While reading about search engine optimization (SEO), you may have heard marketers talk about local SEO. There’s a good reason this is such a popular topic; of all Google searches are for local products, services, and businesses. 45% The rise of smartphones and other mobile devices has made tracking down local companies easier than ever before. Instead of pulling out a phonebook, consumers can type or speak into their device and find crucial details about businesses, such as their location, reviews, and product availability. Brands that don’t optimize their stores for these factors generally see fewer in-store customers and far less traction online. Local SEO will continue to impact brand visibility and engagement across all industries. If your goal is to reach more prospects and customers that live or work close to your physical storefront, you’re in the right place. Today, I’ll show you several ways to enhance your local SEO strategy. You can use these tips to improve your visibility on Google, which can lead to a significant and engagement. boost in sales Let’s get started. Maintain Consistent Brand Profiles First, make sure all of your online profiles are consistent and accurate. When Google chooses which businesses to show for specific searches, the algorithm only chooses companies that have reliable information. If your company has five different phone numbers across seven different platforms, Google won’t know what to show, so it will likely omit your website from the results. On the other hand, if Google ‘sees’ the same phone number, address, and URL across all seven platforms, it’s more likely to choose your business when users say or type relevant local keywords. Your is a great place to start. Claim your listing and complete your profile. Including additional information on your profile makes it easier for Google to make fundamental decisions about the context of your website. Google My Business profile I also recommend checking your listing on popular online data aggregators, such as and . Foursquare Data Axle These companies compile data on online businesses and share it with smaller communities. If you synchronize all of these different platforms with one consistent set of information, local customers will have an easier time finding your company. Choose Keywords with Voice Search in Mind Voice search has quickly become one of the most popular ways for consumers to search the internet. In fact, estimates show that by the end of 2021, about of all online searches were conducted without a screen. 30% There are several reasons for this trend. First, smart speakers, such as Amazon’s Echo, are now more affordable than ever before. Because they are readily available and cheap, it makes sense that more people would have access to this technology. Another more prominent cause is every new smartphone comes with the ability to use voice search to browse online. This means that people who would otherwise never use this feature find themselves turning to their voice-activated device when they have a question or want to make an online purchase. If you’re wondering about the impact this has on eCommerce, consider this; nearly of people who own a smart speaker say they’ve used their device to buy something online. 62% Business leaders looking to optimize their website for local search should use conversational language and plenty of voice-specific keywords. The key to choosing the right words is to find out how your audience would search for your business with their voice instead of typing. For example, someone might type, “Steak dinner near me” when looking for a local restaurant. On the other hand, someone using a voice-activated device might say, “Where can I get a steak dinner?” Using the right keywords means your results are more likely to appear in the results gathered from the smart speaker. If used properly, content and offers that sound natural when spoken and feature local keywords see far more traffic and engagement when compared to companies without a voice search strategy. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Users Speaking of smartphones, your website will likely see a dip in local traffic if it’s not optimized for mobile users. You may be shocked to learn that the average person spends on their device every day. This eye-opening statistic shows why it’s so important to have a mobile responsive design. 3 hours and 40 minutes Imagine you’re ready to buy a brand new lawnmower, but you want to pick it up in person. You pull out your smartphone and look for stores with lawn mower models that meet your needs. If the website with the best offer isn’t optimized for mobile, you likely won’t see them in the results. Consequently, you’ll spend more to get the same product that you could have bought elsewhere. You don’t want to put potential customers in a similar position. When attempting to reach a local audience through mobile, two factors matter more than the rest. First, and performance can dramatically impact traffic and conversions. Research shows that a one-second delay in loading time can lead to a whopping loss in sales. your site’s overall speed 7% The second factor is accessibility. In other words, it doesn’t matter how fast your website loads if on-page text scrolls off the screen, images are broken, and there’s no option for mobile customer support. I suggest refining these two aspects of your mobile marketing strategy. Before long, you’ll likely see more local customers for your effort. Add Local Schema Markup Schema markup (also known as rich snippets and structured data) is another must-have marketing tool for businesses looking to reach more local customers. Even if the name is unfamiliar to you, there’s a good chance you’ve seen schema markup while browsing Google. Simply put, schema markup helps you get additional information included with the link to your website. For instance, if a customer is looking for a specific product, schema markup can let them know if it’s available. Similarly, if someone is interested in making a purchase, rich snippets make it easy to show users how many reviews the product has along with the rating. If you want to see what schema markup looks like for yourself, you can find out by doing a simple Google search for a product, service, or brand. Odds are, there’s at least one website out there with rich snippets around that topic. When you consider that of shoppers say they are more likely to trust a local business if they feature reviews, it’s not hard to see how this strategy can help you secure sales and engage with more local customers. 73% You can add a bunch of different markups to individual pages based on your industry and product selection. It’s easy to include schema markup for recipes, product descriptions, online course details, and much more. Think outside the box and use schema markup to make it even easier for local customers to decide where to spend their time and hard-earned money. Once you set up your schema markup, you can use Google’s to see where your business stands. Rich Results Test Get Involved in Your Community Finally, you can build a local audience by getting involved in your community. This step will vary depending on the needs of your audience, company resources, and the size of your city. But there are a few common ways you can get started. I recommend reaching out to local businesses that operate in the same industry. It’s worth noting that the partner company shouldn’t be a competitor. Instead, they should have an audience with similar goals, interests, and pain points. For example, an owner of a brick-and-mortar health food store might partner with local gyms. This type of partnership makes sense because the people going to the gym are also the same ones who are careful about what they eat. Think carefully about your business and what local companies would benefit from a partnership. You can then reach out to these business owners and exchange business cards, write guest posts for each other, and much more. Forming local partnerships in your community is an excellent way to spread brand awareness and reach people who may have never heard of your brand. Final Thoughts It’s clear that local SEO will continue to play a pivotal role in the success of brick-and-mortar and many online businesses. If you’re not connecting with these potential customers, you’re missing out. The tips discussed today will help you build an outline for your local search strategy. I suggest reviewing on-site data as you make changes. You’ll likely find plenty of hidden opportunities to rank for local keywords, reach more customers, and grow your small business.