Being a small business means you have a smaller budget. But this doesn't mean you can't compete with larger entities.
The internet has leveled the playing field, which means you can earn the same visibility (if not more) than a bigger company. This is possible when you're implementing local SEO.
Sound too good to be true?
Nearly half (46%) of Google searches are local. That equates to billions of high-value queries. These are people who are looking for your business, so they have a higher chance of converting.
The question now:
How do you increase local SEO for your business so you can garner some of this traffic?
Let's take a look.
Create and Optimize Your Google My Business Listings
The very first item on your list to increase local SEO for your business should be to claim and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) listing. If there isn't one already for your company, you can create one.
Before you publish your listing, it's crucial to fill it out in its entirety. This includes ensuring the following information is correct and matches what's on your website:
- Business name
- Business address
- Business phone number
The acronym commonly used for this is N.A.P. (name, address, number).
Besides these details, you need to add the categories related to your business. This way, when someone searches for a "your niche" business, your company has a higher chance of showing up in the Google 3-pack (the map with the top three listed companies). By the way, this shows up in 93% of local searches!
So ensure you also fill out your business hours and days, so your customers know when to show up.
You can do the same for over 70 business directories using GoSite's placement tool. This will remove the hassle of managing 70 different accounts.
Ask for Customer Reviews to Increase Local SEO
Other than optimizing your citations on business directories, you'll need to get online reviews. This, too, helps with your ranking.
As you'd imagine, the more raving reviews and ratings you receive, the higher your rank. So the best way to use this to increase local SEO is to ask your customers to write reviews.
Some businesses do this via email, text message, social media, or personally using a postcard. You can get creative with the method you use, just be sure the request is visible and a link is included.
The easier you make it for them to submit their review, the more likely they'll do it. This is what makes text, social, and email effective.
Increase Local SEO By Writing About Local Events
What's happening in your city? Staying in the loop is an excellent way to get more attention to your local business. For instance, if there's a special event your company is sponsoring, then this is excellent news to share.
Not only does it help paint your small business in a good light (helping a cause). But it also allows you to increase local SEO.
When you write the blog post, make sure to include the name of the event and the city, state. This way, when people search for it, they'll find your post about it.
In turn, you'll see more incoming traffic, but only for a short time. Once the event passes, so will the traffic. To capitalize on this, you'll need to stay abreast of local happenings you can discuss and/or promote regularly.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Most website builders today come with built-in responsive designs to ensure your site is optimized for mobile and desktop users. However, if you hired a small web designer several years ago, then it may be time for a revamp.
You can check the mobile-friendliness of your website by visiting it on your tablet and smartphone.
Does the layout look good? Are the buttons and menus easy to navigate?
If not, then you'll need to redesign your site with a responsive design. Without this, it'll be impossible to increase local SEO, especially since Google puts a lot of weight on a site's mobile-friendliness.
Plus, half of mobile searches are geared towards local businesses. That's a lot of potential traffic you're leaving at the gate if you're not optimized!
Increasing Your Social Presence Can Increase Local SEO
As a local business, you have the advantage of tying together your online and physical presence. You can use social media to grow your followers and get more foot traffic to your business.
The best way to achieve this is by being active on your profile. This means joining in conversations, offering insights, and being overall helpful.
The more people see your name, the more likely they'll check out your business page. Then, if they like what they see, they may like and follow your page.
Other methods you can use include:
- Posting Stories on Instagram and Facebook
- Hosting contests (i.e., post photo with "your product" for a chance to win X)
- Creating an infographic that's helpful, intriguing, or entertaining (so it's more likely to be shared)
- Connect with local influencers (to help promote your business)
- Ask for reviews (so it shows on your profile)
Do as many on this list as you can to help increase local SEO quicker.
Is it Time to Increase Local SEO for Your Brand?
Whether you're new or established, you need to increase local SEO to ensure the continued success of your business. Everyone's on mobile devices conducting local searches, making it imperative to have a local SEO strategy.
If your product or service is in demand, then you want to ensure you're at the top of the list. Consumers rarely go beyond the first 10 -- so make sure you're at the top.
With consistent optimization, online reviews, and managing citations, you can reach your traffic goals.
Ready to empower your small business? Then download our free local SEO fundamentals guide today!