6 Local SEO Tips and Tricks to create a presence to attract potential clients. Local SEO is becoming critical to attract new clients.
Search engine optimization is just as important today as it’s always been. However, the practice has changed a great deal over the years, and today’s SEO is much more attuned to consumer habits and web user practices.
For instance, SEO isn't really worth doing these days unless it’s tailored to a local demographic because today’s online shoppers are much more responsive to ads and information that are targeted based on proximity. But if you haven't hopped on the local SEO wave yet, don’t worry — it’s not too late, and here are a few quick tips to get your feet wet.
1. Claim Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is a simple feature, but it’s very effective. When somebody Googles your company, the first thing they’ll see on the top right-hand side of the search page is a feature sheet about your business, including the name, address, business hours, reviews and your proximity to their current location. To get started:
- Google your own business
- Claim it as your own and verify it with Google
- Make sure the details about your business are accurate
- Add photos, respond to reviews and make sure your location is on the map
2. Establish Local Listings for Your Business Everywhere
Aside from Google, there are dozens of other local business listings you can sign up for. You also need to make sure that those listings have your NAP, which is the trifecta of information in the world of SEO: name, address and phone number. More specifically, make sure the information is accurate and consistent all across the board because this can affect your rankings. A few of the local listing sites to check out include:
- Whitepages and local telephone directories
- Local business associations
- Chamber of Commerce
- Bing and Yahoo
- Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
3. Make Your Site Responsive and Mobile-Friendly
It’s been official for a while now that more internet searches in the U.S. are performed from mobile devices than they are from desktop and personal computers. Not only that, but it’s also becoming increasingly common for web searches to be done in real time by people who are looking for your place of business right now.
And if they can't find you because they can't navigate your site on their phone or tablet, then they will go to a competitor instead. There are plenty of guides out there that can walk you through building a mobile site or customizing the one you have, or you can hire a developer to do it for you.
4. Take Advantage of What People Are Saying About You
Reviews, testimonials and local news are great ways to engage an audience, because it’s a way to promote your products, services and your business without shamelessly tooting your own horn. Encouraging customers to leave reviews for your products or services is an integral part of managing your reputation, because reviews can make or break businesses in the digital age, and they’ll also impact your rankings.
Moreover, testimonials and coverage in the local news are fantastic free advertising, so it’s important that you dedicate time and effort to fostering good relationships with customers and local media outlets.
5. Create Content That’s Local and Relevant
Content is still king in the world of SEO, but only if that content is relevant, interesting, shareable and increasingly, if it’s local. It used to be that you could crank out blog posts on any old topic with any old title aimed at any old audience. But now, Google prioritizes locally targeted content, so be sure to write to your local audience, include local place names in your post titles, and try to incorporate local news, events and information as often as possible in your blogs and releases.
6. Target Ad Extensions to a Local Audience
Another place you should be tailoring your SEO tactics for local web searches is through location extensions. This is a feature available through Google AdWords, which allows you to incorporate location data into your ads. So when people come across your ad, they don’t just see the ad, but also:
- Your exact location and how far they are from you
- A Call button they can click to dial you
- A direct link to a details page dedicated to you and your location
The importance of localizing search engine optimization isn't going away anytime soon, and the earlier you start making your online marketing location-specific, the sooner you'll improve your rankings, increase your traffic and grow your customer base. These six items are simple to execute, and as long as you already have solid SEO practices in place, incorporating these local tactics into your current campaign will reap huge rewards for a minimal amount of effort.