Whereas general SEO helps your business get found online, regardless of place, local SEO helps your business get found based on your geographical location. Good local SEO helps you get found by the right customers at the right time, and in the right place.
Some common tactics for local SEO include getting listed on Google and other local directories, curating reviews, and publishing localized content on your website.
Why local SEO is important
Since local SEO is much more targeted than general SEO, it also brings higher conversion rates. According to Search Engine Land, 50% of all mobile searches lead to a store visit within one day. For computers and tablets, that number stays impressive at 34% of all searches.
4 ways to improve your local SEO
1. Get on local directories
Of these, the largest local directory is Google My Business. Other popular ones include Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Citysearch.
Getting your information on online directories helps people who are looking for businesses near them. If you’re a restaurant or clothing store, this would be incredibly useful for someone passing by looking for the goods or services you provide. It’s also useful for a local trying to remember your opening hours, or website.
We recommend starting with Google My Business. Made Neat is a Google Partner, but beyond that we’ve seen first hand how this practice has helped our clients get found and succeed online.
2. Curate your reviews
Word of mouth is powerful, and 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Imagine the benefits of having all the concierges in your local hotels recommend your restaurant whenever a traveler asks where to eat that day.
The effect of online reviews spans far and wide, as they show up for whoever searches for your business or researches your industry online. Negative reviews can turn people away, as much as positive reviews can draw them in.
Our tip: Make the ask. According to BrightLocal, more than 70% of consumers will leave a business review when asked.
Asking for reviews from happy customers works well to spread nice words about your product or service, and it can also help push negative reviews down when someone searches for reviews.
3. Optimise your web content
Google looks at 3 factors when ranking your web content for local SEO; relevance, distance, and prominence. It looks at how relevant your content is for the searcher, how far your business is from their location, and how well your business is known.
Optimising your website content can include creating individual pages for the different cities or countries you serve, which include the location name throughout your text. It can also mean adding your location to headings in your content, such as “Melbourne Coworking Space.”
Here are a few tips to help you write localised SEO content:
- Include your region name in your homepage. It could be in the SEO title, heading, or within your text. Depending on how important local traffic is to your business, you can include it in all of the above.
- Create blogs that are specialised for your region. For example, an article on 5 best brunch places in Portland, or an article on the top 3 boat rental companies in Byron Bay.
- Curate backlinks from local businesses that are related to your industry. This will help raise your prominence and generate some visitors from other local businesses.
4. Work with professionals to optimise your website
Since there are ways to help improve your overall SEO both from a technical standpoint as well as a content perspective, it’s important to work with website providers and marketing experts who understand your unique business needs and goals.
Having reliable partners here will also help you avoid any sanctions or penalties from Google.
Made Neat works with professional content marketers who can craft customised (and optimised) website content to help your site get found easily.
We hope these tips will help you boost your online presence in your area, so you can capture the leads who are nearby and ready to buy.