Local search refers to searches for businesses, products, services or anything else that is tied to a specific location. Some examples of local searches include “food near me,” “gas station near me,” “hair salon nearby.” These types of searches combine relevant information with the geographic location of the person performing the search. These types of searches have become more and more common and therefore should be something to address in your overall SEO strategy.
Local search is a powerful way for small businesses to gain customers looking to shop in your area. According to Google, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. If your business isn’t ranking well in local searches, you could miss out on valuable traffic.
This article will explain eight recommendations to improve your local SEO performance, helping your business show up well in local search results.
1. Claim your Google my Business, Apple Maps, Bing Places. Include any accurate information and make sure it exactly matches the information on your website. This is one of the top factors considered in ranking businesses in search results. Some other tips:
Upload high quality photos of your business (both outside and inside photos).
Add hours of operation, including holiday hours.
Add a catchy business description.
Ask happy customers to leave reviews and respond to them.
Answer any questions using the Q&A section.
2. Add to Contact page on website written driving directions from north, south, east and west naming key local identifiers (city names, universities, highways, rivers, etc.)
3. Include business name, address, phone number in website footer.
4. Add nearby big cities and local identifiers to website content when describing location of business, in services section, in customer testimonials, or other pages, as appropriate.
5. Make sure you are listed on sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, OpenTable, etc. Include all accurate information that matches your website's content.
6. Keep your mobile website in mind. When people are on the go and search for a business near them, it is likely they are doing so on their phone. Your website must be mobile-friendly to attract customers and let them access all of the information they need.
7. Local Backlinks. Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to yours. Some tips on building backlinks:
Join local online business directories.
Join local chambers of commerce and add your business to website.
Find other local blogs or businesses and ask them for a guest blog post and include the link to your website.
Ask other local businesses if they would like to swap links to each other's websites and/or create some sort of cross promotion.
8. Write and post blog articles with the local audience in mind and keep it relevant to your business. Include location in the title of the post if possible.
As more and more people rely on search engines to find what they are looking for nearby, the more important it will be to have a solid local SEO standing. These eight recommendations are a great start to climbing the search engine results pages and drive more visitors to your website!