Local search engine optimization is vital to growing businesses, no matter how large or small. Since Google’s latest updates to its algorithms for favoring local businesses, knowing how to properly direct visitors is even more crucial now.
What exactly is local search engine optimization?
Essentially, local SEO is the process in which your site is programmed to be easily searched to gain local web traffic. Boost your local traffic with these six simple tips.
1. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
Have you ever clicked on a website, only to find all of its content shuffled around and unfit for the size of your screen? The same frustration you feel is the same frustration your visitors will experience if you do not optimize your site for mobile phones.
These days, you cannot assume that visitors to your website aren’t using their phones. It’s important to design your website so that it translates across all forms: tablets, mobile phones and desktops. In a report from Google, the company found that more searches were carried out on a mobile phone than a desktop computer. By making your site mobile-friendly, this also your positively affects your ranking with Google.
2. Create a Business Account with Google.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re looking for store hours or an address? More often than not, you’re going to type the business name in a Google search bar knowing you’ll find a sort of “featured” listing on the side of your screen. These are Google My Business accounts. Once you create an account, fill in the most up-to-date information, including your business’s hours of operation, a short, yet catchy, description and high-quality photographs.
3. Maintain consistency with your NAP.
Your NAP, or the acronym for name, address and phone number, must be displayed in the same format across all platforms. We’re talking Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, Instagram, your website and others. This is key for local search engine optimization so that your users will always have the most accurate information.
4. Keep both positive and negative local reviews.
While it’s not your first reaction to want to keep negative reviews, here’s why: experts say that nearly 70 percent of consumers will trust a business more when they have a mix of reviews, instead of solely positive. However, you should still be monitoring your reviews for spam or hasty comments between customers on your profile.
5. Use keywords in moderation.
It’s not news that keywords are the foundation of a successful SEO strategy, but that also doesn’t mean you need to spam your consumers. Keyword usage should come naturally, not in every other sentence. If you’re an Orlando-based fine paper store, you might use “Orlando,” “fine paper” and “stationary” to get you started.
6. Optimize for voice searches.
Picture this: you’re in your car looking for the nearest coffee shop. It’s more likely that you’ll conduct a voice search while driving. In addition to using keywords in moderation, it’s also important to input keywords that people are likely to speak. For example, you’ll want to include “Orlando coffee shop,” but for voice searches, include “coffee shop in Orlando” as well.