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In the digital era, where consumers turn to the internet for local information, establishing a robust online presence is imperative for small businesses. According to a recent survey by BrightLocal, a staggering 78% of consumers use the internet weekly to find information about local businesses, with 21% conducting daily searches.
To tap into this vast pool of potential customers, small businesses must focus on local SEO strategies to enhance visibility and convert online searches into in-store traffic or paying customers, which is the focus of our article here.
1. Identify and Address Technical SEO Issues
The foundation of successful local SEO lies in the technical aspects of a website. It’s crucial to ensure that search engines can properly index your site. To achieve this, small businesses should familiarise themselves with how search engines crawl and index websites. This foundational knowledge will guide their SEO efforts.
Hiring an SEO agency or consultant is a viable option for those finding technical SEO issues overwhelming. Resources such as Google Search Console can assist in reporting indexing issues.
2. Craft Exceptional Content to Stand Out in a Competitive Landscape
In the vast digital landscape, small businesses compete with similar enterprises and media publications, big brands, and local review sites. To stand out, crafting quality content is essential. Before diving into content creation, developing a local content strategy aligned with business goals is prudent. Implementing proven on-page local SEO best practices ensures that each piece of content contributes to enhanced search visibility.
3. Local Link Building to Establish Trust and Relevance
Links serve as the currency of the web and are crucial trust signals for search engines. Local link building is about showing that others relevant to the local area trust or endorse your business. Exploring various types of links and strategies for attracting them is vital for an effective local link-building strategy.
One effective local link-building effort includes submitting your link and business information to local business directory.
4. Google Business Profile (GBP) Optimisation
Without a well-optimised Google Business Profile (GBP), no local search strategy is complete. Formerly known as Google My Business (GMB), these profiles have evolved into rich, interactive sources of information.
Optimising GBPs involves showcasing high-quality photos and videos, utilising Google Posts for offers and events, and engaging with customers through messaging and reviews.
5. Maintaining Consistency of Information in Local Listings
Google prioritises searcher experience, making accurate business information across online platforms and directories crucial. Inaccurate details can lead to negative experiences, hindering local visibility significantly.
6. Managing Local Reviews to Build Trust
Reviews are a key factor in Google’s local ranking algorithms. Managing and responding to reviews effectively can positively impact local search rankings. Small businesses should focus on generating positive reviews and addressing customer feedback promptly.
Read more about how to build the trust factor in our article ‘What Is E-E-A-T In SEO And Why Is It Important?’.
7. Use Relevant Local Schema to Enhance Search Engine Understanding
While not a direct ranking factor, schema markup enhances web crawlers’ understanding of page content. Small businesses can use schema to trigger rich results, displaying additional information on search results. Implementing schema properly and testing its effectiveness is crucial, as errors can disqualify businesses from obtaining rich results.
Local SEO is not a one-time activity; it requires continuous attention and adaptation. Taking on local SEO as a small business may seem daunting, but it is an integral part of marketing that intersects with customer service. A healthy understanding of local SEO practices is essential, whether handled in-house or outsourced to professionals.
By following these top strategies, small businesses can navigate the competitive digital landscape, gain local visibility, and establish a solid online presence.