The Benefits of Building a Local SEO Strategy
Calling all content goblins – sorry, SEOs! Are you struggling to get your content ranking in your local area? Growing local visibility is an important part of SEO, especially if you have a storefront or local business that you're trying to promote. And regardless of what the infamous Verge article said, local SEO is a strategic, effective way to get more eyes on your local business.
There are a few tactics that you need to be executing if you want to dominate your local search scene. With SERPs constantly shifting and AI updates creating a tumultuous search landscape, it's important to focus on the areas you have some level of control over.
What is local SEO and why is it important?
Local SEO involves optimizing your website to increase local traffic and visibility. With local SEO, marketers can locally optimize their websites by using longtail keywords or geographic distinguishers. This allows you to reach a more targeted local audience to whom you can tailor your messaging.
The two biggest benefits of local search engine optimization are:
- Increasing local traffic
- Building brand awareness in your target market
Local SEO helps drive traffic, whether digital or physical, in your specific area. Rather than optimizing for more general search queries, local SEO allows you to hone in on your target location.
Which types of businesses should focus on local SEO?
Local SEO is an option for all businesses but is most effective for those that have a physical storefront or that cater to a specific area. For instance, it makes a lot of sense for a local Twin Cities brand like Spyhouse Coffee Roasters to focus on local SEO. With multiple physical locations across the Twin Cities, Spyhouse will want to show up when users are searching for coffee shops near them. Focusing on local strategies might make less sense for national brands or fully e-commerce businesses.
For businesses that do have a physical storefront or a target region of focus, local SEO can provide a way for a business to stand out and connect with consumers in that particular area.
Building a local SEO strategy
There are several tactics that can help grow your business's local presence. Here are a few ways to start building your local SEO strategy.
Utilize local listings
When looking for information about a local business, most users navigate directly to map apps to get important information like hours of operation and directions at their fingertips. This is where claiming, managing, and optimizing your business listings becomes critical.
While Google Maps reigns supreme as the go-to maps app with 67% of all smartphone users utilizing Google Maps, Apple Business Connect, Yelp, and Bing Places have entered the chat, hoping to break up the long-standing Google Business Profile monopoly.
If you don't already have one or more of these local listings set up, you should add it to your 2024 SEO strategy to accurately represent your online business and take advantage of qualified local traffic. With 81% of consumers using Google to evaluate local businesses, setting up your business listings, especially your Google Business Profile listing, is crucial to not missing out on high-intent traffic.
Setting up local listings is an important way to get your business discovered locally online. These listings provide businesses with a place to share information like hours, location(s), reviews, and more, all of which are extremely useful for local businesses to be easily accessible to customers. Plus, in the case of Google and Apple, it integrates with maps so that if a user finds your business and wants to navigate to it, they can easily click on the map feature to get directions.
Not only that, but most local listings highlight reviews that have a significant influence on consumers' decision-making process.
Once you have one or more of these local listings set up, you should ensure they're updated regularly with the most up-to-date information regarding your business. You can also take advantage of sharing the latest updates such as blog posts or limited-time offers to your profile to share unique insights and provide further value to your audience.
Leverage Google's Local Map Pack
By utilizing Google Business Profile, your business will be eligible to show up in the Local Map Pack, which is a handful of local listings that show for a local keyword like "ice cream shop near me" or "bike rentals in Minneapolis."
These keywords are extremely valuable because of their high intent. Because the Map Pack shows up before other listings for many local keywords, it's extremely important to try to rank in the Map Pack. To rank, make sure to keep your Google Business Profile fully updated with your business information, categorize your business, and keep an eye on your reviews.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
If your website isn't mobile-friendly at this point, it's an absolute must that you update it. 92.3% of internet users access the internet using a mobile phone, so if your website isn't mobile-friendly and responsive, you're sure to lose out on site visitors. This goes for any type of SEO strategy, but it's especially important in regards to local SEO strategy because it can be a major Google ranking factor.
Fully optimize your contact page
When you're trying to figure out where a company is located, where do you navigate to on their site? The contact page, of course! If you don't have all of your locations listed on your contact page along with maps to get there, then you're likely missing out on some local SEO traffic.
You should also optimize the contact page with your target keywords that can elevate the page in SERPs.
Create a local backlink strategy
Backlinking is one of the most dreaded areas of SEO, but when you attack it from a local stance, it doesn't have to be so daunting.
Think of any organizations you sponsor or collaborate with and start there. Local partnerships are a great way to increase your backlinks, and local backlinks are the ones that will matter most to your local SEO strategy.
To further ensure that the correct information for your business is showing up in search results, you should be taking advantage of citation building.
Citation building is a way of developing credibility for your local business since web crawlers take it as a sign of trustworthiness when they find your business listed in credible directories.
When building citations, make sure to send the most relevant and up-to-date information to citation directories so your business' website, products, and services will be accurately displayed to users in SERPs.
Take advantage of reviews
Reviews are a great way to build out your local presence, but negative reviews can really bring you down (mentally and literally in SERPs).
Encourage reviews whenever possible, but make sure you're providing strong customer service to back your business. Positive reviews can boost your rankings in local business listings, pushing you toward ranking first.
Integrate your content and SEO strategies
Content creation is a huge aspect of any good SEO strategy. For local SEO, consider how you can put a local spin on pieces of content like blog posts to provide better value to your target audience. Localized content can resonate better with your desired users while giving you more opportunities to rank for less competitive, hyper-local queries.
Utilize social media channels
It's crucial to have a social media presence for a number of reasons, including for local SEO. Not only is it a strategic place to promote your local content, but it's also one more place where your target audience can find you and understand where you're located and what you offer.
One of our clients has a bunch of locations across the Twin Cities. Instead of having just one social account for all of the locations to share, they have separate Instagram accounts for each location. This allows them to get familiar with their audience, communicate in personalized ways, and include links to their specific location. Plus, if promotions or specials are going on only at select locations, those Instagram accounts can communicate that to their audience.
Make sure that you are including business information in your social media profile wherever possible. If there's a place for hours and a website link, add them. It will only benefit you.
Create a successful local SEO strategy with Perrill
Just like with any SEO strategy, it can take time to rank higher and grow your organic traffic. These tips should help guide your website in the right direction, helping you navigate the local search scene.
If you could use a more fully-formed SEO strategy, we're here to help. We take a unified approach to digital marketing that allows us to build holistic strategies informed by social media, SEO, paid media, content marketing, and more to craft a multi-faceted strategy that makes sense for your unique business needs.
Ready to elevate your presence in the digital space? Reach out to talk to our team of experts.