It’s easier for your business to generate more local leads when ranking high on local search in engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing. According to WordStream, 72% of consumers who made a local search visited a store within five miles – the potential is massive if you play your cards right.
There’s no shortcut or secret sauce to local SEO. However, local SEO, when done right, works! So if you’re looking for proven ways to generate more customers, we have six local SEO tips that will help your small business generate more leads today.
Choose the right keywords and dominate local search
A huge mistake many businesses are guilty of making is failing to implement a good keyword strategy for their website. Professional SEO agencies use keyword tools for a reason as they give valuable keyword search data.
These results show useful keyword information such as; average monthly searches, keyword costs per click, and the level of competition per keyword. There are both free and paid keyword tools that you can choose from. Many SEO experts use Google’s Keyword Planner – it’s free, somewhat accurate and efficient.
So how do you actually use Google’s Keyword Planner for local SEO? Easy.
- Login to Google Keyword Planner.
- Type in your keyword into the search field.
- Choose target region (if applicable).
- Click Get Ideas.
- Add Keywords to Lists (Groups -if desired).
- Export you terms.
Ultimately you’ll want to type in your top products and services in the keyword field and filter out results according to your target region. Keep in mind that Google now categorizes singular terms and plural terms as one term, so don’t think that you’re getting perfect data for SEO, you need to get used to the tools and make educated decisions to use singular, plural and semantical versions of words for basic SEO.
You’ll also want to set a filter for “low” to “medium” competition keywords. To do this you’ll have to navigate to the keyword filters box on the Keyword Planner dashboard. In the pop-up display menu, check off both “low” and “medium” competition boxes.
It’s also good to export an unfiltered keyword list as well, which provides insight on the most popular, most competitive and most expensive keywords in the market.
Remember to use “low” to “medium” competition keywords with the highest average monthly searches on your website; integrate these keywords in your URL’s, title tags, meta descriptions, meta keywords and your overall content strategy.
Get more organic referrals with local listing directories
Local listing websites like Yellow Pages, 411, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Business and others all carry value to local listings. When you feed search engines with branded keywords consistently in local listings, you’ll inform search spiders that your brand is a legitimate business.
Why do local listings matter in local SEO?
70% of internet searches are for local businesses. When your business is found on authority third-party local listing sites, you’ll instantly boost your local reach. Another local benefit with local listings is trust optimization.
There are many cases where brands fail to rank for their own name online. Local listings will show your prospects a healthy list of reputable sites that show your business name, address and phone number online. This means you’ll rank for your own name and control your brand’s image for local search. Just make sure you make your listings uniform or identical across all local portals.
Pull in word-of-mouth traffic and develop a strong online reviews profile
It’s easy to get your friends and family to write online reviews on your business, but, it doesn’t have to stop there. It turns out that 70% of customers will leave an online review when asked. When you develop your online review profile, your customers will feed search engines with fresh content, mentioning your brand name and connecting your products and services to your website.
How do online review websites help with your local SEO?
Google is estimated to allocate 8.4% to online reviews as a ranking factor. With over 90% of customers being influenced by reviews before making a purchase. Online review profile development is an easy way for local brands to get more local leads. Review sites also rank well on mobile and voice searches and cater to virtual assistants like Siri.
But remember, refrain from posting fake reviews. Third-party websites can identify fake reviews and when discovered, you may receive a blacklisting notification, leaving you with nothing at all.
Social media improves online visibility and local SEO
Get active on social media and build a sustainable community. Sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr rank well online and also carry local SEO value. Social media is a great tool to connect with local groups and share content in real-time, which increases your chances of earning backlinks.
How does social media improve local SEO?
Search engines use social media signals as a way to rank and prioritize website rankings. A website with an active social media profile with a vibrant community will outrank a similar website without a social media presence. Social media signals suggest that your business is a reputable brand with valuable content.
Rank higher in local search by following technical best practices
The technical aspect of local SEO is almost identical to regulaSEOeo. This means, your site should be indexable, error-free, responsive and following Google’s developer best practices.
Why are technical issues important to local SEO?
If your site fails the search-friendly test, you’ll fail at local SEO. Make sure your site is working with Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, has a sitemap, original meta tags, keyword rich URL’s, proper interlinking, redirects and most importantly, make sure it loads fast. You’ll also want to make sure your company name, address and phone number are consistent and available on every page, including, your contact us page.
Dramatically boost local traffic with content marketing
A good way to dramatically boost local traffic to your website is to feed search engines with compelling local content that educates, entertains and informs your target demographic. Before content generation, you’ll want to first identify your ideal buyer personas – the people who you want to come to your website – and tailor your content strategy accordingly. As they say, consumers are also consumers of content. Companies who blog 16+ times a month generate 3.5 times more traffic than companies who blog 0 – 4 times a month.
How does content marketing improve your local SEO?
When you produce content in your niche for your local area, you’ll be able to target long tail keywords that drive traffic to your website. When you create share-worthy content on your blog that targets region specific keywords, you’ll be able to feed search engines with branded pages 24/7 that point back to your website for local search terms. When blog posts are shared and linked to your site, you’ll increase your chances of earning quality backlinks, which will help you improve your overall keyword position for your business in your area.
The local SEO process is similar to any SEO campaign. With mobile and voice search on the rise, local SEO has never been more important than before. Search engines want to provide users with the most relevant data possible. Typically search engines use reputable sources from local sites and report them to users. The local SEO tips above provide you with an easy can-do list of actionable items that is sure to help your small business generate more local leads today.