How to Improve Your Local SEO – Consider These Eight Strategies

How to Improve Your Local SEO

Whether on a mobile browser, laptop, tablet or smart speaker, most people are nowadays searching for different types of information and to locate reliable providers. A large number of companies are recognizing this and increasing their focus on local search engine optimization. “Locating Your Target Market” – this is perhaps one of the most on-going and elusive principles in business. With the advent of new technologies and the ubiquity of mobile devices, locating your target market has become a lot more nuanced. Digital Marketing Firm in Long Island use the right local SEO strategies to ensure their client websites achieve top rankings on search engine result pages, attract potential customers and stay ahead of competition.

Why Does Your Local SEO Strategy Matter?

Local SEO is any number of strategies designed to optimize a company’s digital footprint to attract local audiences – through online search traffic – to a physical or virtual location. Generally, it centers on a company’s “map pack” – a collection of business data that can be optimized to rank highly for certain search terms. Local SEO prioritizes appearing on SERPs (search engine results pages) in a specific location. These play a prominent role in driving a significant volume of leads, foot traffic, conversions and revenue. About 35 percent of all search traffic is local, suggests an estimate in a 2017 Review Trackers’ study. Without correct local SEO, your business could be losing out on a significant amount of traffic.

Reports by “Social Media Today” suggest that 72 percent of consumers who search for local businesses end up visiting stores within five miles. Nearly 80 percent of local mobile searches lead to an in-store purchase.

Here are some SEO strategies that can help improve your ranking in local search results –

  • Create and Optimize Your Google My Business Account – Google is one of the most important factors for optimizing the local search engine traffic of your website. To get started, you need to claim your business on “Google My Business” – as this establishes your presence for free on the search engine and it means that your business will show up on Google Maps as well. If Google authenticates your business as legitimate, it could also surface in the valuable sidebar space of a Google search.

    Google My Business and Google Maps provide local customers with necessary guidance and directions when they are searching for a business. Hence, make sure you have an accurate and up-to-date listing with Google My Business. Upload images of your venue or products, logo and other information about location, business’s name, address, phone number, operating hours, acceptable payment methods and a small description about the products and services offered. How you build and optimize your location page can help your business show up in targeted areas. Encourage your customers to review your business online and respond sincerely to customer reviews. Post content within your account with Google Posts. Finally, you can optimize your business description, as well as other metadata, for search terms that your target customers may use to search.

    Google creates “Knowledge Panels” – which are highly visible boxes that summarize people, businesses and other organizations. It is not possible for a business to apply in order to get featured as Google itself chooses which businesses to favor with knowledge panels. However, the more accurate information you provide about your business, the more likely it is that you will be featured.

  • Google My Business Account

  • Voice search is growing – Voice is considered one of the emerging sources of Local Search that marketers need to pay close attention to. Voice assistants like Alexa and Siri have made people comfortable talking to their devices rather than just typing on them. In fact, reports suggest that 75 percent of people who own smart speakers use them to search for local businesses weekly. About 53% of smart speaker owners search every day. These figures are quite higher than the number of users who search for companies on a Smartphone computer or tablet. The growing number of voice searches emphasizes the need to optimize local content and listings so that they show up in these types of searches. Another option is to optimize your content for featured snippets, which Google uses for voice search. Creating a list of features or a FAQ section is ideal for snippet.
  • Recognize the power of reviews – Reading reviews has now become an important part of local search behaviors. According to Search Engine Journal, 86 percent of all consumers read reviews for local businesses at least occasionally. However, there has been a major shift in the role of online reviews in the last few years. Due to the growing popularity of sites like Yelp and Angie’s List, customers now search for businesses and check out their reviews. However, with the growth of local SEO, people no longer have to even search for reviews as Google reviews simply appear when you search for a website. Most people value a positive review as much as personal recommendation. Therefore, small businesses need to do everything possible to encourage their customers to leave reviews.
  • Recognize the power of reviews

  • Keep local keywords in mind – In order to optimize your website content for local search, think about the most common keywords which customers may use when searching for your type of business. This includes keywords related to your city or town, region and neighborhood. For instance, you have a healthcare center in Brooklyn, New York, located at Nostrand Avenue. Whereas a typed search might be “healthcare center Brooklyn,” someone driving around the area is more likely to search – “Where is a healthcare center near Nostrand Avenue in Brooklyn”?Hence, in addition to including your city, adding local landmarks and neighborhoods is a good way to meet the needs of voice searchers.
  • Create valuable content – Posting informative and quality content with relevant keywords and separate pages for areas of specialization will increase the number of web pages indexed by search engines and boost page ranking. Having authoritative content that speaks or relates directly to a local issue can grab your local customers’ attention. Some top strategies include – writing blog posts around local news stories, activities or events, creating videos about local programs that your business supports and setting up location-specific pages on your website with high-quality local content (if you serve different parts of a region). Make sure that you post unique content on each of your pages to avoid getting penalized for duplicate content.
  • Optimize your website for mobile – A well-designed mobile-friendly website is crucial for businesses with a local presence. Mobile visits to websites grew from 57% in 2016 to 63% in 2017. Here are some tips to make your site mobile friendly –
    • Use responsive design for your website
    • Use images and copy sparingly, conveying only the information you need (no room for filler on a mobile screen)
    • Use bigger fonts that are easy to read
    • Keep your images mobile-friendly by reducing file size
    • Ensure your website loads quickly (no more than three seconds)
    • Ensure intuitive UI for great UX

    Optimize your website for mobile

  • Focus on social media pages – Social media has become a preferred channel for users to stay connected to their communities and for businesses to promote their brands. According to a Blogging Wizard article, today 7 in 10 Americans use social media, when compared to only 5% in 2005. Social media marketing uses top social media platforms to build brand, improve brand visibility and attract more potential consumers. While Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are being used as networking platforms, Instagram and Pinterest are the two major visual content-based social media platforms that are trending nowadays. Make sure that your social media pages are updated regularly and have accurate NAP details. Having a good presence on social media platforms will enhance local visibility and make it easier for people to locate you.
  • social media pages

  • Build a local back link portfolio – For local SEO, the key is to generate links from other local sites. A strong local back link portfolio signals to Google that your business is one worth getting elevated in search results. According to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors study, link signals are the first- and second-most important factors for local pack (or snack pack) results and for localized organic results. Some tips on getting high-quality back links include – create high-quality content on your site (so that others want to link to your content), post guest blogs on reputable sites (with a high domain authority) and engage with local influencers on social media or by email to get back links.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) changes quite rapidly. You never know when Google is going to introduce new, innovative features on its SERPs for local searches, but you can count on these changes coming. That is why you need to stay on top of local SEO. Emerging trends such as voice search and the growth of mobile technologies are making it more crucial than ever to optimize your website for local search. By implementing the above-mentioned strategies, it is possible to ensure that your business has a solid foundation when new SEO features are introduced. However, it is advisable to hire an experienced company providing SEO services in Long Island. An experienced company can implement the right local SEO strategies to attract the target audiences.