When it comes to traffic, everyone wants big numbers. But if you operate a brick-and-mortar storefront or a local business that provides a service, it doesn’t matter how much traffic you get if it doesn’t bring in conversions and sales. You don’t need big numbers… you need local SEO.
Local SEO is a potent way to drive people to your physical business location. It also helps ensure that your business appears real, legitimate, and authoritative within the Google search results of nearby potential customers.
Local SEO Thing #1: Optimize For Voice Search
No one thinks that customers always and only search for things with their voice (although 41% of users now search using their voice once per day). However, we strongly suspect that the way your customers search for your product or services is closer to the way they speak; people tend to search with natural language (phrases or meaningful sentence fragments) more so than with the keyword-only searches typical in the past.
When someone is out on the town and feeling hungry for pizza, they do not typically Google “Pizza.”
Instead, they will look for ‘Pizza Near Me’ or ‘Best Pizza In [CITY NAME].’
Optimizing your site and content for the way people actually look for things online will help you rank better for these localized searches. It will also futureproof your site for the continual growth of voice assistants.
For more talk on voice search, check out How to Optimize for Voice Search.
Local SEO Thing #2: Be Consistently Consistent
The little details matter when it comes to Local SEO. Presenting your business information consistently—especially the physical address—is crucial because Google assesses your legitimacy through such consistency.
It may sound like nitpicking, but if your business is located at 123 North Christmas Ave, then you should always refer to it as such—and never 123 N. Christmas Ave. Be consistent with your location information because it helps reduce issues with local listings, and it shows the bots you care about your local business data.
Local SEO Thing #3: Actually, this is Hyperlocal SEO
You don’t just live in your city, you live in a neighborhood. So do your customers.
When optimizing your content for hyperlocal SEO, make sure you include the neighborhood you are located in and also the locations your customers may live, work, or shop in. This helps drive local searches including those specific keywords, as the algorithms will understand the local nature of your content and deliver it to local searchers.
If you have a business in Bushwick, Brooklyn, your business is located THERE—not just the more general New York City. Optimizing for all three—Bushwick, Brooklyn, and New York City—will net you the best possible ranking potential.
Thing #4: Own Your Listing
Your Google Business Profile listing is one of the most important tools in driving local traffic online. Make full use of it.
If you haven’t already claimed your listing, do so. If you have, then optimize! Here are five easy to complete areas you can use to improve your Google Business Profile listing.
- Flesh out your business description to include language that will drive a user to want to engage with your business.
- Showcase your products directly within your listing.
- Add photos. Photos help boost engagement on your local listings.
- Use the Posts functionality of Google Business Profile; it’s like a micro-blog for your local listing page that gives information to users directly within the search results and allows you to promote sales and products to local searchers.
- When it comes to your Primary Category within GMB make sure you choose wisely. If you are a pizza place, make sure you choose the category Pizza Restaurant and not just Restaurant. This attention to detail is necessary for Google to understand when to show your business over another location.
The more you put care into your business information online, the better it will likely perform in search.
Thing #5: Show Authority
It’s not enough just to rank locally. If potential customers have doubts that you are a reputable business, they are not likely to spend their money on your goods or services. To satisfy the need for credibility, you need a local review strategy.
Encourage your customers to leave 5-star reviews when they are satisfied with your business. Whether this is via a card you hand out to a customer or through a follow-up email, reviews are a major factor in convincing a local customer to make a purchase. They will have a big impact on your local performance.
Once you have reviews, show them off. Use plugins to feature the reviews on your website, and share every good review you get on social media. Respond to the reviews you get from customers on Google and Facebook. It is this attention to detail and care that may sway another customer to your side. And it shows local searchers that you are to be trusted.
When it comes to local SEO, no one of these tactics alone will bring your business success within the search engines; rather, a finely optimized and cultivated combination of the 5 areas above can help drive traffic with higher buyer intent.
At DOM, we’re local SEO wizards and more than ready to get you optimized for local traffic. Feel free to reach out today and let’s put together a plan that works for your SEO needs.