Search engine optimization is one of the foundational pillars of a well-rounded digital marketing strategy. When you optimize your entire digital presence to rank higher in the organic search results, you are effectively improving your digital reach and appealing to your online audience in order to spark engagement and inspire trust and even brand loyalty. Now, even though it’s important to rank high in the global search results, it’s also imperative for local businesses to rank high in the local SERPs. Why?
Because nowadays customers are researching local companies before they decide to visit their physical stores or offices, so it’s important that the information they find about you online is consistent and in-line with their expectations. Otherwise, you’re just letting your competitors outrank you and incentivize your leads to become their customers and brand followers. If you want to succeed, you need to empathize local SEO in your digital marketing strategy. With that in mind, here is your guide to local SEO.
List your company on GMB
First and foremost, you have to make sure that Google recognizes you as a trustworthy local business if you are to appear in front of the right audience in the search results, which means that you need to list your business information on the Google My Business platform. It’s important that you claim your page on GMB so that the search engine can accurately display all relevant information about your company and thus help you boost your website traffic as a result. If you don’t, then you might not appear there at all.
When claiming your Google My Business page, tend to the following:
- Make sure that your business hours are correct, because Google will tell users whether you’re open or closed in the search results. The last thing you want is to lose customers because the results say you’re closed.
- Fill out every field and provide Google with as much information about your company as possible.
- Be sure to add plenty of high-res photos and videos so that Google can display them in the map and the search results in general – people love checking out the interior and what you’re all about before coming over.
Ensure brand and information consistency
Listing your NAP (name, address, and phone) information on every relevant platform across the online world is extremely important if you want to improve your brand’s visibility and trust factor, but only if you make this information consistent. This is something that the search engines focus on heavily nowadays, simply because consistent information helps create the perception of an authoritative and trustworthy local brand.
With that in mind, be sure to list your company in several online directories and get your information up on various platforms, but make sure that your name is consistent, that you have a single phone number and a single address. Complement that with a consistent brand image and identity, and you will improve your ranking in the local searches while improving brand recognition, awareness, and trust.
Optimize your site for the local SERPs
Of course, the most important change you need to make is to adapt your entire online presentation for the local SERPs by tending to on-page and off-page optimization. The content on your website tells the search engines where to put you and how to rank you when people search for goods and services in your industry and your local market, so local optimization is even more important if you operate in a highly-competitive region such as Australia.
In the Land Down Under, for example, companies operating in Gold Coast will work with a specialized SEO team such as the one at Only SEO Gold Coast that can integrate all of the local keywords and make the necessary changes to their website in order to make them as relevant to the local customer base as possible. Following the same approach, be sure to optimize your own website for the local searches, and have a local SEO agency run an SEO audit of your site to make sure that you are doing everything you can to rank higher in your market.
Focus on local link building
Another important tactic is that need to optimize your content for the local SERPs. But beyond implementing the right keywords into your articles and image tags, you also need to develop a link-building strategy in order to get new customers and traffic through search engines while build brand recognition and authority in the process.
If you want to build valuable links to improve local SEO, be sure to:
- Run local contests and stream live events.
- Get into the local news sites.
- Sponsor influencers and local communities.
- Work with partners in your industry.
- Guest post on other authority sites in your local market.
Gather local reviews and testimonials
And finally, always remember that social proof can make or break a brand’s reputation nowadays, but it can also help you climb the local SERP ladder. Be sure to ask people to leave positive reviews on your site as well as third-party platforms such as Yelp, Google, and Facebook in order to make your local business as relevant and trustworthy as possible in the eyes of the search engines. When you collect enough positive reviews, you will start appearing higher in the local search results.
The modern customer will research a local business extensively before deciding to get in touch. Make sure that they can find you easily in the online world by following this SEO guide to better ranking in the local SERPs.