In order to keep up with the times, small and local businesses need to establish an online presence, just like larger businesses need to. In doing so, local businesses should use digital marketing strategies to help themselves become more visible online.
Local SEO marketing is an easy way to help your small or local business grow by outcompeting your competitors online. In this article, we will go over why local businesses need to use search engine optimization and how they should go about it.
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is a way to tell search engines where your web pages or web content should exist on the Internet. This is most commonly done by using keywords that are associated with your brand or content.
Plenty of work goes into ranking on page one, where Google sees 97% of people click to get information. Very rarely, do people scroll to the second page.
This strategy for digital marketing is a must-do when trying to establish a presence online. Forgoing the addition of SEO to your web content will only hinder your brand or business.
What is Local SEO?
More specifically, local SEO is a SEO strategy geared toward telling search engines where your business is located. By doing things that refer back to your location, you can help to increase your business’ prevalence in local searches.
Local SEO can refer to the use of local keywords or other optimization strategies that we will go over in this article.
In order to land on page one for a local service, plenty of work needs to be done. There are many SEO best practices that include optimizing headers, page titles, and URLs with keywords. You can also add keywords to the image title as well as image alt text, which is something most people forget.
Additionally, building local landing pages will help increase your traffic to target different cities for keywords of your service
Next, let’s discuss why your local business needs to add local optimization to be more accessible to customers.
Why Do Local Businesses Need SEO?
Many people on the internet are looking for local information, over 46% of Google searches are looking for local information or businesses and over 97% of people using online search engines have used search options to find a local business.
When looking at these statistics, there is no doubt that you should be trying your absolute best to show up in these search results for your local area. These numbers show that being left out of these results will leave your business out in the cold for these searchers.
How Should Local Businesses Use SEO?
- Adding Local Keywords
The easiest way to add local SEO to your online content and your website is to make sure that your content includes your location-related search terms. If you are not mentioning your location in your website content, you are not telling search engines where you and your audience are.
If you are living in a city or location that is part of a bigger location, you should aim to include both of these locations in your search terms.
Also if your city or state has a common nickname that most people in the city use, you should consider adding this as a local keyword.
For example, your business is located in San Francisco. The city of San Francisco is part of the larger area, the Bay Area, and it gets shortened to SF and San Fran.
- Create Local Content
Another way to add local SEO to your online content and digital marketing strategy is to make content that is catered toward your local audience.
For example, you should consider adding a menu item at your restaurant that calls back to your location.
- Add Location to Your Website
This can be done by adding keywords as we mentioned in number one on this list. In some cases, adding location keywords can be enough to add your business website to the local search result pages. However, in order to ensure that you are at the top of the list online, you should try to go the extra mile.
You should be adding location to your website, such as a section on your Contact Us page that hosts a Google Map of your location. This addition actually scores you huge points with Google specifically and can be a helpful tool to help customers find you in town.
Another way to optimize your location online is to add to your About Us page specific details about why your business is so special to your location.
Pro-tip: Don’t just throw around where you are located randomly, but do so with intent and purpose.
- Location Tag Your Social Media Posts
If your business is marketing online through social media, you should be location tagging each and every one of your social media posts.
This function of social media adds to the individual search engines within these social media platforms. As well, platforms such as Instagram will allow you to look at posts strictly based on their location tags.
Tagging your posts will help increase their visibility through local searches and through the tags themselves.
- Partner With Other Local Businesses
Another way to optimize your local SEO and drive more local traffic toward your business is to start to establish partnerships with other local businesses. Your public association with these businesses will allow you to become visible on their websites in addition to your own.
You don’t have to necessarily partner with other businesses in a very serious financial sense, but you can partner by branding, offering joint coupons, or hosting events together in partnership.
Doing so will more firmly establish your business in your locality and will allow more opportunities for search engines to recognize where you are located.
By adding local SEO to your website and social media pages, you will become more accessible to your customer base as a result. Small and local businesses especially rely on this visibility to increase traffic which they can convert into sales.
If you are a small or local business that is struggling to keep up with your more digital competitors, consider implementing local SEO as your first step to fighting back against the competition.
We hope that you found this guide to be helpful in teaching you about the importance of local SEO. If you have any further questions, fill out our screening form to see if we can help with your local SEO.