Local SEO: Turn your Visitors into Customers
When customers look up a business on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or any kind search engine, their investigating will usually never go beyond that first results page. Getting a spot on that lucrative first page in the search engine results pages (or SERPs) is a goal for many businesses. Many website owners know how search engine optimization (SEO) is absolutely crucial for increasing a website’s chances of making it to the first page. But what can be even more important is taking advantage of an area’s local SEO. Local SEO is a method of search engine optimization where a website tries to appear in searches for “nearby” businesses. For example, if customers search for “shoe stores near me” or “shoe stores in (their town name),” the business who take advantage of local SEO will appear first in the results.
Using local SEO is the key to reaching the customers in your area, and bring them to your web page is the key to turning visitors into customers. Taking advantage of local SEO isn’t difficult, but it does require some effort from business owners. To make your transition into the world of local SEO easier, we’ve compiled a list of how to use local SEO to help your business.
Claim your Google: My Business page
One of the biggest things that will help boost a website’s local SEO presence is claiming their My Business page on Google. Google has an excellent feature where a business can create a profile where they enter their location and contact information on a Google: My Business page. This profile connects the business directly to Google, making it more likely to turn up on relevant searches. This is an essential step to bringing your business to the top of the search results. This is because Google pulls the most popular and most relevant entries from Google: My Business to place at the top of their search results.
You may have noticed how a list of three relevant businesses appear in a separate box when you search for a nearby service: some call this the “local pack,” at it is the list of the closest, best ranked and most relevant business from the area. All the members of this “local pack” have a home in the Google: My Business database. Other search engines have similar programs, like Bing Places, and Apple Map, so it’s a good idea to get your business plugged into these programs as well.
Connect with Local Business Directories
Several years ago, we might have told you that registering yourself in the business directories in a phone book was an essential step to reaching the public. Unfortunately, phone books are no longer the communication staple for businesses that they once were. However, nowadays you can register with local online business directories. Similar to Google: My Business, these directories are a great way to get your business information out there. The more places where your business is found, the better the chance it has at finding its way on to search results.
The most important pieces to include in the directory are the business name, the address, the phone number, and the website link, or NAPW. Not only is this information necessary to include, but it’s also important to keep consistent. If you have a different address on Google: My Business than you do on your business directory entry, that can hurt your chances of increasing your local SEO rank. What’s more, a potential customer could get confused about where your location is and as a result, decide to go to a different company. Having your company’s information available across these different platforms is a great way to increase your business’s SEO and to reach a wider audience.
Make Your Location Known
Arguably the most important aspect of local SEO is the “local” part. To achieve ranking in searches for your area, it’s important to make sure your location is known to customers and the search engines. That means plugging your location into as many points online as possible. The NAPW are also very important to include in this case. Be sure to include them on your website, social media pages, and on business directories and Google: My Business, as stated previously.
It’s also very important to include the right keywords that will bring your business to the forefront when people look into certain services and locations. For example, if you run a phone repair store in Halifax, you might want to include keywords like “phone repair downtown Halifax,” “fast phone repair Halifax,” “Halifax affordable phone repair,” etc. Use keyword research programs to look into the results that are most relevant to your business and services. Google Ads has a keyword planner that can be used with a My Business account. Well-used keywords are key to the success of your business’s local SEO.
Hit it Big by Reaching Local
Local SEO can be your greatest ally in growing your business. It can be harder than it sounds to reach the customers that are in your area, and many local businesses find themselves at a loss. That’s why it is important to understand and know how to use local SEO to your benefit. Learning how to use local SEO can help your business grow to be one of the most prosperous in your community. What’s more, as your business gains traction and reaches more people, those customers will be even greater allies! When customers give their positive reviews–whether that be word of mouth or five stars on Google–they tell other people what’s great about your business.