By Joel House

Local SEO is crucial if you want your business to stay relevant. You could be missing out on your potential customers if your business isn’t optimized for local search. However, every business must depend on local SEO performance to obtain much better online visibility.

It’s important to embark on a local Search Engine Optimization campaign if you want to rank higher in the search engines. Below are seven best practices that will optimize your business for local SEO.


1. Optimize Your Website for Local SEO

The first step is to optimize all your website elements to local search if you wish to improve your local SEO efforts. Each section of your website should include details about the city and state along with the keyword. It’s essential to arrange these words correctly.

The main body of your pages should also include information about your business. The Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) of your business should be visible in each page within your website. Every URL on your site should also be optimized for local search including the information in your page titles.

2. Add Location Pages to Your Website

You need to create location pages if your business has more than one location. Location pages present readers your business Name, Address, and Phone Number, unique store descriptions, store working hours, promotions, parking/transit information, testimonials from happy customers, and many more.

It will help if you avoid duplicate content across multiple location pages. Make sure you categorize your business to make sure your business is displayed correctly. Keep in mind that you will be updating your information everywhere else the same way you present information on these pages, so you need to write your location information correctly.

3. Conduct Local Link Building

Link building is an essential process for SEO, but for local SEO, it should be performed targeting a particular geographical area and relevant local websites as your source for generating backlinks. These links will help your site for ranking purposes, as well as drive traffic from a local audience.

Focus on getting high-quality links from websites with a high domain authority in your local area, and this will help your business build a good reputation with Google. Every company should be doing these things to improve their brand presence in the search engines and across the web.

4. Create Local Content

You need to write high-quality content if you want to improve your local SEO. One of the top agenda of the local SEO strategy is to maintain relevancy, and evergreen content. Every great piece of content can make a vast difference to your local rankings with the correct backlinks to your main pages.

The content should be locally relevant, well research, contain images, infographics, and other media for exciting engagement. Creating high-quality content will undoubtedly have a long-term gain than a higher volume of poor quality pieces. Focus on creating in-depth content and don’t just write content for the sake of daily publication.

5. Get Optimized For Mobile

Local and mobile search go hand in hand. Many people conduct searches when they are on the go, and that’s the reason why many searches on mobile are related to local places. So it is vital that you have your website optimized for the mobile device, using responsive designs and other elements that will make it easier for targeted customers to find your business through mobile search.

Local businesses should keep information about their company name, address, phone number, and product availability up-to-date on their mobile site — many customers who search for a local business check to see if the location is open as well as if they have product available for pick up. Not having all these pieces of information will cause them to look somewhere else.

6. Generate Online Reviews

Customer reviews play a crucial role in local SEO. Online review sites such as Yelp are formed by a community of online users sharing their experience about a particular business in a specific locality. Positive customers’ reviews and scores generated by your business in these sites will not only be good for local SEO but will also convert your prospects into customers.

The more positive reviews and scores you have, the more search engines will suggest your business on the first results page. Negative reviews are bound to happen at some point and if you get one, address it and promise to solve the customer’s issue. Finally, don’t make any attempt to post fake reviews. Posting fake reviews is dishonest, as well as against Google’s quality guidelines. Fake reviews can impact your local search visibility negatively when caught.

7. Build Local Citations

Getting citations in local directories is essential for local SEO. Citations are any reference about your business that can be found on the Internet, such as on Yelp, FourSquare, Yellowpages, Angie’s List, BBB, and other authoritative sites that list your website. Citation makes your business stand apart as a valuable resource for the community.

Local citations weigh heavily in Google’s algorithm, which helps your local Search Engine Optimization campaign as well as build credibility and authority for your website, and more importantly, give your business likelihood to get contacted by potential customers who are regular visitors of that source website. Google gives higher-ranking signals to trust citations. So, make sure they are accurate in your business directory.


Summary

Local SEO is essential for your business to survive locally. Conducting a successful local SEO campaign gives your business more visibility at local searches, letting prospects and targeted audiences to find you and your business as well as drive a steady stream of customers to your storefront.

The key to starting a local SEO campaign is to get started. It requires much time for you to do, but once you have learned the basics and implemented it, you can see how well your website is ranking in any city specified by you. We hope you have understood how to optimize your business to reach potential consumers who use local search.

Originally Published at it.toolbox.com