SEO for Small Businesses Why Local Search Matters

SEO for Small Businesses: Why Local Search Matters

Local search engine optimization is vitally important for all small businesses. Lets touch on why local search matters. Optimizing your website can help to bring in more visitors, which can result in more sales for your business. Over the last few years, Google has focused on providing local search results for search users. This gives small businesses a great opportunity to attract local prospects and customers to their websites. To make the most of local search, use these top tips.

1. Local Keywords Attract Local Customers

Keywords are the core of any good SEO strategy. Local keywords are ones that include the name of your city, neighborhood, or region in addition to a word relevant to your business. For example, “florist Brookline” is a local keyword.

Local keywords attract local people, who are most likely to engage with your business. They also face less competition than general keywords. Use the Google Keyword Tool to discover keywords attract high search volumes in your niche. Add the name or your neighborhood or city to create a strong local keyword.

Related Article: How To Use Yoast SEO & Content Analysis Tool

2. Improve Your Website and On-page SEO

In order to rank high in search results your overall website gets a score known as domain authority.  This score is the ranking of 8 overall ranking factors.  If your next door competitor has a rank of 55 and your new website is ranked at a 20, then you have to work to do on your website and its content.  On page signals will include (NAP) Name, Address, Phone Number, keywords and domain authority.

According to MOZ, Domain Authority (DA) is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank. Below is a comparison of the eFaucets site I founded compared to our competitors. We are 67 out of 100 ahead of our competitors and one the major factors that we dominate natural search.

moz domain authority

3. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly.

More and more local websites are being accessed on mobile these days.  In fact, 69% of all local searches are performed on smartphones as of 2019.  The easiest way to provide a mobile friendly website is to ensure your website theme is known as a responsive theme. If you haven’t made your website mobile-friendly, you should. The majority of users coming to your site are likely to be using a mobile device.  If you don’t know if your website is mobile-friendly, take the Google Mobile Friendly Test now!

statista 2019 mobile searches local SEO

(Image Credit: Statistica)

4. Listing Sites Boost Local SEO

Adding your business to listing sites, such as Yelp and Google My Business, can help to attract more local traffic to your website. Be sure to include appropriate categories, relevant keywords, accurate opening hours and an up-to-date link to your website.

Search engines such as Google analyze the proximity of the search location to the address within the Google My Business listing. The closer your business is to the person searching, the more relevance your business will have and the propensity to rank higher in search results. Keywords in your listing title and categories selected should match what customers in your vicinity are searching for.

Google my business local seo

5. Create Local Content

All local websites should be adding blog style article content to the website in order to engage potential customers.  These content articles should be posted on your social media accounts to keep a news feed of content streaming for your followers.

For example, if you are a local digital marketing company in Milwaukee, WI like Corberry Digital Marketing, create a specific page titled Digital Marketing Milwaukee.  Focus content on the importance of hiring a local digital marketing that knows the Milwaukee community.

Related Article: Why SEO is Content Marketing

6. Online Reviews and Reputation Management

Encourage customers to review your business on listing sites and review sites to make you more visible. Don’t worry about negative reviews on listing sites. Every business attracts some negative reviews. If you respond politely to these bad reviews and offer a solution to the dissatisfied customer, you could help create an impression of your business as caring and open to feedback. Search engine crawling factors take review quality, review velocity and review diversity.  So, try and get as many quality reviews as you can on multiple review sites. It not good enough to simply get a 5 star review. You need your customers to write some content to go with it supporting your service.

google my business reviews

7. Be Active on Social Media

Backlinks from social media do not directly improve the search ranking of your site. However, having an active presence on sites like Facebook and Twitter can help to make your brand more visible to local consumers. Social signals are a strong ranking factor for search engines such as Google.  The search engines crawl your social profiles analyzing your engagement with your followers.  Post regularly, encourage users to leave comments, and respond quickly to posts that customers post on your page. These actions could help you to build a strong local following on social media, which could translate into higher levels of sales.

Related Article: What is Social Media Marketing? Your Step-by-Step Guide

8. Obtain External Inbound Links with Domain Authority

External Inbound links are one of the top ranking factors above that drives your overall domain authority score. this is an important way to boost your local SEO over your competitors. Each inbound link from another website provides Google an endorsement about your legitimacy.  The more inbound links you obtain, the greater your domain authority. The next question you have is how does one get links. Here are some top examples.

  • Partners such as vendors and suppliers
  • Sponsored links
  • Guest Blog Posting

Start with the people and companies you do business with or that support you.  This may include your local Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Corp, Better Business Bureau, business improvement districts, trade associations, vendors, and/or manufacturers and other affiliates. Look for local directories. In my community there are several sites that rank the top 10 Milwaukee Marketing Agencies.  Network with high profile influencers in your community or network.  Guest post on their blog or get them to write and article about you with an anchor text link to your website.  If you sell someones product then look to get on the where to buy directory on the manufacturer/supplier directory page. Sponsor a community event like a 5-K run and get a link as a sponsor.

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