For anyone who’s involved in digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) remains an important strategy. SEO has changed a lot in recent years, and currently one of its key benefits is helping local businesses gain visibility. While it’s very hard to compete in the saturated global markets, it can be relatively easy and cost-effective to help small businesses thrive through local search engine optimization. There are simple optimization strategies that are proving very effective, which anyone can replicate in their local area to achieve spectacular results. In case you’re lagging behind on this matter, this article will bring you up to speed.
What exactly is local SEO?
Simply put, local SEO is a set of optimization tactics that will help a website be displayed prominently when people search for its particular niche in its specific geographic location. Securing great visibility in local rankings can be especially useful (and profitable) if you’re looking to advertise a local business. Depending on where you live, you may find this can be effectively done with little effort; simply by identifying your business in local directories, you will sometimes get ahead of the curve and help Google see you as a legitimate business they will naturally want to highlight to local clients. If few local businesses in your niche are doing this work, you can sometimes outperform them simply by taking the time to correctly identify your business name, address, and contact details on the maps. Not only will this help your business stand out from the competition, but it will also actually prove very useful to guide clients who are already trying to reach you.
76% of local searches result in a phone call
How to improve your local SEO within the hour
So what are the first steps you can take right now to improve the local optimization of a website?
1 – Contact Page: make sure you have a dedicated contact page in your actual website that is accurate and up-to-date; it should include your business name, address, social media contacts, e-mail and phone, and the phone number should be clickable on mobile devices – so that any warm prospects who are looking to call you will be able to do it without additional effort. According to well-known SEO specialist Neil Patel, "30% of mobile searches are location-related" and "76% of local searches result in a phone call" which means that something as simple as making it easier for clients to call you should make a positive impact in your bottom line. If you’re running a small business with a single location, you may actually want to display contact information in the footer of every page in your website, additionally to the contact page.
30% of mobile searches are location-related
2 – Connect with Google Maps: once you have identified your business in a dedicated contact page within your website, it’s crucial to also identify your business directly on Google Maps. Then you want to bridge the gap by actually embedding into your website the local area map with your business location highlighted. This will simultaneously improve the credibility of your local business next to Google, as well as helping your new clients actually find your business location, which also adds to your overall local business credibility.
3 - Schema Markup: you should also make sure to update schema markup in your website code to point out that you represent a local business, as well as adding your business contact details to the markup code. This is very straightforward and will make it likelier for Google and other search engines to retrieve this information and add it to their listings upon request.
Advanced tactics to edge up on your local competition
When you carry out the three main steps listed above (which shouldn’t take an hour to do), you’ll have secured the basics of local search engine optimization. If there is little local competition in your niche, this can be enough to put you ahead of the curve. From there, the recommendable course of action to edge up on the competition is a little time-consuming, but still very important: it’s all about on-going directory submission and creating additional business profiles online.
4 - Online profiles: What you want to do is to claim a business profile in relevant social media websites and reputable business directories, since Google will pick up on this information and it will add to the overall credibility of your main website.
This is really important work, but it is also very tedious and time-consuming, since it involves repeatedly going over the same process of finding a reputable directory or website to join, creating an account, writing your business profile, making sure there are no errors, submitting your application, and eventually dealing with rejections and doing what it takes to get the listing approved.
You can easily use 1 hour of solid work to secure a business listing in a single worthwhile business directory, which means this process can be really time-consuming and tedious when you try doing it on your own spare time… especially when you realize it’s ultimately a numbers game, where you effectively need to get into as many reputable directories and social media websites as possible – most of which you’ll have to actually spend time and effort looking for, in addition to more time and energy to actually get listed into.
How to save your self time when submitting your site to local directories?
Fortunately, we can help local businesses increase their local visibility by growing a presence through directory submission, with each new profile linking back to the main business website (and so adding to its visibility and reach). If you like the idea of having a specialist join the top 20 directories on your behalf for as low as £179, you will enjoy learning about our directory submission services!
You can learn more about this service by subscribing to our newsletter, and even if you choose not to buy our services you will get good value simply from joining: you will get access to more content like this as well as ongoing recommendations on which are the best and most directories at the moment, so you can simply focus on joining them if you want, without having to worry about doing research and additional reading.