Marketing your business is the key to reaching out to the masses and SEO is that tool you can bank upon. If you own a local business and are uncovering the SEO world, you must have come across a term like local SEO. Today, everyone proudly vouches for several SEO services, however, its local SEO aspect is what will uplift your local business more! If the term seems fancy to you, no worries! In today’s piece, I’m going to elaborate on this local SEO branch of SEO besides presenting to you my top seven Google local SEO tips for 2021.
What is local SEO?
As the name suggests, “local SEO” translates to a form of SEO that deals with a geographical component(s). With more and more local businesses going online, it’s interesting to note that today, the proportion of local Google searches has soared to 46%! This means that not concentrating on this thing means losing out on a slew of buyers who are local to your business but unaware of it. Take this quick example to understand local SEO in a better way.
For a search query “coffee”, your search result will more likely be this.
The above results demonstrate that as you haven’t referred to any particular geographical location in the search box, Google has listed out all the top-ranked coffee houses (that may include local options too). Here, higher are the chances of your local coffee business missing out from this list (if you haven’t locally optimized your business).
In another case, if your search query is “local coffee shops near me”, Google will provide you with the following results.
That’s what local SEO does to your business. You may find your local coffee house in the above list (if you have locally optimized your business).
Note that local searches are usually made in formats like:
[term] + city
[term] + near me
[term] + closest to me
Let’s now check out my top Google local SEO strategies for a quick workaround in 2021.
Top Local Seo Strategies For Your Local Business In 2021
For local SEO to shoot up your business revenue without spending dollars, you can utilize the following 7 free and effective local SEO tips.
Optimize your business website for local SEO
It’s worth noting that optimizing your business website for local SEO involves something extra besides doing the organic SEO. For example:
A dedicated contact page is a must. A contact page must include the necessary contact details like:
- Address, and
- Phone number
If your business is spread to other locations too, don’t forget to add those individual location cards to allow the people settling in those locations to access your business.
Since 76% of local searches involve a direct phone call, make sure to make your phone number clickable. This will allow the visitors to contact you directly without having to leave the search engine for the same.
What about adding a map for better accessibility to your business? Lastly, a few verified testimonials on your site is a good way to insinuate faith about your business and its products/services.
Important note: In future, if your number/address/email undergoes any change, don’t forget to update them on your contact page too!
Leverage the power of Google My Business
Getting surveyed and recorded on the known and trustworthy review platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google My Business (GMB), or Facebook is another significant aspect of local SEO.
Out of these, Google My Business is what I’d emphasize more. It’s a free tool from Google tailored for local businesses to regulate their online presence.
Plus, setting it up is as easy as making a cup of tea!! Create your account, provide the required details, and collect local reviews to climb up in the rankings. That’s it. In this case, Google will automatically add a map based on the details you provided.
Here’s an interesting fact. 86% of the customers trust businesses listed over Google My Business.
Capitalize on local content
Local search engine optimization doesn’t mean you don’t need a separate blog section on your website. In fact, investing in a blog has twin benefits. First, you can attract traffic to both your main website and blog simultaneously. As per SEO, links are the 2nd most vital online ranking factor out of all.
Second, you can explain more about your business and its products/services through your blogs.
However, while drafting the content for your blog, be cautious of your local audience and that those people may not understand your business by its city name. Hence, try to combine more of your neighbourhood places or other local places everyone around you is significantly aware of for ages!
Lastly, you’d refrain from gloating about your business just to impel locals to cultivate a negative image of you and your business.
Prioritize verified customer reviews/ratings for a much-needed local SEO boost
While shopping online, every customer pays heed to the online reviews or customer ratings before coming to any conclusion. This is demonstrated by the following image.
Over 97% of customers first explore the review section of a business, erect their image from the available reviews/ratings, and then conclude whether to continue or not. Therefore, you’d prioritize your business’s customer ratings and star reviews to captivate more sales.
Research states that a poor star rating on your site or other major review sites can dock your business in trouble. To instill more faith about your business in the minds of the potential visitors, target at least 4 or 5-star ratings.
Optimize online directories and citations
Optimized online directories & citations can induce a jump of 11% in your local SEO rankings. However, be wary of the common disparities in these online or directories. These include misspellings in the business name, owner name, improper abbreviations, lack of suite number, incorrect phone number, etc.
As Google first analyzes the available data before ranking you, in the case, there are any instances of incorrect information, it may not rank your business anywhere over its search engines.
Additionally, don’t overlook the fact some other business may be running online with your name and deceiving customers. Hence, you’d also eliminate any duplicate listing with the name you uncover while browsing online.
Conduct a local SEO audit
After optimizing your local business’s website for local SEO, don’t reckon yourself done! You’d conduct an extensive local SEO audit of your site to perceive whether it’s going in the right direction or not. This audit will also help you understand if anything else can be done for better results. For your reference, here are some crucial components of your local SEO audit.
- Google My Business (GMB) audit,
- Google Search Console (GSC) audit,
- On-page and off-page audit,
- Citation audit,
- Your competitor analysis,
- Overall website audit, etc.
Focus on your website’s internal linking
You may consider backlinks as an indispensable part of SEO, however, internal links (interlinks) are also equally crucial and do the following to your website.
- Improves the website navigation,
- Aids in your website configuration,
- Disseminates the Google ranking powers among the different pages of your website, etc.
Not having a proper interlinking structure on your website can undo the results of your external links or backlinks. Hence, treat both kinds of links equally.
Whether you own a well-established business having international branches or a brick-and-mortar business running in a particular region, city, or even state, you can’t ignore the power of organic or local SEO in uplifting any of these. Talking about the latter, remember that local SEO is also a continuous process and you need to acknowledge it as early as possible to survive online. For this, don’t forget to utilize my above seven local SEO tips and our local SEO services for unmatched results.