Regardless of who your audience is, your business can benefit from improving your local SEO. Whether you can serve your neighbor or someone on the other side of the world. Who doesn’t love to work with someone inside your local community? Plus, chances are, you won’t send anyone local away. We absolutely love when we can connect and work with a local client, especially when we met them at an in-person event. So let’s dig into what local SEO is, why you need it for your business and how to improve it to drive more leads and sales.
First, What is Local SEO?
When first digging into how to better optimize your website for SEO, you likely came across this terminology. Focusing on your local SEO simply means you are helping your business become more visible in local search results. Have you ever used Google Maps to find a business? In fact, 46% of searches on Google have local intent. Plus with local intent searches, there’s typically a much higher intent to purchase and therefore a higher conversion rate.
So, what does this mean? It means you absolutely should focus on this for your business. If not, you are missing out on a huge opportunity and missed revenue.
Do These 5 Things to Improve Your Local SEO
1. Set Up a Google Business Profile
“Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years. Without a Google Profile you aren’t showing up. This profile is formerly known as Google My Business and it’s completely free. All you need to do is verify your address with a postcard and you are up and running. Don’t worry if you don’t have a business location, you can hide your home address after you’ve verified it.
Be careful when you are setting up this profile to be as accurate as possible. Lots of users have gotten removed due to duplication issues or issues verifying authenticity. Remember “NAP” is super important when building your profile. This stands for your Name, Address and Phone Number. Not the afternoon nap we all really want to take. So make sure these are accurate. For example, your name should be the same everywhere. Don’t add in keywords or filler words here. This profile is not your Instagram name where you need to pack it with keywords. Save that for the description.
A few other secrets we love to share with our clients for the best local SEO success are:
- Avoid selecting the entire United States or world as your service area. This is a local tool and should be used for those purposes. A well-optimized website can serve everyone else around the globe.
- Be complete and accurate. You get 750 characters in your profile description; use them!
- Get reviews regularly.
- Turn on messaging.
- Regularly check in to update and confirm any recommendations Google has for you.
- Read more tips on how to better optimize your profile here.
2. Get on local directories
Local directories are also commonly called citations. A few examples of these are:
- Chamber of Commerce
- Local business bureaus or small business development center
- Yellow Pages (believe it or not, more than 80 million people visit YP.com every single month)
- Local MOZ
The benefit of being on these and other membership directories are that they help you with local authority and it’s considered a backlink. We all know backlinks are great for SEO to help increase authority with Google.
If growing your backlinks is something that you struggle with and you want some insight into reputable sources, sign up for our 5 Day Backlink Email Challenge!
3. Ask for reviews and testimonials
Once you’ve set up your Google Business Profile, this step is super easy. You copy a link and email it to your customers and clients. That’s it! Adding reviews helps to increase your local authority and could drive more local leads by verifying that you’re the expert in your industry. In two weeks we’ll be talking all about reviews so stay tuned and subscribe to Duo On Air for that episode.
4. Input location specific metadata
SEO titles and meta descriptions are super important for Google. By adding your city, state or neighborhood location you are giving Google more information on who you want to attract.
Here are some client examples on how this can come to life:
- Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Planners in Texas & Arizona
- Carriage House Studio | Full-Service Interior Design in Minnesota
- My Pop Up Party | Pittsburgh Balloon Artists & Party Stylists
- Strength in Nutrition | Nutrition & Personal Training in Minnesota
5. Tag your location on social media
Last, but not least, your social media profiles matter. Most social platforms are now indexed in search. Meaning things like SEO for Instagram matter! According to HubSpot, posts or IG stories that include location tags have a 79% better engagement rate than other posts. This is proof that local customers and audiences can find you better and the algorithms care.
Listen to episode 20 on how to create the best Instagram profile bio for your business that leverages keywords and attracts your audience.
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More From The Duo
Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
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