Local SEO involves optimizing your website so that people searching for your products or services in your local area can find you in the search engine results. If you target local customers, local SEO is what you want to focus on rather than general SEO.
Many businesses don’t understand the basics of local SEO, or they assume that it is complicated to get started. But the truth is that you can take some relatively simple steps today to ensure you get ahead of your competition.
Here are some tactics to get your optimization off to a great start.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Optimized
The first thing to do is ensure you have a mobile-optimized website. Many local searches are now made on local devices because people search for local services while they are out and about.
Google updated its algorithms to give priority to mobile-friendly websites, and it continues to make updates, so make sure you use a responsive design if you want your site to be optimized for search.
Work On Your On-Page SEO Factors
Next up, ensure the content on your website is optimized for your local keywords. These will normally consist of a combination of your main products and services along with a geographical location like your town or city.
Don’t go crazy and add your keywords in everywhere, but make sure they are present on your main pages, especially in important locations like the H1 tags and the URLs.
Get an Official Presence on Google
One of the simplest steps you can take to improve your local SEO is to get a presence on Google My Business. This is completely free, and it will help you to show up in Google Maps as well as the search engine.
Optimize your profile by filling in all the details as well as adding photos, videos, reviews to maximize its potential.
Start Creating Local Content
SEO is based on producing a regular supply of high-quality content, so start creating content on a weekly or monthly basis.
The best way to do this is to launch a blog. Use your blog to publish content that provides value to your target customers, but make sure you give it a local slant.
For example, you could talk about local events or mention local places. This allows you to get your main keywords into your content while providing more value to your target audience.
Share Your Content on Social Networks
Once you start producing content on a regular basis, you can share it on social networks. Try to get a presence on a few sites like Facebook where you can reach out to local customers and network with them.
As well as sharing your own content, share content from other sources that your audience will find valuable, and also get involved in discussions about local issues and events.
Once you grow your network, you can start to get more shares, which will spread the word about your business as well as helping to improve your local SEO.
Start a Local Link-Building Strategy
Links are essential for any type of SEO, and the same is true for local SEO. However, when you have a local focus, you should try to get links with a local focus as well.
What does this mean?
Look for sites in your local area, perhaps blogs and local businesses who do not compete with you. Try to get links from them, and this will help with your local SEO.
You could also get local links by sponsoring local events or working on your PR. By getting a story in the local press, this could lead to some powerful links.
While you’re doing all of this, don’t forget to track your results. You will only know what is working and what’s not by keeping a close eye on your rankings.
Using a tool like local rank tracker can help to make this easier so you can optimize the SEO strategies that are working best for your business.
Build Up Your Reviews & Citations
It’s also important to build up reviews from your customers. Encourage them to leave reviews on third-party sites, and Google will use these to help determine your authority.
And also get some citations in local directories. With or without a link, these will show Google that you are a real business, helping to increase your authority.
Boost Your Presence in Local Search
These are some of the steps that you can take today to increase your presence in local search. If you run a local business, improving your search engine ranking should be an essential goal, so focus on implementing these strategies and watch your rankings improve.
Zac Bradshaw works as a marketing associate. He enjoys sharing his branding insights and tips on a number of business websites.