best local seo

Local SEO for Small Businesses: Everything You Need to Know to Rank Locally

When we’re feeling hungry, want to compare product prices, or wish to explore, we pull out our smartphones. Search engines hold all the answers.

It’s no wonder that 56% of mobile searches are from people looking for local information. This can include phone numbers, hours, directions, or the physical address.

With every local search that’applies to your business, you have a new opportunity to attract potential customers. Why not give local SEO for small business a try? The results can improve your online presence and boost your business!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about local business SEO.

What Is It and Why Does It Matter?

Local SEO allows you to improve your online presence with local customers. When done right, local SEO can improve your search engine results page (SERPs), ranking. The higher your ranking, the more exposure you have.

The more exposure, the more leads you can attract to your website.

When you attract locals to your website, you also have the potential to turn those visits into same-day sales. In fact, 76% of people who run a local search on their phones visit the business that same day. Of those, 28% make a purchase.

Local SEO will also allow you to display your business in the prominent “local pack.” This space shows the three businesses that appear beneath the map in a Google search. Earning this space can help you stand out from your competitors.

The local pack also appears before organic search results, so searchers see your business name first.

Local business SEO can help put you in front of customers before anyone else.

This top-of-page space also improves your credibility. People don’t spend a lot of time looking through search results. Rather, they’re more likely to choose a result on the first page.

By earning a higher SERPs ranking, you can attract customers relevant to your business. The more relevant traffic you earn, the more likely you can turn visitors into leads and leads into sales.

How to Improve Local SEO for Small Business

Now that you have a better understanding of local SEO for small business, let’s talk about putting it to work for your business.

1. Get Your Google My Business Listing

First, grab your Google My Business listing. This listing will show searchers a quick overview of everything there is to know about your business, including:

  • Your name
  • A short description
  • The street address and directions
  • Office hours
  • A website link
  • Photos
  • Reviews

This listing displays prominently on mobile and desktop searches.

Make sure you write a business description that’s optimized with your keywords. You can also keep customers informed about new products, specials, and events through your Google My Business ranking.

2. Update Your Local Info

According to Google’s research, searches with the phrase “near me” or “nearby” doubled in the span of a year.

To attract foot traffic from these searches, you need to make sure your online information is accurate. Google isn’t the only listing you need to check. Update Bing Places and Yext as well.

Like your Google My Business listing, these listings can help you attract customers through online search.

Make sure your information is consistent across every listing you update. Otherwise, you could end up confusing customers or sending them in the wrong direction.

Don’t forget your directory listings and social media info, too!

3. Gain Customer Reviews

Reviews are a great way to show Google your business is active.

Have your happy customers share their love! Follow up with your customers by requesting a review after they make a purchase. Don’t pay for these reviews, though, or Google will take notice.

Try to get new reviews regularly. Frequent reviews can help improve your local listing and tell Google you’re alive and kicking. Plus, they add fresh content to your Google My Business listing.

4. Use Structured Data

Structured data tags specific types of content on your website. For example, you can structure a blog post, product, or recipe so it stands out in a SERPs. Structured data helps add detail to your search results to help you stand out.

You can also structure data based on your type of business.

5. Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly

With more people searching from their smartphones, it’s important to optimize your content for smaller devices.

This includes image sizes, font sizes, navigation, and more.

Google indexes mobile-friendly websites before the rest. Use this tool to make sure your website is mobile-friendly and ready.

Google will tell you what issues are impacting your website’s responsiveness. If your website isn’t optimized, mobile users will have a difficult time using your website. A negative user experience can scare them away.

This can impact your ranking and cause your local business SEO to suffer.

6. Get Local with Your Content

Your website’s blog is another great opportunity for local SEO.

First, research your audience. What are your local customers searching for online?

Then, create content that’s relevant to their searches. Make sure this content is unique, informative, and engaging. Otherwise, Google will penalize your ranking.

Use keywords throughout your content. Don’t forget to add a meta description, which will tell readers your content is relevant to their search.

As your SEO blog ranking rises, you can rank locally to attract customers nearby.

7. Earn Backlinks

Backlinks are important to any SEO strategy. These links are featured on other websites and tell search engines your content is worthy.

To improve your link building strategy, share your content! Feature your blog posts on other websites through guest blogging or share on social media. As other people link to your content, you’ll attract more traffic and improve your ranking.

Don’t forget to add your website URL to your online directories.

Love Locally: Your Guide to Local SEO for Small Business

Your local customers are out there, searching and ready to shop. With local SEO for small business, you can make it to the top and start attracting new customers every day.

Need help with your local SEO? Learn more about how we can help.