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SEO Tips: How to Win in Local Search

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Local SEO is indispensable for small business owners.

In 2021, there are more reasons than ever to focus on local search optimisation, even if you’re one of the many brands without a physical store presence. Understanding how constantly connected consumers move between devices, searches and channels–and where they’re making decisions within that journey–is key in getting your brand in front of on-the-go prospects.

Search is often the first stop for consumers with a need. Over the last two years, we’ve seen “where to buy” search queries increase by 85%. Consumers will search and compare before even visiting your store or website. And the results and information presented to them is what drives those in-store visits and actions. Fully 76% of location searches end in a same-day visit to a store.

Even once a consumer is in your physical space, however, they’re likely still searching. They’re comparison shopping, reading reviews, browsing your website and more. Does your content support the next step in their journey–completing the transaction?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of making your company visible for geographically related searches. It is an effective way to market your local business online. It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they are looking for them online. Simply put, if you want more local business, you need more local SEO services.

Fewer than 50 percent of businesses currently use local SEO services. What that means for you is a big opportunity to get ahead and stand out in directories, maps, local searches, and social media.

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Here are the top 4 ways you can make your local SEO successful:

1. Create a Google My Business Account

Optimising your Google listing (aka your Business Profile) is perhaps the most effective way to rank higher on Google Maps as well as gain visibility in Google Search local results. In order to get access to your Business Profile to make these optimisations, however, you need a Google My Business account associated with that profile. Once you provide all of the requested information in your Google My Business account dashboard, all of that information will be added to your Business Profile, which appears in Google Search local results, the Google Search Knowledge Panel, and Google Maps.

To optimise your Business Profile on Google, ensure that you:

  • Create a Google My Business account and verify ownership of the business
  • Provide accurate and up-to-date information
  • Include your logo, hours of operation, acceptable payment methods, the product or service you sell, and plenty of images
  • Encourage your customers to review your business online
  • Respond sincerely to customer reviews
  • Publish posts (announcing products, events, and special offers) to your Business Profile using the Google My Business dashboard.

2. Cover All Service Areas

More than anything else, on-the-go consumers are all about the convenience of their options for solving their problem. Whether or not your brand actually has physical locations, local and that intangible benefit that is convenience are undoubtedly linked.

Put another way, the consumer behavior of searching “near me” doesn’t change when the business operates on service areas rather than store locations.

A national beverage brand, for example, was not appearing for local non-branded searches or in Map Pack results. This was because their physical presence in the U.S. consisted of only under 100 large national distribution centers. With little local presence, the company had no listings to entice the over 1 million consumers searching specifically for beverage and water delivery each month.

3. Reviews from Happy Customers help your Local SEO

Getting your customers to write glowing reviews for your business doesn’t just optimise your Google My Business presence; it also encourages more local customers to buy from you.

Here are some tips to encourage customers to leave reviews:

  • Ask for a review in person after the close of a sale
  • Send a post-purchase email or text asking customers to write a review (but only after you’ve screened them via an internal survey to ensure you’re not approaching dissatisfied customers)
  • Respond to existing reviews in a professional way, thanking reviewers and addressing complaints in not-so-favorable reviews

Note: Google says it’s okay to ask your customers for reviews

4. Create a Dedicated Webpage for Each Product/Service You Offer

While it can be tempting to just lump all of your products or services together in one big page, resist doing so. Instead, dedicate one page to each unique product or service you offer.

Your local SEO isn’t as powerful if you lump everything into one page because search engines tend not to see your brand as an authority in one specific area. This lowers your ranking possibilities.

If you’re a business without different products or services, but have various locations, simply utilise location-based copy for each page. For instance, “digital marketing” will become “Belfast digital marketing agency” or “ Best digital marketing agency in Belfast. ”

Local SEO: More Important Than Ever

If you’re a small business owner, getting web visits and leads from users in a different city, state, or country won’t do anything to build your business. With local SEO, you increase traffic from consumers in your specific service area, which means you’ll get a higher visit-to-sale rate. Hiring a local SEO company like Vindicta Digital Marketing Agency is the most efficient and reliable way of boosting your local SEO and increasing your SERP rankings.

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