Does your business serve people in a specific geographical location? For example, you run a restaurant in a particular city, a home cleaning service, or any enterprise with a physical address. Then you should learn about local SEO for small businesses, the advantage of positioning online so people can discover your business and its location.
When people ask me the importance of this type of Search Engine Optimization, I tell them to search for local services using Google and see what comes up.
Restaurant near me
The best cakes in Lagos
Where can I buy a phone in Dubai?
These queries will show the names of businesses in a location. They are the sellers who have taken their time to set up their business to appear in search results.
What is local SEO, and how it works for small businesses?
Local SEO for small businesses narrows your search engine marketing to people in a geographical location. This process enhances your online visibility in a given area for location-specific enterprises.
People consider both your online reputation and physical reputation nowadays. If they need a service or something, they are likely to look up for it online (which is wise, and better than walking around the street and looking for where they sell a product or offer a service).
By taking the time to enhance your online presence using local SEO tips, you are preparing your business to be discovered. Then you’ll get sales from a local area.
The importance of local SEO for small businesses:
- Market your products or services to people in a geographical location
- Create an avenue for people to reach you easily, especially if the services or products can be rendered or delivered to them
- Attract the right people that will actually buy your products and services
How to do local SEO for small businesses
Setting up local SEO allows your buyers to become content creators. People like to share memories and pictures online. If you give them the satisfaction they deserve, they will write reviews, post photos, and talk about you online. These are the things you need to enhance your online presence.
But let’s say you are just starting. Some businesses have established themselves as the biggest provider or seller in your locality. What can you do?
Step 1: Create a Google My Business account.
Most people use Google for search, and Google wants people to trust their results. Similarly, they try to show businesses that are trustworthy to other searchers.
So how do you appear like a trusted service provider in your locality?
- Create your account on Google my Business. Then get the business page verified.
- Create posts in your account
- Let your buyers share their reviews about your business online
- Respond to those reviews adding both your location and the name of your company
Step 2: Create a mobile-friendly website
According to Statista, 61% percent of searches are carried out on mobile devices in 2021. Therefore, you want to make your website friendly for this group to get the most out of local SEO for small businesses.
These are the tips for creating a mobile-friendly website:
- Focus on load time. Your pages should respond fast so that visitors will not lose interest and check someone else.
- Upload pictures of minimum quality. Remember, the higher the quality, the higher it loads.
- Set up your Google Search Consoles and Google Analytics. With these tools, you can analyze and detect problems on your website or pages.
Step 3: Perform an SEO Audit on your website
You need a plan that will put you ahead of your competitors, and that’s where an SEO audit comes. It covers four major things:
- What you have: content creation tools, SEO knowledge, a website
- What you want to achieve: rank for number one position for certain terms
- Your obstacles: competitors, technical SEO, content gaps
- What you need: tools, more skills, etc
If you have a new website, you need to create content and focus on long-tail keywords. But if you already have a website with existing content, you need to understand what’s lacking by studying your competitors and target audience.
If you already cover a lot of content, maybe you should focus on other things like building backlinks.
To execute this stage effectively, you need tools. You can use Ahref, Moz, Ubbersuggest.
Check my blog posts about blogging tools to find more helpful tools for SEO writing.
Step 4: Collect local SEO keywords
After your SEO audit, one of the questions is what keyword do I rank for. Next, you need to position yourself for what people are curious about in your locality.
Think about how people in your location will find solutions to their problems using your product or services. What keywords are they likely to type? Which of those is location-specific?
In Local SEO for small businesses, you want to focus on keywords focused on location. Here are some examples: where can I do tattoos? Tattoo shops near me etc.
How do you generate these keywords:
- Check Google Trend for keywords for the specific location.
- Check Google suggestions
- Determine the keywords your competitors are targeting
- Check social media for location-focused topics. It doesn’t have to be something directly related to your business. For instance, if you own a photo studio, you can create content about what to do in your city. At the end of such a post, you can add that people should check out your studio.
Finally, organize the local SEO keywords you have collected for your business.
Some will go under the awareness stage of the buyer’s journey. The others will be divided into the consideration stage or the decision stage.
Step 6: Create Content for a Local Audience
It’s local SEO for small businesses, after all. You need to create content for the local audience in your headlines, topic clusters, examples, and, most important, keyword choice.
At a glance, does your content interest the people in that locality? If it doesn’t, you edit and tailor it to your buyers. For example, “romantic things to do” is a great topic, but “romantic things to do in Cape town” is better for local SEO.
When you create content like this, you develop awareness for your products even if the person doesn’t need your services now. They are likely to remember your product or bookmark your page and then visit your physical address later.
Step 7: Create videos and image content
People like visuals. They want to hear about your services before they come around. More than that, they want to see and satisfy their curiosity. So you might as well create more visuals of your business and share them often.
Use Instagram or whatever platforms you think your targets are spending their time on. Encourage people to create videos and images while using your products. Then create content around these visuals.
You can also repurpose the written content you have created earlier. Share them on other channels.
Step 8: Create Content for Strangers too
Think of people who come to your location for holidays or vacations. How can your business help them? What content can you create for them without deviating too much from your niche or industry? Create guides if you can. For example, create a video tour of the city and upload it to your pages.
Step 9: Perform the best SEO Best practices.
I have covered some SEO writing tips on the blog. You should check them out. For a remember, you should do:
- Write content people will love
- Learn from your competitors
- Link one article to another like a path you want readers to follow from one page to another
- Build backlinks
- Use humor
- Answer what makes your business different? Then show that in your content.
Step 10: Don’t forget to use SEO best practices for all the stuff you create
Ensure your images are optimized for searches (include keywords in their names or alt tags). Also, you want to practice SEO when uploading videos, writing product descriptions or metatags, etc.
Step 11: Stay consistent with business information
These include names, titles, phone numbers. When you write content, you need to include the details about your business. What’s the point if people can’t get to you or have the wrong contact details?
Search engines also care about how you describe your details. So stay consistent when you are writing citations and don’t confuse anyone.
Step 12: Build local backlinks
The number of quality backlinks to your website is important for ranking. The best backlinks for local SEO are from specific sources related to your location. For example, your local news website or an authority website dedicated to your city are good examples.
You should also consider guest-posting or creating content on other platforms that can bring organic traffic of local audiences to your blog. For example, check online communities related to your town or city on Reddit and Facebook.
Step 13: Build Citations
Citation is the process of increasing the number of mentions your business has online. That’s the essence of creating Google My Business. However, that may not be enough. So you want to develop citations yourself.
These are places you can build strong citations
- Google My Business
- Facebook pages
Encourage reviews and conversations on these platforms. Respond politely and include the correct name of your business.
Step 14: Get people talking on Social media
You have to be active on social media. That’s where your buyers spend most of their time.
It’s a good start to have conversations revolving around your city or business on social media. The more people say and share positive things about you, the more it is for your business to get more referrals and search-related to the name of your business. Finally, you’ll get more sales.
There are many ways to create a conversation around your products or business:
- Contact influencers with a few followers to share or post content about your products or services (influencer marketing).
- Depending on your budget and geographical location, a person with 10,000 – 100 000 followers on any platform is good enough to start.
- Before choosing influencers, try to determine if they are right for your business. For example, do they talk about your city often? Are they located in your town? Are there audiences in your city?
- Do giveaways. Give a simple request online and give something to several people. This can be a percentage discount when they come to your physical business location.
- Find a way to participate in community activities.
- So it’s a festival in your town, and you own a tattoo shop? Can you jump on it?
- How about a 30% price slash for people who visit the day of the festival between a certain period. How about a gift or 100 customized t-shirts for the first 100 customers?
- Don’t forget to take pictures and share them online.
- Quizzes, polls, and questions about your city. Educate and entertain your website visitors, and they will continue to talk about you.
All of these are based on your budget and your type of business. But the rule is that you should encourage conversations about your local small business. The discussions and reviews will make Google push your business page higher up in its ranking, depending.
Learn How to market a product
Step 15: Check your progress and iterate.
Use Google Analytics to measure the success of your local SEO strategy. You can also use tools such as:
Finally, create an environment where it is easy to buy
You might ask, can you just stick with social media?
I will not say no to this idea. You can generate many sales with social media marketing for your small business. But if you really want to take it a little bit higher, you need a website and local SEO for small businesses.
Social media has a lot of distractions. You want to move the conversation about your product to a place where you can control what your buyers see and how they feel. So setting up everything for your business from website to Google My Business page to social media is like using all the powers in your arsenal. It gives you more control. It’s rare to search for terms that relate to your business, and the first thing that comes up is a social media page.
Now, good luck in executing local SEO.
Are you struggling with any of the activities in this article?
- You are not sure what kind of content to create on social media or website
- The content you develop is not getting engagement
- You need an SEO strategy that will bring you a fair share of internet traffic.
Tell me about it using this contact form.