Businesses must now adapt their digital marketing strategies to appropriately target local customers in the era of hyperlocal search. Local SEO optimization involves improving your website to appear higher for queries in a specific region. By taking the proper steps, a company can increase search engine results page (SERP) visibility, drive relevant organic traffic, and earn a spot on Map Pack, the listing group of three local businesses that dominate Google Maps.
The internet allows you to reach billions of people worldwide, but if you’re like many small or local businesses, you’re not concerned with world domination. What makes your dental practice work is your local community, whether city or county. So, with patients having multiple choices about where to get dental products and treatments today, how do you ensure they find your dental office first?
You do everything you can to get your website to the top of the search engine rankings! Fortunately, there are steps you can take to tip the scale of your site in your favor. From on-page optimization to building inbound links shared by social media, here’s the ultimate guide on optimizing your website for local search to dominate the SERP.
Why Improve Local Seo? This Is In The Numbers
- Nearly 3 billion search queries per month include local terms
- 70% of online searchers will use local search to find offline businesses
- 20% of searches on Google are local
How to Improve Local Search on Your Site?
For local SEO optimization, blogs play a vital role. Every new blog is a new indexed page for your website, a new page for geo-targeting search terms, and a new opportunity to be found in search engine results pages (SERPs). If you need help finding geo-targeted content, consider providing customer success stories and case studies.
Write articles about complementary local services. If you sell screwdrivers, talk to people who sell screws in your area. It allows you to conveniently write useful content about your geographic area so you don’t run into embarrassing keyword stuffing that Google’s algorithm penalizes. Plus, it can build goodwill with local businesses, introduce you to new clients, and potentially re-engage you.
Optimize the five key elements of on-page SEO. This means your page titles, URLs, title tags, image alt text, and page content must be optimized for local terms.
Next how to do local SEO optimization is to write articles on local and industry news. Stay updated with the latest happenings in your community and industry for blog material. This will earn you high scores in the SERPs, as the latest Google Panda update has started rewarding more timely content than in the past. Even if nothing is happening directly related to your industry or location, research changes in local industry trends and discuss how local events may affect your industry.
Optimize your website for mobile devices. Local search and mobile search go hand in hand. 40% of Google Maps is on mobile devices, with 150 million mobile users. Some of the most popular ways people use your site in the mobile environment are to find reviews, find directions to their site, and find contact information. Make your website mobile-friendly and make it easy for them to use.
How to Improve Local Search Off Your Site?
One of the most important things in local SEO optimization is that you register your business with Google Map Places. According to Google, there are approximately 50 million Google Places pages, and business owners have claimed over 4 million business listings. This is an excellent opportunity for local businesses to appear in Google Places results for specific search terms. But to do that, you must have your business registered with Google Places and have a well-optimized website.
Submit to a local directory. The more local directories your website submits to, the better your chances of being discovered and receiving inbound links.
Become a celebrity. The higher your status in the community (online and offline), the more people will talk about you. Become a guest blogger, talk to others in your industry (actively, of course!), and act as a resource for the community. If you actively participate in the community conversation, the hype will surround you through inbound links, social media growth, and press coverage.
Post your content on social media, especially your Google+ business page. Google believes that sharing content on social networks is now more important than ever. Google+ now has more consistent business, social media, and search pages. More importantly for local businesses, Google+ business pages started appearing in Google Places search results.
Above all, show up on local review sites. 77% of online shoppers base their purchasing decisions on reviews. If your clients are looking for reviews of you, make it easy for them to discover how great you are by accepting your presence on online review sites. However, claim your listing. Ask customers to post their great experiences with you. Yes, some negative reviews can sneak in, but would you rather be actively involved in building a positive online reputation than passively maintain a lackluster reputation?
Implementing effective local SEO optimization is critical for companies looking to dominate the SERP and packaging maps. By following the above-mentioned steps you can now easily improve your local SEO optimization. Hence, you can increase your exposure and attract more local customers by optimizing your website, creating a strong online presence, using a local link-building strategy, engaging on social media, focusing exclusively on mobile optimization, and monitoring performance metrics.