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Originally Posted On: https://www.moneytaskforce.com/tech/guide-to-local-seo-practices/
Your community’s needs are your top priority, but how can you service these consumers if they can’t find you online?
The majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, most notably Google. Your challenge is to leverage search engines to generate interest, traffic, clicks, and sales.
Many companies use SEO to generate interest nationwide and worldwide, but how does a local business generate interest within the community? The answer is local SEO.
In this guide, you’ll learn the basics of local search engine optimization and put these strategies into practice.
How to Build an Online Presence with Local SEO
Let’s start from square one.
This section is for local businesses with no online presence whatsoever. If your company already has an online presence, but with low conversion, keep reading to discover tips and tricks you may have missed along the way.
Get a Website
The first thing you need is a website. Every business needs a website before attempting SEO. Your website could be a fully-stocked web store or even a simple landing page.
Your first step is to work with a web developer to create the ideal website for your business. If you have a bit of web design knowledge, you could even build the site with WordPress, for example.
Register Your Social Media Accounts
Your website is almost ready for launch. Your next step is to claim your company’s social media accounts. Facebook is the most important social media network for local businesses; however, local clothing stores and bakeries also benefit from Instagram and Pinterest as well.
Do a little market research to discover which social media sites your ideal local consumer prefers. Research will help you narrow down on marketing channels with the most potential, so you don’t waste your budget on the wrong strategies.
Set Up Your Google Accounts
Google marketing tools are critical for local SEO campaigns. If your company doesn’t have a Google account, create one now. This account will give you access to local marketing tools like My Business, Reviews, and Google Maps.
Local On-Site SEO
The next step is to optimize your website for local SEO. This step should be a part of your overall web design process.
On-site SEO refers to elements exclusive to your website.
These elements include:
- Local keywords
- Metadata optimization
- On-page content optimization
- Product or service pages
- Local schema markup
- Contact methods
Let’s take a closer look at some of these elements in-depth.
Local SEO Keyword Research
Keyword research is central to SEO, whether you’re running, a global, nationwide, or local marketing campaign. Keywords are search phrases consumers use to find information, services, and products in search engines. Your challenge is to discover relevant keywords and optimize your website with these keywords.
Keyword research can turn into a huge project. Since there are so many working parts to SEO, look into affordable local SEO services that can rank your website quickly. Using an SEO service can help you focus on what you do best, serving your community.
There are plenty of keyword research tools available to help you choose phrases. Remember that local keywords don’t have as much search volume as globally nationwide or globally targeted keywords. Ideally, you want keywords with low ranking difficulty so you can quickly rank your web pages.
Incorporate your local keywords into your homepage content, product and services pages, about page, metadata, and company blog.
UX, Navigation, and Contact Pages
SEO is more than a formula. User experience, also known as “UX,” is a fundamental part of local SEO. Poor UX design increases bounce rates, which renders SEO strategies useless.
Remember to prioritize UX during the web design process. Your website should load quickly, have easy navigation, customer support, visible contact methods, and a simple checkout process.
UX is so vital that it’s worth testing out multiple versions of your website before launch day. Run an A/B test to discover the ideal design for your local business. There are also user research services that can help you with this goal.
How to Leverage Your Local Google Marketing Tools
You’re now ready to put your local Google marketing tools into practice, but make sure your website is complete and ready-to-go. Your Google marketing tools are the most vital in your local SEO tool belt next to website SEO.
Start by creating a Google “My Business” listing for your company. You’ll need a website, business name, business address, and phone number to create your Google listing. Next, input your service areas and business categories, but your listing isn’t complete yet!
All listings must be verified; otherwise, they won’t appear on Google. There are three ways to confirm your listing: you can verify by a mail-in postcard, email verification, or by phone.
There are several ways to optimize your listing too.
Start with an enticing business description. A local SEO service can help you create compelling copy that encourages visitors to click, call, and purchase.
Next, leverage the action button. For example, Google My Business allows visitors to call directly from your listing. You can even add this option to your Google Adwords text ads.
Add compelling photos and video tours to your listing as well. Include Q&A sections that answer visitors’ most frequently asked questions. Add your menus and services so consumers don’t have to search for them.
Include your daily store hours and adjusted hours for the holidays. If your business is under construction, you can mark your business as “temporarily closed” on your listing.
Google reviews also appear in your My Business listing. A -star review can go a long way! Encourage customers to leave reviews so you can generate more local interest in your business.
Discover the Power of Local SEO Solutions
It’s time to put your community first. Become a fixture in your community by implementing a strategic local SEO campaign.
This guide is just the start of your online marketing journey. Visit the blog to discover more ways to supercharge your online presence and generate local interest.