Did you know that more than 50% of customers who conduct a local search will visit a store within a day? What's more,78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase, and about 56% of all "on-the-go" searches have local intent. Put another way, local search is BOOMING, and it's past time to hop aboard. If you're wondering how to optimize your website to speak to these local customers, wonder no longer. This post is here to guide you through the process.
5 Must-Have Website Elements for Local SEO
If local customers are everywhere, how do you attract them to your website? Here are seven actionable tips to implement right now:
1. Keep Your NAP Consistent On All Online Platforms
NAP stands for name, address, phone number, and refers to the "how to find us" information you must always keep consistent. The reason for this is simple: NAP information is instrumental in ensuring customers can locate you online. If this information is inconsistent or inaccurate, you thwart the best attempts of your customers to track you down -- and Google will likely display your better-optimized competitors above you in search results. Unfortunately, many businesses never update their NAP information online. To make the most of local search, don't be like these businesses. Instead, keep your NAP information consistent and update it across all major listings (particularly Google -- see #4 below) and social-media platforms whenever anything changes.
2. Collect Positive Customer Reviews
If you want to build credibility for your business, collecting local reviews is one of the best things you can do. The reasons for this are many. The most important, though, is trust. Right now, 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends. Because of this, collecting a few high-quality online reviews is one of the best ways to position your company as trustworthy and reliable, and ensure those local customers keep walking through your doors. If you're not sure where to start collecting reviews, turn to social sites like Facebook, your Google listing, and relevant platforms like Yelp and Angie's List.
3. Publish Local Content Consistently
If you want to dominate local search, you need to focus on dominating local content, as well. Local content serves a few essential purposes when it comes to your site's SEO. To start, it makes it possible to earn links and get the "link juice" you need to ensure search engines are pointing customers to your site. Secondly, creating local content positions you as an authority in your industry, and ensures that customer will turn to you for information and knowledge. Finally, having a large amount of local content in your holster gives you material to share on social media and boosts the likelihood that you'll land positive press mentions, which, in turn, make it possible to grab the attention of new customers and earn the business you deserve.
4. Optimize for Google Business Profile
Google is the most dominant search engine in the world, and it wants to focus on sharing content it can support and verify. While Google uses dozens of different metrics to verify a site's quality, your company's Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) page is their primary tool. Google evaluates GBP listings to determine if a business is authentic, learn what it offers, and push listings to searchers. With this in mind, it's essential to optimize fyour GBP page. Here are a few steps to do that:
- Claim your company's Google Business Profile page
- Ensure all business information there is correct
- Post content to your page regularly - weekly if possible
- Gain reviews on your GBP page
- Encourage customers to post and respond to reviews online
Google automatically assembles this information for your business based on other data they find about your business online. This is important because, unless you claim your GBP business page, you're yielding your Google visibility to competitors and missing out on positive customer reviews and feedback.
5. Optimize Website Content
The final step in optimizing for local SEO is to turn your attention to your lesser-noticed content, including your URL, title tags, headers, and meta description. While a great deal of local SEO is just showing up and making it possible for customers to find you, there's also a very technical aspect to the process. Since Google indexes your pages for later use, it pays to ensure all of your content is optimized accordingly. With this in mind, check your URL, title tags, site and page headers, and meta descriptions for relevant elements like keywords, geo-targeted information, and more. Not only will these elements help your content appear in search engines, but it'll make it possible for highly desirable local customers to find you.
The Case for Local SEO
Today, four out of five customers turn to search engines to find information on local businesses. Because of this, you could miss out on about 80% of your possible customers by simply failing to optimize for local search. Fortunately, positioning your website for local search is easier today than it's ever been, and following these five tips is a great way to get a leg-up on the competition. While SEO is always changing, the importance of local search will only continue to climb, and now is a fantastic time to hop aboard. Need help with your website? Contact our team today to start your project!