Regardless of your business size, search engine optimization and marketing of business is essential. National and global search engine optimization is very important but if you have a local business then Local SEO cannot be ignored. As per the recent market research report showcases that more than 50% of the local search from customers shows that they visit the store same day. It is a simple fact that if you are looking for your favorite pair of shoes then you would first check the local store near you rather than online website. Similarly, other customers are no different, they also gain some knowledge about the products and services they need, and look for local stores or service providers near them.
Although your website is ranking in the national or global ranking in search engine but not in the local search then it is a matter of concern as you might be losing a major chunk of business to your local competitors. Local, national and global SEO may sound same but each of the process has complete different set of procedures to gain higher ranks in search engine. Targeting Local SEO traffic requires strategy which can bring relevant traffic and customer inquiries to your website or social media page through which you can cater.
Instead of focusing on broader keywords and competing with national brands having unlimited resources, Local SEO majorly focuses on specific local keywords, brand recognition, targeted traffic and business development.
OPTIMIZING BUSINESS IN GOOGLE MY ACCOUNT
Google has developed My Business for small to medium businesses catering to customer requirements locally. By adding your business information in Google My Business, you can list the business under specific category, add photos and videos, get customer reviews, encourage viewers to visit website, enable customers to search your business easily, appear on local searches for any business search related to yours and get more traffic to website. You can attract new customers and create the profile for free. This free listing appearing on the TOP of the Google Search Page which is also called Google Pack3 result is more trusted by the customers.
Customers’ positive reviews play a vital role in getting more customer inquiries. As per market research 85% of the customers believe in online reviews than the product descriptions or presentation. The simple technique is to ask your trusted customers to post their reviews on your free business Google Business page. You can also take customer survey and post the best result to educate your customers about the products & services you offer and how their experiences has been. Address the complaints and grievances of the customers posting negative reviews on the page.
VOICE BASED SEARCH OPTIMIZATION
The next era of search engine optimization is voice based search optimization which enables your website to be visible on search based on how people speak or call out the words. The SEO of your website should cover the conversational tone keywords for searching your business. For example, the keywords should include who, what, when, where, etc. It is important to optimize the website for voice search because if users search using Alexa or other bots then your website should be able to understand and showcase relevant information.
ADD LOCAL STORIES AND NEWS
Add announcement of new product line, offers, discounts, etc. on local business page and customer review or experience stories which will help in boosting the local customer trust and traffic. You can also write blogs on specific products that you are selling, activities or events. Videos and explaining educational video bits are pretty famous these days.
MOBILE FRIENDLY WEBSITE
As per the algorithm changes of Google, every website online should be smart device friendly and responsive. As more than 50% of the customers online visit mobile website as desktop version. It shows that if the mobile is not optimized and responsive to latest devices then there are chances that your prospective customers are agitated because of the distorted results
LOCAL LANGUAGE – LOCAL KEYWORDS
Generic keywords which are used globally to search the services or products, may be or may not be useful for your local search engine optimization. Use keyword planners and tools to identify the keywords which are specific to your local market or language. The Meta Tags of the website, URL and pages should be updated with the local keywords. Map the traffic and search pattern to gain insight about the keyword ranking.
GOOGLE MAP OPTIMIZATION
Use location based optimization to mark your business address on Google Maps and various other location tagging platforms to enable customers to find your business easily. These pages can also highlight the working hours, contact number, address, customer reviews and other facilities offered like discounts, offers, parking, etc.
POST HIGH QUALITY BACKLINKS
Gone are the days when blackhat SEO techniques of posting links on anywhere and everywhere would fetch you traffic. After the recent changes in the Google, the search engine has become very smart that it has the ability to read the URL, content inside the pages and check whether it is relevant to user’s search. So if you are interested in getting traction then you need to keep your posts on famous and high quality authority website which would direct to your website.
IMPROVE INTER-LINKING OF PAGES
If you have multiple service pages then you would like to first optimize each page with the local keywords using attractive content. Secondly the pages back-end should be corrected if there are any glitches leading to 404 error or broken link. Finally the pages should be inter-linked so that search engines can track multiple links on the website and choose the most relevant page for the user. It makes website more search friendly and helps in increasing traffic on most of the pages.
Little things can also cause bigger issues if not managed at the right time. For example, if you have any customer complain and if it is not resolved on time then it can result in negative impression of the business to another 10 customers. In other cases, due to any reason, if your business has experienced bad reputation online then it is important to use complete set of process to improve the online reputation with positive image and results of your business. Understand the customer needs, post best reviews and choose the best SEO consultant to improve your reputation.
Search Engine Optimization is reaching to new era with the advanced technology and new search patterns of the customers. It is important that you pace with the technological evolution to stay in-sync with the market. If you need more information regarding business specific SEO strategy, manage business marketing or enhance online reputation, keep us posted in the comments section.