A Small Business’s Guide to Local Search

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Local SEO, SEO Training

Nearly 70% of all online activities begin with search engines like Google. Meanwhile, nearly 50% of all Google searches are local. With local search engine optimization (SEO), you can start appearing in front of nearby customers.

Local search marketing can help you boost awareness, attract more traffic, and step up sales! You can set your business up for growth and success while improving your ROI, too.

Not sure where to get started? Here are the nine strategies you need for improving your Google local search rankings.

With these tips, you can start getting in front of more customers than ever before.

Boost your rankings with these nine easy tips today.

1. Claim and Optimize Your GMB Listing

First, make sure to claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing.

The GMB site doubled in organic traffic over the span of a single year. In fact, about 60% of smartphone users contact businesses through GMB listings. Another 50% use Google to get shopping recommendations while in stores.

Your GMB listing will appear in the top right corner of a Google local search page. The listing will display helpful information about your business. For example, consumers can use your listing to find your business:

  • Name
  • Hours
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Address/directions
  • Photos and videos
  • Customer reviews
  • Recent updates

The first step to a successful local search engine optimization strategy is updating your listing. If you haven’t already, create or claim your listing online.

Then, make sure to optimize your listing with the correct information. Keep your name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistent. Your NAP should look the same everywhere.

That consistency could improve your local search marketing strategy.

Try adding product and services pages to your listing. You can better inform customers and draw them to your business. You can also use categories and subcategories to help people find you online.

If you make any changes to your business information, update your GMB listing right away. Otherwise, you could risk confusing customers.

They might visit the wrong location or call the wrong number. You’ll miss a chance to make a sale as a result.

2. Grab Other Local Listings

Take the time to optimize your business listing on other online directories as well. For example, consumers might find you on:

  • Best of the Web
  • About Us
  • HotFrog
  • Angie’s List
  • Bing Places
  • Yelp
  • FourSquare

Make sure your NAP is consistent. Otherwise, a discrepancy could hurt your local search rankings.

3. Research Your Customers

Before using the rest of these local search marketing strategies, take the time to research your target audience. Understanding your customers will help you appeal to their interests. You can start creating website content with your target audience in mind.

If you’re targeting a broad audience group, segment them into small personas. For example, you might consider breaking customers apart based on:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Household income
  • Marital status
  • Language
  • Education
  • Location
  • Buying behaviors
  • Interests
  • Hobbies
  • Pain points

Understanding your customers will help you create personalized content.

Consider each group’s search behaviors, too. What questions do your customers ask while they’re online? Think of ways you can use your experience and expertise to help them.

Make a list of target keywords using Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or Google Trends. You can also work with an SEO agency to gather the information you need. Choose long-tail keywords that include your location.

4. Create Engaging Content

Now that you have your keyword research, you can start creating blog content. Your content can appear on a Google local search page during a consumer’s search. Then, they can visit your website and realize you have the answers they need.

Creating engaging content can establish your expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (EAT). Consumers will start trusting you and choosing your business above the rest.

When creating content, try different forms of content, including:

  • Blog posts/articles
  • Polls
  • Quizzes
  • Videos
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Lists

Use your website data to determine which pieces of content boost your local search rankings. Then, use that data to optimize your local search marketing strategy.

If you have more than one business location, add location pages to your website, too. Make sure to embed a Google Map to the page as well.

5. Ask for Customer Reviews

Ask your happy customers if they’re willing to post their comments and reviews on your GMB listing. Gathering positive reviews can improve your brand’s credibility. More consumers might decide to trust your business based on peer recommendations.

Customer reviews can improve your Google local search rankings, too.

6. Go Mobile

If you want to reach local customers, make sure you’re mobile. If your website isn’t mobile-optimized, visitors might struggle to explore your content. They could leave without clicking around.

Your bounce rate will increase, which could hurt your local search rankings.

Instead, work with a website design and development expert. Make sure your website is mobile-optimized and fast.

Google uses mobile-first indexing to determine page rankings. If you’re not optimized, your ranking could drop.

7. Stay Social

As you start creating content for your blog, share it online. Sharing your content on social media can help you generate referral traffic.

As you generate more web traffic, Google will take notice. It could boost your ranking, helping you reach more local customers.

8. Start Link-Building

Link-building is important to your entire search engine optimization strategy. Try to generate links from high-authority websites. First, make sure to create high-quality content those websites want to link to.

Consider guest blogging as well. Then, link to your website within the post. You’ll gain backlinks and referral traffic.

Don’t forget internal links, too. Internal links will send readers to other pages on your site. Your clickthrough rate could increase, boosting your ranking.

9. Structure Your Data

You can also improve your local search marketing strategy with schema. Adding schema markup to your website will help Google index your content.

You can use a geographic markup to help Google find your address, phone number, and other details.

Make sure to follow Google’s guidelines to avoid creating spammy schema markups.

Boost Your Brand: 9 Tips for Boosting Your Local Search Rankings

Improving your local search rankings can help you appear in front of more consumers. As brand awareness increases, you can draw more people to your store. Then, you can boost business and set yourself up for success.

Give these nine strategies for boosting your Google local search rankings a try!

Need help boosting your SEO rankings? We can help you beat the competition with organic traffic.

Get started with a free analysis today.