If you’re a small or mid-size business, you likely rely on local searches to drive customers to your products or services. In order to implement the right strategies for local SEO, you’ll need to update your local directories, optimize your website, and embrace your community in order to have success.
What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (SEO) consists of all the ways that business owners and managers promote their products and services to local customers, prospects and partners. In order to connect businesses with their intended audiences, it’s critical for local searches to find:
- Credible and accurate business content
- Website and social profile pages
- Product or service reviews
- Embedded links
- Store addresses, business hours, and proximity
If customers are unaware of your business, they may end up finding your competitor instead. With local competition increasing at a fast pace, your brand must have favorable search engine results in order to survive.
How Do I Strengthen My Local SEO Rankings?
Local SEO is a necessary online marketing strategy for businesses that serve customers in their region. With increased sales occurring through apps and websites, local SEO can be a significant advantage to businesses that want to generate leads, gain credibility, and maximize their growth potential.
Update Your Website
Optimizing your website in accordance with industry best practices is different than improving your local SEO efforts. Examples of updates \ for local SEO include adding appropriate internal links, using location-specific keywords, using alt tags on images, adding location pages, and engaging in content specific to your area. Also, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly to convert audiences that use devices on the go.
Optimize Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that can make your business authentic, verify information, and help you promote your message to your customers. To optimize your Google My Business account, you should verify your exact address, contact information and business locations. It also helps customers to see a brief description of your services, hours of operations, and photos of your products.
Engage with Directories
Stay consistent across directories for name, address and phone numbers to enhance local SEO. Implement ongoing location data to ensure your online presence remains accurate. Become an active participant in industry and local community conversations to help expand your local reach, especially if other local sites are linking to your services, products and website.
Consider Creating an FAQ Page
Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on your website to help you organize a collection of valuable information that your customers ask for. You can leverage information on your website to drive the narrative of helping people find and enter your storefront.
When you have an FAQ page on your website, you will:
- Increase online visibility on search engines
- Provide information to help customers make a purchasing decision
- Reduce the need for your employees to answer simple questions
- Improve your customer’s experience
- Boost sales since people will have basic information to make a decision
In order to determine what content to include on your FAQ page, develop a list of specific questions that you know your current customers are asking. Come up with a few easy questions, and then recognize patterns to build a list of helpful information for your potential customers.
In recent years, Google has been consistently focusing on understanding user intent with longer phrases and questions, while moving away from keyword-based queries. Users are asking questions rather than just a few keywords, which will bring up your website if you include an FAQ page.
Build a Following Through Social Media
Although most business owners and managers are using social media in their personal lives, many of them don’t have a strong understanding of what to do with their business accounts. They often struggle with what kind of content to post, how to attract followers and fans, or how to create a strategy to optimize their time.
The focus of social media for businesses is to create a public conversation with your customers and prospective customers. Rather than constantly giving a sales pitch, the point of social media should be to engage with your followers, ask their opinions, and give them a sense of investment in your products or services.
Research which sites and apps your customers use. A quick survey or other data aggregator, whether in-store, via email, or when they call for an appointment, can help you connect further with your existing customers and quickly find similar ones.
Manage Your Customer Feedback
Customer reviews and feedback will impact local SEO ranking since Google prioritizes businesses with a high number of reviews and high ratings. In order to boost your local SEO, encourage your customers to give honest ratings and reviews for your products and services.
The keywords that your customers choose in their feedback can also help improve your local SEO. Positive keywords will help customers looking for a positive experience find your business a lot easier since they will use similar words in their search.
If you end up getting any bad feedback, be sure to address these issues quickly. If a disgruntled customer posts a complaint, make sure to acknowledge it and address the problem offline. Exasperating the problem can cause an avalanche of negativity that could end up driving business away.
Tips for Local SEO Professionals in 2020
When businesses are looking at the best local SEO practices, it is essential for them to get to know their local customers. Some of the initiatives that leading experts are using this year include:
- Surveys to stay connected to customers
- Split tests to see what works and what doesn’t for specific businesses
- Reviews, blog posts and photos
- Focused content that regional customers need
- Improved user engagement through social media
It is vital for local businesses to get acquainted with their regional customers in order to take advantage of other marketing streams, such as word-of-mouth advertising. By having a strong presence online, customers that discover services from other sources can verify what they’ve heard with your business’s easy to find content.
One of the strongest benefits of word of mouth reviews is its credibility since most messages are sent through friends, family members or co-workers. The closer the relationship between your happy customers and the people they discuss your products with, the more impact their words have, and the better it will be for your business to fit within their community.
Implement Local Strategies with ThinkFuel Marketing
ThinkFuel Marketing delivers inbound marketing, lead generation, and digital marketing services for B2B companies across Canada and the United States. We cut through all the “fluff” and give small to mid-size businesses advice they can use to immediately acquire leads, close more deals, and increase revenue.
Contact us today to grow your B2B business through online marketing.