Local search results in Google and other search engines are critical for small businesses and family-owned companies. More than 80% of all purchase decisions made by consumers involve their using web search engines to find locally relevant information about a product or service. If your business website is not “search engine optimized”, you are missing out on getting the chance to sell to your potential customers.

Standing out against competitors, showing up in Google’s map results, and showing searchers your location, reviews, and other relevant data are all activities that rely on good SEO and which drive traffic to local and small business websites.

What is Local Search Engine Optimization (or Local SEO)?

SEO helps businesses promote their products and services online. Local SEO is a focus on geographic marketing for businesses whose businesses are focused on a specific locality or region. Search engines like Google rely on a range of SEO signals like where the business is located, local content, social profile pages, links to and from the site to relevant websites, and reviews and business directory listings to provide the most local, most relevant search results to the search user.

Improve Your Local SEO Strategy With These Five SEO Tactics

1. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Responsive

Local SEO is really a product of so many people using mobile devices. Those “near me” and “nearby” searches dominate Google, and they’re being made from people’s phones. A mobile responsive site automatically works on all devices, without users needing to pinch or zoom or use special tools. If you want users who do web search on their phones — and 90% of smart phone users do! — then you must make sure your website works for them. A mobile version of the site is no longer a good idea… you need a mobile responsive website that loads fast!

2. Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Google My Business (GMB) is perhaps the most important online business directory. as it powers so many aspects of Google search. GMB allows Google to verify your business as a genuine business, and with enough attention and authority, you can dominate searches “near me” and in your town for the services or products you provide. Creating and verifying a GMB profile is free and will help you stand above your competitors in local search.

3. On-page SEO Updates
“On-page SEO” refers to manipulating the content, links, and meta-data on your website to most fully reveal keyword topics to Google and other search engines. Addressing these few elements of on-page SEO will help search engines find your site and understand what it’s about, so it can serve relevant results to users.

A. Improve Internal Links – Be sure you link to pages within your website by hyperlinking relevant keywords on your homepage and other pages. This helps tell both people and Google what your site is about, and where they can locate related relevant content.

 B. Optimize Content, Titles, and Meta Descriptions – Be sure your on-page content, page titles, headlines, and meta descriptions (i.e., custom descriptions written for search engines) contain the critical keyword concepts that relate to your business. The more you remind search engines and users about what you do and how you do it, the more you can build up your authority and relevance scores in search engines.

4. Add Location Pages to your Website

There’s no better way to tell Google and other search engines where you do business than through your physical location. But the second-best way is to make sure you have a page dedicated to each of the towns and cities where you do business. If you have two or more locations, it’s a good idea to build pages for each of them so Google can serve a local result to users in or from both places.

5. Blog About Relevant Local Topics

Becoming the local authority for your industry by promoting your work as well as local industry news, events, or trends can establish you as a topical expert in your area. By adding your professional expertise to your local presence in blog posts and social media, you can not only show users that you are an expert in what you do, but ensure that you compete with (or beat) your competitors in rankings for your targeted search terms.We at Answer Media can help you create a custom local SEO strategy for your business, to ensure that you get found online based on WHAT YOU DO and WHERE YOU DO IT.