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7 Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

LOCAL SEO

While it’s an important investment of your time and money to build a brand new website, none of it will matter if your customers never find it. But with endless pages of content available on the internet, how do you make yours stand out?

This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in — by optimizing your content, your target audience will have an easier time connecting with you, gaining you leads.

What is Local SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is a process used to improve visibility on search engines like Google. When you follow SEO best practices, you’ll be able to gather organic traffic from your target audience’s web searches.

Local SEO is slightly more specific. This targets keywords to help search engines pull your websites for local searches. For example, if you’re boosting the visibility of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, well-done local SEO will cause your website to pop up when someone googles “restaurants in Austin TX” or “restaurants near me” from the area.

7 Local SEO Tips

While many businesses aim to rank #1 on Google, achieving and maintaining such visibility is very difficult. However, putting in the work can reap immense rewards for local businesses. If you’re not happy with your business’s online presence, use these local SEO tips to spread your brand recognition locally.

1. Conduct an SEO Audit

If you want to improve your local SEO, you need to know where to start. To determine what parts of your website are falling flat, conduct an SEO audit. These involve analyzing your website and comparing it to SEO best practices so you know what you’re missing. A couple of great tools to help with this are SEMrush.com and Ahrefs.com.

2. Target Local Keywords

It takes hours to find the right keywords. However, spending time brainstorming and researching your competitors’ keywords can help you come up with a list. Most people find success with a mixture of long-tail and broad keywords. Once you’re able to gather non-localized keywords, you can then move closer to your company’s location, where you can use existing customer data to see which regions you should target with your marketing strategies.

3. Focus on Google my Business and Business Directories

Any successfully-optimized website starts with an account on Google My Business. This will allow your business to pop up in the “suggested companies” section in the sidebar of Google’s search results and make your company visible on Google Maps. When you create an account and claim your business, be sure to beef up the details and provide as much information as you can to help first-time customers reach you.

However, remember that Google My Business isn’t the only directory in existence. You will need to provide details for each one, including Yelp!, Facebook/Meta, YellowPages, Bing, and MapQuest. It’s critically important you get these listings right the first time, because each of them can take many months to update. If you need help with local listings, or the process is confusing to you, we have a service for that. Get in contact and we can chat more about it.

4. Include Mobile Layouts

Mobile accessibility is vital for a variety of reasons. First, websites that have mobile layouts automatically rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), whether or not the search happens from a mobile device.

Second, a majority of mobile searches are local, which is why the mobile accessibility of your website is especially important when it comes to local SEO. Think about it: if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will take a long time to load or it may not be responsive. This is certain to increase your bounce rate and decrease your conversion rate. To improve your website, use a responsive WordPress theme; these ensure that everything on your website can easily be read on mobile screens.

5. Create Local Content

Once you have your local keywords, it’s time to put them to use by creating new webpages – or many businesses use blogs for this purpose. Having a constant flow of local content can truly enhance your SEO ranking, and it will also attract more organic traffic to your website. However, if you want your blog to succeed, your content will need to be relevant, exciting, and informative for the readers in your area.

6. Use Citations Consistently

A business citation will include your business’ name, phone number, and address. Presenting your customers with this basic information will be helpful for you and your business — it’s also one of the leading factors for local SEO. Keeping your citations consistent will also help to establish your business and your brand as a legitimate company. However, be sure that your citations are the same wherever they appear, because search engine algorithms aren’t perfect; even a misplaced comma can reduce its efficacy.

7. Get on Social Media

A substantial social media presence is an essential part of all local SEO strategies. Mastering the art of social media will allow you to start conversations and drive social reactions, comments, and shares; this may even help you land the top spot for your local Google listings. While it’s certainly hard to start using social media for your business, consider spreading the word on platforms like Facebook or Twitter to drum up some attention.

Use Local SEO to Increase Organic Traffic

Even with an ocean of information available on the net, small businesses can still make their way to the top of the ranks thanks to local SEO. With the right amount of researching, rehauling, sharing, and tweaking, you’ll be able to get your business into your target audience’s Google results and bring more leads into your business. Thrive Business Marketing has been helping businesses achieve Local SEO success for more than two decades. If you’d like help, or just some free guidance – contact us for a brief consultation.

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