How can a small business get visibility online? When there are so many businesses of the same genre, what will make your business thrive ahead of others? Ever wondered what makes your business unique?
Of course, you can work on providing exemplary services. Now, if you have an online presence and a website, you already are doing better than others but here is a thing, giving services alone is not important, you must enhance your business’s presence in local search. Wondering what is it? Let us explain.
If you want to drive more traffic to your website, you need to follow local SEO best practices.
Local SEO is a process to increase your business’s presence in local search in a way that could attract more customers and audiences. In this article, we would talk about some of the best tips to boost your local rankings.
8 tips to boost your business’s local rankings
Getting found on the web by ready-to-buy locals can be a complicated process but if you have the right local SEO strategy, your business can start seeing more growth in no time.
Here, have a look at some of the best practices.
1. Create your Google Business Profile
Every business has the option to claim a free Google business profile which is basically a local listing with all information about your business. Once you claim your profile, you can add the relevant information about your business that would be displayed in the Google web search results and Google maps when anyone searches for it.
Here is how you can claim your Google business profile:
- Head to Google My Business
- Click on Manage now
- Sign in to your Google account
- Search your business name
- Select the correct business
- Click Manage now
After claiming, you can manage your business profile using Google My Business.
Let us now talk in detail about the optimizations you can make in Google My Business.
- Choose the right business type
Google divides the business into three types- storefront, service-area, and hybrid. When you enter the information in the “Info” tab, that is how Google would see your business. Say, for example, if your business serves customers at the business address only, set your address and leave the service area field empty. Similarly, if your business is about visiting the customers, clear the business address and set the service area.
Also, if your business is about both, set both addresses.
- Choose the right business category
Now this one might take time since you have a lot of options here like accountant vs-chartered accountant. You need to carefully scan all the options and choose the one that suits your business the most.
- Add business hours
Listing your business hours is important as that is what people check for before visiting your store or looking for your services. So, set them accordingly. Besides, you should also set business hours during public holidays to avoid any confusion.
- Add photos
- Add your website
Don’t be the business that does not add their website to GMB. Doing this would help you build a sense of credibility amongst the audience.
2. Do local keyword research
Local SEO is based on how the local customers search for your products or services, what words they are using. And when you know your industry and customers well, you can get a basic idea of how to do this. But it’s still a good idea to do keyword research to expand your scope.
For example, let’s say you are a dentist in Newyork. You probably don’t need to do keyword research for this coz it’s obvious people would be searching Dentist or Dentist in Newyork. Right?
Wrong. You might not know this but there are other ways and words by which people might try to look for you and not doing the keyword research means you are missing out on a lot.
One way to figure out what people might be looking for is by:
- Brainstorm your products and services
- Paste that list into Ahref’s keywords explorer
- Head to the matching terms report
- Now, look for the relevant keywords with search volume
Once you have the relevant keyword, you can use that in your website or articles to let your content rank high in the search results, thereby increasing your visibility.
3. Optimize local landing pages
When you know what products and services people are looking for and if you find something relevant, you can create dedicated landing pages for them.
For example, people might not just be searching for a dentist, but they could also look for:
- Teeth scaling
- Teeth filler
Now does it make sense, why do you need to have landing pages for these services? But how do you get them to rank higher in the search results?
Let’s get the basics right first: do not stuff your page with the keywords i.e., avoid using keywords too many times or simply, do not repeat the keywords often.
You might see a lot of businesses doing this but this is not the right approach. Try to fit a keyword in the title of the page, begin the content with the keyword, use the keywords in subheadings but do not overfit.
You can always look at what other similar businesses are doing and take an idea from that. Here’s how you can do so:
- Install and activate Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar
- Search Google for the service or product name including the location
- Look for a similar active page in the search results
- Check for what keywords it is ranking
- Click on the keyword link
- Filter for the top 10 rankings
- Filter out site links and “people also ask” rankings
Once you have the relevant information, you can add them to your landing pages.
By local citation we mean, mention of your business’ name, address, and phone number online. As per Moz’s 2018 study, they have voted the fifth most important factor for ranking in local queries.
Two reasons why you should focus on it:
- They help find your business: Local SEO is not just about optimizing for Google but also for other search engines that people may use to find your business like Yelp, Binge, Facebook, Apple Maps.
- They would help you rank: If you are in the US, here are the best places to start your local citations: Data Axle, Localeze, Foursquare.
These services even feed data to other websites so it saves you from any extra work.
You can also use the Link Intersect tool for local citation:
- Enter your domain into the site explorer
- Click on Link Intersect on the left menu
- Enter a few competitors
- Click on show link opportunities
You would be knowing about backlinks, but they are difficult to build. So, make sure that none of the links you have already go to waste. One way to do this is by reclaiming links to pages on your site that no longer exist.
- Enter your domain into the site explorer
- Head to the best by links report
- Add a “404 not found” HTTP filter
- Lastly, redirect these URLs to their new location
6. Get more reviews
High-quality positive reviews from your customer can improve your business visibility in the search results. But how can you get more reviews?
One thing is you have to be a little careful in asking for reviews because you cannot offer incentives to customers in return for it as it is against Google’s terms and conditions. What you can do is you can create and share a link with your customer and ask them to leave a review. This you can do for free from Google My Business. Simply, click on the “share review from” button in the management dashboard.
7. Get featured on local list posts
It does not matter what product you have, you would find the “best of” list for almost everything.
Getting your business featured on local lists is a great idea, check the two main reasons, why?
- It helps you get more customers through the door
- It gets you backlinks
Here’s how you can find relevant local lists to pitch:
- Install Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar
- Search for anything on Google that might return relevant results as per your business
- Look for the blog post with traffic
8. Keep your site healthy
Your website plays an important part in SEO. If your website is not in good condition, you could face SEO issues and this is crucial for both national and local SEO. If Google gets difficulty in finding, crawling, understanding, and indexing your content, this means you have got some problems.
Local SEO is imperative in improving your business’s visibility and the most important part of local SEO is optimizing and attracting reviews for your Google Business Profile. This is how you will get more exposure from the customers.
Ranking high in Google Search results is through organic SEO and therefore, you must pay heed to it. Hopefully, this article would have helped you in understanding the local SEO tips. If you have any doubts or queries, drop them in the comments section below.