Right now… right at this very second… there are people who are searching for the products and/or services you offer. They may be across the globe, or they could be right down the street. As much as 46 percent of all Google searches have local intent; that is, people are looking for a restaurant, plumber, lawyer, chiropractor, shoe store, etc., near them.
The traffic is there: are you leveraging the opportunity to capture the attention of prospective customers and clients? With these 7 actionable local SEO tips and tricks, you can achieve your 2022 business-building goals.
Local SEO Strategies for 2022
About one-third of consumers in the United States use search engines to find local businesses every day. Make sure they find you:
- Create Your Google Business Profile
Do not pass Go; do not collect $200. Navigate over to Google Business Profile immediately! This is step one in boosting your profile in the search engine results pages. A profile enables you to:
- Manage how your business appears across Google properties, such as Search and Maps.
- Reach customers within a designated service area. It makes it easy for them to find you online, contact, and visit your location in person. Over three-quarters of people who search for a local business online will visit within 24 hours.
- Increase credibility among consumers. Google-verified businesses are twice as likely to be viewed as reputable - and in this world, trust is paramount.
If you haven’t created your profile, now’s the time. If you have, check that it:
- Is completely filled out
- Includes a compelling description of your business
- Lists your products and/or services
- Features customer reviews
- Includes FAQs and answers
- Provides helpful information via informative posts
- List Your Business With Relevant Directories
As dominant as Google is in the search world, it’s not the only game in town. Take advantage of other online directories to ensure the people who are searching for businesses like yours find you. Depending on your field, consider:
- Bing Places
- Yellow Pages
- Chamber of Commerce
- Industry-specific directories (e.g. lawyers may list on Avvo, Nolo, FindLaw, lawyers.com, Justia, etc.)
- Location-specific directories (e.g. in South Florida, you can list your business on the Florida Business Directory)
Listings in these directories are a small ranking factor. Where they play a powerful role, however, is in building trust and credibility with consumers and increasing traffic to your website and, quite possibly, your physical location.
- Ensure Business Information Is Consistent
Your business information will be scattered across the internet, on directories, your website, your social media profiles, and more. It is critical that it be consistent, especially when it comes to NAP, or name, address, and phone number. Inconsistent information is not only confusing and frustrating to consumers (who will just find a competitor), it can harm your search rankings.
Scour your online presence to ensure all information is accurate, up to date, and consistent.
- Remember: Location, Location, Location
One of the most fundamental local SEO strategies for 2022 (and beyond) is to include your location information in key areas to boost visibility. Be sure to include your specific area in:
- Body of Text (e.g. blogs, web copy, etc.)
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
For example, if you are creating an About Us page for your custom home building business, you may title it: “Most Experienced Custom Home Builder In Port St. Lucie, Florida.” You would also add, where it makes sense in terms of readability, phrases like, “Port St. Lucie, Florida home builders,” “looking for a house in Port St. Lucie,” “buying a home in Port St. Lucie,” etc. These keywords would also appear in the meta description, headings, and footers.
This is not about keyword-stuffing. In fact, please never do that! It detracts from the user experience - and Google is not a fan! When the location makes sense and is helpful to searchers, add it.
Location-specific URLs may also be warranted.
- Create Local Content
Your business may be relevant to those further afield; for example, if you have an eCommerce presence or locations in different regions, it makes sense to create content that applies to a wider audience. However, if your focus is on your specific location, then you need to engage in content marketing strategies that are optimized for the folks in your area.
It makes sense, right? Let’s say you are a home builder in South Florida: your prospects have very different needs (e.g. construction techniques and materials meant to withstand hurricane-force winds) than someone living in New England or the Southwest. Writing content about prepping for snowstorms may drive traffic to your site but it’s not going to drive traffic to your door.
That’s an obvious example, but the same reasoning applies whether you are selling shoes or promoting legal services. Make sure it is relevant to the people in your location. It’s a good idea to incorporate events in your industry, local events/news, and, of course, location-specific keywords.
- Encourage Customer Reviews
Consumers trust the words and experiences of their peers more than they do brands, at least before they establish a relationship. And, studies indicate that they trust online reviews as much as they do word-of-mouth from those they know personally. This is powerful.
Customer reviews are worth their weight in gold when it comes to establishing trust and credibility - and driving bottom-line results. Google prohibits you from soliciting reviews in bulk or selectively soliciting reviews. However, you can (and should) ask customers to provide feedback. You can do this without violating Google policy, but use caution. If you’re not sure, we’re happy to review your techniques and provide guidance for both requesting reviews and using them for maximum impact.
- Optimize for Mobile
Mobile devices drive some $1.4 trillion in local sales, and 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to get in touch with a business in their area if they have a mobile-friendly website. Further, about a third of mobile searches are location-specific. Ensuring your site is mobile-friendly or mobile-first is mission-critical.
This doesn’t mean replicating your desktop site for mobile; needs are different. Cut extraneous images, make key information above the fold, minimize the amount people have to swipe, pinch, or tap, and ensure vital content is easily and quickly found.
Local SEO Audit: Strategies to Boost Your Bottom Line
Many of these local SEO tips and tricks can be implemented easily and quickly. Others require a bit more planning to ensure they are successful in driving traffic to your business. Start with a local SEO audit to evaluate your online presence and put strategic changes into action to benefit your bottom line. Contact THAT Agency for your local SEO audit.