It is a tough time for local small businesses because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The footfall is at an all-time low, and the receding global economy and lower purchasing power of the consumers aren’t helping either.
However, Google searches are increasing. For many local businesses, it is an opportunity to optimize their site for higher rankings in the SERPs and get additional traffic and potential customers.
Here are 10 quick SEO tips for local businesses that can help them with search engine optimization and better visibility.
It goes without saying, but here it is anyway: The first step is to create a Google My Business account and claim your listing. You’d be surprised to know that until 2017, more than 50 percent of local businesses had not claimed their business listing.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Claim and verify your business listing and set up your Google My Business account. If you don’t know how to do that, check out this step-by-step guide.
Once you have a Google My Business account, it is time to start optimizing it.
Although there are plenty of things you can do to optimize your GMB account, here are a few of the important ones to add:
Local SEO is primarily about local businesses that create local content and serve people in a local area. That is why it is important to add location pages to your website.
Dedicated location pages on your site would help Google crawl the right page and serve it to the most relevant target audience in the SERPs.
Ideally, you should have a specific landing page for each location your business operates in. You can upload the location information on your pages as per your preferences, but it is important to keep it consistent across the web. We will talk more about this consistency in the next subheading.
When creating multiple location pages on your website, another point to remember is the possibility of content duplication. It wouldn’t be a good practice to copy-paste the main content and change only the business location.
It is highly recommended to create unique content for each landing page to avoid content duplication issues and give all the web pages the best possible chance to rank higher in the SERPs.
NAP is an acronym for name, address, and phone number.
First, you need to include this information on your business website and Google My Business account.
Second, you need to make sure that this information is consistent across the web. Be mindful of the way you write the business address. Do you include the avenue number? How do you mention the street number?
Similarly, does your business name end with LLC or Inc.?
Whichever way you choose to display this information, ensure that you stick to a chosen format and the NAP is consistent throughout the web.
Just like with other forms of SEO, the meta title and meta description of the web pages on your local business website will have a key role to play in the SERPs.
First, the meta title and meta description provide you with valuable real estate to put the important keywords in. Second, the meta tags appear on the search engine results pages and affect the organic click-through rate (CTR).
Here are a few tips you should follow when creating the meta titles and descriptions for your web pages:
You may have heard about structured data and schema markup.
Structured data refers to a code that you add to your web page. It helps search engines better understand the contents of your page. Search engine crawlers then extract relevant bits of information from your web page and display that info on the SERP.
Here is an example.
Local search results can be a tough and competitive place. By making your search listing more attractive and informative, you can increase the number of impressions and clicks you get.
According to a study, 46 percent of all Google searches are for seeking local information. Moreover, 97 percent of search engine users searched online to find a local business.
These are encouraging stats for any local business.
But to fully leverage this popularity of local search, you need local content — specifically geared towards local audiences — that can rank on the first page of Google.
The good news is that you do not have to do a whole lot of different things to make it happen. Most blog posts can be customized for a local audience with a few simple tweaks:
Mobile is a big factor in local SEO.
Approximately 30 percent of Google mobile searches are related to location. In addition to that, 50 percent ‘near me’ searches result in a store visit, and 78 percent of local mobile searches lead to an in-store purchase.
As you can see, mobile searches in local SEO cannot be taken lightly.
Therefore, make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Being mobile-friendly, however, is not the only thing. Your website visitors should also get a great user experience even if they are on smaller mobile devices. Use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to see how well your website performs on mobile devices.
In addition to that, voice search has become a major component of the mobile usage experience. With the rise of AI-powered smart assistants on mobile phones, the trend of conducting local searches via voice is continuously growing.
Here are a few tips to improve your local business website for voice search:
Encourage more and more customers to leave reviews. Google treats user-generated content the same way it treats the content you publish on your site.
Thank the customers who leave positive reviews and politely engage with people who leave negative reviews and try to solve their problems the best you can.
High-quality and relevant backlinks are an integral component of any successful SEO strategy. Local SEO isn’t any different.
You can build backlinks by:
In times as uncertain as these, every little thing counts. By taking the steps mentioned in this article, you can optimize your local business website and make it more search-engine friendly.
If you have any questions, please comment below and let us know.