8 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Small Business’s Local SEO Strategy
Updated: Jul 6
Local SEO is an SEO [Search Engine Optimization] strategy that is customized to local search queries. It often goes unnoticed, but it is just as essential as regular SEO. Your community is the best place to find leads. This is especially true for small businesses. Half of all Google searches are for local products and services.
The goal is the same as regular SEO: rank high (at least in the top ten) in the SERPs or Search Engine Result Pages. However, it is different from general or organic SEO because there are different ranking factors. Instead of focusing on relevance and authority, local SEO focuses on relevance, location, and prominence.
So, how does local SEO work, and more importantly, how can you get it to work for your small business? Keep reading to learn how to improve your local SEO strategy.
Why Local SEO Is So Important For Small Businesses
Brick and mortar businesses like shops and restaurants and rural business-like equestrian centers and farmer’s markets need local SEO to bring in more foot traffic in their area.
76% of searchers visit a local business that same day. So, if you’re not working on your local SEO, you’re missing out on a lot of leads.
Through visibility, prominence, and of course, distance, local SEO helps bring in more traffic, which turns into leads, and then sales. All you have to do is improve your local SEO tactics, so you can be in that golden top ten on the search results.
How Do You Improve Your Small Business’s Local SEO?
If you want to improve your rankings for Local SEO, you’ll need to do a whole audit on what your current SEO strategies are.
To improve your local SEO rankings, focus on the most important ranking factors, like:
1. Listing Your Location
Search engines use the location of whoever’s looking for your product/service. They do this either through geolocation (for mobile devices) or IP address (for desktops and laptops).
So, wherever possible, leave your business’s location. Depending on your services or actual location, you may be able to have a broader location, but it’s always best to use your town name and grow from there.
2. Be Consistent With Your NAPs
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. Clearly, you’ll want to let your clients know how to contact you, so you should list your NAP everywhere that you possibly can.
This should include, the footer of your website pages, your contact page, on review sites and business listings, and of course, social media. When you list your details on various places throughout the web, make sure that your NAPs are the same.
3. Make A Google My Business Profile
Google My Business is absolutely essential for local SEO. It’s basically a listing on Google itself, that you can use as a business listing and for reviews. If you haven’t already, sign up for an account, filling in all the necessary details about your business. It’s totally free, and you can do it in minutes right here.
In your profile, be sure to use localized keywords to target a more geo-specific audience. And remember to make sure all your information is correct and corresponds with all the contact info you have on your website and everywhere else.
4. Have Good Online Reviews
Reviews aren’t just good for business in terms of social proof, but it also proves to search engines that your products or services are trusted.
Encourage your clients to leave a star rating or Google review. You can do this through an email campaign or with a request form on your payment page.
5. Add a Schema Markup To Your Website
Schema is a type of structured data markup that makes your website’s content easier for search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to crawl, sort, and display to the people looking for it.
You can learn how to use structured data for local SEO right here.
6. Backlinks From Local Sources
A backlink is a link on a website that points back to your website. This is the reason that networking with other businesses in your town is so helpful.
Having other local businesses or content creators link back to your website goes a long way in this business. Even in general SEO, good backlinks are a big deal.
7. Use Locally Specific Keywords
When you’re writing content on your website, make sure that you’re using locally specific keywords. For example, instead of a general keyword like Pet Shop, look for a more geo-targeted keyword like pet shop in London.
Also, use these keywords when creating alt tags for your images, as well as title the tags and URL slugs.
8. Create Online Citations
Citations are online references to your business that usually includes your NAP. Sometimes, they can also link to your website, which makes them great for both regular and local SEO.
You can list your business on Yelp, Google My Business, and third-party referral apps; they’re all noted as citations. This goes a long way in establishing domain authority
Local SEO often goes unnoticed because website owners often jump to the conclusion that regular SEO and local SEO are the same. However, there are totally different ranking factors like the ones we’ve talked about today.
Once you’ve optimized for these factors, you’ll see the results. Grab my free downloadable Local SEO checklist, so you don't forget anything!
Through analyzing your data over the next little while, you should see more and more of your customers coming from local areas. If not, then you’ll need to keep adjusting until you do.
Remember that ranking number one won’t happen in a day and honing your local SEO strategy will require a lot of tweaking. Just keep analyzing and adjusting until you’ve figured out what works for your business.