How to Optimize Your Business for Local Search

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If you have a brick-and-mortar business and want to attract more local customers, investing in local search engine optimization (SEO) is a must. Your audiences are in a specific geo-location and you should apply several tactics in order to draw their attention to your business online.

The question is, how soon can you start?

We have prepared a straightforward, brief, and comprehensive guide on how to optimize your business for local search. Even if your business is not location-based, you will want to read this summary and apply our best-practice recommendations.

Let us take you through several SEO strategies that will help your business grow.

Why You Need a Local SEO Strategy

Local SEO will not only help your business grow online, but will also help more local leads find your store, showroom, or office and visit you. This means more foot traffic, which means more sales.

  • Your customers are looking for you on Google

Nowadays, people ask Google when they need to find a product or a service in their area. If you don’t have a local SEO strategy, you’re missing out on valuable leads. As a matter of fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local searches — searches for local businesses. Use this opportunity to drive more local traffic to your business.

  • Local searches convert

Most of the local searches convert — 80% of them! Get started with local SEO and ride the wave.

  • When they find you online, they will pay you a visit

When your customers find you online, they will visit you, most likely within a day. Actually, 50% of them will do just that. Optimizing your business for local search will help you drive customers to your store or office faster.

  • Local searches result in purchases

People who look for your business on Google are usually motivated by purchase intent. Consider the fact that 28% of local searches online result in purchases while 78% of local searches on mobile bring an in-store purchase. Don’t miss out on these conversions.

  • Your customers will check you online before deciding to visit you

There’s no second chance to make a first impression. Create a strong and stable online presence to impress and drive the leads you need to grow. If you don’t have a website yet or you have a website with poor design, consider the fact that 97% of searchers and buyers will check out your online presence before deciding to visit you. Start with a great website and continue with a local SEO strategy to make sure to attract those leads.

  • Your customers will check out what other people say about you

When considering implementing a local SEO strategy, make sure to include growing your reputation online as well. Reviews from your customers on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other platforms will play a crucial role in forming an opinion about your business and in helping you earn more customers. In fact, most of your potential customers, 91% of them, will trust your business more if you have positive reviews.

How to Optimize Your Business for Local Search

How Should You Optimize Your Business for Local Search

If you want to grow your business and reach customers before your competitors in the area, prioritize starting an SEO strategy. Start with building and optimizing your website, social media, and Google My Business profile, and gather reviews. To make sure you don’t miss any of the local SEO tactics, read our tips below and implement them as soon as possible.

Create and Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

Presence on Google My Business for local businesses, regardless of your location, is an absolute must if you want to be considered relevant. Having a Google My Business profile will help you outrank your competitors from the area regardless of the size of their business or their authority. The fact is, your business will show up in searches higher than theirs.

However, just creating a profile on Google is not enough. Make sure to fill in all the required fields.

Display working hours

Add working hours so your customers can immediately find out what is the best time to visit you.

Show your business

Upload and show photos of your business, outside and inside. This will create a sense of familiarity and your customers will know what to expect.

Display contact information

Don’t miss to add your address and contact information. People may want to browse your website first or call you by phone for a piece of quick information before they visit you.

Build and manage your online reputation

Stay on top of your reputation on Google and make sure to ask your customers to review you on Google. When they do, don’t forget to respond and politely thank them for taking their time to spread a good word about your business. This is an excellent way to help other consumers find you and encourage them to visit you.

Google My Business Profile Optimized
Google My Business Persist Digital Profile Optimized

Use all options Google My Business offers

Google My Business gives you many options, from adding custom features, like “Get Quote”, updating your profile with deals, offers, and various other posts, showing a map to your business, to an opportunity for your customers to ask questions about your business and for you to respond to those questions and inform them on anything they want to know.

Perfecting and updating your Google My Business profile is a first and crucial step in any solid local SEO strategy. Make sure not to miss it.

Dominate Local Listings

Local search directories are very important if you want to optimize your business for local search. The first step is to find the best local search directories like Google Places, Yellow Pages, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Bing Local, Super Pages, Merchant Circle, etc. Then make sure to create your profile on each and fill it out with the accurate name of your business, address, phone number, website. Make the business name and information you provide consistent across all local listings. To find local search directories easier, you can use this free scan tool.

Local search directories
Yelp listing example from one of our clients

Add Local Keywords to the Content on Your Website

To help local consumers find your business faster, make sure to optimize your website for local search as well. If you already have a website, it’s most likely it talks about and shows the products and services you offer. But in order for local searchers to spot you as a relevant provider, you need to optimize your website for local search.

When talking about your offers on the website, make sure to include local keywords like your city or town in titles, the content itself and meta descriptions. These titles and descriptions or local areas you serve will let your visitors know you are the right business to visit or contact. visitors know they are the right business to reach out to. Local keywords will improve your rankings on Google and increase CTR. If your business has multiple stores/locations, create a landing page for each location and use local keywords.

Create Clear Directions to Your Business and Simple Forms

Don’t forget to add your local contact details, like your address, phone numbers, social media, and business name on crucial pages. Adding (embedding) a map is another trick you can do to make search engines index the information on them, just make sure to add location details in the text, as well. At the same time, a map with directions to your business will help your customers find you easily.

Depending on the actions you want your visitors to take, create suitable forms, but make sure they are simple enough to follow and quick to complete.

Clear directions with a map on the website of one of our clients
Clear directions with a map on the website of one of our clients

Implement Schema Optimization

Go to Google Search Console and use tool data highlighter to let Google know what is the most important information on each of your website pages. This is a great way to give Google the most important information that should be boosted. At the same time, your users will be informed faster and will be able to see details of your most important pages at a glance. After this, they will decide if your website is the most relevant to their search and whether they wish to click through it. In the end, implementing schema markup optimization will help your website rank better and get more clicks.

Build Links to Your Website for Local Keywords

Once you optimize your website and list your business on local search directories, make sure to start building links to your website using local keywords. These links should be relevant and valuable. Reach out to your partners, other related, non-competitor local businesses from the area, local bloggers, local charities, and events. Research your competition and find what backlinks are they building. To do this, you can use free tools like Moz Link Explorer.

Build Links to Your Website for Local Keywords
Build links to your website for local keywords

Don’t Forget About Social Signals

Create content on your website that will be relevant for your customers and for the area you’re in. This means that you should write blog posts and pages to answer common questions about your products and services, remove doubts, explain features, and, basically, make the life of your customers easier. This kind of content will be shared by your visitors and customers, and this is what creates social signals. These social signals inform Google that there is an interest in your website, so Google will give your content boost as well.

To encourage sharing, add social media buttons to your website and sharing buttons on each page of content and stay active on social media.

Encourage sharing of your content
Encourage sharing of your content

Optimize Your Business for Local Search with Persist Digital

If you follow the steps and tips we listed above, you should start seeing results soon. However, keep in mind that organic results take some time and miracles are not possible in a record amount of time — less than a month or two. For this SEO strategy to really kick in, you need to give it time, at least a few months up to a year.

Also, you need to continually test, conduct SEO audits, optimize, and improve. Make sure to stay up-to-date with new trends and apply those relevant to your business.

Now that you know how important it is to have a local SEO strategy in place, start creating a unique one of your own. If you believe that you need help or you have questions, feel free to contact the Persist Digital team. We will create a unique local SEO strategy, just for your business, regardless of how many locations you have, that will help you drive more customers and increase foot traffic.

At Persist Digital, we have a team of experienced specialists that can provide you with a tailor-made strategy. Learn more about our SEO Digital Marketing Services, and call us at 973-358-6565 to speak with a specialist about optimizing your business for local search today.