If your business operates locally or needs to get more local traffic to its site, then local SEO strategies are the way to go.
Apart from the ‘technical SEO’ which improves user experience (such as optimising page load speed, or making sure your site performs better on mobile searches), local SEO differs a bit from a regular SEO strategy.
The approach is much more centred around the wants and expectations of a local audience. The size of the audience might be smaller, but local audiences are, on average, more likely ready to convert when they look for you in Google Search.
Think of the “near me” type of search query. A user looking for ‘washing machine repair near me’ is likely looking for someone to repair their washing machine now, rather than later. They are looking for a phone number to call this second and access this type of service.
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It’s greatly different from a “common washing machine issues” type of queries, where the user might be looking for general information to diagnose the washing machine themselves.
And focusing your efforts on local SEO can pay off a lot, especially if you’re a small business. Around 46% of all searches on Google include local intent, and a purchase follows around 28% of all of them.
If you’re looking for effective local SEO tips, we at Australian Internet Advertising have 6 great and simple ways to kick off your strategy:
1. Claim Your Local Listings
A local listing is a profile your business has on various directories. Some of these directories can be broad, while others are more specific, or location-centred. And some might have already been automatically generated for your business, without you realizing it!
These listings are incredibly efficient ways of connecting with local audiences, who often turn to a local directory looking for products and services. Not only that, but they can appear in search engines sooner than your newer site, which needs a bit more time to build its local SEO strategies.
Finding these local listings can be a bit tricky, but tools like Moz Local can make it a lot easier. With it, you can discover all the listings associated with your business, just by entering your business name. With this information, Moz will provide you with all the listings of your business, which you can then claim and provide with more information for a potential customer who might find yours through a local directory.
2. Spruce up Your Google My Business Page
Google My Business is like its own business page, only it remains within the Google Search landscape.
If you search for the example “washing machine repair near me,” the search engine will not just provide you with a list of websites as it would in an informational search query.
Instead, it will offer a list of local businesses with a preview containing some essential information:
- Address and phone number
- Business description
- Google Maps preview
- Product or service reviews
- Working hours
- Website link (and other links you need to promote)
With Google My Business, you can also appear in searches people make in Google Maps directly and show them all the information they might need to make a decision.
A GDN profile is a staple local SEO tactic that allows you to get more customers through your threshold, and like other local listings, you may already have one set up (Google allows users to add this sort of information to ensure their listings are up to date).
The problem is, consumers might not always have the most accurate information, so you must log in to your Google My Business account and claim your listing. Then, you should optimize this business page as you would any other landing page or asset of your small business:
- Boost your unique value proposition
- Add CTAs to encourage a potential customer to buy, call, or visit
- Add photos and links to more resources, etc.
- Make sure the information regarding your contact information, hours of operation, and address are accurate
3. Get Reviews
This is still part of Google My Business, but reviews are so important that they deserve their own spot on the list.
A potential customer who doesn’t know your business can use the reviews to make the ultimate decision: to convert or to keep looking.
Going back to our previous example of the washing machine repair service, a user will likely not know a lot about the businesses featured in the SERP. So, they will need to look at the listing’s reviews, to see what other people have to say:
- Are they trustworthy?
- Are they cheap or expensive?
- Do they come to fix your washing machine right away?
- Are they good at what they do?
By encouraging your customers to leave reviews, you’re increasing the chances of a potential customer becoming a converting consumer.
Listings with reviews are seen as high-quality, credible, and active, and even if you have some bad ones, if you respond to them you can still make a positive impact by showing a potential customer how you handle a bad experience.
4. Add Location Pages to Your Site
If your business operates in multiple locations, it’s a very good idea to create landing pages for each city or area. Search engines can then easily locate these location pages and deliver the appropriate page to the search results.
For instance, if our washing machine repair service operates both in Adelaide and Sydney, having two distinct pages can ensure their website appears in both queries. The potential customer is shown the page that features their location right in the result, so they won’t have to double-check the information to make sure the local business is local.
5. Create Local Content
Search engines love content, and creating content that features local keywords is an amazing local SEO strategy you should employ. These pages can help you rank higher in the results, as Google will see you’re offering high-quality content created specifically for the local searcher.
And when it’s specifically for them, it usually means it’s more accurate and close to what they need to read.
You can feature this content on a dedicated landing page, but also blog posts, and articles published on local sites and news outlets, to get some local backlinks as well.
6. Optimise for Voice Search
With digital assistants on the rise, optimising for voice search is slowly (but surely) becoming a priority for many businesses, including small businesses.
Right now, people are turning to Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, and other voice assistants for a lot of different purposes:
- 30% of them shop online or order food
- 46% use voice search to find out information on local businesses daily
- 76% use voice search to find out information on local businesses weekly
- 21% of people end up calling the business they voice searched for
Voice search could be the reason a new customer makes a call – that is, if you optimise your business for it.
If you set up your Google My Business listing, you’re already on the right track, since the Google Assistant will use that information to present to the searcher.
But, you can also optimise the content on your website for voice search, and ensure that other assistants (which make the sin of not using Google) find your site as well:
- Use conversational language, as people use the voice assistant using regular language (‘where can I find a good washing machine repairman in Adelaide’) versus writing;
- Focus on long-tail keywords in your content, especially location pages;
- Use structured data to make sure your content gets featured in “rich answers;”
- Include frequently asked questions, which can match a voice search query and be featured in the assistant’s answer;
- Optimise for mobile, especially in terms of page load times
Tap into Your Local Audience Now
Australian Internet Advertising is here to help all small businesses make the most out of their local SEO strategies. We can make sure you’re covering all the major ranking factors and lead your business to success.
Contact us now online, or call us at 1300 304 640.