Dos and Don’ts of Local SEO for Small Businesses
Did you know that being visible on local search engines can help you attract new customers? A recent study revealed that 78% of people who look up local businesses on their mobile devices end up visiting a location and making a purchase. With such proof of how tech-savvy consumers have become, it is worth investing in local SEO for small businesses.
However, similar to standard SEO, there are things you must and mustn’t do when optimising your website for local search engines. Following the rules and using only the best practices will help ensure quality results and a greater return on investment.
At Springhill Marketing, we have put together a quick guide on the dos and don’ts of local SEO, particularly for a small business or enterprise like yours. Let’s take a look at some of them.
1. Claiming and optimising your GMB page
Now known as Google Business Profile, Google My Business (GMB) is a free online business listing the search giant owns and operates. Having a GMB page lets you provide prospects with the most accurate information about your business. More importantly, it helps you show up on vital online spaces, such as Google Search and Google Map, thus, increasing your online visibility.
However, simply claiming your GMB listing is not enough. You also need to optimise it for better results. You can do this by:
- Completing your business profile.
- Ensuring that all details are accurate and consistent with your website and other online listings.
- Adding photos, videos, and product/service information.
- Responding to customer ratings and reviews quickly and professionally.
2. Targeting local keywords
Small businesses like yours have a definite advantage when it comes to keyword targeting. Research showed that “near me” searches and their variations have increased by as much as 900% over the last few years.
Instead of targeting general or broad search keywords, you should add your location to the search terms you want to optimise your web pages for. For example, if you own a plumbing service, you can target the keyword “plumbing services in XX” or “plumber in XX”. You may also add “near me” to your target search terms.
3. Creating local content
One of the challenges of targeting local keywords is that it can make you prone to keyword stuffing. Good thing there’s an easy way to avoid this scenario: writing local content.
Local content can be anything from a blog post, press release, or service page. You can use them to inform your prospects about your products or services, highlight local events, or educate your audience about points of interest in your area. A benefit of creating local content is that you need not force yourself to insert local keywords since they are likely to appear naturally in your text.
1. Skipping a local SEO audit
A local SEO audit allows you to understand the local landscape and see what your competitors are doing so you can make better improvements to your website. For this reason alone, it isn’t a great idea to skip this step. Otherwise, you’ll find it challenging to develop local SEO strategies that would bring you quality results and an excellent return on investment.
When auditing local SEO for a small business like yours, see that you examine the following:
- GMB listing
- Website and landing page
- Online citations
- Internal and external links
- Customer ratings and reviews
- Direct competitors
2. Ignoring customer reviews
No matter how big or small your business is, you’d want your customers to interact with you and say positive things about your shop or company. The more customers review your business, the bigger your chance of attracting new prospects.
For this reason, you should never ignore customer reviews. Whether they are commending you for a job well done or complaining about your lacklustre products/services, you should address them quickly and appropriately.
Furthermore, you should make it easy for former customers to review your business. You can start by claiming your GMB page, where former clients can rate and review your products/services. Also, consider offering discounts or freebies to encourage them to leave reviews.
3. Having a non-mobile-friendly website
With the growing number of consumers who use their mobile devices to look for local businesses, you cannot afford to have a business website that isn’t mobile-friendly. If local searchers cannot view your site properly on their tablets or smartphones, they will likely go to your competitors.
- Responsive web design
- Well-formatted text and readable fonts
- Optimised media display
- Excellent page loading speed
Optimise Your Website for Local SEO Now
Having a website optimised for local SEO can contribute to the growth and success of your small business. By making your site local search engine-friendly, it would be easier for potential customers to find you online. Therefore, if you haven’t done it already, you should start creating and implementing an effective local SEO strategy as soon as possible.
If you neither have the time nor experience with local SEO, we at Springhill Marketing are happy to assist you. We have the skills, knowledge, and expertise to provide you with a bespoke SEO strategy. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team today!
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