google my business


This is one of the best local SEO strategies because it will help your business to achieve success fast. GMB (Google My Business) is a free tool that helps businesses manage their online presence, and it also offers outstanding impact for brands looking for local exposure.

Here is how to start your Google My Business:

The first thing you need to do is to conduct a Google search to find whether your business is listed or not. If your company has been around for some years, it is likely to have been listed, and all you need to do is to claim it.

Head to Google My Business page now and add your business or claim your GMB listings by entering vital information about your business. Make sure you capitalize your street name, business name, etc. when you are filling your information.

After listing your business, Google will send you a verification code postcard to the address you provided – usually takes two weeks to receive the verification code.


#6 reviews and ratings


When we talk of adding reviews and ratings as part of local SEO for small business, here are statistics that should convince you:

31%

Customers spend 31 percent more on a business that has excellent reviews and ratings.

72%

72 percent of consumers will take a business desired action after reading a positive review about the business

90%

90 percent of people (consumers) read reviews and ratings before visiting a business

The review signal is estimated to account for 9.8 percent of the whole ranking factors, which shows that you cannot ignore reviews during local SEO.


#7 internal link structure


If you are still searching for how to do local SEO, here is one of the vital local SEO strategies that you can’t just ignore. Google can easily find your pages when they are linked to from other websites. Proper internal link structure also helps you connect your content and provide Google a great understanding of your website structure.

They can create hierarchy on your website and allow you to give more link value to important pages.

So using a correct internal linking strategy is a way to boost your local SEO.

For instance, if you have a post titled “guide to keyword research” and you want it to rank for all related searches about ‘keyword research’ in Google search results, you have to add other relevant articles to the main article (e.g., articles with titles like “9 keyword research mistakes,” “how to conduct keyword research,” etc.). It will make Google understand that you are trying to rank the article for the particular keyword.

You can even make a post more authoritative by adding links from the top navigation and homepage to make the link stronger in Google’s eyes.


#8 get high quality links


You must have known by now that the best way to move your local business site to the top of search results is to build a lot of high-quality links. 

So how do i build high quality links?

  • Create a blog​​​​
  • Do proper internal linking
  • Ask people you know to give a link back to your website
  • Make linking to your website easy
  • Research where your competitors are getting their links from
  • Link out and make sure you reach out to them
  • Overall your aim is to build relationships

#9 use social media for local authority


If you want to be an authority in your business sphere, then using social media to promote your local business awareness is vital.

Here are some of the social media platforms that will help your business this year:

  • Snapchat
  • Quora
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Instagram

#10 use the right tools for local sEO


Now that over 85 percent consumers are using the internet to find local businesses, it is important than ever to use the right tools for your local SEO.

Here are the best tools for local SEO:

  • Synup: This tool will help you evaluate your listings with ease. It can even help you to track customer reviews.
  • Moz local: This is one of the best tools for local SEO. It helps you to update your listing easily. All you need to do is enter your location information, and it will send the data to reputed online directories.
  • Whitespark’s local citation finder: You need to build local citation to improve your local SEO rankings. The problem is that there are several citation sources on the web, but this tool will make it simpler for you.
  • Local search rank checker: Last but not the least, this tool will help you monitor the efficacy of your local SEO campaign. You can use it to track your rankings in all major search engines.

Do you want more traffic!

We're guessing you just said yes!


Why's that?



Because high quality traffic means something!

What's traffic mean for your business...

More Leads and Sales
😎



Get Started with an analysis below


Local SEO conclusion


Local SEO for small business can be easy if you have the time to do it the correct way and the best part of it is that it can increase your ROI quickly.

If you can follow the above listed local SEO strategies, your business is in for significant ROI.

But most of the small businesses hardly have time for SEO because of the long process involved. If you think the process is long and tedious, you can leave it to the expe​​​​rts.

let's get your local sEO strategy started!

(Last Updated On: February 10, 2018)

About the Author Kemar Lawrence

Entrepreneur | Business & Marketing Strategist | Co-Founder @goldminddigital. I am a business & marketing strategist. I bring more than 6 years of experience to projects I take on with a track record of success. I help entrepreneurs win at business.

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