The ability of your clients to find you online seems to be instrumental for your sales. This is not only true for online businesses, but for the brick and mortar venues as well. Namely, about 78 percent of local mobile searches end up being offline purchases. This is due to the fact that your clients like to compare your prices to those of your competitors before making a purchase. Although they still buy the product in person, it's usually because they don’t want to wait for a delivery. All of this being said, it becomes more and more clear that in order to improve your business, you need to work on your SEO rankings. Here are several tips on how you can achieve this for your small local business.
1. Look at the People Also Ask boxes
The first thing you need to do in order to figure out how to improve your SEO is to try and see which questions your customers are repeatedly asking. This could help you mine out some outstanding keywords, thus putting your business on the map. Remember, just because these keywords are popular globally, it doesn’t mean that any of your local competitors are actually using them. This can give you a competitive edge, by providing you with an opportunity to make a unique keyword by merely adding a location to an already widely searched phrase. After all, appearing on one of these People Also Ask boxes is one of your main SEO goals, which is why emulating this method sounds like an amazing idea.
2. Business listings
The next objective that you need to set before yourself is getting your business listed on a local business registry. We’re talking primarily about Google My Business, which is a database from which featured snippets are usually chosen. Other than this, you also need to consider Yelp and some other, similar, databases. The reason why these are so efficient is due to the fact that they help you send a message to your target audience without actually requiring them to click on the link or do anything of sorts. Other than these two major players, there are also more than a few directories for you to reach out for, some of which might be local. What you need to feature here are your address and your contact info.
3. Collaborate with professionals
Probably the most important thing you need to realize is the fact that, from a technical standpoint, there’s not much difference between a local and a global SEO. Sure, the number of competitors is somewhat smaller, nonetheless, on-site optimization, keyword search and overall inbound marketing strategies employed are, more or less the same. This is why you shouldn’t attempt to do your own local SEO but rather reach out to someone who can provide you with guaranteed local SEO results. This will remain vital to your success even after your business expands and starts entering other markets.
4. Reach out to sites of interest
Other than this, you need to identify who the top-dogs within your niche are and try to be featured on their blog. It’s even more effective to identify top review-sites within your domain and try to reach out to them. In order to figure out your target, you should try to role-play being your average customer and start visiting places that your audience mainly visits. We’re talking about subreddits dedicated to your niche, customer support forums of niche titans and more. Once you figure out who your next target is, you should start doing your research on them, so that you can customize your outreach email. You need to be a genuine fan and connoisseur of their work in order to get what you need.
5. Web design boosts your online presence
It goes without saying that your web design affects so many factors of your business. For instance, your responsiveness affects your visitor retention rate and lowers your bounce rate. It also boosts your credibility and, overall, contributes to the user experience. If there’s one thing you might have noticed from this, it’s the fact that most of these things are ranking factors. So, outsourcing your web design to a professional company may help provide you with a better local SEO rating. Fortunately, when it comes to design, you don’t have to outsource to a local firm. On the other hand, you still need to learn how to find the right company to outsource this to.
6. Closely following digital marketing trends
If there’s one thing that stems from globalization, it’s the fact that local and global marketing trends change at the same time and advance at the same pace. For instance, more and more people are turning towards voice search, however, is voice search SEO something that only top-dogs of the industry should invest in? Of course not! In other words, those who are determined to keep their local digital marketing strategy ahead of their competitors need to closely follow all the latest digital marketing trends.
7. Embedded Google map
The next important feature that you need to include an embedded google map next to your contact info. When it comes to local searches, you’ll be surprised at just how many people don’t know the names of surrounding streets, even if they’ve spent years in that same surrounding. Nonetheless, giving them a visual representation of your company’s physical location might send a strong mental message that they will use. It will also ensure that they find you with ease, which avoids confusion and frustration that lead to negative customer experience.
8. Reviews and testimonials
Lastly, seeing as how you’re a local business, the majority of your customers will be local, as well. What this means is that testimonials in form of comments and reviews now carry more weight. Why? Well, because your target audience suddenly has a much easier job identifying with people leaving these comments. Needless to say, this is a double-edged blade, seeing as how negative comments and reviews now do more harm, as well. This is all the more reason for you to put an even bigger emphasis on providing an outstanding customer experience.
Even as your business expands and grows out of its current market, your local presence will not go to waste. In a way, it all works towards increasing your digital footprint and giving your business an online boost. All in all, it’s a win-win scenario, but it first requires you to master the subtle art of digital marketing and find a voice that speaks to the local audience.
About The Author
Nick Brown is a blogger and a marketing expert currently a co-editor for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.