If you have a business in need of digital marketing services, you may have heard the term ‘search engine optimization’ countless times.
Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to tweaking and tailoring your content to become easy to find on search engines like Google and Bing.
Simply put, SEO services are used to fix the search ranking for your website, specifically the content that you place on your website. The core of the SEO operations are keywords, which refer to internet users’ commonly searched terms when searching for something related to your niche, category, or industry.
Consider it this way: If you design men’s wallets, then the suitable keywords for your business would be something like ‘men’s wallets,’ ‘leather wallets,’ ‘men’s leather wallets,’ etc. However, SEO isn’t just about finding keywords like these.
It also involves deducing which keywords are more highly ranked than others.
In today’s day and age, the competition for getting your content highly ranked has increased tenfold. Although services like Google My Business do all the work for companies that sign up for their services, other companies with in-house SEO have an uphill battle to stay relevant.
Let’s have a look at how you can develop a solid local SEO strategy for your business, website, or blog in 2021.
What is Local SEO?
Before we dive into the specifics of building a local SEO strategy, you must know what local SEO is. Simply put, local SEO focuses on a higher search ranking for your local area or a specific perimeter around your current location. It doesn’t have to do with the entire city, country, or the world, making it a much more pinpointed approach to search engine optimization.
When thinking about local SEO, you need to consider that Google isn’t the only place where people search for businesses or services similar to yours. Therefore, you will also have to expand your outreach to local search engines and listings, classifieds, and social networks that will help you get the word across your local area.
If you are looking to easily set up your local SEO services, you can use Google My Business. However, if you want more control over how your marketing and outreach are taken care of, then proceed to the local SEO strategy that we have laid out for you below.
5 Effective Tips for Developing a Local SEO Strategy
1. Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool by Google to put your business on the radar and become discoverable through Google Search and Maps. Since Google’s very own tool is much more efficient at managing your local SEO requirements than other SEO tools.
Moreover, it also gives you a higher ranking factor on local searches.
Through Google My Business, you can choose between different packages built according to your business needs.
It allows you to list your business at the exact location on Google Maps, along with the correct information, such as business name, address, phone number, operating hours, and much more. You can also add a link to your website so that your website views also increase gradually.
After you have done all this, you are more likely to show up in the first few search results on Google search, and your search ranking will continue to improve as more and more people discover you. In addition, local listings through GMB greatly help you get higher physical traffic for your business.
2. Online Reviews
When you take your business online, one of the best key performance metrics is online reviews, which is feedback left by your genuine customers. Online reviews can be negative or positive, depending on the quality of your products and services and how you present yourself across the internet.
Usually, when people search for something, and the search results pop up, the next thing they look for are online reviews, which play a significant role in making or breaking a business.
Therefore, SEO strategies should always include online reviews to ensure that most people say only positive things about your business.
You can find several review platforms on the internet, such as Yelp, Foursquare, and many other niche platforms where millions of users read and leave reviews for businesses, organizations, restaurants, and many other places.
If your business is listed on Google and other search engine platforms, people will be able to see the reviews as soon as they search for you.
Thus, your focus should be on generating positive reviews for your business, and we don’t mean that you start leaving positive reviews on your own business anonymously.
If you go through the online reviews frequently, you will find any aspect of your products or services that customers aren’t satisfied with. This will allow you to take corrective measures so that your customers don’t have any complaints.
If you have a couple of bad reviews, make sure to act upon them and fix the problems. Once you have done this, a wise step would be to get in touch with those reviewers through email or phone and invite them to try your product or service once again.
If they are now satisfied, they are more likely to edit or remove their previous reviews, resulting in lower negative feedback for your business.
Remember to be polite, courteous, and responsible when you are talking to people who have left a bad review on your business, and make sure to avoid any false commitments or promises that can drive them away.
3. Website Optimization
While developing their website, most people are caught up with the design and development phases. Therefore, they forget to spend time on their SEO, so most of the valuable business information often gets missed because of this. This is the main reason why your website isn’t highly ranked among search engines.
Your website is used to build trust and reliability among your potential customers. Therefore, adding your reviews and testimonials goes a long way in doing so. Adding reviews also help improve your ranking factor, as most people use search terms like ‘best X in my area’ or ‘most trusted Y nearby.’
Another thing that you should make sure of is that your reviews and testimonials section should be visible on your website, as plain as day.
This way, when potential customers explore your website to learn more about your company and the solutions you are offering, they will know exactly how you can solve their problem or alleviate the pain point they are experiencing.
Apart from online reviews and testimonials, make sure that your business contact information is also clearly visible on the website. Most customers will want to call you as soon as they scale your website and are intrigued to find out more about your offerings.
4. Using Local Keywords
As we mentioned above, keywords are used to make your website and social media content highly visible in search engines. Therefore, when talking about local SEO strategies, your focus should be on local keywords.
For instance, if you run a tattoo parlor in New York City, then the keyword ‘best tattoo parlor in New York City’ would have high competition, meaning that it would be most frequently used by users to search for businesses similar to yours.
You will need to use a keyword planner or keyword research toolset to your location, and you can start by entering search terms like the one mentioned above. It will give you a list of different keywords according to your business, industry, location, and other metrics. Then, you can add these keywords to your content to make it more searchable.
Moreover, you should also think about adding the main keyword in the URL of your website and in headings and subheadings, where it is most visible. Other keywords can be placed strategically inside the whole body of your content.
Another pro tip of local SEO strategy is to design multiple pages for different locations if your business is scattered across a wider area.
You can also make landing pages for areas close to your location, even if your business isn’t physically present there. This will help users find you much easier. Again, this will go a long way towards improving your search ranking.
To find local keywords, you can try one of these research tools:
5. Using Links
One of the critical components of search engines is links, which are instrumental in determining your position among search results. However, it doesn’t involve randomly stuffing links into your website or content.
Instead, your search ranking is strengthened through a series of internal and external links, which come from credible and highly ranked sources.
Internal links are links to other pages of your website that you add to your homepage or landing page to make it easier for users to navigate and explore your website in detail. If used correctly, search engines like Google give preference to such websites.
On the other hand, external links refer to other websites that provide similar or related content to yours, such as a research page or report that mentions your business or is relevant to your industry.
You can also insert social media links into your websites. Although they aren’t factored as links by Google, they make it easier for people to search for your business. Even better, you can make use of local citations, which are similar to a backlink.
These refer to online directories or classifieds without using the actual links. This way, your business is visible to a larger audience.
How Can I Find Local SEO Keywords?
You can start by using a keyword research tool and insert your precise location into it. Then, you can either enter your URL or the main keyword, and the tool will output all of the highly ranked keywords for you.
How Do I Find My Local SEO Ranking?
There are various SEO tools where you can input your website, and it outputs your local SEO ranking, which shows you how likely you are to appear on the top of search results based on specific metrics.
What are the Top SEO Tools?
Some of the top SEO and keyword research tools out there include SEMRush, Spyfu, Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and many others.
Many people think that local SEO strategies only revolve around Google Search and Google My Business. However, in reality, there are many search engines and methods you can apply to increase your search ranking and project your business to many potential customers.
Not only will it improve your search ranking, but it will also bring in increased sales for your business, which results in higher revenue as well.