Syed Balkhi is the founder of WPBeginner, the largest free WordPress resource site.
Have you optimized your business for local search? If not, you might be missing out on a lot of potential customers who are willing to buy in your local area. This is especially true for small businesses that are operating locally on a regional level.
According to reports, 46% of all Google searches are local. Most customers are looking for stores and service providers near them. So if you can optimize your business for these users and make your products and services pop up in their search results, you can quickly make a conversion.
Optimizing your local SEO can help you stay relevant. This, in turn, can bring you more traffic, generate more leads, boost your sales and increase your profit.
It's a great way to compete against those big brands that have unlimited resources to spend on their marketing strategy to stay relevant and have more conversions. Big brands mostly target a wider user base. So they are more focused on optimizing their business on a national or global level rather than on a local or regional level. This means you can easily secure a top rank in search engines if you put in a little extra effort to optimize your local SEO.
But the question is, how do you optimize your local SEO? Let's look at 4 great ways to do that for quick results.
According to sources, the 'near me' or 'close by' type of search has grown by more than 900% over the last two years. And 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. This clearly points out how important it is to create location-specific pages for your business. It's one of the most important aspects of local SEO, and not using it in your SEO strategy can only make you lose sales and affect your conversions.
All you have to do is create an About us page and include important details of your store like your address, contact details, opening hours, parking availability, and Google maps specifications.
You should also create a lot of location-specific content for your website that targets local keywords. For example, if you have a bakery in New York, you can write about baking classes in your local area, or talk about how you can raise funds for charity through baking events in your area, or anything that makes sense for your business. Such content will give you the opportunity to insert your location-based keywords more strategically and help boost your search ranking.
Another brilliant idea is to work on your business name. For example, if your bakery's name is 'Bake and Take,' instead of simply writing the name, you can write 'Bake and Take - Best Bakery in New York.' This lets you include your location in your business name, which will help you boost your local SEO and let more people see your business pop up in their search results.
The next important point to consider for boosting your local SEO is to add your business to business directories. Some of the popular business directories are Yelp, YellowPages, MapQuest, etc.
Adding your business to business directories will make it easier for your local users to find your business easily. Also, online directories usually have very high domain authority. So having your business listed in these directories increases your chances of appearing in search results. Besides, it also creates an additional backlink for you.
However, it's important to keep your business details consistent in every directory. Without that, it can only confuse search engines and hamper your marketing efforts. So double-check to ensure that your key information is consistent across platforms.
Optimizing your business for Google my Business is another important point to consider if you want to boost your rankings for local search. Google My Business page is Google's free tool where it allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google. This includes search and maps as well.
Google will then automatically use the business information and photos you add to create a website. You can easily customize this website and include photos and other relevant details to let your users know more about your business.
You can even allow your users to add reviews for your business and leverage it as social proof to boost your sales. It's a great way to connect with your local audience and boost your SEO.
If Google authenticates your business, it might reward you with a coveted sidebar space in Google local search.
Another brilliant trick to boost your local SEO is to create some quality backlinks for your website. According to a study published in Moz, link signals are the first important factor for local pack results and the second most important factor for improving localized organic results.
However, simply creating a lot of backlinks for the sake of creating it won't help. You have to focus more on the quality of your links rather than the quantity. When you have a good number of high-quality domains pointing back to your website, it becomes easier for Google to trust your site, and it considers ranking your site in search results. So how do you create quality backlinks for your site that help you boost your local SEO?
One way of doing it is to create a lot of high-quality content that others would want to share and link back to. You can also try guest posting on websites with high domain authority.
Another brilliant trick that many marketers are using to improve their backlinking strategy is to collaborate with social media influencers. You can do that too and cross-promote each other on your individual blogs and leave a link back to each other's website to boost your link-building strategy.
If you really want to stay relevant in the market and boost your sales and overall conversions, you have to improve your local SEO. Most businesses ignore this important marketing strategy and lose out on a lot of potential customers. But you don't want the same to happen to you. So start working on improving your local SEO today.
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