If companies don’t pay attention to their SEO, they will eventually lose their percentage of market share to competitors in the same locality.
So, what’s the solution? Local SEO.
Simply put, local SEO helps businesses rank well in local search results; reports show that 50% of mobile users conduct local searches for products and services every day, and 18% of those local mobile searches lead to an immediate sale.
Today, location drives almost all consumer engagement, and 85% to 95% of the total consumer engagement occurs through local listings and pages. This explains why 50% of brands primarily use location data to target customers.
In this article, we have outlined seven local SEO tips and practices for businesses to rank at the top of the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Tip 1: Get an Account on Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to create an account by giving your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number), and undergoing a verification process.
Once the account is created, it is important to ensure that your profile is complete and up to date with a description of your business.
This is because Google uses this information to send you data about the different kinds of people trying to locate you. With this, you can further refine your local SEO strategy.
Tip 2: Make sure your NAP is consistent
For effective results, you need to ensure that your NAP is consistent everywhere. This includes; suite numbers, street and avenue listings that are mentioned on your website.
Tools like MOZ Local can help you locate and claim duplicate listings as your own, and ensure consistency in other minute details of your business, such as address and phone number.
Tip 3: Use Schema Markup
Schema markup is the code you add to your HTML for improvements in the way your page appears in search results.
This code is used by Google to identify the specific elements of your website, and boost your rankings on the SERPs.
Tip 4: Get Positive Reviews
Reviews provide proof to consumers that your business is worth buying from. In short, positive reviews and testimonials online from your current customers help reel in more people.
This is why you should encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on your Google My Business page, and boost your online presence. Consider this; online review signals account for around 6.47% of organic ranking factors, and 90% of all purchase decisions are directly influenced by online reviews.
Tip 5: Get Quality Organic Backlinks.
Quality backlinks help your business by boosting it at the top of SERPs. It is a slow, deliberate process, but one that helps build a solid presence online.
It is also a good idea to get backlinks from your non-competing local businesses. Approach them with an offer to exchange backlinks as a quick and easy way to build a quality link profile.
Tip 6: Keep your Audience Engaged.
Google’s new artificial intelligence algorithm, RankBrain, ranks your site according to how much time people spend on it.
This is why you should ensure that your content is engaging and relevant for visitors.
Video content, images and virtual tours are all excellent ways to keep your audience interested and engaged.
All websites that want to rank high on local search need to be mobile-responsive.
Research indicates that 50% of people who conduct mobile searches for a local business visit the store within one day. Similarly, 2 of 3 smartphone users make purchases from mobile optimized sites that provide information based on location.
Hence, the importance of a mobile friendly website cannot be underestimated. This is why business owners must ensure that their site looks great on mobile and loads quickly.
In A Nutshell
Tapping into the local market is important if businesses hope to maximize profits, and attract new leads.
With these local SEO tips, business owners can quickly push their website at the top of Google’s SERPs, and encourage consumers to visit their site/store, and make purchases.