This is not an exhaustive list but just by following & implimenting these 17 local seo tips will go a long way in getting you ranked higher in search.
1. Claim Your Business Listing On Google
Having a fully optimized business listing on Google is actually a huge deciding factor in ranking over your competitors. Once set up your business appears in Google Search and Google Maps more prominently. You can also start to collect reviews from customers and schedule appointments right through their Google My Business account. For example: What would 50 more phone calls, or 40 more walk-ins or 1000 more website visitors a week mean to your business & to your bottom line!?
Begin by optimizing your business listing on Google for local search!
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2. Answer the Questions Local Customers are Asking
Google Direct Answers is the content that appears in a special box at the top of the search results page when you ask Google a question, such as “What are braces?” Businesses should rework the content on their sites into question and answer format so that their content has a better chance of
displaying above the Google search results. This is especially important as voice search using Siri or Alexa becomes more popular.
3. Meet the Needs of Local Voice Searchers by Targeting Long-Tailed Keywords
According to Google, one in every five searches comes from a voice search. This shows us that the rise in the digital assistant is real and is changing the way search queries are performed. Because of the rise in voice searches, it’s important to make sure that your SEO marketing strategy shifts to meet with this growing trend. This will mean needing to focus on longer keyword searches of a more natural and conversational tone.
4. Build Up Your Online Reviews
Google will prioritize business websites that have the most and best reviews. If you haven’t already, it’s time to start actively responding to your current reviews, both good and bad. If you currently don’t have reviews, then you can start encouraging your customers to write them by just
simply asking them. ( Get our FREE Guide “How To Get 5*****Star Google Reviews For Your Business Fast”)
5. Use Site Search Insights to Market to Local Customers
One SEO tip I think is quite underrated but should be in every small business SEO’s toolbox is deploying a site search bar on your website and tracking those searches inside Google Analytics. The whole point of SEO is to provide content that your users need, and I’ve found no better way to do that than to look and see what visitors are searching for once on my site, and then creating or structuring content to answer those questions. You can install a free site search bar using Google’s Custom Search Engine.
6. Audit Your Website’s Local SEO Health
Check out software that will help you with auditing your website for mistakes, duplicate content, and help you find keywords to target in your content.
7. Target the Local Keywords Your Competitors Missed
Targeting the right keywords on your webpages is vital to any SEO strategy, particularly with local businesses. Use tools that can show you what keywords your local competitors are showing up for. Look for keywords/topics where your main competitors aren’t ranking #1 or #2 and target those
keywords with a relevant page on your site and useful content. Assuming there’s enough search volume to support it, you’ll have an opportunity to be seen more than your local competitors. Make sure your content/keywords also include a city name to help search engines understand where you provide
8. Learn From Content That Ranks Well Around Your Keywords
When you find a suitable keyword for your business, always put it into Google to see what results are showing. Looking at the results will give you a better understanding of how to craft your content and thus have a better chance of ranking on Google.
Watch: How Google Search Works (in 5 minutes)
This short intro video shows how Google indexes the web, ranks websites, flags spam, and serves up search results.
9. List Your Site in Relevant Directories
A key component of local SEO is establishing a local web presence. Do not submit your site to every business directory you stumble across! Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and search as they would. For example, if you are a local accountancy firm, search Google for “accountancy services in (your location).” If there’s a local business directory or community group that’s riding high in the ‘search engine results’ page for such a tailored search, pop it on your target list. The question should always be: Is this site likely to drive relevant traffic to my site? If the
answer is a resounding yes, then you know you’ve just built a good link.
10. Fix NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Inconsistencies
NAP, or the name, address, and phone number of a small business, are three critical pieces of information that actually influence how Google or other search engines rank results for local searches. Having inconsistent NAP information between your own website and the various business
directories or local listings that reference your business can be immensely detrimental for local SEO efforts. In order to prevent or fix NAP mistakes, small business owners should take the time to conduct a simple but effective audit of their own website and relevant business directories that list their business. Compile a list of all of your NAP citations and look for inconsistencies. If you spot any, be sure to correct information with a standardized and accurate set of information. By fixing NAP inconsistencies, small business owners can increase the likelihood search engines present the right information to searching customers, ultimately increasing their search traffic, visits, and revenue.
11. Build Quality Backlinks for Local SEO
For most small businesses, the toughest aspect of SEO is building quality backlinks. This is important for all websites, but especially true for SMBs, because they most likely don’t have the in-house resources or budget to conduct scalable link building strategies. Backlinks are essentially
Google’s most important ranking factor. Google considers the authority and relevance of the sites that link to you. That authority and relevance is then passed on to your site. One approach I would recommend is using a platform like HARO or ProfNet to submit responses to queries from local and
national journalists and bloggers. The majority of these opportunities come with a link back to your website. The best part: It’s free!
12. Create Location-Specific Landing Pages
One of the best ways to ensure that your small business is found in your target areas is to create location-specific landing pages. These landing pages should be fully optimized with metadata, a location-specific URL, hashtags, and content that mentions the geographic area. Make sure to include a review from a customer in that area, as well as any images of a project or service being provided in the area (and don’t forget alt text). If you have any blog posts or other pages that mention that particular service area, be sure to work those links into the content so search engines can easily find and crawl the new page via existing pages.
13. Make your Meta Description Searchable
Your meta description paragraph is going to be what shows up when people see your homepage listed in a search. It will be a short 150-character paragraph describing what your business does or specifying your services. We recommend using those keywords within your meta description so that you
can be found in searches.
14. Reinvest in Your Existing Content
Because local SEO is so closely intertwined with SEO overall, it also makes sense to go back over your most successful content, using Google Analytics, and supplement it with more types of relevant content such as FAQs, checklists, or additional sections to make it even more valuable to your audience. Too many websites publish content without reinvesting in content that is already working.
15. Establish Your Brand as a Local Authority
Focus on being an authority in your market on your niche. Being the go-to person in a local market is crucial. Your business should be on a customer’s mind before they even do an online search on companies that offer services they need. Work on your brand by growing, cultivating, and maintaining an online presence. YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media profiles allow you to become involved with your market. Engage and be noticed! Best part is, it is free to create these profiles!
16. Get Involved in Your Community
Be part of your local community to build local authority and get some local backlinks. Get in the local news by doing something really cool or getting interviewed. You can also sponsor a local event and ask for a link on the website for the local event — that gives you some good local authority. One last thing for being part of the local community is to join your local chamber of commerce. They can provide you with good connections to local businesses and a link back to your website if they have a member directory (most do).
17. Save Money Time & Attract More Leads by Using a search engine optimization (SEO) Agency/SEO Expert
For a lot of small businesses, time and budgets stand in the way of fulfilling the constant commitment local SEO strategies demand of them. If you’re one of them, consider ‘outsourcing’ the tasks. You can hire local SEO experts to help you create searchable content, keep your business
listings up to date, build your reviews, maintain your social media presence, and more. Find someone you know, like & trust that you can partner up with and enjoy the peace of mind that comes by knowing you’ve got someone constantly working hard behind the scenes to attract more qualified business leads via local SEO.
As a business owner you must also continually produce high-quality and locally relevant website content, showcase your customers’ satisfaction via always-fresh online reviews, naturally infuse your website and content with local keywords, and maintain a healthy social media presence.
Now, go get ’em tiger!
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