When customers need to find a local business, they get on their phones and go straight to Google (or, for some people, Bing).
Customers search for local businesses to help them solve a problem — a bakery for their wedding cake, a place meet for their next first date, or a window cleaning company to clean their house windows.
Will customers find your business in search?
They’ll have to if you want to be successful. According to recent research, 97 percent of customers find out about a local business online.
Google can place you on the first page of a customers’ search results — which will generate more leads — if you take the following steps.
A Good Local SEO Strategy for Generating Leads Starts with Your Website.
Your website needs to provide a good content experience for the user, which will therefore help with your SEO.
Google likes sites that are easy for the user to use no matter the device. As a result, your website needs to be responsive.This means design elements respond to the device it’s on. Let’s say I’m looking at a website on a desktop, then I look at that same website on my phone. If I have a good experience on both devices (meaning all images for example are proportional to my device), and it lo then the site is responsive.
Google needs to see the connection between your website and Google My Business. This way you will show up in Google maps. Google My Business helps you get into Google’s local pack.
What’s the local pack? The local pack is what comes up when a customer conducts a local search. Like this:
Make sure your business’s NAP (name, address, and phone number) stays up-to-date at all times. Also be sure to provide accurate hours of operation.
Generating positive online reviews is an important yet easy-to-overlook part of local SEO. According to Moz, reviews are one of the top three factors to get into the Google Local Pack.
When a customer responds to a review, reply as quickly as possible. Your customers appreciate if you listen to them — that you’re taking their feedback seriously. You can, and should, use their feedback to improve areas of your business.
Maybe a customer writes that they waited too long to receive their food after they ordered it. If multiple customers write this, you discover an issue with your server speed, and focus on training your staff to be faster with orders.
The improved experience for the customer will only help you get more positive reviews.
Keywords still matter. Make sure you optimize your pages with the right local keywords for your business. Of course, never over-use keywords. If your site is cluttered with the same keyword repeatedly, not only is it redundant, and awkward for potential customers to read, Google doesn’t like it.
For example, if you own a Neapolitan pizza company in Seattle, you want to add in keywords like “Neapolitan pizza” a few times throughout the page. Because your company location is Seattle, make it clear that’s where you’re located by adding “Seattle” on your homepage two or three times throughout the text.
Blog articles help increase your rankings if you use it right. Just remember, like we said earlier, keywords still matter.
Write content to help your audience. This thinking shows Google your expertise in your industry. When all is said and done, Google rewards quality content. Whatever articles you decide to write, make sure it’s something worth reading.
Before you start writing, to create good content, you’ll need to conduct some keyword research. Find out what your potential customers search for and use that as a starting point for an article. People go to Google when they need to find an answer to a problem. Help your audience solve that problem.
Create location pages on your website.
Location pages will help you appear in location-specific searches. For example, if a customer searches for “car repair in Milwaukee” and you own a car repair service, then a location page will help you rank on the first page of search results.
Any successful SEO strategy includes generating backlinks.
A backlink is like a source to your website from another website. The link to your site from another site can be from a blog, a publication, or an online newspaper, for example.
Of course, make sure you get good links with good methods. Link building is both an art and a science. It requires you to get people to trust you. To get backlinks, email people in your industry. So let’s say you have an article on your website about how to wash your windows. You want to reach out to blogs that focus on home improvement.
Ask them if you can write an article, or show them your content and see if they’re interested in using it as a source.
You want to build relationships with people — contribute good quality content to their sites and provide them with valuable resources.
Running a local business can be exciting, but of course, you learn as you go. Give yourself the advantage among your local competitors. Generate leads — bring customers that are already looking for your services to your website — with local SEO.