Are customers finding your products or services when they do local searches for the products and services you offer? If not, then that’s a huge problem. Consumers are always searching for the best products and services that are nearest them. Your business needs to show up when customers search for the goods or services that you provide.
If you have a brick and mortar business, your marketing strategy needs to include local SEO. This guide to local SEO will help you incorporate best local SEO practices into your strategy without the need for an Austin SEO company.
Understanding Local SEO
You’ve likely already gathered that local SEO is pretty important to growing the presence of your local business. If you don’t already know, here are a few stats from GO-Gulf to help you understand.
- 97% of search engine users searched online for a local business
- 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business
- Over 50% of “near me” searches end in a store visit
- 86% of people search the location of a business on Google Maps
- 76% of people who search on their mobile phones for a business nearby visit that business within a day
So what IS local SEO? Quite simply, local SEO is search engine optimization that increases the search visibility of brick and mortar businesses. Proximity to the search is the top local ranking factor.
Local SEO Basics
To get started in ensuring your business shows up in local searches, you will need to cover the basics. These are the basics that every internet marketing company knows and employs. The basics include:
Claiming Your Google My Business Page
Claiming your Google My Business page is probably the easiest local SEO tactic you could apply to your SEO strategy. The key to using Google My Business is to use as few categories as possible so that your listing is accurate enough for your customers to find.
Claiming Your Bing Places Page
When people think of search engine optimization, they automatically think of Google. You don’t want to discount Bing, though. About 33% of internet searches happen on Bing. Just go to Bing Places, follow the 4 easy steps, and you will be able to sync your Google My Business with Bing Places.
Adding Your Business to Online Directories
Even though online directories don’t have as much an impact on search engine rankings as they once did, it’s very helpful to claim your business on popular directories. Some directories are best for specific industries, while others are great all-around directories. The top online directories include:
- Yahoo Localworks
Listing Business on Review Sites
In addition, you will want to list your business on review sites as well. A few review sites you want to be sure to list on are:
- BBB or Better Business Bureau
- Angie’s List
Garnering Positive Reviews
Encourage your customers and clients to leave reviews on your Google My Business page and other review sites. While you definitely want all positive reviews, you want your customers to know that you respect their opinions. If someone does leave you a less than favorable review, do not ignore it. Your local SEO strategy needs to include handling negative reviews in as positive of a manner as possible.
Creating Social Media Pages for Your Business
Always claim social listings on social media sites like Twitter, Linkedin, and Instagram. If you do not intend to be active on those social media accounts, you still want to pin a post to the top of your page listing the best way to get in contact with you or a member of your team.
Speaking of social media accounts, Facebook is a very powerful social search tool that many people use to search for businesses. Create a Facebook Business Page, update it with your website, a description of what your business is, and your business hours.
Making Sure Your NAP is Consistent
Your name, address, and phone number should be consistent across review sites, maps, and social media. Consistency ensures customers will be able to easily find and connect with your business because they will have the correct information.
Ensuring Your Website is Responsive
Google recently rolled out their mobile-first indexing, which means Google looks at your mobile website first, not the desktop. Mobile responsiveness should be your number one priority when it comes to any SEO strategy, whether local, national, or international.
Using Structured Data Markup
Structured data markup basically helps search engines to better understand the information on your website and use that information to improve your business’s search results listing. You can use structured data markup for having multiple locations, business hours, your address, website, phone number, and much more.
Creating Localized Content
Not only do you want your content creation to be consistent, but you want your content to organically include your location and keywords that are unique to your business. Your content should include local events, raising funds for local charities, and even behind the scenes, sneak peeks into how your business works.
In addition to creating localized content, make sure your web copy includes on-page location and keyword optimization. For example, if you are a local SEO agency, instead of saying “local SEO services” you want to optimize for your location: Austin SEO services.
This guide is great for the local SEO novice who wants to get ahead of the local competition as well as those knowledgeable in SEO strategy. SEO can be a bit intimidating for many, as there is a lot more to SEO in general that may require professional marketing services. KitelyTech’s SEO agency in Austin will not only be able to create an SEO marketing strategy tailored to your specific business, but we will walk you through the process so that you will understand what’s going on.
We do hope you enjoyed this guide to local SEO, and will incorporate these easy tactics into your SEO marketing strategy. And if you need any help, contact the SEO experts here at KitelyTech.