The world is a competitive place, but the internet may be even worse. Nowadays, to get seen on the internet, especially in small communities or specific areas, it takes knowing how to stand out so people can discover you.
Whatever your online presence is– a website for your business, a personal blog, or something else– one of the keys to being discovered by the right people (and standing out) is to teach search engines how to find you.
We call this strategy “search engine optimization”, or SEO. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best local SEO strategies for you and your online presence.
What is Local SEO?
Basically, the term search engine optimization means the continual process of evolving and customizing your website so that information on it can be easily read and digested by search engines like Google, Bing, and Yelp.
Local SEO typically refers to strategies you use to be discovered in one spot. If you run car wash business in Tucson, Arizona, for example, you would set up your SEO strategies slightly differently.
You want to make it insanely easy for Google and other engines to think you’re the best solution for car washes in that specific place.
Now, let’s look at 9 of the best local SEO tips for your business or online platform.
Let’s face it. Even if it didn’t happen online, at some point in your life you’ve not done something because someone said you shouldn’t. And when someone tells people not to check you out online, they often don’t without thinking twice.
This is why it’s one of the most crucial local SEO strategies to wow your audience and ask them to leave reviews online. Get people to say good things about you and your service, and search engines will naturally make it easier for new people to discover you.
If you’re not huge on website building, you may not even know what a backlink is. But as far as local search optimization tips go, it’s a big one.
When someone “backlinks” to your site, it means they’ve posted content with a link to your website on theirs. Google likes this because if someone talks about you on their site, they assume you are trustworthy. They feel more confident, as a result, of trusting you to rank higher in their search engines.
Work with local companies (see tip #7) to see if you can create a win-win situation where you backlink to each other’s sites to help increase traffic to each business.
Also, here’s where you can learn more about our SEO and backlinks services.
3. Mobile-Friendly Website
Did you know 60% of searches made on Google are from a mobile device? This number may seem high, but it’s only getting higher. Simply put, people are using home devices less in favor of their mobile phones or tablets.
It is absolutely imperative if you want to rank high on search engines that your site is mobile-friendly. Fortunately, Google is nice enough to tell you what it’s looking for.
One way to alleviate a lot of your problems with web design (and boost SEO) is to use plugins. If you’re running your website on WordPress like 30% of the internet, you can use plugins to make it easier for Google to find your site.
Simply scour the internet for plugins that help make it easier for search engines to find you. There are thousands of them.
5. Don’t Just Rely On Google
Yes, Google is the powerhouse of all search engines. It is most important that people can find you there. But don’t forget that other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo! are also powering a lot of searches and can drive traffic to your site.
People in your community may use local directories, too. Ask customers and even ask your friends or other business owners in the area where people find their business.
6. ‘Yelp!’ Matters
Yelp and Google kind of work hand in hand. If Yelp trusts you, Google is more likely to trust you. See how that might benefit your local SEO and community outreach?
Even if you aren’t out there leaving reviews for other companies, a lot of people are. This can be an easy way to drive people to your site.
7. Relationships In Your Area
At least three of the tips we’ve covered so far (#1, #2, #6) have to do with fostering good relationships in your community. But there are endless ways to leverage relationships online.
Consider partnering with a business in your area or using your network to run a Facebook event or a giveaway. While this won’t bolster your rankings on search engines immediately, the association between the two can help down the road.
Remember that SEO is about playing the long game.
8. Get People To Stay On Your Site
If you didn’t peruse the whole Google outline about what matters to them in #3, here’s one worth repeating:
Google prioritizes websites that hold people’s attention.
If your site has a high “bounce” rate, which means people click on it and leave immediately, Google won’t trust it. This is because high bounce rates are associated with spam or non-valuable sites.
Whether you create good content through writing or video or just have a lot of material to go through, find a way to keep people on your site.
9. Set Up Your Google Business Account
One of the easiest things to overlook about driving traffic to your site is to register your business with Google.
When it comes to how to set up your business on Google, simply create a profile. Then Google will be able to do nifty things for you, like put you on their maps.
Tips For The Best Local SEO: Wrapped Up
When it comes down to best local SEO strategies, the keys are simple, even if they aren’t the easiest to implement immediately.
Play the long game, because this doesn’t happen overnight. Make it insanely easy for search engines to like you and for people to find you valuable. And find a way to be everywhere, not just on Google.