No matter what product or service you offer, all customers want one thing: connection. Supporting local businesses is just one way consumers seek connection, even in the world of search engine optimization (SEO). In fact, most customers won't even consider a company that's past page one on Google. Ouch! Because it provides a more targeted search, local SEO affects how many customers you're getting in front of and your connections with them. That's why it's crucial to follow local SEO best practices.
While fostering connections with in-person customers online might sound contradictory, local SEO does just that. If you're not ranking locally, you're missing a huge opportunity to drive traffic and boost revenue for your business. According to Google, 46% of searches are for local needs. Local SEO has the potential to be a game-changer for your business. Grow your name, increase traffic (in-person and online), and become a pillar in your community with these local SEO tips.
This may all sound intimidating, but don't worry! Here are some of DevBarry's best tips for local SEO:
Best Tips for Local SEO
Your Google Business Profile is the bread and butter of local SEO. Claim your profile, provide updated, accurate information, and optimize it with reviews, photos, and relevant content to ensure local SEO success. Update your address, location on a map, hours of operation, and more when you initially set up your account. Stay on top of the game and in front of your desired audience by updating holiday/special hours, events, deals, and more on your GBP! This is the first local SEO best practice to follow to help your ranking and visibility.
Social Media Marketing and Content Creation
Depending on your trade, you may feel that social media isn't necessary for your audience. Even if you're not the next Instagram account to go viral, having a strong, consistent social media presence signals current and future customers that you're here and not going anywhere. You can source fresh content from your personal social media, images you've been tagged in, and so on. Don't be afraid to dress up your GBP with personality photos from your social media! You can even share your GBP on your socials to cover your bases.
Responsive Website Design
When revisiting your online presence, design your website for desktop and mobile viewers alike. Around 80% of users conduct local SEO searches on their phones, so it's important to design a responsive site that's optimized for mobile viewing. This is one of the most important tips for local SEO because if your customers can't navigate your website on their phones, they will likely throw in the towel. Plus, make your calls-to-action clear, as many local users are ready to act instantly when they search for your business!
Leverage Online Reviews
Reviews are another way human connection manifests in local SEO. Supplementing your GBP listing with reviews achieves a personal touch and acts as a virtual word-of-mouth recommendation for your business. Seek genuine (preferably positive) reviews to feature on your profile to boost your ranking. You can source reviews from social media or prompt customers in-person (for example, by offering a discount if they leave a review). Don't fabricate or embellish reviews to sound better. Be real with your audience, and thank us later! Don't forget to respond to all reviews to further engage with customers.
Our next local SEO tip is easy to remember. Say it with us, NAP! Name, address, phone number. It's critical to have this information correct and in multiple places. Don't make your customers work hard to find you. NAP serves many important purposes, chief among them the effect it has on crawlability. Putting your NAP in your website's footer and/or header will make it indexable by Google. Besides the local SEO implications, this will make things easier for your customers. If this information isn't easily accessible or even worse – if it's incorrect, the rest of your hard work is wasted effort. Ensure your NAP is consistent across the board for every site and platform you're active on.
Link-Building and Citations
Strengthening your internal links, external links, and citations will do wonders for your local SEO. Having a presence on citation sites such as Bing, Yelp, and other directories increases your chances of being found locally. Link-building (both internal and backlinking) improves your ranking and grants your domain authority to take up more space online. Any sponsorships, local partners, organizations, etc., in your area are a great place to start for building strong internal links for local SEO. There are many different directories you can use to improve backlinks, so be sure to pay attention to those that are most relevant locally.
Spellcheck is Your Best Friend
Throughout our tips for local SEO, you may have noticed one common thread. Despite your best efforts to improve local SEO, something as trivial as misspelled words can bring everything tumbling down. If Google can't verify your information because it's incorrect or unrecognizable, you've got a big problem. Triple-check your information and any new content you upload to ensure your local SEO efforts can do their job! Similarly, keep an eye out for incorrect or outdated information, links, etc.
Always Be Optimizing
Like anything in running a business, the work is never quite finished. Each piece of new content, ad, or website update is a chance to optimize your local SEO and get in front of even more customers. Utilize relevant keywords to shine in front of your target audience! While your initial local SEO overhaul may take time, maintaining and optimizing new content will not be as time-consuming. If you don't want to produce new content, you can always give your current website content an SEO makeover by editing copy to include new keywords or looking at the technical side of things to improve usability and indexing.
These Local SEO Tips Can Improve Foot Traffic and Online Sales
Leveraging local SEO best practices harnesses the power of the internet to drive more traffic to your business. With local SEO, you'll position yourself in front of a more tailored audience to build real-life relationships with your customers, improve your brand's reputation, and boost revenue. Go beyond receipts and the transactional nature of your everyday business minutiae and instead make a name for yourself with local SEO.
Local SEO in Dallas: DevBarry Local SEO Services
If this sounds like a lot, it's because it is. Luckily, we're here to help. DevBarry has mastered local SEO best practices and can take your business to the next level! Fill out this form to get started with local SEO in Dallas. Interested in a different facet of digital marketing? View our other services.