Local Business SEO Tips and Tactics You Should Know for 2021
Studies have shown that around 70% of businesses don’t rank well in terms of local SEO. One reason for this number is that these businesses lack a digital marketing strategy with a focus on local audiences. Most stick to the basics of SEO and cast their net as wide as possible. However, this isn’t necessarily the best method, as it doesn’t tap into the strong local market, which has plenty of potentials.
Think about it—how many people would prefer to look for products from across city and state lines if they knew about a local business that offers them? Unsurprisingly, people prefer local options as they seem more trustworthy, and they’re easier to reach. For this reason, local SEO should become a top priority for businesses in 2021. Everything from the web design to the content the website features can be tailored to local audiences. Here are some tips to help you improve your website’s rankings on a local level.
There’s nothing quite like a positive review to improve your business’s reputation. People don’t trust your word as much as they do their fellow consumers, which is why reviews are becoming more and more essential in today’s local digital marketing strategies. It’s worth noting that search engines like Google also value reviews, as they show that there’s plenty of customer engagement involved. Plus, any talk of your company and its products is good for business.
It’s not just positive reviews that are good for business, either. Eventually, someone won’t be satisfied with one of your products or services for one reason or another. Whether the reason is justified or not, you have to act. Engage with customer reviews on your website, on the Google My Business page, and on social media platforms to see what problems people are mentioning. Answer their reviews with suggestions on how to resolve issues that have come up. The reviewers will appreciate your input, but more importantly, other customers will see that you’re always ready to help if something comes up.
Make sure that you encourage any and all customers to leave reviews for your products and customer support. Ask them via email or direct message to review a product that they’ve bought once you’ve closed a sale. Many won’t bother with it, but those that do will benefit your SEO significantly, while also boosting your local reputation.
Get on social media
It’s no secret that social media has dominated the past decade of digital marketing. It’s become a staple of our daily lives, and the trend of using social media is only increasing. This makes it easy to understand why being on these platforms can be so beneficial to businesses, no matter their size or sphere of influence. With proper social media management, you can reach just about anyone on the planet.
However, despite its reach, social media also has an enormous impact on local marketing and SEO. When people Google a certain kind of product or service, the results pages will also feature social media pages from local businesses. Mentions and hashtags will put your business in the spotlight, and people will talk about your products and services, which will only increase your rankings.
People that start following your pages will engage with its content, which is why it’s crucial that you regularly update your local customers through social media. Create accounts on every social media platform, including Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, etc. It doesn’t take a lot of effort and it’s a free endeavour, so there’s no reason not to utilize social media to your advantage.
Complete a local SEO audit
Without a thorough analysis of your website’s numbers, there’s no way to see how well your marketing strategy is working. If you want to see progress, you need to identify your website’s weak and strong points. This can be done by performing a local SEO audit.
A proper SEO audit will tell you everything you need to know about how your links and pages are performing, and it can provide you with insight into your competitors as well. The way other companies in your niche optimize their website is an important piece of information, as they’re vying for the same demographics as you are.
Once you’ve identified the parts of your strategy that need work, you can start making improvements. Start with the weak points that negatively impact your rankings the most. When you improve them, you can move on to the elements that need slight adjustments and optimization.
Create content for local audiences
Content is still the king of digital marketing, and it’s likely to stay that way for a long time. Creating relevant and high-ranking content for your market is an absolute must. However, you shouldn’t just stick to content that only emphasizes your business and products. To attract a local audience, you have to focus on local content as well.
The easiest way to do this is to write content about local industry news and events. Get people interested in the industry and show them how your company fits into it. If your business has a physical location or brick and mortar shop in the area, feature it in your content. Provide some interesting facts about the city or county while informing viewers about your products. This will help inspire local customer loyalty and improve your brand’s reputation.
Target local keywords when creating your content for optimal results. You want local searches to lead to that particular type of content, as it might not be as useful for people outside of the area.
Create a mobile-friendly experience
With the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones, people have started to move away from their desktops when searching for products and services. When they think about something they need while they’re outside or lounging around on their couches, they’re more likely to search using their phones. It’s a trend that has long been noticed by search engines, which is why they’ve placed a high value on mobile optimization.
Mobile searches are also overwhelmingly done to find local businesses. People like the convenience of searching for desired products and services on their phone and getting them within the same day.
There are plenty of business websites that aren’t yet optimized for mobile traffic, which makes them uncompetitive in today’s marketing climate. A slow and unresponsive website will not perform as well in terms of search engine rankings. This applies to its mobile version as well. To improve local SEO, you have to improve your mobile website’s design and reduce loading times. This will help create an enriched experience for users, whether they use their phone or desktop computer to find your business. As a result, you’ll also have much better overall rankings.
Optimize for voice search rankings
As is the case with mobile, voice searches are used more often to find local businesses rather than distant ones. If you’ve ever seen commercials or showcases that feature virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa, you might have noticed that customers tend to look for local products and services. It’s because voice search is convenient, and people that use it probably want to get something quickly and not spend too much time looking for it or doing research.
It’s estimated that around three-quarters of voice searches are used to find local businesses. A similar number of searches end up with the customer walking into the business that same day. This makes voice searches a top priority for any business that wants to attract a local audience.
The keywords for local searches will be different compared to their written counterparts. People are less likely to form complete and grammatically correct sentences. In most cases, the words they use will be conversational in nature. Customers will phrase their searches as questions like they’re talking to their virtual assistant. Sometimes, they’ll order the program to find them a particular product nearby, which then also influences which keywords rank well. Long-tail keywords are especially important in this particular form of search.
Do your keyword research
Keyword research is an essential part of every digital marketing strategy. Many small businesses tend to focus on the most popular keywords regardless of location, which does help them increase rankings, but it doesn’t produce the best results on a local level. Researching local keywords helps you attract nearby users that are more likely to interact with your business and purchase products.
Use keyword research tools to find the relevant phrases that locals use in their searches. Utilize both short and long-tail versions for the best results. Long-tail keywords have the least competition, which makes them better at increasing rankings. Plus, they better determine search intent, which is part of your goal when attracting users.
Apply them alongside keywords that rank well for your market in general, and you’ll have a healthy strategy that will increase your rankings and keep customers coming in.
There’s a lot to say about the effectiveness of local SEO in digital marketing. As people use their phones and voice search more and more, it’s likely that local searches will become even more important in the coming years. Because of this, businesses small and large are focusing their efforts on improving local SEO and bringing in customers that are more likely to make purchases immediately.