You’ve opened an amazing local business—but it seems like the locals just don’t know you exist.
What’s gone wrong? Most likely, you haven’t put enough focus on local rankings and SEO for your website.
Local SEO is a way to optimize your business website and online presence to capture the attention of locals in your area. That way, you’ll attract your target customer—those who live in your community.
It’s similar to traditional SEO, but with a few key differences. To learn more, keep reading to find our guide to improving your website’s local rankings—even on a tight budget.
Focus on Local Keywords
If you want to increase your local search rankings, you need to focus on local keywords. Keywords are search terms that users are looking for online—you can use them when writing blogs and web content to increase your chances of being found by those users.
Local keywords are phrases such as ‘Baltimore mechanic’ or ‘best donut shop in Oakvale’. By using the name of the town or area you want to target, it increases your ability to rank.
More specific keywords are always going to have a better chance of ranking than broader ones. Try to imagine what a Google user would type in before finding your business to help select the right phrases.
There are also plenty of keyword research tools that can help you work out the most competitive terms.
Build Your Internal Links
Internal linking is another important strategy for your local SEO. Internal linking is the process of including links to other pages and blog posts within your own website.
This helps improve user experience, encourages them to stay on your site for longer, and also makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and make sense of your site.
Be sure to include plenty of links back to the most important pages on your site, such as the contact and about pages.
Claim Your Google My Business Profile
Have you claimed your profile on Google My Business? If not, this is a free and easy way to promote your small business to locals.
This will help your business get found online, as it helps your business show up on Google Maps.
Once you claim your profile, you can add your opening hours, address, add photos, and let customers know what category your business falls into. You can also allow reviews and then reply directly to comments and reviews from users, which can help improve your customer service.
If customers don’t see details about your company on Google, they’re likely to go to one of your competitors instead.
In addition to Google, you’ll also want to keep an eye out for local directory listings. There are plenty of free sites where you can set up a free page for your business.
Keep Your Contact Details Consistent
One of our top local search marketing tips is to pay attention to NAP SEO. Nope, it’s got nothing to do with how tired you are—it stands for name, address, and phone number.
You want to ensure your contact details are always consistent, wherever they are on the internet. This means always writing your business name and address in the same way.
For example, don’t write out ‘street’ sometimes, then abbreviate it as ‘st’ in other cases. Keep it identical on your website, social media, and on all of the online directories you’re a part of.
If your NAP details ever change, be sure to update them wherever they are online, as soon as possible.
Many SEO experts consider NAP one of the key factors when it comes to local SEO.
Ask Customers to Leave You Online Reviews
Do your customers leave reviews online? Reviews and references from previous customers can be a great way to give your business a local boost.
Many companies already post positive testimonials on their website, but you also want to encourage customers to leave reviews on your social media pages and on search engine reviews sites.
Reviews establish credibility and help your business stand out. They’re also an important tool that customers use when deciding which business to visit, so give yourself the competitive edge by maximizing your online reviews.
Optimize Your Headers, URL, and Tags
Take stock of your website and make sure you’ve set it up with SEO in mind.
If you’re just starting your website, think about your URL—if possible, it’s fantastic to get one that contains the name of your town. A web address like www.chicagodeli.com will always have a competitive edge for local SEO, since it has the name of the place in its URL.
You’ll also want to go through your blog posts and headers, making sure they’re correctly sized and keyword-optimized. When writing blog posts, it’s helpful to use your local keyword in the title, introduction, conclusion, and at least one header.
Improve Your Local Rankings With These Top Tips
If you want your business to get found online, you need to focus on local rankings and SEO. Whether it’s new to you or you’ve been working on SEO for years, these tips should be able to help you get ahead.
Review your website, social media, and marketing plans to ensure you’re making the most of local SEO. If not, implement some changes to help make your business more competitive.
Over time, it’s sure to lead to new business, increased leads, and higher profits!
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