If you’re running a local business, you need to be visible to potential customers in your area. Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and online presence to improve your visibility in local search results. However, many businesses focus solely on keyword rankings when it comes to local SEO. While keywords are important, there’s more to local SEO than just ranking for specific search terms.
Here are some key areas to focus on when it comes to local SEO:
- Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google. By setting up and optimizing your GMB profile, you can improve your visibility in Google’s local search results. This includes appearing in the map pack, which is the three-pack of businesses that appear at the top of the search results for local queries. To optimize your GMB profile, make sure you:
- Verify your listing
- Provide accurate and up-to-date information, including your business name, address, and phone number (NAP)
- Choose the most relevant categories for your business
- Add photos and videos
- Encourage customer reviews
- Citations and Local Directories
Citations are online references to your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). They can be found on local directories, review sites, and other online platforms. Citations can help improve your visibility in local search results and increase your credibility with potential customers. To build citations, start by listing your business on local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Citysearch. You can also look for niche-specific directories that are relevant to your industry.
Online reviews can have a big impact on your local SEO. Positive reviews can help improve your visibility and credibility, while negative reviews can have the opposite effect. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile, as well as other relevant review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. Responding to reviews (both positive and negative) can also help improve your reputation and build trust with potential customers.
- Social Media
While social media doesn’t directly impact your local search rankings, it can help improve your online presence and build brand awareness. By regularly posting on social media and engaging with your followers, you can increase your visibility and drive more traffic to your website. Make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date and include your NAP information.
- Website Optimization
Finally, don’t forget about your website. Your website should be optimized for local search with relevant keywords, meta tags, and content. Make sure your website includes your NAP information on every page, and consider creating location-specific pages for each of your business’s locations (if applicable). Your website should also be mobile-friendly and have fast load times.
In conclusion, local SEO is about more than just keyword rankings. By optimizing your Google My Business profile, building citations, encouraging reviews, maintaining an active social media presence, and optimizing your website, you can improve your visibility in local search results and drive more traffic to your business.