5 Ways To Optimizing Your Local SEO

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SEO is also known as search engine optimization. SEO is the process of taking steps to help a website or piece of content rank higher on Google’s search engine results page.

The key difference between SEO and paid advertising is that SEO involves “organic” ranking, which means you don’t pay to be in that space. To make it a bit simpler, search engine optimization means taking a piece of online content and optimizing it so search engines like Google show it towards the top of the page when someone searches for something.

Look at it this way. When someone types “vegan lasagna” into Google, they’re likely looking for a recipe, ingredients, and instructions on how to make it. If you wrote an article about making vegan lasagna, you’d want people to find your recipe. For anyone to find it, you need to rank above all the other websites with recipes for vegan lasagna. It’s not easy, but that’s what SEO marketing is all about.

Let’s break it down even further: The majority of online searches begin with a search engine like Google. In fact, 75 percent of those searches start on Google.

To better understand how you can rank your content higher in search engines, you need to first understand how search works.

The Benefits of Local SEO Solutions

The ultimate goal of this article is to help you understand the ins and outs of search so you can optimize your content to rank higher on Google and get more eyes on your posts.

gray and brown Local sign
Source: Unsplash.com

Semrush has already addressed what local SEO is in previous articles. In short, these strategies prioritize optimization for location-specific SERPs (Search engine result page). Because of all the information available to search engines to evaluate content rankings, the user’s IP address and geolocation are extremely relevant factors. 

Consider queries with a geographical qualifier, like “hotels in New York,” local SEO solutions allow you to take advantage of opportunities resulting from these types of local searches.

Local SEO strategies are about marketing your brand, products, and services to local leads. If you’re a smaller business operating on a regional level, they allow you to lessen the advantage of bigger, national brands that optimize for more generic keywords while also gaining traffic from ready-to-buy demographics and increasing your conversions.

If all this sounds like a dream come true, read on to learn our 5 local SEO tips that you can implement right now.

5 Tips To Optimize Your Local SEO

A ‘local search strategy’ is an umbrella term that stands for multiple solutions to increase business visibility. These include claiming a business listing to appear in a local search on Google, managing online ratings and reviews, starting a locally-focused social media campaign, and so on.

1: Create and Optimize a Google My Business Account

The importance of Google My Business has been covered enough; now it’s time to claim your listing and start cashing in on all those local leads.

A Google My Business account increases your business’s online visibility almost immediately by making it show up in listings where you otherwise wouldn’t pop up. You can follow Google’s instructions to set up your account, but make sure not to miss these key steps: 

  1. When providing a business description, include your main keywords as well as the area where you operate. 
  2. Choose the best possible category for your GMB listing and/or subcategories, and find out the popular search queries that best apply to your business. 
  3. Verify your profile by ensuring that your name, address, and contact details in GMB match those available on your website and in any other local citations. Semrush’s Listing Management Tool can support you by distributing to all local listing sites at the same time. 
seo tips for local business
Source: Unsplash.com

2: Do Local Keyword Research and Optimize Your Content

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to open Semrush’s Keyword Overview Tool and perform a detailed local keyword search. The tool will provide you with all the insights you need at this stage: which keywords are more relevant to your business, their estimated value, and the current competition to rank for them. 

However, there are a few more steps to take when preparing your keyword targeting. Local SEO solutions are all about narrowing your targeting:

  1. Perform a local keyword search and choose locally relevant keywords to target. Integrate them in your website’s metadata, in the body text on relevant pages, and in the URL itself.
  2. Optimize your content for your area. Mention area-specific landmarks and hotspots. Pay close attention to a location-specific “About Us” page, and focus on locally relevant information such as your commitment and engagement in your local community, local news, and events.
  3. Build backlinks to the most relevant pages. This requires a twofold approach that entails both community engagement and submitting to directories.

3: Build a Social Media Presence

A wide variety of opportunities await you on social media. There’s an abundance of platforms that you can use to expand your online presence. The first step is choosing the platforms and coordinating a multichannel strategy that makes your message consistent everywhere. 

It is a lot of work, but take a look at how each social platform can help your local SEO efforts:

  • Facebook has the largest user base, which means you’ll reach the widest audience.
    • A key feature of Facebook is the possibility for users to geolocalize their posts when they visit your store by using the check-in function. This will make you visible to all potential leads among their friends.
    • Facebook also offers a virtual window to your brick-and-mortar store by allowing you to customize your page, post pictures, and advertise your products or upcoming events.
  • Twitter limits you to 280 characters, although you can also post images and videos to add some extra flair.
    • Twitter’s most powerful feature is the retweet function, as this is a great way to create buzz around an ongoing campaign or an upcoming event.
    • On Twitter, you can also reach out to your followers and ask direct questions with polls to collect precious suggestions directly from your customers.
  • Instagram is an image-focused platform that can do great things for your brand image and customer engagement.
    • Interact with your users on eye level with behind-the-scenes stories and direct messaging. Turn your customers into fans.
    • Show off your unique selling points via regular eye-catching posts that celebrate your products and your employees.

Other social media platforms go in and out of fashion daily; the list is long: YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc. Choose whichever one best fits your brand image.

4: Actively Manage Reviews and Ratings

An online review is almost as powerful as a personal recommendation. Of course, you should allow your customers to rate their experience with your products. 

However, it’s also crucial to monitor and respond to all your reviews, especially if you operate in a local area. These reviews — and how you handle them — directly impact your brand image. 

Encourage happy customers to leave reviews via post-purchase emails or by actively showing your appreciation by promptly replying to positive reviews. Monitor and resolve issues resulting in negative reviews. Ask yourself if the customer is speaking half-truths or if a refund should be issued.

Every time you do reply to reviews, remember these tips: 

  • Everyone can see your reply. Don’t say anything in the comment section that could jeopardize your relationship with other customers.
  • Even if you think the customer is being unfair, use diplomacy and remain professional. Contact them privately to resolve the issue in detail.
  • If you made a mistake, apologize, then contact the customers privately. 

Take full advantage of the Listing Management Tool to check your online reviews in the Reviews tab.

5: Regularly Check Your Website Health with a Site Audit

Simple things like broken pages, missing title tags, and confusing internal links can significantly hurt your rankings. Run a Site Audit Tool for a list of top errors and larger issues you may need to fix. 

Don’t forget to check your mobile stats by adjusting the settings and crawling the mobile version of your site. 

tips for local seo
Source: Unsplash.com

There are more ways that you can improve your local SEO game for your business and number one on the list should be giving us a call and getting a more thoughtful and thorough approach. We will determine what your needs and concerns are and from there create a more resolute action plan for the success of your website. Check out RxMedia for all your SEO concerns!

local seo guide
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5 Ways To Optimizing Your Local SEO

SEO is also known as search engine optimization. SEO is the process of taking steps to help a website or piece of content rank higher