Local SEO Tips for Your Business

Local SEO for small businesses should be a priority. Marketing and engaging the locals is a great place to start. This is where using local SEO comes in and can have an immediate effect on your business. Working with Google and other search engines can be intimidating. However, hopefully, by the end of this article, you’ll have a better grasp on local SEO for your business, SEO for small business, and tips on how to improve your local search.

local seo business tips person on typewriter

What Is local SEO?

Local SEO or local search engine optimization allows your website and content to be found at the top of any local search results. It helps your business and/or product be seen the most in Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

SEO for Small Business

People tend to use the internet to search for your store before taking the time to visit. They search and read reviews about your products before making a purchase. Because of this, we know that digital marketing and SEO are a must for all businesses today.

So, how does SEO for small businesses work best?

First, let’s look at a few SEO statistics:

  • 46% of all searches on Google are seeking local information.
  • 97% of search engine users searched online to find a local business.
  • 86% of customers rely on the internet to find a local business.

Here are some tips for small business SEO.

  1. Build your website with SEO best practices
  2. Prioritize keywords
  3. Optimize the metadata for your pages
  4. Create a calendar that helps you consistently share new content
  5. Build authority for your website by creating various backlinks

business directories

Build your website with SEO best practices.

You might have a high quality website, but if it isn’t structured correctly you can lose search traffic. Structure your website so that it can easily be crawled and properly indexed by search engines. Fix any broken links such as 404 errors and pages that don’t work or have been deleted.

Since Google searches are done on a mobile device, your website must be mobile-friendly and responsive, otherwise, people will move on and skip over your website.

Prioritize keywords.

The higher your small business ranks on Google, the better. It’s important to do keyword research and use relevant keywords and phrases related to your industry, products, or services that users are searching for. This will boost your SEO and you will be more likely to be discovered by people.

Optimize the metadata for your pages.

Your primary landing pages should be optimized for keywords. This means your page titles, meta descriptions, and content must be optimized. Every page should have a meta description that doesn’t exceed the character length. Every page should also have a unique title.

Create a calendar that helps you consistently share new content.

Creating a content calendar will keep you organized so you can consistently publish and share new content. You need to prove to Google that your content is authoritative, and posting consistently using keywords and topics will do just that. Your content calendar should be planned out for at least six months.

Build authority for your website by creating various backlinks.

Backlinks and link building are also important components of SEO. A backlink is a link that takes you from one website to another. Backlinks show that a website is trustworthy and contains valuable information that visitors find relevant to their queries. Good use of backlinks is to link to a previous blog post, specific services, or products. External links or links to websites outside of your website are the best value.

Local SEO Search

Local Business SEO

There are many different types of ads you can run on Google. Briefly, Traditional Google Ads are ranked by their quality score, landing page, and relevance.

Local Google Ads are location-based and only target customers in a specific location. Local ads are different from traditional because they are ranked based on the proximity to your customers, review scores, and responsiveness.

Google 3-Pack

What is the Google 3-Pack and how do you get into it?

The Google 3-Pack is ranking in the top 3 results on the search engine results page (SERP). Getting into the Google 3-Pack is the best way to improve your visibility to local customers. It is a great example of how importance of Local SEO for small businesses.

There’s no magic formula to get into the Google 3-Pack. However, there are many ways you can optimize your business and website to increase your chances of getting in.

These include:

  • Manage your Google Business Profile
  • Get positive reviews
  • Prioritize local SEO
  • Run local search ads

Google Ads Badge

Local Google Ads have a certification known as a Google Ads Badge. This badge tells your potential customers that your business is reliable and trustworthy. You must apply for a Google Ads Badge. To do this you must:

  1. Operate Google Local Service Ads
  2. Provide up-to-date licenses and certifications for your business.

After you’ve provided the correct documentation, Google will perform a background check and access your online reviews. It is essential that your business maintain high standards. If you have dissatisfied customers, Google can take away the badge and refund the customers the cost of the job or the product.

Finally, let’s go over some tips to help you with your local SEO.

  • Show that you’re local
  • Update your Google and Bing business accounts
  • Target local keywords
  • Build local terms into your meta titles and descriptions
  • Engage with other local brands
  • Focus on user behavior

Local Restaurant SEO

Show That You’re Local

Showing that you’re a local small business owner is the first step in local SEO. So, start by having a phone number with a local area code. If you don’t already have a number, check into Google Voice for business as an option. You should also make sure that your contact information (Name, address, phone number, and email address) is clearly displayed and easily found on your website.

Another way to show you’re local is to incorporate your city into your tagline for example, “Best in Chicago Internet Marketing.” These are all subtle ways to tell your visitors and Google that you’re a local business.

Update Your Google and Bing Business Accounts

It is a must for businesses to have Google My Business and Bing Places for Business profiles. These profiles will optimize your business for local search. They will also provide information about your website, hours, parking, and COVID-19 safety options. Another way to help with local search is to use other local business profiles related to your industry such as Yelp.

Target Local Keywords

Keywords are key when it comes to SEO. It is important to know your business, who you are, what you do, and your target audience. When it comes to local SEO, you want your local keywords to be specific to the location of your business and services. For example, your target keyword or words might be:

  • Bookstores in Seattle
  • Local florists
  • Sandwich shops near me

The good news is you don’t just have to guess the best keywords. You can do keyword research using many resources. There are many free and paid keyword research tools out there.

Build Local Terms into Your Meta Titles and Descriptions 

What are meta titles?

Meta titles are also known as title tags and refer to the text on the search engine results page and browser tabs to indicate the topic of a webpage.

Some best practices for meta titles include:

  • Stick to a 55-character limit
  • Be specific, but concise
  • Make keywords and phrases obvious
  • Incorporate relevant power words
  • Make it interesting

What are meta descriptions?

Meta descriptions provide a brief summary of a webpage. They are displayed on the search engine results page and are meant to give the user an idea of the content on the web page and how it is related to their search query.

Some best practices for meta descriptions include:

  • A focus keyword
  • Call-to-action (CTA)
  • A limit of 155 characters
  • Match your content by adding a descriptive preview of what your page has to offer
  • Differentiate yourself

Including local terms in your meta titles and descriptions will tell search engines what you’re about and the right keywords can help you rank well locally.

best ways to optimize for local seo

Engage with Other Local Brands

The internet is all about connections. Local citations and links are one of the most important parts of SEO because it tells search engines about relevancy and quality. The websites you link to should be relevant to your industry and websites that link back to you should reflect your market.

Some examples include:

  • Reach out to local newspapers and online publications that can link back to your website about your grand opening or product launch.
  • Write blog posts about your area, recommendations, or seasonal advice. Be creative.
  • Fix any broken links on your website, such as external links to pages that no longer exist, or internal links to pages that may have been changed or removed.

Focus on User Behavior

Understanding the wants and needs of consumers will also help your local SEO. The pandemic has really changed the interests of consumers. Google publishes insights on user behavior that can help you better understand what your users want.

SEO Design Chicago offers many SEO services including local search optimization, on-page SEO, organic search, keyword research, link building. We also offer a free local SEO analysis.

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