Local SEO Optimization: How to Grow Your Business in a Small Town With Local SEO

Despite the pandemic, the startup business activity saw a 24 percent surge in 2020. According to a report, business startups grew to 4.4 million in 2020 from 3.5 million in 2019. If you have recently launched a startup, you must be aware that customer engagement is one of the top priorities at all times, for any business. This is also true for companies that are planning to revive their business following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Your target audience must know your brand and its products, which can be done through local SEO optimization. Say you’re a local business in Charleston, you would first want the locals to be aware of your existence. Hiring an SEO company in Charleston will ensure that your business is optimized for local search.

Charleston was named the number 1 best small city in the US for the 10th year in a row in 2020, which makes it one of the top tourist destinations. This means there’s a real potential for businesses to flourish here but that’s only possible if your business is optimized for local SEO

Considering 46 percent of all Google searches are for local information, your business would benefit from local SEO optimization. Here are a few local SEO tips and tools to help you reach potential customers.

SEO Competitive Analysis

Say you are a real estate business in Charleston, you will need to rank higher on SERPs than your competitors in the same area. You can use SEO competitive analysis to compare your website with that of the competitor to gain an insight into what they are doing and where you can edge past them. The SEO competitive analysis involves:

  • Page analysis: Take a look at the top-performing pages of your competition and keywords usage. Figure out which keywords they are ranking for and you’re not and then use those keywords in your content plan. The next step is to check the backlinks on their page and adopt a similar strategy to acquire relevant backlinks.
  • Keywords with high ROI: Speaking of keywords, if the competition is ranking on top keywords, it doesn’t mean you’ll rank as well. Instead, focus on your area of expertise or top-selling service and use relevant keywords. For example, you can use Downtown Charleston real estate instead of Charleston real estate, and so on. You can also use variations like best real estate Charleston, Charleston real estate service, and so on.
  • SEO content strategy: Once you have figured out the gap or disconnect between the competition and the audience in terms of content and keywords, move on to the content plan. Make a list of keywords and content ideas to formulate a strategic SEO content plan.

Perform a Local SEO Audit

Since SEO is an intuitive and ongoing system, it would help to perform regular audits to find out the position of your website. A comprehensive SEO audit will tell you where your website stands and will help you figure out ways to achieve your goals. A comprehensive local SEO audit involves the following:

  • Update Google My Business: Google My Business will show your Charleston business listing on SERPs and Google Maps. It’s imperative to keep your account updated and optimized for users. To ensure higher ranking list accurate details like services, location, timing, and supplementary information since Google uses these parameters to assess listings. Also add relevant images like the storefront, localities, and nearby areas in Charleston to rank higher in Google Maps Search.
  • Inspect keyword targeting: Check which keywords you rank for and identify any location-based keywords that make you stand out from the competition. For example, inserting a specific area in the keyword will help you rank higher for that keyword like Downtown Charleston real estate. Ensure that these keywords are used in the meta title tag as well as meta description to meet Google’s standards.
  • Check backlinks: Goes without saying that backlinks are crucial for SEO and local SEO descriptive phrases about Charleston will help. However, steer clear of unnatural anchor texts or spam-ridden backlinking as they will impact your domain authority negatively.

Apart from these, use local SEO audits to identify and remove duplicate content from the website. They can also monitor citations of your business on other Charleston-based websites.

Get More Local Links

Having local backlinks from other Charleston-based businesses or organizations will help your business build up a powerful bank of local links from Charleston. This will not only increase visibility with local customers but also boost your online presence. Here are some of the effective link-building tactics.

  • Get listed in local business directories: This is a no-brainer. There are several Charleston ​​local directories by categories, which are intended to help customers find the right business in the city. Get listed and linked in the correct category.
  • Join local business associations: It’s a great tactic to join a local business association, which provides valuable local links. To illustrate, for the real estate business there is Charleston Trident Association of REALTORS. Even if you’re not active, you’ll benefit from a local link.
  • Sponsor local events or organizations: While Google may penalize link buying, it’s normal to sponsor events and get a backlink. Charleston hosts major events like Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, Spoleto Festival, Charleston International Film Festival, and Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Consider sponsoring one of these and get a link on their website. 
  • Get featured on local blogs: Charleston has some great influencers and bloggers such as Daniel Bostic, Little Adi + Co, The Martin Family, Mr. Mojo Rising, and more. Reach out to such bloggers and ask them to write a blog post about your business. For a small price, you will get a locally relevant link with a great reach.

Ensure Your Online Details Are Consistent

Lastly, it’s imperative to set up NAP for your business, which stands for name, address, and phone number. This makes it easier for people and search engines to find your business. The NAP should be integrated on your business website as a crawlable HTML text. Use NAP in the footer or header of the site and avoid using an image for the same.

Next up is to have consistent details and citations across your online presence. Make sure that all of your business listings have the same contact details, prices, and other information. Any discrepancies in these details may stop search engines from showing your business in SERPs since they can’t determine which information is correct. 

In the end, what you need to know is that SEO is a dynamic and constantly ongoing process. It’s not a simple task that can be marked done and put to rest. To stay on top of the search rankings and stay relevant, it’s best to regularly update and follow the trends.

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Lorenzo Gutierrez
Digital Marketing Strategist at Lorenzo Gutierrez Digital Marketing
A little bit about myself: Lorenzo Gutierrez, founder of Lorenzo Gutierrez Digital Marketing, has a decade of experience growing business revenues with cutting edge digital marketing. With an MBA from Western Governors University and a passion for the craft, he offers a results-driven approach to digital marketing, ensuring your online success.

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