Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for a business to survive and thrive in today’s market. Survival has become more difficult due to the constantly changing evolution of customer preferences.
Local SEO is tailored to specific targeted geographic locations. A business can carve out a segment of the local market by leveraging local SEO, to cater to local customer prospects. The steps to begin a very basic local SEO plan should include the following:
1. Creating a Google My Business Account
A business’s online identity is as important as the brick and mortar itself. There are more local searches than any other type of search for the search engines. Why not be front and center to all that activity? Well, the first order of business is to get your Google My Business (GMB) established for your overarching local SEO plan.
With a GMB account, any local business can show up on Google maps given the right plan. Relevant information such as products, services, and pricing can be displayed. Customers have information at their fingertips for your business, which increases lead gen, and ultimately sales. You as a business owner must capitalize on these trends.
2. Tapping the Local Pulse
Relatable and local content is paramount to the success of local SEO. The marketing efforts of a business should be tailored to its local market and location. Current events, happenings, topics, and items of interest should be incorporated into the plan. Adding these local elements will allow a business can tap into the market naturally and organically, establishing itself as part of the community and even the authority, of products and services.
Optimizing websites for specific locations will see an increase prospect activity. With the right plan, a business can rank high in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) and more importantly, GMB.
3. Using Local Keywords
Long-tail keywords are the main staple of SEO. They are the source by which people actually use Google to look up information online. The better a business can leverage long-tail keywords, the more search volume will be attained. A business should ensure its keywords are rooted in local topics and search items.
Google Analytics can be used to determine which items rank high for searches, which helps to hone content for these high-interest local topics and items to increase SEO rankings.
4. Registering with Online Business Directories
A business should never neglect online business directories, for example Yelp, Yellow Pages, and much more. Registering your business on these sites, otherwise known as citations, is truly a vital part of the plan. Many people use these services and directories to find stores and shops nearby. Moreover, they are used as links back to your GMB and/or website. The staple of a successful SEO plan.
5. Featuring Reviews
Lastly, a business should always feature reviews. There is no better vouch for quality than an unbiased local review. Reviews from happy and satisfied clients will vastly improve CTR (Click-Through-Rate). These reviews will be strategically displayed in all the right places such as Google, Bing, and even the website itself. Positive reviews will have a direct correlation to generating even more leads.
Reviews are an organic mechanism for a business to market itself. Negative reviews can be turned around to a business’s advantage providing they are dealt with properly.
Follow these simple steps, and your local business can establish itself in the local online market. Moreover, local SEO will open up the realm of possibilities to penetrate a market; it is much easier than going against much stiffer competition in a national or even global market.
Local SEO should be a priority for almost every business if they are to expect growth and success.