Worried about local SEO? Here’s how to attract your local market online.
For some reason, salespeople have garnered the disdain and loathe of Americans for being untrustworthy. Next to lobbyists and politicians, salespeople are the most untrusted by the majority. But these fears are founded on what’s been happening in the past. Not only do marketing and sales agents, including AD practitioners, exaggerate their products, they also lie.
So if people have such disdain and distrust of sales officials in any company, who will prospective customers listen to before making a purchase? You guessed it right. Research now shows that 95% of customers will rely on a review from another customer before buying a specific product.
If you think that data is an exaggeration, think again. The data was compiled in 2017 before the pandemic hit, leading to a significant shift in online businesses. To make customer reviews even more compelling, roughly 92% of B2B buyers also depend on trusted customer reviews for purchases.
Now imagine combining the powers of trusted customer reviews with local SEO. The result will be an explosion in revenues and customer engagement. When SpinSlot added the suggested SEO strategies and customer reviews to their online free bingo campaign, the site experienced a 33% increase in customer engagement.
But precisely what is local SEO, and how is it relevant to your business?
Well, this article intends to cover this in detail as we illustrate proven tactics to hack Google’s algorithms and improve local SEO for small businesses with customer reviews. When SpinSlot added the suggested SEO strategies and customer reviews to their online free bingo campaign, the site experienced a 33% increase in customer engagement.
What is Local SEO?
The “what,” “why,” and “how” of local SEO
Simply put, local SEO is optimizing your search engine performance locally. Many businesses focus on growing their business organically but neglect their immediate local market. More customers today value immediate satisfaction and relevance over brand loyalty. To put things into perspective, mobile searches ending with “near me” have increased by 250% in the last two years.
Still not convinced? Do you want one more stat that proves the importance and relevance of local SEO? In 2019, Go Gulf published a local SEO stat. Their survey showed that as high as 46% of all searches on Google were looking for localized content.
Google now boasts of daily searches exceeding the 3.5 billion mark. If your business can only capture a fraction of that, you are well on your way to exponential growth.
As you can see, working on local business SEO will be beneficial and increase your exposure to your immediate community. Now the question is, what do we need to do to beat the competition and stay ahead of the fray?
Tips for a Successful Local SEO Campaign
This local SEO guide may not comprehensively offer you all the tricks in the game. However, some of these essential tips are mostly ignored by marketers and salespeople. Consider these six solutions to start your local SEO journey.
If You Haven’t, Optimize a Google My Business Account
Free bingo is your go-to if you want to experience the best online gaming. Google Scholar could be your best choice if you want free scholarly articles. Likewise, Google My Business is Google’s best search tool for local businesses.
It gives you free marketing for your brand by allowing you to create a business profile. You can then insert photos and your location to provide the public with a clearer perspective of you.
The first and probably the most fundamental local SEO tool is Google My Business. Regularly update your profile. You may also need to request your customers for reviews frequently. Don’t rely on complements you received two years prior. Heck, even six-month-old reviews are ancient.
Talk of Online Customer Reviews
Regularly updated reviews from Google My Business will go a long way to boost visibility and trust. However, that’s not your only option. People trust other buyers more than they trust you, especially if they are new customers.
As such, you want to put your best performance in highlighting your credibility to potential local customers. The more popular you are, the higher your chances of ranking in Google’s local pack – that is, the contested top three spots.
Reviews are the best and cheapest chance of free publicity in the online space
Aim for positive reviews with particular keywords and phrases. Using the right words will not only boost your SEO strategy, but will also enable other buyers to connect with other customers.
If you have problems coming up with on-spot key phrases for your local SEO content, consult local SEO experts from sites such as Essaygeek, A-writer.com, and College-Paper. It would also help if your local SEO customer reviews mentioned the street, product, and service experience.
Go Large on Local Content
Aside from keeping a steady influx of online reviews for social proof, you also need to localize your web content. Writing for expansive crowds resonates with a broader community. However, if your focus is local SEO content, you can think of top-of-the-funnel content such as local news, places, news gatherings, featuring employees, and the likes.
Additionally, take a step further and go on the ground to reach your community. A digital PR campaign may include sponsoring an event or even volunteering a day to participate in community service and conversations. Not only is this a chance to build inbound links, but it is also an excellent opportunity for brand awareness and free press.
Conduct a Regular SEO Audit
You may have launched a successful local SEO campaign last month, but you have more to lose if you think that will be sufficient for this month.
Here are some leading questions to help you with your local SEO audit:
- Is the information on your Google My Business accurate?
- Is your site easily crawlable by search engine bots?
- Are there any errors on individual pages that may curb proper indexing?
- Is your site mobile-friendly?
- What’s the performance of your website, and what can you do to improve that?
- Are you at par with your competitors, or are there gaps to fill?
- Are customer testimonials and reviews satisfactory?
Powerful Local SEO Tools
Lucky for you, the Internet today provides a rich variety of local SEO solutions that can help website management become much more manageable. These solutions provide you with relevant metrics and solutions to improve your local SEO strategy. While some require a premium subscription, you may enjoy some products for free.
The best local SEO services online include
- BrightLocal: Assists you in analyzing competition, customer reviews, and your local search performance.
- Buzzstream: Tracks trending conversations and allows you to reach out to local influencers by building backlinks.
- Moz Local: Enables verification of listings on Facebook and Google and pushes those listings for better visibility.
- Screaming Frog: Crawls websites for any errors.
- Whitespark Local Citation Finder: Offers the best local listings’ management with competitor’s in mind. Moreover, it helps you improve your local citation strategy.
Extra Suggestions for Mastering Local SEO
Raise a glass to the local community
Local SEO marketing combines various skills to attain a robust campaign. You need content for your website and a website designer to ensure things are spic and span. Content writers for blog posts include both copywriters and content writers.
A strategist would come in handy to assist you in remaining relevant in your niche. Another dynamic strategy in creating rich SEO-filled blog content is engaging in guest-posting. As you write your local SEO blogs, ensure you focus on the people/events/places/issues relevant to the locals.
As you work on your website, ensure the information is consistent across different platforms. Google may penalize you if you have inconsistent or old content that’s not been updated in certain channels. As you invest in organic SEO, ensure you also include location pages in your website.
You may even go a step further and settle for interactive maps on city-specific landing pages. Eventually, your goal should be to create the best customer experience possible.
What local SEO strategy have you successfully applied in your business?
Thomas Glare is a freelance SEO content writer for more than 4 years now. He started as an online
casino employee but soon discovered the magic of words and how they can be put together to make
search engines click. Ever since, he spends a lot of time looking up for new SEO techniques to
develop excellent content and, of course, writes about it so that more and more people are engaged in