Almost half of all searches on Google have local intent. If you haven’t optimized your website for local search, you could be missing out on a lot of business.
But how can you target local search results? Learn everything you need to know in this comprehensive guide to local SEO in 2021.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
Four out of five consumers use search to find local information. If your business isn’t optimized for local search, it could be missing out on 80 percent of potential customers.
Missing out on 80 percent of business isn’t debatable. That’s a significant part of your target audience. If you aren’t already optimized for local SEO, doing so could see a considerable spike in lead generation and sales.
Optimizing Your Presence With Google My Business
Google is one of the most widely-used search engines. The algorithm used for local search favors verified businesses. To verify your business, you need to create a Google My Business page.
Once your Google My Business page has been set up and authenticated, you want to make the most of it.
Start by using Google posts within your account. Encourage your customers to leave online reviews of your products or services.
Make an effort to respond to any reviews left on your Google My Business website. Highlight the location of the service or products. For example, you might reach out and say, “thank you for reviewing the services used in (city, town).”
Including location in the review will help Google better understand where you’re located. In turn, your business will rank higher in local search results for those specific areas.
Check for NAP Citation Inconsistencies
NAP stands for “name, address, phone number.” NAP citations refer to where your company’s contact information is listed on external databases. Some of the most popular places to find this contact information is:
- Google+ Local
- Trip Advisor
If there are inconsistencies in your NAP citations, it can cause ranking issues. It can also confuse potential customers. The best way to ensure your number, address, and phone number are listed correctly is to do a manual check.
If you find inconsistencies, you can sign in to the individual sites and change them in most cases. In other cases, you have to report an error. Make sure you follow up on change reports by rechecking the listing after a few days.
Update Your Website to Be More Local SEO Friendly
There are many things you can do to make your website more local SEO friendly. Many of these are the same as general search engine optimization. The difference is you’ll target your efforts towards a specific location.
A few examples of ways you can update your website for local SEO purposes include:
- Improve your internal link structure
- Optimize your URLs and meta details (title tags, alt image tags, meta description)
- Add location-specific pages for each of your physical locations
- Ensure your website is optimized for use on mobile devices
If you update the information above, your website will be better optimized for local search. Having a mobile-friendly website is especially important. Many people look for local information while on-the-go using their smartphones.
Create More Local Content
Blogging is one of the primary ways you can get people to your website. It allows you to offer valuable information your customers need. Each blog is also a new doorway into your website.
General topic blog posts are great. While you shouldn’t be doing away with those entirely, start focusing on producing local content also.
Local content might highlight nearby events or local-specific issues. You can even turn a general topic into a location-specific topic. For example, “Your Guide to Common Plumbing Issues” can become “Your Guide to Common Plumbing Issues in Tampa, Florida.”
A few topic ideas for local content include:
- [general topic] in [city, state]
- Highlighting a local event (especially one you sponsored or participated in)
- Customer success stories
- General information about your city, county, state (weather, attractions, history, etc.)
These are just a few ideas. Sit down and brainstorm a list of local SEO content topics. You’ll find there are a lot of local topics you could write about.
Create Inbound Links as a Sponsor
Local businesses can create valuable inbound links by sponsoring local events or meet-ups. As a sponsor, you can also make a difference in the community. Not only does it feel great to help others, but you’ll build an excellent reputation at the same time.
The way this works for local SEO relies on sharing information. Other people will be sharing information about your event (including local news companies). Each share will create a valuable inbound link to your website.
Invest Time Into Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is another great way to create inbound links. It also allows you to set yourself up as an expert in your industry. Although it takes some planning, guest blogging is well worth the effort.
You start by finding websites that allow guest posts. These don’t have to be on the exact topics your industry revolves around. But, you should be able to connect a related topic to something the blog’s audience would be interested in.
Ensure you’re reading the guest blogging guidelines for each website. Sometimes you have to pitch a topic and get it approved. Other times, you’ll need to have the article written in advance to submit it for approval.
Each guest blog post you get approved will allow one internal link to a page on your website. In rare instances, you’ll be allowed two internal links. Each of these inbound links will enable another door for website traffic to enter.
Do You Have More Questions About Local SEO?
Optimizing your website for local SEO can help you tap into 80 percent of your target audience. With this high percentage, it’s obvious why local marketing is vital to your company’s success.
Do you have more questions about local SEO?
Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you may still have.