Local SEO for Small Business: Improve your Online Presence in your Neighborhood
Being a small business owner and getting clients through online search results is even tougher than getting traffic to your website using regular SEO practices. Whether you own a hair salon, laundry service, cleaning service, restaurant, or a medical facility, you are not alone in your locality who is offering these services and every service provider is trying hard to get to the online audience.
With more and more people accessing the internet to search for a local business in their neighborhood, you need to rank higher in search engine result pages for location-based relevant keywords related to your business. This is where Local SEO for small businesses comes into the picture. It helps you perform better in organic search results to keep you ahead of your competitors in your locality.
What is Local SEO for small businesses?
Before talking about ‘How to improve your Local SEO performance?’ we need to understand ‘What is Local SEO for small businesses?’ As the term suggests, local SEO practices are meant to optimize a business website for local search results based on the location of the business. It improves the online visibility of business for the searchers who are looking for the services you offer in your locality.
Local SEO plays a very vital role for small businesses that operate in a small region and serves their clients face-to-face by letting let them know about their services on the internet. It helps you generate more leads, conversions, and sales by targeting online users in a particular location.
There are many factors that affect your local SEO performance. These factors include your business’ online presence, listing in local search directories, targeted keywords, on-page & off-page optimization, link signals, mobile optimization, social signals, reviews, & ratings, and many others. Local SEO optimization based on these factors stands out in your business from your local competitors. You can hire local SEO services for small businesses or read SEO checklist for a local small business website to optimize your business based on different ranking factors but in the meantime, we will take you through different local SEO practices and best SEO tips for a better understanding of what you should actually look for while implementing local SEO strategies.
Start with Google My Business Page
Although Google is not the only place where people search for local businesses, it is definitely the largest search engine platform where people look for local businesses, services, and stores near them. This is why you should consider optimizing your ‘Google My Business’ page for better search results in Google. This helps you rank your business based on three main local ranking factors – distance, relevance, and prominence.
To optimize here, you can start by creating your Google My Business (GMB) profile by filling up all the information about your business to start your local SEO effort. Make sure to complete your GMB profile with accurate information and category to describe your business. You can also add additional locations to your Google My Business Page if you’re a franchise.
Like the traditional SEO practices, optimizing your business for the most relevant keywords is an essential part of local SEO practices too. Keyword planning and research for the high-volume keywords based on your business location are necessary to target a relevant audience in that particular location. Make sure to optimize your content, URLs, titles, meta descriptions, headers, and images for the relevant keywords for better SERP ranking.
Listing your business in popular online business listing directories sends good signals to Google to boost your local SEO performance. Another benefit of listing your business to these directories is that many people directly search businesses in any locality using business directories like Yelp, Yahoo Local, and Yellowpages as these directories usually rank higher in search engine results. Make sure to put correct information about your business while adding your business to these online directories. You must include the following information in your business listings:
- Business name
- Accurate Business Address
- Correct Phone Number for Each Store
- Your Business Website Address
- Business Description
Many users also use these directories to give ratings and reviews about your business and services. The more and more people writing positive reviews about your business will increase your chances to appear in top results.
Local Link Building
Local link building is a prominent ranking factor for your business in your location. You should look for quality link building from locally relevant websites, niche relevant sites, and high authoritative sites for sending strong link signals to improve your local SEO performance. For this purpose, you can create high-quality content on your website with back-linking and publish guest blogs on relevant sites to optimize and improve your link signals.
Strong Social Signals
Social media profiles and listings of your business can help you generate more engagement and reviews about your business. These social signals play a very important role in SEO optimization practices to improve your online visibility. You can use features like Facebook Places to list your business description, location, website, and service hours to target potential consumers. When someone visits your website from your social profiles, it improves our on-page metrics too that boost your SEO performance. You can also take advantage of local hashtags on Twitter and Instagram to improve your business’ visibility on the internet.
Positive Reviews and Ratings increase your Business’ Prominence
The more popular your business is to your local consumers, the more it looks prominent on the internet. Positive reviews about your business influence the purchasing behavior of potential consumers to lead them towards your business. It can also optimize your Google My Business presence as Google pulls reviews from various places to list on your GMB panel. High scoring ratings and reviews help your business rank higher in search results with rich snippets to increase your click-through-rates. You can ask and encourage your happy customers to give positive ratings and reviews on different platforms.
Building a strong online presence in local search results can ensure that you will be ahead of your local competitors in the market. Make sure to check your local SEO scores and signals regularly on different ranking factors to solidify your online presence in your locality. Professional local SEO services for small business can help you coordinate your local SEO efforts with regular SEO practices for the best results.