5 local SEO tactics you need to implement
When it comes to running a small business, implementing the right local SEO tactics is paramount for converting more leads to paying customers. If you want to make more sales, receive more phone calls, and welcome more consumer visitations, you need to make sure your business is optimized for geo-specific Google searches. In this article we talk about 5 Local SEO Tactics that can help most small businesses rank higher on Google.
In other words, if your business appears in well-placed rankings on Google Maps, more locals will deem your business trustworthy and credible, and they’ll be more likely to purchase something there. With all of this in mind, we’re going to discuss the basics of the local SEO tactics that you’d be wise to implement.
Local SEO Basics
While the concept of search engine optimization is well-known in 2020, what does the more specific niche of local SEO entail? From a technical standpoint, this is the process of making sure that your website is optimized for geographically-specific keywords; usually, those that describe a company’s locale.
But how does that look in practice? Well, it’s one thing for someone to Google “bookstores”, and it’s an entirely different thing for them to search for “bookstores in Boston”. The latter represents a local keyword, that will provide information about a query related to a particular area. Apart from this, there are also keywords that Google intersects with GPS data about the user to provide an answer; that’s what happens when you search for “restaurants near me”.
Most people use Google Maps to find local service providers or product vendors, making the process of optimizing your business for Google Maps via local SEO tactics absolutely crucial. While this is more specific than general SEO, the process adheres to a pretty much identical set of principles.
When you’re conducting general SEO, you use the help of experts such as WP Full Care to design your website and optimize it to rank higher on regular search queries. Conversely, with local SEO, you’re mostly tweaking your listing on Google Maps. Your goal here is for Google to deem your business as a credible, legitimate enterprise that’s worth presenting to its users.
Other Local SEO Factors
The important web of backlinks that’s crucial for general SEO has its equivalent in local SEO as well, in the form of positive consumer reviews and local citations. Listings on major aggregate websites and social networks such as Facebook Places, Foursquare, or Yelp help as well.
Just as with general search results, before organic results are displayed, Google has three paid results placed above. So, what does that mean for the importance of local SEO tactics? Are web design and optimization for your listings not as important as paying for an ad? We’ll provide the answer below.
Local SEO Tactics vs Paid Ads
When you’re implementing local SEO tactics, there’s always the dilemma of paid advertisements versus local SEO. And this is not a new thing — it’s actually just an extension of a conundrum as old as digital marketing; should you invest in advertising or organic marketing?
At the end of the day, the answer comes from the relation between time and money. If you want to use local SEO tactics and slowly build an organic following, you will need to invest less money than you would into ads, but it takes far more time to do so.
On the other hand, paid advertisements produce results in terms of lead conversion pretty much instantly — pay-per-click campaigns are designed to immediately provide you with lots of traffic. The problem here is that you can’t sustain a digital marketing strategy for a long time on paid ads, at least not in any extensive capacity. In other words, this is a tactic, not a strategy.
Comparatively, the timeline for local SEO campaigns may vary. But one constant is the fact that you can’t expect significant results in less than half a year. And that’s in the very least — usually, it takes up to a year. Paid ads will get you leads much faster, but you can’t sustain that business model for long.
Cost-efficiency becomes an even bigger issue if you’re facing a lot of niche competition. Ads will become increasingly more expensive as more companies begin competing for the same local keywords. On top of all that, we need to remember that huge numbers of people use ad blockers — Internet users simply want to resist paid advertisements.
Google Maps Ranking Factors
When it comes to local SEO tactics, we’ve already described how and why Google Maps listings represent the pinnacle of your local digital marketing strategy. With that in mind, it’s important to note which factors decide your Google Maps rankings and the visibility of your business.
For one, the optimization of your business’ Google My Business listing is quite crucial. You need to successfully utilize subcategories and categories, and use the proper keywords in the title of your business. You don’t want to compete for geo-specific keywords that are actually too far away compared to the searcher.
Backlinks are also important, as we’ve already mentioned, though not in the traditional sense that you’re used to with General SEO. Here, we’re talking about inbound links that connect you to relevant niche blogs, review aggregates, and reputable authority sources on your niche subjects.
While on the subject of user reviews, Google’s algorithm is extremely passionate about the essence of these reviews, meaning both their quantity and their quality. For instance, Google notices how diverse user reviews are. This means that you’ll have better rankings if your business receives reviews on a wider variety of review websites.
Besides that, you also need to deal with the proper on-page optimization; the content you post needs to be optimized for your niche, as well as your phone number, address, and name.
If you have any comments or questions, leave them down below. If this was helpful, let us know.
Written by: Mac Frederick – Local SEO Expert