So you’ve wanted to start a business since forever, and you finally got around to making your dream come true. You’ve put in the endless hours of market research, hustled over various ways to sell your service/ product, got together a team of people to help and support you, and you’re ready to take over your market.
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All you need to know about Local SEO for your business
This is a great stage to start considering practical and effective Search Engine Optimization techniques that will enable your business to succeed. Discover the magic of Local SEO in this post as we uncover valuable information, methods and advantages of Local SEO for your local business to thrive.
What is Local SEO?
In the simplest terms; SEO localized to cater to the needs of your business market is known as Local SEO. It is a more streamlined and focus way of getting your business details out to the customers. The success of any business is being at the right place at the right time, so that the customers know your existence, performance, and promise when they need you the most.
In the world of technology driven businesses, Local SEO does just that. Regardless of how new your business is, or the scale of your business, you know it will only succeed if your target consumers know about it.
What are the advantages of local SEO for a business?
- As a marketing strategy, it enables you in reaching out to your target market
- Successful local SEO enables you to stand out from your competitors in local directories
- Customers can contact you easily via phones as they will have all the updated contact details available to them
- Increased traffic to your website drawn in by search engines
- It’s an easy and mostly free marketing technique that works efficiently
- Reference via backlinks and citation by local business directories and other websites adds value to your business
Getting started with Local SEO
You’ve got the drift of SEO and local SEO, then how do you start? 2018 is big in local SEO practices for businesses:
1. Accept facts
Google is the go-to for customers to find local services and products, people are becoming smart and don’t want random information about businesses that can’t cater to them, simply because they’re not in the same country.
More than ever before, users are logging into local search engines to find what they’re looking for, no matter how common or niche the service / product they want is. Even after getting recommendations in person; there’s a sense of need to find out what’s out there locally that will cater best to their requirement. Accept that your business will greatly depend on your Local SEO practices.
2. Get listed on Google My Business
You’ve done it yourself! You searched and clicked on the first few businesses that appeared on your search list. Be smart, and get there. Consumers will know important lead generating details about your business like NAP (Name, address, and phone number), Timings, location, etc. Google Maps will make it easier for the customers to know how to get to you, and how close you are to them.
An up-dated profile is essential to make the most of GMB, people are quick to disregard businesses with false, or incomplete information, so go ahead and ensure all information is detailed, updated, and clear. The beauty of being part of GMB is that you get reliable basic information about your customers, how they are able to find you, where they are coming from, how many clicked on your business etc. This in turn will help you plan and strategize for the future.
3. Maintain consistency in your NAP and include citation
Professionalism is everything; a consumer will be quick to judge your reliability based on you NAP details across all platforms. Ensure they are updated in ALL digital and print mediums. Social media handles and your GMB should have the exact same information, and all updates should happen together to avoid ambiguity.
Distribute this information across various websites for accurate citation. Don’t underestimate the power of citations in the web world; consumers will trust websites they have grown to like. Back links from relevant websites help a great deal too.
4. City Pages and relevant keywords
Go beyond Google Business listing if you want to target people around your city with; city pages. You can target any combination of product or service and metro area. This broadens your market, and awareness about your business. Relevant keywords included in your HTML, Meta-description, URL structure, body text etc. will increase visibility on search engines.
5. Review Sites
Appropriate review sites will drive customers to you with a sense of trust already built from the website. These customers are by this time interested, and have an idea about your business because of the review they have read.
Reviews enable customers to build a sense of trust, and decide on what they want from your business. Target good quality sites, and ensure that the details they have of your business are correct. Not all reviews will be positive, so take time out to respond to those and build a liable relationship with your customers.
6. HTML upgrade
Use Schema markup, (a specific code added to your HTML that enables you to improve the way your page is represented on the search engines). Through this code, Google recognizes certain specific elements of your page and tell the consumer what the content on your page means.
Having a schema markup boosts your rankings and improves click-thru rates as well. Majority of websites that rank on the first page of organic Google search results are HTTPS, ensure your website has an SSL certificate. This will inform search engines and users that your website is encrypted and secure.
7. Enlist on local search engines
Find out the most used local search engines and where you want your business to be displayed and just go for it. Consumers will sometimes browse through various search engines to see if they have any consistent brand / company / business that pops up.
Technological psychology plays a great role in this. What we see more frequently in a professionally satisfying manner; builds our trust and increases the prospects consumer – business contact for you.
8. Mobile optimization
An increasing number of populations is now browsing the web via cell phones, which is why Google turned to Mobile-First Index. In simple words; Google will now index and rank a website based on the content of their mobile site.
Ensure your website, is optimized properly, customers are turned off by websites that don’t load quickly, or don’t display relevant information clearly on their cell phones. And since majority of your customers are browsing via their hand-sets, you should step up to the plate and capitalize on this format.
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At a time where lead generation happens majorly through search engines, it’s no denying that SEO and specifically Local SEO can give an edge to a business. 2018 is the boom of Local SEO; you can’t dodge this tool and expect success in your business anymore. Growing trends in SEO require businesses to keep up in order to thrive, employ knowledgeable people to help you in this area; it’s not a place to compromise on if you want to succeed in this tech driven world!