11 Steps to Build the Best Local SEO Strategy for Your Business
On average, Google receives about 3.5 billion searches every day, with 46% being users looking for local information. About 72% of the consumers performing local searches end up visiting a local business near them. If you’re yet to embrace a local SEO strategy for your business, you’re doing your brand disfavor.
Local SEO involves optimizing your site to be found by customers near you. It allows you to stay relevant within your region of operation. If you have been wondering how to increase your traffic, get relevant leads, and conversion, local SEO is worth the investment.
Given the ever-changing nature of local SEO, you might be wondering how to go about the strategy. Here are 11 top steps to build a commendable local SEO strategy.
1. Start By Creating a Google My Business Account
If you have a local law firm that you need to rank, creating a Google My Business account is one of the steps you can’t afford to ignore. Your account should be associated with your business profile. Optimizing the profile is one of the easiest ways to rank high in search engine results pages and Google maps.
You can optimize your Google’s Business Profile in several ways after creating your account and verifying business ownership. Your profile should have accurate information. Remember to include your products or services, hours of operation, logo, payment methods, and relevant images.
It would also help to encourage customers to leave reviews. You should also be keen on responding to customer reviews for your brand to gain credibility. Use the Google My Business dashboard to publish posts occasionally to announce special offers, events, and products.
You need to be consistent with your business details. Your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) should remain consistent in your online platforms for easier identification by crawlers and customers. Inconsistencies are one of the contributing factors to low search ranking.
2. Get the Right Keywords
Keywords are indispensable in local SEO and SEM. You need to have a set of relevant keywords for you to rank on Google and other search engines. Your keywords need to be relevant to the people in your area of operation.
If you want to rank for a local law firm, start by establishing common phrases or words that customers are likely to search for. ‘Personal injury lawyers in Tennessee,’ ‘best lawyers,’ and ‘attorneys near me,’ among other phrases describing legal services.
With Google’s Keyword Planner, getting local keywords is easy. You’ll get a list of keywords that you can include in your URLs, meta titles, and content. You can check the traffic generated through the keywords to see if they would work for you.
It would help to understand the keyword categories and when to use each. The buying intent keywords are some of the popular as people check online for services and products. If you’re looking to generate leads, these keywords should feature in your homepage’s content.
Conversely, the research intent keyword can be ideal in your local SEO strategy, but they might not lead to immediate leads or conversion. They are mostly informational. While having them is essential for future conversions, priority should be on the buying intent keywords.
3. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Did you know that 72.6% of internet users will be accessing the web solely through their smartphones within the next five years? This research by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC) confirms that the number of people currently accessing the internet via their phones only is about 2 billion. With this trend, you can’t afford to have a site that hasn’t optimized for mobile phones.
The convenience of mobile phones has made them indispensable in conducting local searches. Potential customers will be checking your site for images of products and contact information. The experience they get can be a deal-breaker!
Ensure that your site is mobile friendly. From the design to the loading speed, visitors shouldn’t get frustrated tried to load an image covering the entire screen. If you’re unsure how to go about it, you’d better consult a local SEO agency.
To achieve mobile optimization;
- Have a fast loading website
- Use easy-to-read fonts
- Make it easy to navigate
- Ensure that visitors can take action effortlessly
- Use images sparingly
4. Create Local-Based Content
If you want to grab your target audience’s attention, create local content that addresses issues they can resonate with. With SEO for law firms, getting local content shouldn’t be hard. You can write blog posts relating to local events, news, or activities.
Your website should further have location-specific webpages that focus primarily on quality local content. As such, it would help to be updated on what’s happening. With time, you’ll start ranking for the different locations you’re targeting.
You should seek to be a local authority in your industry through your content. Whether you are running a pool company or a law firm, you can create useful resources for other service providers in the sector and customers. With time, Google will notice the intent and pay you with an excellent ranking!
5. Optimize Your Site for Voice Search
Voice search is a trend that will be shaping the local SEO strategy in the next few years. Given the rapid growth of this trend, incorporating it as part of your local SEO tools is a wise move. In local SEO, you can optimize how users ask questions when speaking into devices.
Unlike typed searches, voice searches use long-tail keywords. Your content’s SEO should have more of a conversational tone to fit into the voice search approach. Consider queries that start with what, who, why, how, where, and when.
While optimizing for voice, user intent should be a priority. Users often do voice searches as they need specific information, which you need to provide for you to rank. Your answers should be quick and precise.
As you get keywords for your content, be sure to consider the keywords ideal for voice searches. Create your content around the long-tail keywords to increase the chances of people visiting your site. With time, the website traffic will translate into conversions.
6. Request Satisfied Customers to Leave Online Reviews
Online reviews influence the purchasing decisions of more than 93% of consumers. Just like negative reviews, a lack of reviews can make your business questionable. Online reviews increase your chances of ranking while still improving your brand’s credibility.
Positive reviews are a great way to attract new customers. If you still haven’t gotten reviews, start asking your satisfied customers to share their feedback online. You can further encourage them to leave good ratings to help your business rank higher.
After closing a sale, request for a review. You can also send post-purchase text or emails asking for reviews from your loyal customers. It’s crucial to have a pre-survey to determine if a customer is satisfied before asking them for reviews.
The best way to earn reviews is by providing quality services. Your customers will become your brand advocates without constant reminders. The more positive reviews you have, the easier it will become to earn your target audience’s trust.
7. Develop Links and Citations
Your local SEO strategy isn’t complete without links and citations. They are a great way of enhancing your Google rankings and online reach. If you have embraced digital marketing for your law firm, citations and links should be a priority.
A citation refers to your business listing that includes the name, address, and phone number, which appears in an online directory. You might want to consider national directories like Yelp or directories that are more relevant to your industry.
When developing the citations, your NAP should be consistent. Google won’t rank your business if it can’t establish which of your shared information is correct. While at it, remove duplicate listings.
Links allow your brand to compete favorably by boosting your local SEO. You can build your links from the directories, guest posting, or even partnerships. Don’t forget to check out your personal networks, such as vendors and trade associations, for link-building opportunities.
8. Utilize Location Pages
With a local SEO, location pages are crucial. You need to have the location pages, especially when your business is in multiple locations. It will make it easier for customers to find you.
On the location pages, have your company’s name, address, and phone number. Indicate the store hours and the days you operate through the week. Have individualized descriptions and testimonials on these pages to increase conversion opportunities.
Information such as parking availability might seem insignificant on a site, yet it can determine a customer’s decision to visit your business. Have Google Maps attached to the locations on each of the pages.
If you have a single location, the ‘About Us’ page is enough to provide all the information you’ll need for your local audience. On the other hand, having more than one location means that you’ll need to create content relevant for each market.
9. Work on Your Social Media Visibility
As it stands, one in three people worldwide are active social media users. Having a social media presence for your brand shouldn’t be negotiable. Your business will appear trustworthy and credible.
Social media can be your source of high-quality traffic and backlinks. It would help to be active on all your business social media handles. Promote your business proactively for increased brand awareness.
Your social media posts should be relevant to your target audience. Localize the content as much as you can. If your followers find the content valuable, you can benefit from reshares and recommendations.
If you’re on Facebook, you can check out relevant groups within your area of operation. Post valuable content that members can relate with. Your following will start growing over time, which will make you more visible.
A social media presence for your business will be effective in increasing your brand’s traffic and visibility. It can further boost your local SEO strategy.
10. Use High-Quality Images
Humans are highly visual! The pictures you use for your site might get more attention than the text. Pictures tell a story more profoundly, making it crucial to use them for your local SEO.
Photos are a great way to garner attention. Listings with relevant, high-quality images tend to receive more links than those without images. It would help to have cover photos, profile photos, and logos.
It is essential to ensure that the photos are well-optimized before uploading. The image alt descriptions should include local keywords to enhance your ranking. Without photos, you’ll have a more challenging time trying to engage your target audience.
11. Track Results
When using local SEO, tracking your results is vital. Unlike SEM, where the results are real-time, you need time to establish whether the local SEO strategy you’re using is working. The metrics that will help in measuring results are ranking, traffic, and leads.
For businesses, ranking is one of the metrics you can use to determine if your SEO is working. You can use local SEO tools like BrightLocal and Rank Ranger to track your SEO rankings.
Google Analytics is ideal for tracking visitors or traffic to your website. Keep checking your organic search traffic on a short-term and long-term basis. You’ll be in a better position to determine how your traffic is growing and the steps to take if the results aren’t commendable.
Leads can also show you whether your local SEO strategy is working. More leads are an indication that your website is on the right track.
A local SEO Strategy Is Indispensable in Lead Generation
Whether you’re an existing business or an upstart, local SEO is necessary. A local SEO strategy increases traffic from your target audience. You need to embrace local SEO if you want to appeal to the market within your region of operation.
It would help to seek professionals for local SEO services. With the ever-changing nature of SEO, working with the right agency can get you outstanding results.
Are you in need of digital marketing services? Olive Marketing Consulting is your ideal partner for local SEO services, SEM, social media advertising, email marketing, and many other digital marketing tactics. Contact us today for a range of marketing services.