Navigating the world of local SEO can feel a bit like trying to solve a puzzle with ever-shifting pieces. If you're running a small business, the challenge is not just to be seen, but to be found by the right people at the right time - people nearby who are online, searching for what you offer.
In this blog post, we're going to walk through a few straightforward local SEO tips that any small business owner can tackle. Whether you're selling cakes, fixing bikes, or cutting hair, these pointers will help you show up more prominently in local search results and get potential customers through the door.
The main features of local SEO
Local search is powerful, as it uses the location of a device to pinpoint where a user is and then provides them with businesses that supply what they are searching for within their nearby vicinity.
It is a way of using search engines to empower and boost business to a bricks and mortar location, by creating a presence which directly connects with what they are looking for and where.
When you get local SEO right, Google will show your business on its maps app as well as in search results relating to your area and industry. So, how do you get local SEO right and what do you need to focus on in order to ensure that potential local customers know about your business, can find you, and receive the type of experience that they expect from your online presence?
Local SEO Tips
Read on to discover some actionable tips to help improve your website from a local SEO perspective...
1. Build up a good portfolio of reviews
Arguably the best form of marketing is word of mouth, and when it comes to online search that word of mouth marketing comes from reviews. As a local business, reviews are like gold dust - which is why encouraging customer reviews is so important.
Don’t be afraid to ask customers directly for reviews, and take the time to reply to those who do leave you a review - showing future customers that you care, appreciate their time, and are engaging and reliable.
2. Take control of your Google My Business page
Google My Business is the most important platform for local businesses to get right, as it brings together your website, location, business information, reviews, and photos in one place. When using Google, the businesses that best match a user search will be shown down the right hand side of the search page, with a photo, opening hours, location, and average review all visible at first glance.
Getting this spot can really help your business fly, but in order to achieve this you need to have control over your Google My Business account and start using it to promote your business accurately. Encourage user reviews, share photos, and make sure that all the information is accurate and up to date as a minimum.
3. Make sure your business information is accurate across all platforms
From Apple Maps to TripAdvisor to your own website, making sure that your business information is up to date across all online platforms is not only important for local SEO and search engine reliability, but also makes sure that customers have access to accurate and correct information.
One of the most overlooked details across all of these platforms is opening hours, with businesses needing to amend any outdated opening hours to fine-tune the customer experience and avoid disappointment.
Other things to consider across all of these platforms is consistency in spelling and other business information and ensuring that any duplicate accounts are removed so you have full control over your online presence.
4. Create accessible, digestible local content
Finally, if you want to use local SEO to your benefit, to encourage new customers to visit you and to build a pool of repeat clients, then you need to give something back. We love it when a small business takes the time to create stacks of local content, including guides across the local area and blog posts about the best places to visit, what to do throughout the seasons, and how to maximise time spent in the area.
Make sure that all content is engaging and digestible and that it’s readable on a mobile device - after all, a high percentage of local searches are made by users out and about on their mobile devices.
Make local SEO work for you
Here at Social Loop, SEO is just one of the services that we offer to our clients, working alongside them to carve out a niche in their local market and then take back full control over their online presence to fine-tune the experience of customers far and wide.
For more information on local SEO and how we could help your small business grow, get in touch with us today.