Local SEO helps small companies take on big brands, and large companies reach engaged customers.
Improving your local SEO standing could boost your company revenue by nearly 20% — and it’s not that hard to achieve once you get your local SEO strategy aligned.
Here’s how to nail your local SEO strategy using social proof and tactical optimization.
Recommended reading: 6 Tips for Budgeting a Website Redesign and Retaining or Improving SEO
Ask your customers to review your business
Google wants to give its users the best possible results.
When you ask for a Philly cheesesteak, you need to know it’s going to taste incredible. Your customers trust reviews from their peers as much as their family members, which is why Google uses customer reviews for local SEO rankings.
This is what I got when I searched for Philly cheesesteak:
Each of the top options has lots of reviews and a healthy star rating. For your company to win at local SEO you need good reviews and a high rating. Asking your customers to leave a review is a perfect way to get more reviews. Don’t believe me? Check these figures:
- 80% of online reviews come from businesses sending follow-up emails to customers.
- 68% of customers have left a review because a local company asked them to.
There are many ways you get your customers to leave a review of your business, such as:
- Offer a discount.
- Give them a free trial.
- Just ask (sometimes it’s enough).
Creating a customer testimonial video is a great way to engage future reviewers. It adds credibility to your existing reviews by putting human faces to them. If you want to give it a try, Vidyard is a platform designed to make creating videos as simple as possible. I’ve tried it myself and can tell you it’s quick and simple to use. You can request a demo here.
Optimize your business to target “near me” searches
The average mobile searcher will want the company closest to them. Think about it — how many times have you asked Google for a bar, drug store, or gas station near you? Optimizing for “near me” searches helps your business win those SERPs.
Not convinced? Google Trends proves that the number of people making “near me” searches is steadily increasing overall. You can see for yourself below:
The key to targeting “near me” searches is incorporating your city and state into the various on-page elements that factor into SEO. This includes your:
- Page title.
- Image alt-text.
- Website content.
- Meta tags.
Thankfully, it should be easy to make these changes provided your website runs on a somewhat-modern CMS. WordPress has become an exceptional choice for SEO (particularly with the excellent Yoast SEO plugin available to everyone for free), and of course, high-end eCommerce storefront software such as Shopify’s slick hosted service will be a breeze — good technical SEO is mandatory at that scale. Speak to your web designers or developers if you’re not sure.
All you need to do here is distribute your location keywords smartly and prominently, and you’ll achieve two things at once: making local searchers more likely to choose your site, and making Google more likely to rank you for those searches.
Increase the authority of your website with link building
Authority is one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. The more authority your website and pages demonstrate, the higher you’ll rank on Google. You can increase your authority by building links to quality local blogs and businesses. Not sold? This is what the experts say:
- 75% of experts believe links are as important in 2018 as they were in 2017. The other 25% think they’re more important.
- 72% of local gurus say link-building is crucial to local SEO.
Some of the best ways to build links include:
- Guest posting.
- Establishing web directory links.
- Commenting on local forums.
- Writing testimonials.
- Buying them (perfectly legal!).
Building a linkable resource is a particularly great tactic because it gives blogs and businesses a reason to direct their visitors to your company site. All you need to do is turn existing data into something fresh. This can include interviews from your experts, or data you’ve uncovered from a government website. I found some great tips on how to do this at Quicksprout. Read this free article to find out more.
1 in 5 of customers buy an item within 24 hours of making a local search, so why wouldn’t you want a bigger slice of that pie? Remember: you could increase your revenue by almost 20%. Put these local SEO tips into practice, and you’ll be on your way to making more local sales.
Patrick Foster is lead writer at Ecommerce Tips, an online resource and community where he shares his wealth of ecommerce expertise and know-how. From UX and marketing to entrepreneurship and dropshipping, Ecommerce Tips covers it all. For all the latest, find Patrick on Twitter @myecommercetips.