If you’re a business and want to be found by your customers online, then local search optimization is the way to go forward. It expands on the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) by providing much more focused results for businesses in a particular area.
Local SEO also improves your website’s ranking for searches related to location. Concentrating on local SEO is the key to getting more footfall for your brick-and-mortar or traffic to your website.
Why Should You Optimize for Local Search?
For a business, visibility is the most crucial factor for success, and it’s one reason they opt for advertising. But traditional ad campaigns are expensive to run and can put a huge dent in your finances. Optimizing for local search gets you more visibility for relevant local results and a much lower cost of entry.
Let’s look at a few simple reasons why you should optimize your business for local search –
Better Online Visibility – The most apparent benefit of local SEO is that it can improve your visibility locally. More potential customers will see your business and want to visit your store or website.
Targets Specific Locations – By optimizing for local search, you attract people who are looking for local companies or services. It increases the likelihood that they will become paying customers. Local SEO can considerably improve conversions.
Improved Credibility – Credibility can make or break a business and is vital, especially when competing with already established brands. Optimizing your local SEO helps you gain trust and credibility in your domain. In the eyes of the customer, your brand becomes more reliable.
Higher Traffic – Local search optimization brings more people to your website. Since it improves ranking, people are more likely to click on your website. It will give you improved conversions and higher traffic.
Improving Local Search Optimization
1. Understanding your Target Audience
Finding your target demographic is vital when optimizing your local SEO. You need to have a good understanding of the type of people who are using your services or products. You can do this through customer behavior and insights. Customers who prefer your service may have browsed for specific products online.
Creating a persona or avatar helps a great deal when researching customer demographics. It can help you understand how they react to current markets and trends. You can optimize your website and services based on insights from these processes.
2. Claiming and Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing
A significant part of the local SEO optimization process involves Google My Business (GMB). GMB is a free tool by Google that allows people to manage their business’ online presence. As a business owner in Plano, you need to optimize GMB to get better results for your local search. The first thing you should do is claim your GMB listing if it has been listed already.
You can add your business details, including your name, address, and phone number (NAP). Take care to ensure that all of them are correct before submitting. The first step to optimizing your GMB is having a consistent NAP on your GMB, website, and social handles. Once you’ve done this, encourage your customers to leave reviews on Google.
The advantage of having a verified GMB profile for your business is that it adds convenience and credibility. People can navigate to your store and check our reviews left by other customers.
3. Building and Optimizing Your Website for Local SEO
Website optimization is one of the most crucial parts of local SEO. You must ensure that your website’s metadata includes geo-centric keywords relevant to your business. The metadata of a website includes titles, descriptions, and alt text. Using your target city in your URLs and H1s and titles is a big part of creating a local presence. In our blog, we talk a lot about our Plano SEO company because we’re located in Plano but we also talk about the cities we want to appear in-like our SEO in Fort Worth page.
The key is not to overdo the addition of keywords, also called keyword stuffing. This can negatively impact your website optimization. Focus on creating content that is relevant locally. An excellent example of this is a weekly update on the things happening in and around Plano. It can give visitors relevant information and improve local SEO.
Last but not least, work on your website’s mobile optimization. Mobile devices have overtaken other forms of traffic online. People tend to rely on their mobile devices more than computers. As a business owner, ensure your website looks clear and readable on mobile devices.
4. Tracking and Analyzing Local SEO Performance
Building an effective tracking and analysis system is critical to your success. It can help you make data-driven decisions to improve your company’s SEO metrics. There are several tools and platforms that can help you get solid local SEO performance.
Google Analytics is one of the most common solutions for SEO performance analysis. It is free to use and integrates easily with other platforms. Tracking local keyword rankings is a good measure of local SEO for your website. You can use Google Analytics or opt for other paid tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush.
Tracking local citations through a tool like Mention can give you an idea of brand sentiment. Finally, regularly check user reviews on your GMB. If there are negative reviews, respond to them professionally. Harsh responses only do more harm than good.
Local search optimization is a challenging process with the competition we have today. Following these steps can give your business an advantage compared to your competitors. Opting for a professional digital marketing agency in Plano can improve your local SEO and deliver quicker results.
Christian Carere heads the SEO team here at Austin Bryant Consulting. After building an SEO agency in Toronto (Digital Ducats Inc.) Christian was hired by founder Keith Hunn who has created a full-service digital marketing agency in Plano, TX. Christian has been published on Search Engine Watch, Venngage, Small Biz Daily, Grasshopper, Data Box, Socialnomics, and Mention.