Small businesses can face unique challenges when trying to establish themselves online. Limited resources, low visibility, and adapting to new tech trends can make competing with larger businesses tough. With that said, do you want to know a secret? Leveraging Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is your golden ticket. Keeping this strategy in your back pocket can boost your small business, attract consumers, and help you stand out in the online crowd.
Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy that helps to improve search engine visibility for local businesses and brands. It’s about making your business easy to find when people are looking for online products and services within your same radius. How many times have you found yourself turning to a Google search to find “pizza delivery, gas station, convenience store, etc. near me?” Local SEO enhances your presence, making it more visible to those nearby.
Consider how the benefits of this powerful tool can boost your business:
- Increased Visibility – It’s no secret that large corporations often dominate most industries. With Local SEO, small businesses can be seen and heard loud and clear. Greater visibility leads to greater potential to reach customers and generate leads.
- Competitive Edge – Quickly adapting to new technology is key, and being a pro at Local SEO helps you be the first in line when it comes to competitors. When your small business invests in Local SEO, you can stand out in a larger crowd that may not be totally cued in with its benefits.
- Trust and Credibility – Positive reviews and ratings that appear in Local SEO searches help build trust and credibility for your business. When people see your business has a stellar reputation online, they’re more likely to choose you.
- Improved Traffic – Small businesses can gain organic traffic to their website with Local SEO. When people find your site through search engines like Google or Yahoo, it’s considered organic traffic. This is because users arrive naturally after seeing your website in initial search results.
- Cost-Effective – Your small business can improve its presence on search engines without breaking the bank. With Local SEO, it can reduce marketing costs by leveraging online resources and straying away from campaigns and print materials, among other costly advertising efforts.
Let’s dive into the essential Local SEO tactics that you and your small business can use to be a frontrunner in your industry!
Local Keywords – Do Your Research!
Local keywords are essential for your Local SEO plan. Keywords are the terms or phrases you use to improve your chances of being found in relevant searches on search engines. Specifically tailored to certain areas, small businesses can benefit when locals are looking for nearby places, products, or services. For instance, if someone searches for a “hair salon near me,” your business will populate on search engines because of its association with those keywords.
It’s always important to do your homework. Local keyword research helps you understand how customers search for your business offerings, optimizing Local SEO for search engine visibility. Without this research, it’s tricky to know how potential customers look for you online. It’s a simple process that betters the chances of you appearing in local search results. Here’s how to get started:
- Make a list of your core products and services and define your business type.
- Expand your list with specific details (i.e. “cleaning” becomes “house cleaning,” “carpet cleaning,” “best car detailing,” etc.)
- Define the locations or service areas associated with your keywords.
- Check for relevant searches related to your products or services that populate with your intended keywords. Check out tools like Google Keyword Planner that provide you with suggestions of other related searches.
- See what keywords competitors are targeting and what searches they’re ranking by analyzing their content. SEMrush, Ahrefs, and SpyFu can provide great insights, such as compiling what sites are using and competing for the same keywords.
Localize Your Content.
Making content relevant to your local audience is crucial for successful Local SEO. Small businesses can craft blogs, social media posts, marketing emails – you name it – that connect with local interests, events, and news. This not only establishes your business as a community expert but also boosts its online relevance.
When a small business shares its knowledge about what’s going on in the area, it builds a sense of trust and familiarity, solidifying its position as a trusted community source. Not only does this enhance credibility but it also ensures that it’s favored by search engines online, ultimately increasing its appearance in results.
Ratings and Reviews
The impact of positive online reviews and high ratings goes beyond mere testimonials; it holds the potential to significantly elevate a business’s visibility in Local SEO results. Actively encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences on review platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook, serves as a testament to the quality of your brand.
Engagement doesn’t stop at the initial request for reviews. Addressing both positive and negative feedback is a big aspect of maintaining a positive online reputation. Responding to a positive review expresses gratitude and reinforces a connection with satisfied customers. On the other hand, responding to negative reviews shows your commitment to resolving issues and dedication to improvement. This type of engagement strengthens a business’s image and signals to existing and potential customers that they are valued.
Maximize Local SEO with Link Building
Small businesses can leverage effective local link-building and local citation strategies. This includes forming partnerships with organizations in the area, engaging in sponsorships, and fostering collaborations. But first, what are they?
Have you ever heard of a backlink profile? This is essentially the total collection of backlinks – incoming hyperlinks from one web page to another – pointing to your website. When one website links to another, it’s like a recommendation, signaling to search engines that the linked content is valuable and relevant.
Local citations are a similar strategy. They are essentially mentions of your business’s specifics on other websites like name, address, and phone number (NAP). Both are crucial in SEO, as they’re considered as a vote of confidence or endorsement.
With most people now searching locally on their phones, ensuring your website works well on mobile devices is crucial. Small businesses can boost their place online by focusing on responsive design, quick loading times, and seamless user experience. Google, for instance, is a big fan of mobile-friendly sites. The search engine shows them higher in search results, highlighting how important mobile optimization is for successful Local SEO.
If your website is difficult to use, people might get frustrated and click off. When someone leaves your site without checking out another page, it’s called a “bounce.” A high bounce rate means users couldn’t find what they wanted and had trouble navigating. Mobile Local SEO helps reduce this bounce rate because it tends to be more efficient, encouraging users to stay a while and engage. The goal is to keep them there until they become a customer, client, or subscriber.
In the online business world, small businesses need to expand their skills and excel in Local SEO. While it requires focus and dedication, the lasting rewards make it a valuable investment. Savvy tactics will outperform your competitors, drive online traffic, and land you a higher conversion rate.
It can be challenging for small businesses to master Local SEO if they don’t have the resources and task force to manage it. Looking to implement local SEO but need an extra hand? Inertia’s services and team of experts are only one click away. Visit our contact page or reach us at 888. 552.IDEA.