An Ultimate Local SEO Guide To Uplift Your Local Business In 2021
You may agree on that to reach out to a greater audience in today’s era, marketing your business is the key and SEO is what comes to everyone’s assistance here. Now, if you’ve been marketing your local business online (and you must!) for some time now or are still discovering the SEO world, you must have heard about “local SEO”. Well, SEO is what everyone widely vouches for, but its another branch “local SEO” isn’t still much renowned. Hence, in today’s article, we are going to dive deeper into this “local SEO” and uncover the top Google local SEO tips of 2021. So, let’s start.
What is Local SEO?
Before getting technical, the term “local” itself dictates that a form of SEO with a geographical component(s) of search is called local SEO. Along with the organic SEO, local SEO is too critical for any local business to prosper (46% of Google searches are local) online as not focusing on this aspect means your business is losing out on a slew of prospects who are local to you but unaware of you and your business. If you want to understand local SEO with an example, here’s a quick one for you.
Suppose your search query looks something like this: “coffee”. In this case, below is more likely to be your search result.
As it’s visible since you have not mentioned any particular geographical location in your query, Google will list out all the top-ranked coffee houses on the SERP which may or may not be local. And high chances are there your LOCAL coffee business may not find itself here (as you have not locally optimized your business). However, if your search query is: “local coffee shops near me”. Below is what you’ll get.
Surprising?? It indeed is! This is the prowess of LOCAL SEO. Merely searches in the formats like
[term] + city
[term] + near me
[term] + closest to me
Can list out all the locally online listed businesses on the SERPs and here your local business can find itself listed. But how? Simple, by optimizing your business for local SEO, and here are the top Google local SEO tips for a workaround in 2021. So, let’s understand them.
Top Local Seo Tips For Your Local Business In 2021
You can foresee local SEO as a divine practice that will skyrocket your business revenue and you need not spend dollars to make this happen. Just go through these free local SEO tips.
- Optimize your business website for local SEO
First and foremost, local SEO means you have to do something extra besides optimizing your website for organic SEO. To start with, here’s how you can locally optimize your website.
Add a dedicated contact page with all necessary contact details as even the local buyers will love to know more about you. If nothing else, remember to add the following:
Number, Address, and Phone Number
If you have an email, why not add it? Further, if your business is present in other locations too, you should add individual location cards for people dwelling in those locations to access you.
Now, as 76% of local searches result in a direct phone call, you should make your phone number clickable. This way, the visitors won’t have to move out of the search engine to dial and call you.
To make your business easy to access, adding a map is also a good option in local SEO. At last, adding verified testimonials on your website is another way to instill trust in your audience about your business and its prominence.
- Heard about Google My Business?
Won’t you like yourself reviewed and listed on all trustworthy review platforms like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google My Business, Facebook, and many more? Definitely, you’ll long for it!
All this is vital to put into consideration as while locally searching for any business, you’ll have these popular review platforms listed just below the search results as shown below.
Out of these, Google My Business is what you’d focus on at first. It’s a free-to-use tool from Google for local businesses to manage their presence online.
Simply create your account on GMB, fill out the required details, and collect local reviews to see your business rank up higher. Plus, Google will also add a map based on the details you provided.
Remember, 86% of the customers trust businesses listed over Google My Business.
- Invest in local content
Be it the standard SEO or local SEO, a separate section of the blog is a necessity in today’s era. Plus, if you can include the blog section on your main website, it’s the best as per SEO. This is because while doing so, you can acquire links to both your main website and blog simultaneously.
Here’s an interesting fact. Links are the second most locally and organically superior ranking factor out of all.
While putting up content on your blog, be mindful of the reality that people won’t always recognize your business by its city name. So, it’s vital to incorporate the names of the neighborhood places or other local places everyone around you is well aware of for ages!
Additionally, actively participate in nearby events or be a sponsor for events as a local business owner and not as someone with a money-making mindset.
Also, it would be a good practice if you refrain from bragging about your business here and there just to force locals to develop a negative thought about you.
- Focus on customer reviews to get a much-needed local SEO boost
Do you know what the internet has done for buyers online? Before the internet, it was easy for fake businesses to dupe customers. But thanks to the internet, it’s the customers who have almost all the powers when it comes to trusting an online listed business.
Be it the online reviews or customer ratings, every new customer can now get to know how good you are in actuality!
All in all, over 97% of customers first visit the review section of the business, build their image from there, and then decide whether to continue or not. Hence, it’s very critical to focus on your local business’s customer ratings and star reviews to attract more and more sales.
According to research, anything less than five or four stars on your site or other major review sites can land your business in unturnable trouble. On the other hand, the more the ratings between 4-5 stars, as shown above, the more faith your business will be able to instill in the minds of the potential visitors.
Surprisingly, higher star ratings and more positive reviews (with images) are known to make even those visitors buy something from your online shop at the same moment who’re planning to purchase one later on.
- Optimize online directories and citations
As per the research, optimized citations account for an almost 11% jump in your local SEO rankings. However, be mindful of the common discrepancies online citations may incur and the loss your business has to bear in return. Some common discrepancies in citations include business name or owner name misspellings, improper abbreviations, lack of suite number, wrong phone number, etc
Since Google first verifies the available data, if your provided data isn’t correct or if Google is finding it difficult to verify the same, it may not allow your business to rank anywhere over its search engines.
Additionally, since there are many illegal online frauds taking place over the web in the name of businesses, there are chances of some other businesses running online in your name and duping customers. Hence, it’s also vital to remove any duplicate listing you come across while browsing online.
- Complete a local SEO audit
SEO is something that doesn’t stop for even a second. If you have completed a complete local optimization of your business’s website, don’t assume yourself done! Being an ongoing and intuitive process, you should persuade a thorough local SEO audit of your website to know where it’s standing now and what else can be done to climb up on the search engine results page. That is, perform a complete local SEO audit of your website.
The crucial components of a local SEO audit include the following.
- Google My Business audit
- Google Search Console audit
- On-page and off-page audit
- Citation audit
- Your competitor analysis
- Overall website audit
Missing out on any of these can have an impact on the outcomes of the others
- Pay attention to your site’s internal linking structure
Besides external or backlinks, your internal linking structure is also equally crucial and does the following to your website.
- Enhances the ease of website navigation.
- Assists with your website configuration.
- Distributes the ranking powers among the several pages of your website.
In fact, no matter how well your external links or backlinks are doing to your website, you won’t be able to achieve all the desired results with a poor internal linking structure. Hence, treat both sorts of links equally.
- Optimize your site’s URL, title tags, headers, footers, meta description
For any website to rank according to organic SEO or local SEO, the site’s URL, title tags, headers, footers, meta description play a critical role. This is because every page of your website acts as an index page for your website and poses new opportunities for the website to rank up higher on the search engine results page.
Therefore, every time a new page adds up on your website, work on optimizing its URL, title tags, headers, footers, and meta description.
Here’s a pro tip. Enrich your website’s URL, meta description, title tags, headers, and main body with high-volume and targeted keywords for which you wish the page to rank on.
- Ensure mobile-friendliness of your website
Do you know that over 61% of Google searches are made on mobiles and the majority of them are your local searches? Do you know that mobile phones are the first recruit for customers when they have to browse online or shop for something? So, would you afford customers facing any difficulty while skimming through your website? No, never!
Mobile-friendliness of your website means your website runs smoothly over smartphones and doesn’t pose an issue for the visitor while he/she is online. From the local SEO point of view, the “near me” search volumes have skyrocketed by over 250% since 2017.
So, do you still think a small mobile isn’t that valuable for your local business to thrive? Think again!
- Try to get highly authoritative and relevant backlinks
Now, this backlink acquiring strategy isn’t feasible for newly joined businesses but if you have a decent presence online, you can now think about working on getting authoritative and relevant backlinks to your website.
By the term “authoritative”, I mean to say that backlinks have come from a higher domain authority website as only then can you expect heartfelt traffic on yours. By the term “relevant”, I mean to say that backlink should be relevant to your local business.
For example, if you own a coffee house, you should look for getting backlinks from something related to coffee in general.
There are several ways to attain backlinks for every local business and the top three are:
- Sponsorships or partnerships,
- Guest blogging,
Offer sponsorships or indulge in partnerships with your locally organized meet-ups, functions, communal events, and other things of a similar kind. You can also promote something you love and build rewarding relations with influencers and renowned personalities.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a critical component for attaining a wider audience reach for your business whether it’s a brick-and-mortar business that’s active in a particular region, city, or even states or widespread with branches outside the country.
With our concern in this article being SEO for a local business that is local SEO, let’s summarize what we learned in the above sections. To start with, the branch of SEO catered towards the upliftment of locally established businesses that are yet to knock on the doors of the locals around it is known as local SEO.
Local SEO is very much similar to the standard SEO practices but involves taking into account a particular geographical component to signify the business’s local intent to Google.
Above you have the top 10 local SEO tips you should try out to gain an upper hand in the online market and witness your now LOCAL business gets the NATIONAL or even INTERNATIONAL prominence, all due to LOCAL SEO.
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