Nowadays, it is crucial for businesses to concentrate on their local SEO. This is because search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms to ensure only the most accurate and relevant results are delivered to users whenever they search. For instance, if a consumer is searching for a bakery, it would only make perfect sense that the result provides a list of bakeries near the location of the consumer. And that is what local SEO is all about. It is a specialized form of online marketing that helps businesses increase their ranking for local keywords or geographically-related keywords.
To help your business rank well in local organic search results, here are some useful tips to keep in mind.
Use Correct Keywords and Do Onsite Optimization
One of the most important aspects of local SEO is using correct keywords. Basically, you need to search for terms that best identifies your business and will actually be used by visitors when they try to search for the products or services you provide. For instance, if you offer party favors for weddings, then it only makes sense to use “wedding party favors” as a keyword. However, some consumers tend to be more specific with their search that it is more favorable to use a keyword containing a location (i.e. wedding party favors Miami, Miami wedding party favors, etc). Using specific search terms for the services you offer will likely receive higher quality visitors, which can also lead to conversions.
Once the right keywords have been selected, make sure your website is properly optimized for them. That is, the keywords should naturally appear on title tags, header tags, meta description and page content. Just make sure not to overuse and jam them into unnecessary locations on your site because they will appear spammy, which may alert search engine algorithms.
Set Up Your Local Business Profile
Of course, if you want to be found by local consumers, your business should be listed in major local business directories, such as Yahoo Local, Bing Places and Google+ Places, among others. When setting up your business profile, don’t do it just to have one. Take the time to completely fill out the required information and upload images or videos where necessary. At the most, your business description should reflect the contact details that appears on your website and should also contain the right keywords.
Online Reviews Matter
Many local business directories allow customers to leave reviews about the businesses listed on them, and you should encourage your customers to write their reviews about your products or services, too. Reviews, especially positive ones, have a huge influence in local SEO. So, for instance, if you own a restaurant, you can ask customers to leave a review about their dining experience by handing them your business card that contain something in the lines of “We hope you have enjoyed your meal. We would appreciate to hear your dining experience with us” and include links to the review sites.
Build Links and Ensure to Have Social Signals
Another important aspect of local SEO is building links to your website. The best kind of links is those that appear naturally, and a good way to populate your site with such links is through content marketing. Create a blog on your site and update it regularly with compelling content that relates to your industry and the products or services you provide. Of course, content not only refers to articles, but also images, videos and infographic, among others.
Providing visitors with useful information will encourage them to spread the word about your business by way of sharing your content on social networking platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. This, in turn, will create social signals that also matter in search engine ranking.