The internet has become a vital part of our lives. Anyone who wants to buy anything will start by searching about the product on the internet. Even brick-and-mortar store purchases start with a Google search to research the product, get competitor prices, stock information and read reviews. So what does this mean for local businesses?
Having a solid online presence is essential whether you start a new local business or already have one. It helps your products and services get in front of your target audience. And the best way to strengthen your digital presence is through local Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO optimization refers to optimizing your website and content for local searches. Any business with a physical store or serving a specific geographic location can benefit from this SEO strategy.
Google’s local search results consider the user and the business location to provide relevant results. For instance, when a person in Atlanta searches for Pizza options on Google, the results will comprise of restaurants located nearby and not in Chicago or anywhere else. It works even if the user does not include “near me” or a city name in the search query.
Local SEO Optimization Checklist
Local SEO optimization can increase your sales significantly if you have a physical store or provide immediate services targeting a specific region. In fact, it is the fastest-growing channel for location-specific businesses. With that being said, here’s a checklist that can help improve your local SEO standings.
Seek Help From SEO Agencies
The best way to improve your local SEO standings is by seeking help from experts. SEO is a complicated process. It also tends to keep changing based on the search engine algorithms that Google keeps updating from time to time. When Google changes its web indexing algorithms, it will also affect your SEO strategy. Hence, it requires you to stay updated with the latest Google updates.
If you need to focus on your business, it is best to outsource the SEO part to an agency. They are the experts with all the relevant knowledge and resources to improve your SEO strategy. They also know what keywords to target and how. That’s what the Festival’s CEO did. He used digital marketing to take his Atlanta business to new heights, and you can do it too.
Suppose you have a small restaurant in Atlanta. Then an SEO firm in Atlanta would be updated with the popular keyword phrases like “popular restaurants in Atlanta,” “budget restaurants in Atlanta,” “best restaurants,” etc., to help you improve your search engine rankings for those.
Localize Your Content
Whether hiring an SEO agency or doing it yourself, focus on localizing your content for better rankings. Content is the best way to engage and hook your customers. It can help you influence the consumers’ buying decisions as well.
General and vague content is usually dull. You need to localize the tone and information you provide on your website, social media platforms, and even email campaigns.
For instance, if you are a grocery store in Atlanta, create content targeting keywords that have “Atlanta” in them. Suppose you want to write about everyday grocery items; it is advisable to create content for “Everyday grocery items popular in Atlanta” rather than just focusing on the grocery items.
Be Consistent With Updating Fresh Content
If you upload a blog post today and the next one a month after, it won’t help you. You need to stay consistent. Try to update the content, at least every week, if not more often. You can write about several things, such as your products, services, local events, etc. The only thing to consider is that you need to keep it local; remember the previous tip.
Updating content regularly will help build your brand’s followers. You can also share some insights about the industry to showcase your expertise. Moreover, highlighting your brand’s key differentiator is also a great practice.
Leverage Client Testimonials
Using client testimonials on websites is crucial for local and global businesses, but it is more so for the former. The reason is that for multinational companies, what works well in one region might not work that well in the other region. But when it comes to local organizations, there aren’t too many factors that can change the results. Hence, client testimonials become vital.
Let’s consider an example of a bakery business. For a global bakery with multiple franchises, the raw ingredients, supply chain delivery process, and taste can vary from region to region. It can lead to mixed reviews. But for a local bakery, everything remains the same since the bakers, raw ingredient providers, and supply chain. Hence, even the testimonials will stay consistent and benefit marketing.
Local SEO is becoming essential for businesses. If you lack the right expertise and resources to create and build on a regional SEO strategy, you can outsource the task to an agency. Regardless of your choice, it’s high time to start leveraging local SEO if you are not doing that already.