Everyone in the business knows how important local SEO (search engine optimization) is. Every company strives to win the top spot in the Google search engine. Wondering what you can do to enhance your local business visibility and outshine others this 2020?
A business’ success depends on different factors. One of these is its visibility strategy. It is not enough that you have a website about your business, you should know how to make your business visible. This will enable you to rise above the competition and let yourself be found by potential customers situated in the same geographical area as your business.
Read this article now and know the ten advanced and actionable SEO tips you can apply to grab the attention of online searchers looking for your products and services, and improve your business’ visibility in local search results.
- Optimize your Google My Business profile
Granted, registering your company on Google My Business (GMB) ensures that your business will be found via Google and Google Maps, but that is not enough to make your business visible.
As part of your visibility strategy, you need to optimize your profile so that potential customers who might be searching “where to go near me” will get significant information about your business that can influence their decision to visit your business or not.
How do you do it? Enter your complete data on GMB so that customers know what you do, where you are, and when they can visit you. If there are upcoming holidays and special events in your area, do not forget to update your opening and closing hours so that your potential customers know them beforehand. Do not forget to verify your location so that you will appear on Maps and Search. Allow people to leave feedback about your business and respond to each one of them; doing so will improve your business visibility. Lastly, add photos to your listings. According to Google, “Businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location from users on Google and 35% more clicks through their websites than businesses that don’t have photos.”
2. Create Google Posts
Google Post enables you to share important announcements and updates about your business to your target market. Aside from being able to include media and other information about your business, Google Post includes a call-to-action button in your posts to maintain engagement with potential customers and increase conversions on your website. Available call-to-action options include: Book, Order Online, Buy, Learn More, Sign Up, Get Offer, and Call Now.
Note: When composing your post with a 300-word limit, make your first 100 characters impressive as this will be the ones displayed in your business’ Knowledge Panel in Google Post.
When writing posts, observe SEO best practices by including your keywords at the beginning of your copy. Another visibility strategy you can do is to create new posts one to two times a week to increase your visibility. Note that the tone of your copy should ideally be friendly and conversational to entice customers to directly communicate with you. Do not forget to share your Google Posts on your business’ social media accounts as well.
3. Localize your entire business
Say you have multiple stores situated in different locations. If that is the case, you should localize all your stores. Instead of compressing all your business branches on a single website, you can increase your business visibility by dedicating an entire web page per business branch. Through this tip, search engines and customers will not be confused, especially if you have different updates and promos on each branch.
Make sure that the information such as address and contact numbers on each web page is correct and up to date.
4. Prepare your website for a local snippet
So as not to limit the clicks of searchers, Google showcases details on featured and local snippets to help searchers with their decision making when searching for a particular place to visit if, for example, they searched “where to study near me.”
Add Schema Markup code to your website to be able to give information to search engine snippets about your business such as your location, hours, ratings, and images, as search engine crawlers access such information via structured data. Without it, crawlers will move to companies that add their business information via Schema Markup code. It is best practice to include a locally-focused keyword in your copy to increase your chances of ranking high in Search Engine Result Pages.
To take your keyword research to the next level for your snippets, you can take advantage of the 10x case study regarding top searched “near me” keywords conducted by Propelrr, a digital marketing agency in the Philippines, to boost local visibility. The possibility of users seeing you on their search pages will be highly likely, plus the probability that they will search for the same keyword is high. As an example, the table below shows the potential in using these search terms for your content.
5. Build local backlinks
Link-building matters in SEO and in making your business visible. When choosing sites as backlinks, make sure that they are authoritative, trustworthy, and relevant to your business. Doing so will help you give the impression that your business is authentic and trusted in your specific industry.
Aside from websites, you can gain local backlinks by reaching out to local news channels to announce important updates in your business such as promos, events, and product launches and updates.
6. Enroll your business in other relevant citation sites
If your business is mentioned on the Web, that is considered a local citation. Usually, when your business is cited, information such as your company name, address, and phone number, also known as your NAP, is included. Citations can also include your website or Uniform Resource Locator (URL), which are then called NAPW or UNAP citation, W stands for Website and the latter, U for URL. Having an accurate citation profile for your business increases the chances of it being found online and having customers avail your products and services on your physical business locations.
Note that citations are categorized into two: structured and unstructured. The former pertains to the mention of your business information or NAP/NAPW/UNAP on business listing directories such as Facebook, Bing Places, Yelp, and Yellowpages. The latter pertains to sites that, strictly speaking, are not considered to be listing directories such as wikis, blogs, or publication sites.
Note: Make sure that your NAP is consistent in your directory site, social media channels, local page, and website to help search engines verify that your business exists and is legitimate. Do not forget to add as much useful information and media to your citations whenever possible and select the most relevant business categories when listing your business to increase your business’ visibility.
7. Be social media active
With the convenience provided by technology, shoppers initially engage with local businesses through social media. According to Sprout Social, “57% of people are more likely to buy from a brand that they follow on social” so create social media accounts for your business.
Use these mediums as an opportunity to engage with your customers by sharing relevant information about your products and services. You can also conduct surveys with your customers through social media and take note of their responses to get more relevant keywords you can use to your visibility strategy.
8. Have a fast mobile-friendly website
According to statistics, the number of smartphone users worldwide is projected to reach 2.87 billion; meaning more and more mobile searches will be done throughout the world. Optimizing your website for mobile is a ranking factor Google takes into consideration in SERPs, therefore helping your local business visibility. Do not forget to increase the page speed of your site on mobile to maximize user experience and minimize the chances of dropping mobile conversion because of long page loading time.
Note: To boost the speed of your website, optimize your media. Make it a habit to reduce the number and size of images you upload on your website.
9. Compose original local-focus content
Having original and local-focused content on your website is useful for searchers who are looking for the necessary information to satisfy their queries and curiosity. Make sure to create content that features your business, products, services, local news, and events related to your business.
To strengthen your visibility strategy, include local keywords and detailed keyword phrases not only in your copy but also to your title tags, meta description, URLs, and anchor texts. Incorporating locally-focused keywords and information will help your website remain locally visible even if searchers opt to use Google Advanced Search to refine the search results to their queries.
10. Ask for feedback and manage them
Feedback is one of the information potential customers look into before engaging with a business. Feedback shows the competency, professionalism, and trustworthiness of a business; so make sure that your website and social media accounts allow people to drop comments and reviews.
Of course, the more positive reviews you acquire, the more your business is preferred over your competitors. To encourage people to give you feedback, provide them good service and encourage them to share their thoughts about their experience with your business.
However, keep in mind that gathering feedback is not enough. You need to manage each one of them. Whether you receive positive or negative feedback, reply to each one with tact and professionalism. This will help you give the impression that you care about your customers and you want to improve your business by solving any issues that they may have encountered with your business.
Note: When replying to feedback, be nice, concise, and offer incentives.
Increasing local business visibility through SEO is not an easy task, but with effort, even emerging local businesses can compete for their visibility in SERPs. However, it is one thing to improve your business’ local visibility and outshine your competitors and another to maintain your spot on top.
Maintain your high ranks in Google searches by diligently following these 10 tips. Make sure that all the information about your business is accurate and up to date. Get more backlinks from reputable sources. Research for the right keywords and optimize them. Optimize your website for a better user experience. Stay active on your social media accounts and website, and manage all feedback you receive. As competition grows, invest time in studying other visibility strategies you can try to establish your business presence online.