Local SEO: How to Get Started and Keep It Sustainable

December 10, 2018

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In our Internet-driven world, when most people need information quickly, they turn to Google. Businesses of all sizes have to compete to earn a spot among the coveted top ten Google search results.

If you aren’t a big brand, sometimes it seems impossible to get your name out there to potential customers. Fortunately, it can be done with the right local SEO strategy. Keep reading to learn about how you can optimize your business website for local search.

Local SEO in a Nutshell…

Search engine optimization (SEO) involves increasing a company’s visibility in organic search results. Local SEO differs from regular SEO in that it focuses on targeting customers within a specific geographic area.

Many types of businesses can utilize local SEO, such as doctors, restaurant owners, or lawyers. On the other hand, online-only ecommerce shops or businesses that don’t want to share their local information probably won’t benefit from local SEO efforts. It’s important to stay aware of Google updates that affect local SEO efforts, especially if your business heavily relies on leads coming from sources such as Google My Business.

Local SEO is a very strategic process where the goal is simple: increase conversions for brick-and-mortar businesses. This can be achieved by setting up a Google My Business account (if you haven’t already), and focusing on three target areas: keyword research, content, and links.

Why It’s Important

Focusing on local SEO can be a pivotal step in growing your business. Research has shown that in 2017, over 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses.

Making sure your business appears in these search results can help you capture the attention of these viable potential customers. Perhaps more importantly, a strong presence in local search results can increase foot traffic in your physical location, leading to more sales and deals closed.

The Basics of a Local SEO Strategy

There are 3 main components of every successful local SEO strategy: mobile-friendly content creation, relevant keyword research, and smart link building tactics. When you’re focusing on your local SEO efforts, remember the importance of having a strong foundation for your SEO.

1) Mobile-Friendly Content

Since local SEO is location-based, it’s imperative you make your address available online so that Google displays it to customers who are in close proximity. Any information that a potential customer might need should appear in the search results to ensure that they obtain everything they need to know efficiently.

Making sure the format of your content (both text and video) is optimized for smaller screen sizes is extremely important. Every social media post image, Google ad, email template (and everything else) needs to be mobile responsive. The purpose of a search engine is not just to provide users with content, but also to provide them with the most relevant content possible, no matter where or what device they’re searching from.

There are other factors that go into determining whether your content is relevant to a user. Longer content is known to rank better on search engines because it contains more information on the topic. The more you publish, the more search visibility you gain. However, breaking up long-form content into easily digestible blocks is key if you don’t want mobile users getting bored or frustrated.

2) Strategic Keyword Research

At its core, SEO is based on keyword research. These keywords or phrases are what connect people to your site via Google. If your website is well optimized for search engines, it means that more people will find your business and you will be pushed to the top of their results.

Finding the best keywords requires that you are familiar with your audience. You need to know what exactly they are searching for and how they are searching in order to make it easy for them to find you. The process of keyword research involves quite a bit of trial and error, but it is well worth the time.

Make the most of your efforts by frequently updating and expanding your SEO keyword list or diversifying and experimenting with your keywords to distinguish yourself from your competitors. For local SEO, pay closer attention to the searches that people perform in your specific geographic area.

3) Smart Link Building

As we have discussed, keywords and content are crucial for increasing the relevance of your page. However, your page still needs authority in order to rank higher in search results. Google uses the quantity and quality of links to rank your website.

These links may come from other websites referencing and linking back to your own website, either prompted or unprompted. If these websites are popular, relevant to your business, and trustworthy, this will signal to Google that it should bump up your website in its results.

Reviews by customers are also a major part of highlighting your brand’s authority. These are especially important for local SEO. Getting more Google reviews can give your business a competitive edge, and provide customers with additional information they might be looking for. Make sure to respond to these reviews as well to signal to Google that you are engaged and responsive.

To Wrap It Up…

Staying on top of your presence in local search results can have a positive impact on your company’s revenue, especially if you’re a small-to-medium sized local business. Google is always updating its search algorithm in an effort to provide users the best possible experience, so it’s important to keep up with these changes to maintain strong SEO efforts.

Reach out to us below to learn more about how we can help your local SEO efforts thrive. We’d love to chat about how our services can make the most of your marketing budget.

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