Local search optimization basics: 11 SEO tips to start with

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Local search optimization basics: 11 SEO tips to start with

If you have a local business, one of the best ways to attract the target audience in a certain area is to optimize your website for local search. It will help you increase your visibility and let people know that there’s a solution for their needs nearby. Let’s review 11 effective SEO tips for building your local search engine optimization strategy.

Claim your Google business listing

One of the best local search engine optimization tips is to start with a Google business listing. Google business listing is a must-have for companies who want to get authority among local audiences and increase people’s trust. There are two ways to create a listing: either claim an existing profile or sign up from scratch. To create your Google business profile, follow this link and click on the “Get verified.”

After that, you must choose your business type, enter your contact details, and get verified. After getting verified, you can enter more information about your business, industry, working hours, and address. Do you want your customers to contact you in real time? Google offers such an option. However, it will remove that feature if your response rate takes more than 24 hours.

Optimize for geo-targeted keywords

When customers need to find something in the nearby area, they use certain keywords that usually contain such words as “near me,” “nearby,” “not far.” To find such keywords, you can use popular tools like Keyword Magic or Keyword overview. You need to enter your business's name and choose a location to optimize for local search.

Include “About Us” and “Contact Us” pages to target local terms

Creating locally-relevant content is also one of the best ways to attract a local audience. Targeting local keywords on such pages as About Us and Contact Us will help people find out more about you and help Google determine your location and relevant types of queries.

Get yourself rated

Getting customer reviews helps you gain authority and trust. Besides, it impacts your search rankings. Don’t forget to regularly review your ratings and reviews, respond to them (especially negative ones), and make sure that your brand’s reputation is not getting hurt. You can also use special platforms that aggregate reviews from different websites or alert you when someone mentions your brand online.

Spiffy up your social media

Nowadays, more and more people use social media as search engines. According to the study, 75.78% of consumers have used social media to search for or discover new products and brands, and 68.75% of consumers have made a purchase based on something they saw on social media. That’s why you should optimize your social media profiles for local search SEO. Here’s how:

  • Make sure to include your location data in all your profiles
  • Use relevant local hashtags
  • Include relevant keywords in your social bios
  • Keep your @username, address and contact options consistent across different social media platforms
  • Fill out “About” sections for all social networks

Different locations? Create different landing pages

If your business operates in several locations, you’ll need to optimize your landing pages for different keywords. It’s a good practice to create different landing pages that target multiple geographical locations. You can use these landing pages for ads, add them to different local directories or listings. Here are the must-have elements for effective Google local search optimization:

  • Localized URL structure (www.example.com/location/service )
  • Localized page title and title tag
  • Address with a map and contact details
  • Social proof and reviews

Get links from other related local businesses

Backlinks serve as positive signals that prove your authority in the niche. Local backlinks demonstrate that you have trust in the local community. Local partnerships are one of the most effective ways for optimizing for local search and getting links from other local businesses. Here’s how you can do that:

  • Write a guest post in exchange for links and referral traffic.
  • Collaborate together by creating local events
  • Co-create social media posts
  • Ask local directories to include you in the list

Get listed in directories

Getting listed in directories is one of the most effective local search optimization tips.

Local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Tripadvisor are popular for searching local business. Distribute information about your business in all relevant local directories to get even more visibility and authority.

Also, make sure to include local content on your website. Thus, you increase the chances of other directories finding and mentioning you. For example, you can create helpful resources, tips, and materials related to your niche.

Include the HTML [address] tag

If you use HTML title tags, your business offering will display together with your location in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Here’s a simple tag combination to use:

[City or region name] + [primary keyword for that location] | [brand]

Also, use schema markup to provide search engines with more information about your website. You can include details about your operating hours, contact information, and location in the schema. It will make your brand more noticeable and eye-catching in the search engine results.

Create a mobile version of your site

Usually, users search for local products or services on the go. That’s why making your website mobile-optimized and ensuring that user experience is smooth and easy on different devices is crucial.

It’s not a secret that the mobile-first approach is already here, and Google uses the mobile version of a site's content, crawled with the smartphone agent, for indexing and ranking.

Old-School advertising still matters

How to optimize your website for local search? Local search ads remain an effective way to increase your rankings for local keywords. Here is how it works. When people search on their mobile devices for nearby businesses on Google.com or Google Maps, for example, “pizza near me”, they may view local search ads with your business locations. It’s a great way to put your offer in front of the people who need it right now.

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Local search optimization is one of the most important “to-do's” when opening and promoting your local business. Without proper local search strategies, you risk getting lost among different businesses in your area. The simple steps we’ve described above will help you improve your visibility and let local audiences know that you exist to meet their needs.