Local search engine optimization isn’t a single strategy you implement to boost your website to the top of search engine rankings. Its powerful digital marketing strategy for business owners wanting to sell to local customers that combines a variety of best practices for SEO. Meaning, if you’re going to increase your local ranking and ensure you are not losing your customer to your competitor – implement local SEO strategies. Local SEO isn’t different from the regular SEO. It’s just that we using keywords that are more relevant to the local audience.
Your SEO checklist for your small business website
Search engines love content that is compelling and fresh. If you want to rank well in local search results, you need to publish new high quality website content as often as possible. Having a local SEO strategy is essential from the very beginning of your planning process. Plan your content strategy based on the keyword research. Your website content should be engaging and useful to your audience. Think of it this way: When many people come to your website using a particular search term, search engines monitor it – you will likely improve your search rankings. Include your keywords in the title tags and meta descriptions of your web pages. It’s observed, people tend to click on the links that have a keyword in it instead of the one which doesn’t.
Optimize NAP Information
After creating content that is optimized for your local search results, optimizing your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) across your web presence is the most crucial factor. Wondering why? Well, search engines can pick up your NAP information from anywhere around the web. So, if you have different data on various sites, Google may not consider as a single entity. Apart from that, the consistency and quantity of NAP is a ranking factor for local search. Also, think about it this way – if people see different business details across the web, they may get confused about which one is the correct one. Moreover, they may end up contacting your competitor who has more consistent business information. A consistent NAP can get you higher visibility in local search.
Do you log in to your laptop each time you what to search for something? No, right? You would instead pull out your phone or tablet go on the internet to find whatever you need. That’s what your customers would do too. Moreover, if your website gives a poor mobile user experience, they would get frustrated. In April 2015, Google rolled out a mobile-friendly algorithm and website that fail to comply with Google’s Mobile Friendly guidelines will result in losing mobile search traffic. Not only that, Google penalizes the sites which are not optimized for mobile devices. It can drastically hamper your mobile search results ranking. Google even provides tools to determine the mobile-friendliness of your website. Optimize your site for mobiles and embrace the traffic from those small screens out there. A mobile friendly website is also SEO friendly.
Provide Simple and Easy-To-Use Navigation
The website’s navigation is like a roadmap to your site. It is a factor that will decide how quickly a visitor finds what they’re looking. If people are getting frustrated leaving your website, it will result in an increased bounce rate. It will not only impact your user engagement but will also result in the loss of a potential client. Put time to think through and design website navigation that is easy for a visitor to use to find what they want. Plan your website architecture and based on it create website navigation. It will help you to have clarity of what should go where and which pages need to be interlinked.
Link Building is a Must
Search engines count a link back to your site a “vote of credibility”. It means, there is a possibility that search engines would show your site to the searches for the particular keyword. Links are like trust and authority. You will naturally have few links, but link building activity can increase the number of websites linking to your site and furthermore your website ranking. You can outreach websites with relevant, high-quality content that have good authority to link back to your website. It will help your small business to build online exposure, attract more customers and increase your website ranking. Link building demands regular outreach and follows up. It can be daunting, but in the process, you are acquiring quality links for your website and foster new relationships.
Last but not the least…
Local SEO is often complicated. An effective local SEO strategy is never truly complete. Along with optimizing your website, social media can also help you improve your search engine ranking. Search engine optimization and your website’s ranking are interlinked. Following these basic best practices will lay a solid foundation from which to build upon.