6 Local SEO Strategies for Small to Medium Businesses
Local SEO Strategies for Small to Medium Businesses – In recent years, the advantage of local SEO over non-local SEO has become increasingly clear to digital marketing professionals. Non-local SEO tends to connect websites with users looking for information, while local SEO connects businesses with searchers looking for a product or service in their immediate geographic area.
As most SMB are in direct competition with other SMB to win customers in their local market, the importance of ranking for local SEO cannot be understated. The following breakdown looks at 6 essential local SEO strategies for small to medium businesses.
1. Revamp Your Website With Localized Content
There is no shortage of statistics that reveal the importance of local SEO over non-local SEO, but here is one that stands out: 18% of local smartphone searches led to a sale within a day, compared to only 7% of non-local searches.
Based on this data, there is really no upside to having a general, rudderless website. Zero in on the characteristics that will make your website stand out in the local market. Some ideas include:
- Creating localized content that appeals to the local market. When possible, try to cultivate local experts to post authoritative content on your blog.
- Use geo-specific title tags when posting content to your site.
- Post photographs with your business’ local surroundings and include important geographic landmarks.
In addition, if you operate a SMB that has multiple locations, it is critical that your website include innovative store locator software to put customers in contact with your nearest vendor or sales professional. Search engines reward websites that provide helpful information, and there is arguably nothing more helpful than “where to buy,” making location software a must to rank high in SMB SEO.
2. Know the Local Competition
“Know thyself, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories.”
Quoting Sun-Tzu has become a bit cliche in the business world, but knowing your competition is critical for local SEO success.
Look at the websites of your top competitors and identify their strengths and weaknesses. Search engines will analyze your sites along hundreds of criteria, but the following are a few where you definitely want to spend your time and effort in surpassing the competition:
- Security – search engines are hesitant to rank sketchy sites. Any URL containing https will have a major leg up on those with http.
- Mobile friendliness – although statistics vary, some report that 78% of all local mobile searches result in a direct purchase within 24 hours. Those SMB that offer the best mobile experience will win the race for revenue.
- Authority – search engines reward sites based on the quality of their content and the presence of authoritative backlinks to improve click through rate.
3. Create Local Business Citations
One of the best ways to locally cite your business is to list your business on Google Maps and verify it. To be legitimately verified, the citation should include the business name, address, and phone number. Some other valuable pieces of information to furnish include:
- Your website URL
- A brief description of the business
- Recent photos of the business premises
- Business operational category
- Related industry keywords
4. Identify Trending Local Keywords
This will include a mix of broad and long-tail keywords. When adding geographic tails to your keywords, keep them at the city or county level. Including states will end up making your keyword too general.
Also, don’t forget to keep the keywords specific to what your business does.
As such, a good example of a broad keyword would be “Denver remodelers.” An example of a good long-tail keyword would be “Denver solar roofing remodelers.”
5. Get Listed on All Digital Directories
Google My Business is the king of local digital directories. You need to have one for your business, and if your business has more than one location, make sure to maintain an updated listing for each store. Things to include in a GMB listing include:
- Store name
- Contact information
- Brief description
- Hours of operation
- Redirect link to your business website
Although GMB is head-and-shoulders the most important local directory, it is far from the only one. Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook are just a few of the other digital directories you will want to take advantage of.
6. Encourage Customer Reviews
Finally, there is nothing like the power of social proof in 2022. A whopping 93% of customers will read online reviews before making a purchase.
And it’s not just negative reviews that will drive business away. Customers will treat businesses with few reviews with skepticism.
Therefore, it is critical that you take steps to encourage customer reviews. By doing so, you not only make your local clientele feel like you value their opinion, but you demonstrate to prospective customers that you take feedback seriously and are constantly looking to improve.
Utilize Local SEO Tips and Strategies
Local SEO is extremely likely to connect SMB with searchers looking to make a purchase in their immediate geographic area. With this in mind, revamping your company website with localized content, understanding the local competition, creating local business citations, identifying trending local keywords, getting listed on all digital directories, and encouraging customer reviews are 6 awesome local SEO tips for SMB owners.
Photo Credits in the order as the image appears in this article:
Image by: Myriam Jessier
Image by: John Schnobrich
Image by: Souvik Banerjee