Although it might seem like the internet favors large corporations over mom-and-pop shops, the truth is that Google knows just how valued small businesses are. In fact, algorithmic updates have rolled out with the chief purpose of ensuring that local and independent organizations receive their fair share of attention in internet search queries.
If you’re struggling to increase your local traffic or your business relies on customers within your community, local SEO services should be a major focus for your digital marketing campaign. SEO services are meant to optimize a particular website so that it’s more readily found online — but local SEO, in particular, is geared towards making businesses within a user’s immediate area show up in relevant search results.
Local SEO services play an important role in the success of all kinds of small businesses. So how can you ensure that your premium SEO efforts are being executed correctly? Aside from hiring a professional SEO firm to handle your local optimizations, you might want to keep these dos and don’ts in mind.
For Local SEO, Do…
- Focus on Responsive Design: You might be asking yourself, what does my website have to do with local SEO? But the experience your site provides to users can have a big impact on rankings! With more than 50% of online searches starting on a mobile device, it simply makes good business sense to ensure your site is designed for mobile responsiveness. But if local SEO is a main focus for you, it’s also essential to consider how local consumers search for solutions they need. When you want to target potential customers nearby, you’ll want to ensure your site is fully accessible via mobile devices. Because many local users are ready to buy and are actively looking for businesses in their immediate area, you’ll want to remove any barriers that exist.
- Claim and Update Your GMB Listing: Google provides a fantastic, free platform that small businesses can take advantage of to appear more prominently in search results. Google My Business, also known as GMB, can help your organization appear in map pack results and show extra information without users having to actually navigate to your site. You can include information like hours of operation, phone numbers, addresses, product photos, customer reviews, important updates, and much more. Be sure to claim your GMB listing and update it regularly, as doing so can make your business more likely to show up in pertinent searches and give customers as much information as possible.
For Local SEO, Don’t…
- Forget to Use Location-Based Keywords: Site design and GMB listings are important, but there are other optimizations you can do on your own site to increase your chances of being found by local consumers. Longer, location-oriented keywords that include your service areas or where your business is located, along with your niche or products, can help users searching for solutions in your area. Although these long-tail, geo-targeted keywords may have a lower search volume than broad keywords, this can actually work to your advantage; rather than competing with larger businesses operating on a local scale, you’ll be able to reach those in your community who are ready to buy.
- Allow Inconsistent NAP Listings: Your site and GMB listings aren’t the only places your business can be found online. Review sites (like Yelp) and websites that compile local listings will also feature some basic information about your business. NAP (name, address, phone number) citations can be found in various spots around the internet — but what you might not realize is that Google factors these listings into your site rankings. If these listings aren’t consistent on all platforms, this can be confusing to both search engines and human users. Make sure to iron out any inconsistencies to eliminate confusion and boost your rankings.
Now that you understand some essential dos and don’ts for your local SEO, you can make some improvements on your own. But if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of digital marketing, it’s time for you to explore options for obtaining local SEO services. For more on how our team can help, please contact Studio98 today.