February 02nd 2022

Top tips for businesses to improve their local SEO

Top tips for businesses to improve their local SEO

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO refers to a whole range of practices aiming to position a business in different elements of local search – Maps, local pack, and localized search results – to attract customers from relevant local searches. 

As consumers move increasingly online, local SEO has never been more important than right now in 2022, and in Birmingham, with the commonwealth games around the corner, you’ll take advantage of the extra footfall.

That said, there’s a lot that goes into a comprehensive SEO strategy. Perhaps you’ve already implemented a lot of these local SEO tips? If you are a locally focused business, you must tap into the power of local search. However, before you can do that, you need to know how to implement effective local SEO.

Set up at GMB listing

Firstly you need to set up a Google My Business (GMB) listing. One of the reasons to have a Google My Business listing is because its modern-day the equivalent of being listed in the yellow pages

Ensure you details are correct

While you are creating business listings, you must keep your NAP (name and place) information correct. If all of your listings have your correct information, it’s easy for Google to trust them. If there are discrepancies, Google has no way of knowing which is the correct information

Something like an incorrect telephone number is a caution, and Google may stop displaying your GMB listing because they don’t know if your business is legitimate.

Create NAP citations

If you want to rise to the top of the search engines, you need to stay on their radar – NAP citations are highly effective for making your presence known across the web. 

A NAP citation is any mention of your business name, address and phone number on the internet, and they’re most commonly found on directory sites like Yellow Pages and Yelp. This data is used by search engines to determine which businesses to include in local searches, so you need to maximise your citations. 

You should also update older citations that contain outdated information – for example, if your business address is incorrect, you’re sending your consumers on a wild goose chase, or worse, into the hands of a competitor.

Optimize Your Site With Local Keywords

Once you have a list of local keywords you want to rank for, the next step is to optimize your site with them. This is a longstanding local SEO tip and is just as important for local SEO in 2021 it was five years ago.

Site optimization is, of course, a whole topic on its own, but here are a few of the onsite local SEO basics.

First off, you want to make sure that your home page and any service pages contain the local keywords you want to rank for in the:

  • Headings
  • Title tags
  • Meta description
  • Body
  • Footer

Create more local content

Most content marketing strategies focus on non-local content. While this will net you a wider audience and higher traffic levels, if you are a locally focused business, this is not going to help you. If you want to maximize your content marketing efforts for enhanced lead generation, it’s essential that you also create local content.

There are various topics you can create local content around. You can relate local content to your offerings by incorporating local keywords. If you are a cater, an example of this could be a blog post on how to find the best caterer in your area. This allows you to naturally incorporate local keywords into the content.

Optimize your voice search

Voice searches are on the rise, with Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana all taking pride of place in consumers’ homes. In fact, research has found that 58% of consumers use voice search to find local business information. 

Your local SEO strategy, therefore, needs to account for this change in user search behavior and one way you can do this is by targeting long-tail keywords and question-based search queries (the type a consumer would ask their voice search device) with your website content. 

Use internal links on page 2

Have you got keywords that are ranking on page 2 that need boosting onto the first page of the SERPs? Adding internal links that point to these pages could help you to achieve this.

Internal linking passes both PageRank (link authority) and relevancy signals. Internal linking is a massively underutilized SEO technique, and it's often enough to see these page 2 rankings jump onto page 1

Check out your competitors

The more you know about your competitors' SEO strategy, the better your own site can perform.

When you take the time to figure out what's working for the websites you compete against on the SERPs, you can take your analysis to the next level and understand why this approach is working before using this insight to inform your own approach.

One effective starting point is to find your competitors' best-performing pages so that you can develop a picture of where their organic traffic is coming from, and what it's being driven by. Analyse your competitors’ top pages can point you in the right direction.

Optimize your Core Web Vitals

In 2021, Core Web Vitals will become a ranking signal, with several metrics that impact page experience coming together alongside these, including:

·  Mobile-friendliness

·  Safe-browsing

·  HTTPS

·  Intrusive interstitials

Many of these you'll have been familiar with and optimizing for some time, but Core Web Vitals will be a key area of focus that you should be considering right now.

Launched earlier this year, Core Web Vitals are a collection of metrics around speed, responsiveness, and visual stability,

Optimize for Mobile

Another of the top local SEO tips for 2021 is optimizing your site for mobile.

Making your website mobile-friendly is essential for good SEO in general. However, it’s specifically important for local SEO. Here’s why.

It is reported that up to 30% of all mobile searches are location-related. This is a significant number, and it means that a lot of consumers who find you on local search are likely on their mobile device.

If your site does not display well on mobile, or there are navigation issues, this won’t look good to potential customers. They will likely move off your site and go with a competitor who’s online presence looks more professional

Manage Your Reviews

Positive reviews are inarguably good for your business reputation, and they can also boost your authority in Google’s eyes. On the other hand, bad reviews can negatively impact how Google displays your listing and site pages in search.

Of course, there is not much one can do to stop negative reviews from happening besides optimizing your customer service as much as possible. However, one thing you can do something about is the way you manage negative reviews. According to Moz’s study, responding to negative reviews with the object of resolving them is a plus sign to Google.

It shows the search engine that you are actively managing disputes, listening to your customers, and doing your best to enhance their experience with you.

Besides this, responding to negative reviews also gives you a chance to retain customers you might have lost and build relationships. It also shows other consumers that you are committed to making your customers happy.

Along with this, you can also use negative reviews to your advantage by creating content around them and incorporating common keywords in your overall SEO strategy.

In conclusion, make it a point to attend to all reviews, both positive and negative.

Lastly, don’t forget to manage reviews across all platforms and listings. Although Google reviews may have the highest weight with the search engine, it is very likely that it also factors in reviews (and your responses) on other platforms, such as Yelp, Angieslist, etc.

Now that you’re armed with these 10 top local SEO tips, it’s time to implement them and boost your business in local searches. Need help? Schedule a free SEO strategy call today, and within 30 minutes, we will uncover what is holding your business back in search and why your competitors are outranking you.

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