How important is local SEO?
For starters, 46% of all Google searches are local, a fact that you just can’t ignore.
People have also become smarter in the way they use search engines, especially when they’re searching for food and services in a certain city or town. More often than not, they type in keywords that are location-specific, which is something that Google and the other search engines can now recognize as having local intent.
Today, whenever it receives a search query that aims to find a certain business + location, Google will automatically offer in the search results all the location-specific options. Typically, the businesses that make it to the top of those search results are the ones with high local SEO rankings.
In other words, if you want Google to offer up your business as an option to searchers, you have to have a high local SEO ranking, which you can only achieve by coming up with a local SEO strategy and maximizing it.
Tips for Maximizing Your Local SEO
You have to maximize your SEO if you want your business to stand a better chance of ranking high in local search results. Here are some ways to help you do just that.
Optimize Title Tags with a Location-Specific Keyword
Optimizing your site’s title tags with a location-specific keyword is one way of giving users across all platforms what they need. Keywords like “best massage in Phoenix” or “top HVAC contractor Scottsdale” are designed to inform search engines that your page is linked directly with either city, making your appearance in local search results more likely.
Get High-Quality Links
The links that point to your site have now been officially declared by Google as among the top three search ranking factors, so that should give you an idea of how important backlinks are to your business. It would be even more excellent if the backlinks you get are high-quality ones.
High-quality links will always have a positive impact on both the organic and local SEO for your website. The more backlinks you get from local authority sites, the better. Cultivating relationships locally can fetch you some good links, and it can be done by getting your business more involved in the community. You can speak at a local business conference, present at a local university, or participate in events whose organizers will likely link to your site.
Make Your Content More Localized
Blog posts that focus on local news, events, and activities can help you get more attention locally, which should help you compete in local search. Putting up more content geared towards your business location’s residents is a good way of fostering recognition and loyalty to your brand and business.
There is also the fact that locally-focused content could cement Google’s understanding of the relevance of your business to its location, which could help your site rank for a wider range of keyword searches.
Google My Business
In case you haven’t claimed your Google My Business profile yet, do it now because this free listing service can impact your local SEO ranking directly.
However, if you want that impact to be a positive one, make sure you use Google My Business properly. All pertinent details of your business must be put up in your profile, from your name and address to telephone numbers and business hours. It’s also essential that you verify your Google My Business profile as you claim it since a verified profile always gets ranked higher than profiles with no verification.
One really wonderful thing about Google My Business is that Google encourages you to ethically ask for online reviews from customers and clients. Getting reviews is great because, according to BrightLocal’s 2017 Consumer Review Survey, 97% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. Get a positive one, and you’ll get 73% of consumers to trust your local business more.
You should also build profiles on Yelp, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Foursquare, and other local search engines once you have verified your Google My Business Profile.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile
About half of local-mobile searchers look for local addresses and other business information. Considering how mobile users have long overtaken the number of desktop users, businesses should be paying more attention to them.
There’s a study from 2017 by Acquisio saying that of all mobile searches that show local intent, an incredible 75% lead to actual visits to the physical store or shop within 24 hours. That should be more than enough reason for local businesses to optimize for mobile. It’s good for not only for local SEO but your SEO in general as well.
Among the ways that you can optimize for mobile is to boost your site’s loading speed, use bigger and easy-to-read fonts, and adopt a responsive design that will make everything display well on any mobile device.
These tips are just a few of the many ways you can maximize your local SEO. Improve your chances of getting ranked higher on local search results by learning about them, and making sure they’re implemented on your website.