For small businesses targeting localized customers, optimizing for local search is essential for ensuring a strong online presence and engaging customers. A strong local SEO strategy can substantially improve your business’s online visibility and search engine rankings. Whether you’re a local entrepreneur, a small business owner, or the manager of a regional location, here’s what you need to know about optimizing your efforts for local search.
Why Your Business Needs Local Search
To understand local search, think about how you find and choose the businesses in your community. For example, how do you find a plumber in Nashville or the best coffee shop near your home? Most people will use a search engine, entering terms like “plumber in Nashville” or “coffee shop near me.”
As you can see, local search specifies a location when searching so the customer gets results within their geographic area. The results Google returns will include regular search engine listings. More importantly, the searcher will usually get map results, which are based on factors related to your Google Business Profile.
Local search optimization is vital for your business because it helps you:
- Increase online visibility
- Attract more targeted local traffic
- Build trust and enhance your credibility
According to Google, four of five consumers use search engines to find local information. When your target customers perform these searches, you want your business to appear.
Optimizing for Local Search — Strategies for Small Businesses
The goal of your local SEO strategy should be to rank in the local map results as well as the first page of organic search results. This gives you multiple opportunities to show up on Page 1 and attract your target audience to your business. Here are some effective strategies to optimize for local search.
1. Claim Your Google Business Listing
If you haven’t claimed your Google Business Profile, this should be your first step. Don’t be surprised if your business is already listed on Google, so it’s to your benefit to “claim” it and optimize your listing, such as including a description of your business, your hours, location, and how to contact you.
2. Optimize for Your Geographic Area
Your business’s website must be optimized for the geographic area you wish to target. This involves doing the proper keyword research and including location-specific keywords in your content, titles, and headers.
3. Encourage Customer Feedback
Encourage your past and current customers to leave online feedback for your business. One of the best ways to boost your local search visibility with your Google Business Profile is to have plenty of authentic Google reviews. This can take time, but it will be worth the effort.
4. Include “Contact Us” and “About Us” Pages
Your small business website should include a “Contact Us” and “About Us” page, each of which targets some local keywords so people visiting your website know where you are and what areas you service.
5. Focus on Social Media Marketing
Social media is an excellent tool for attracting and engaging your target audience. You can use location-based keywords in your social media posts to make it easier for people to find you. Another strategy is to use social listening to find out what people in your area are saying so you can further refine your digital marketing efforts.
6. Create Geo-Targeted Landing Pages
If you are a service-based business, like a law firm, electrician, or roofing company, you can create geo-targeted landing pages for your website. These location-specific pages give search engines and your target audience more information about the specific markets you serve.
7. Get Your Business Listed in Directories
Depending on your industry, getting your local business listed in some online directories may be useful. These can be industry or location-specific. When doing this, make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all platforms.
8. Secure Some Quality Local Links
Similar to regular SEO, you can get positive results with local SEO by securing high-quality links to your websites. You should target links that are relevant to your specific location, such as the Chamber of Commerce, local licensing agencies, and websites of other local businesses.
Contact Too Darn Loud Marketing to Elevate Your Local Search Marketing Strategy
As a small business, you need to connect with the people in your local market who need and want your products or services. Optimizing your local search digital marketing strategy is the best way to get found and chosen by this group and improve your overall business results.
Too Darn Loud Marketing is a full-service digital marketing agency that specializes in helping small businesses throughout the United States get the results they need. Our solutions are 100% customized, meaning we only recommend what we believe will produce the best possible results.
Call us today at (800) 649-1764 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.