Local SEO is as crucial as mobile-optimized websites. In fact, there are more local searches conducted on a mobile device than general SEO.
With that being said, small businesses that run a local physical store could benefit from optimizing for local SEO. The advantageous nature of local SEO campaigns can grow small businesses and even help them to thrive.
Better local SEO strategies aid a small business to appear visible upon search. It even helps compete with other businesses. And, it is easier to manage as compared to SEO strategies used by bigger and national organizations.
Help your small business get the recognition it needs, and since countries are starting to open up for the economy, local SEO will put you on the map. Tourists will search for a place to visit, and that’s when local SEO will bring more customers into your business.
So, read further to learn about the benefits of local SEO and how you can grow your business with it.
Benefits of Local SEO for Small Businesses
Driving traffic to your business is a matter of importance. Whether you own a local shop or a large enterprise, driving traffic to your business can help you increase revenue.
When you optimize for local SEO, you enhance your business for more traffic. Furthermore, this said traffic is genuine and interested in visiting your business. According to Think with Google, 30% of mobile searches are about location, and 76% of people who conduct local searches, visit the shop within a day.
Local SEO helps target people that are more likely to convert to sales.
Less Expense for Advertising
Local SEO can save money, as there is no need for traditional marketing strategies at all. Since most people use their smartphones, local SEO can help promote themselves with no money needed.
When people search for “Near Me” businesses, local SEO works by promoting a small-owned shop to appear on people’s choices.
Long-term Competitive Edge
Local SEO gives you an advantage over your opponents. People will undoubtedly divert to a firm that ranks higher on SERP results because, as buyers, we want to learn more about the product. And since we do all of our searches using a search engine, we would choose the solution that appears in the search results without hesitation. Practical SEO efforts help your business establish a long-term competitive advantage that puts you miles ahead of the competition.
Get More Reviews
People often read online reviews. It is a deciding factor for consumers before purchasing a product. If businesses want to generate more customers, optimizing for local SEO can help attain reviews.
Together with receiving reviews, businesses that respond to their customers can rank higher on search engines.
Increases Conversion Rate
Local SEO attracts new customers and enhances conversion rates. As traffic increases, business owners can turn them into paying customers with some strategies. When local clients are ready to buy, presenting oneself as an authority in your area might increase your chances of making a sale. Rather than searching for companies thousands of miles away or making a random purchase online, most local searchers prefer to learn about local businesses.
Optimize for Mobile
Most searches are completed through mobile devices. Often, people search for businesses or products to purchase within the area. If your business is optimized for local SEO, you can appear on top of search engines for the keyword you use. Hence, giving you more exposure to mobile users.
Connection with Local Customers
Local searches are more common on search engines. As businesses optimize for local SEO, they make it easy for customers to look for them online.
Most people who search locally are genuinely interested individuals. So, there is a higher chance of converting those traffic.
With local SEO, you can gain quality traffic from local and interested customers.
Optimizing for local SEO helps small businesses hit the jackpot by offering their services to genuinely interested individuals. It cuts back in expenses and time to manage uninterested traffic.
Tips to Optimize Your Local Small Business
Create a Google My Business Account
The most effective way to make your small business visible online is to create a business account on Google or claim your Google My Business account.
Once you’ve started an account, make sure to complete your profile for people to learn more about your business.
- Include updated information
- Add a logo and images of your location and products or services
- Provide hours of operation
- Add ratings and reviews, and encourage customers to leave a review
- Respond to reviews
- Post announcements, special offers, and so on
Aside from using Google for the business directory, you can also create an account on Yelp, Facebook pages, Bing, and YellowPages.
When people search locally or “near me,” Google prioritizes businesses with Google My Business Accounts.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Since 85% of consumers rely on reviews before making a purchase, you need to encourage your customers to leave one on your website, Google page, and social media accounts.
Although it is not easy to ask for a review in return, you can make things simple by sending an email for feedback. You can even include a rating option.
Make sure to respond to reviews, whether it’s negative or positive. Stay as professional as you can when responding.
Be reminded that some directories discourage businesses from asking for reviews from customers.
Use and Search Local Keywords
If you want people to know you exist, using keywords on a search engine can help your business.
Google and other search engines crawl business websites for keywords and other factors. However, keywords remain to be the most significant part of it.
Similar to general SEO strategies, you’ll need to research local keywords for your business and area. Also, using long-tail keywords can help in your ranking. Tools like Moz, Ahref, and SemRush are effective in keyword research, competitor analysis, and more.
Don’t be afraid to use non-localized keywords if you want. Although, it is difficult to compete with such.
Create Local Content
General SEO strategies utilize blogs to insert keywords, promote a product, and drive traffic. That’s why marketing professionals are keen on posting blog content. But would it be effective for local businesses?
Yes, blogs or creating local content for your business are helpful. You can use local keywords and write topics that are beneficial to local customers. You can create generic content but make sure to include local keywords and something that can help your local buyers.
Optimization for Mobile Users
70% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. Studies have shown that mobile searches have outranked desktop searches. Even retail visits on websites are conducted using smartphones.
The increase in mobile searches indicates the importance of optimizing your website for mobile devices.
Since most local searches happen on smartphones, you need to optimize your website to be visible on the search engine.
It can be done by implementing the following:
- Choose a theme that is flexible. It can fit any screen size.
- Make sure images and fonts can be seen on the screen.
- Websites should load faster.
Optimization for Voice Search
65% of 25-49-year-olds use their voice-enabled device once a day. Even the number of smart speakers has reached a million sales even before the pandemic.
People are using voice searches because it is convenient. About 46% of the population uses smart speakers and virtual assistants to search for local information. Even when traveling, people use voice searches activated on their phones for local search.
Therefore, make sure your business’s website and business listing are optimized for voice searches. Verify your Google Business page and update everything so Google can suggest your local business.
Aside from keywords, a fast loading page, and being mobile-friendly, a website, whether for a national or local business, needs to be optimized. Each landing page should not be a copy of one another.
Optimizing your website for SEO ranking can be similar to general SEO practices such as adding title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and more. In addition, small businesses should include reviews, company citations, and a Google Map.
Manage Citation or Location or About Us Page
Location for local SEO is a must, particularly for local businesses.
If you run a single business, an About Us page is enough to include all the valuable information – the name, address, and phone number. You can even add a short description and businesses you worked with.
Meanwhile, for a small business with multiple branches, you need to create separate landing pages. Make sure that each page is not a replica of the other.
Include the following information on each page:
- Phone number
- Store hours
- Google map
- Parking availability
This set of information is vital to help small businesses rank for local SEO. Furthermore, it establishes the legitimacy of your business.
Link to Local Businesses
One way for search engines to establish your authority, relevancy, and quality is through backlinks.
Find businesses that are similar to your industry and link back to their websites. For better results, search for local websites and link to them. In return, you can ask them to link back to your pages.
You can write a blog post for a local business website, attend sponsoring events, or make an announcement on a local online newspaper.
Understand User’s Behavior
We are accustomed to drastic changes all the time. Even Google has a list of trending keywords that people engage in. An example of this is keywords for DIY projects, and home improvements are trending during the pandemic.
Keep up with search trends that you can use in your industry. Then, use the keyword to drive valuable traffic to your website.
Small businesses with physical stores can benefit from these local SEO tips. It can drive genuine traffic and get more sales than ever. Furthermore, it keeps them ahead of their competitors as they can be easily searched online.
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