Table of Contents:
- Local SEO Best Practices – A Must Follow List in 2024
- 9 Lcoal SEO Best Pratices to follow in 2024
- Optimize your Google Business Profile
- Make use of your online reviews
- Optimize your local website for Voice Search
- Target Local Keyword and Search phrases to boost your brand visibility.
- Always think mobile first
- Make use of online Local directories to generate backlinks
- Local Link Building to Send Local Relevancy Signal
- Perform a Local SEO Audit every once in a while
- Leverage Social Media platforms to build up audience
Google is getting smarter day by day and why wouldn’t it be? Its users are also getting smarter too. People now are experts at finding exactly what they want like never before, so that’s why the tool they use to find stuff has to be at the same pace as well.
Be it finding the right solution to your pimple problem to finding the best Italian restaurant you can take your date to, you are unknowingly getting smarter at what you search for and how you search for it everyday.
Every business has two sides. One, the people who are in need of something, and two, the people who will help those people fulfill the need(obviously in exchange for money!). But in order to fulfill so many needs, more people need to come in, in order to help those people with the need.
Now there is a sense created, who will serve whose needs in the best possible way. This is called competition.
Local Business never goes out of fashion. No matter how big the e-commerce industry gets or can get. Local brick and mortar shops are still the lifeline of the majority of the world population. But the whole, who finds who game is now shifted to online.
For the local business owners, the people who used to find your shops by exploring localities are now trying to find you within their locality but from their mobile devices on search engines like Google. That’s why it is now your responsibility to take your business on those platforms where people can actually find you and you can earn more than just your bread and butter.
So you might think, “okay I will get my business online so that people can find me and my sales will skyrocket again”. But no, that is actually not the case, as there are other businesses like you already selling the services you are selling, and they already have a loyal audience and user base.
This is again the same situation, Competition. But here is the best part, there are so many sellers already selling their services because there are 10x more people who are looking to fulfill their needs from their service. And they are always looking for something better, cheaper, fancier or more valuable.
But how would you know, you just took your business online by registering yourself on Google My Business and never opened your laptop ever again. You didn’t even create a chance for your prospecting audience to find the value you are providing.
Well, as they say it’s better late than never, today you are in for a real treat, as today we are going to look at some easy steps that you should have taken after you created a profile on GMB. You can say this as the best practices you can follow to up your Local SEO game.
9 Local SEO Best Practices to follow in 2024
1. Optimize your Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile or traditionally known as Google My Business is the most important tool for you to make your business have an online impression. But considering you know that already, just registering your business on GMB is not gonna help you get the desired outcome you want.
Optimizing your Google business profile with the relevant and necessary details like a valid name, phone number or address, updated images of your products and local store, store timings(like opening and closing hours) is imperative for you. You have to make sure that your customers can find you whenever they are in need of a product or services which you can help them with.
In today’s local business landscape, it is very important to keep your GMB details as updated as possible to make the user journey easier for your customers to get the most of the details about your business. This in turn reduces the decision making time for the users and creates a trustworthy and reliable image in front of them.
Don’t optimize just to meet the SEO checklists, rather make this a good habit for your ideal customers searching online to get a need fulfilled.
2. Make use of your online reviews
GMB listings on search engine pages provides a separate box that include your business details, now this box also contains a section where your customers leave a review after availing your product or service.
It is a best practice to keep a tap on these reviews on a daily basis as customers often show concern or grievances in this review box. As a responsible business owner it is important for you to respond to these types of reviews in order to address your customer’s concern.
Moreover, replying to a good review also shows that you care for your customer’s feedback and their satisfaction is your top most priority. While these reviews can help you maintain a happy post purchase experience for customers, it is also important for those users who are finding your business for the very first time.
Reviews act as a trust score or vote provided to you by your existing customers that encourages new users to purchase from you. From an SEO point of view this is a great practice as Google gives more visibility to businesses who have genuine customer reviews by positioning your business profile in the top authority level.
3. Optimize your local website for voice search
With the inception of new technologies, people are utilizing new and more comfortable ways of performing searches in order to find a solution to their needs. Voice Search is one of these techs that people have adapted to very quickly.
As people are trying to do more from just their mobile phones, voice search services like, Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant are adding one extra layer of convenience. So what does it mean for your local business?
Well, when people search for something on a device using their voice, they are saying a phrase or a sentence that describes their needs. In SEO terms, that means they are searching for more “long tail keywords” or search terms. Moreover, these search terms are often in the form of questions that start with “where”, “when”, “what”,etc.
For local business owners this means you have to focus more on long tail keywords associated with the product or service that you are selling. Include those keywords or keyphrases into your landing page content or blog content. Doing so means that wherever a user searches something using voice search, chances of google returning an answer from your website becomes much higher.
Therefore your business gets more visibility. Now the same thing applies for information related particularly to your business as well. This brings us to the very first point we discussed about keeping up to date business information on Google.
So that whenever someone asks on a voice search about your store address or opening hours, Google should return them the exact and true information.
Voice search is an exponentially growing channel when it comes to people searching for local services. And according to Google 20% of all searches done from Mobile devices are voice searches. Hence as a business owner it is your responsibility to make your business online profile optimized all the time to get brand exposure.
4. Target Local Keyword and Search phrases to boost your brand visibility.
Content marketing is a great way to get your brand name in front of your target audiences. And that is true for your business as well. People are always searching on Google to find products and services.
Whether those services can be locally available, people still tend to research and evaluate a lot before making a purchase decision. From a marketing point of view the evaluation phase of your customer journey.
Being a local business website owner this is your chance to shine and build brand awareness by targeting local keywords and search phrases and publishing informational blogs and other resources.
Relevant read: Keyword Research for Local Businesses
This will help your website to generate a lot of local traffic on your targeted pages, giving you a chance for an odd that a visitor might actually become a paying customer.
Moreover, if people are finding your information as valuable and insightful then you are positioning yourself as a trusted service provider in the market. Customers will also trust your business over your competitors.
5. Always think mobile first
Either you are making tweaks with the CTA placement or making your landing page more easier to navigate, you have to always think of mobile optimization.
According to BrightLocal, over 61% of internet users are looking for local services from their mobile devices. And believe me this number is going to increase from here.
It’s very easy to search for something on a mobile phone on the go, and your local store is also on the go, right?
Moreover, 75% of mobile searches actually convert into an in-store visit. Optimizing your local website for smaller devices is very important when it comes to acquiring customers who are looking to find you near buy.
Here are few things you can keep in mind, when optimizing your website for mobile devices –
- Make sure your website is fast and is linked to the website feature of Google Business Listing.
- Use font size which is easily readable and also looks clean on the screen of the mobile device.
- Don’t put too many heavy images that will take up a lot of time to load.
(This becomes a negative factor when not optimized properly and can lead to increase in page drop off rate)
6. Make use of online Local directories to generate backlinks
When it comes to SEO we all know how important backlinks are. They are one of the effective ways to build authority in your website industry or community.
Though as per the new update from Google that said, backlinks are not considered under the top three ranking signals, backlinks have the capability to bring you some good, valuable leads.
Making use of online business directories by listing your business on those platforms are a great way to get a link back to your website.
A lot of people hang out on online business directories to find local services. That’s why while registering your local business on an online business directory make sure to provide the update details about your business like, Store Name, Phone Number, Address, Website address and a detailed out description of your business.
Once the registration is done you get a backlink to your local website and a chance to shine in front of your users. This will not help you with your website SEO but will also help you to acquire customers from external website traffic.
7. Local Link Building to Send Local Relevancy Signal
Build backlinks from local blogs that are relevant to your niche or closely relevant.
For example: If you are a London, UK-based dentist and you have a website, try to build backlinks from UK-based blogs.
You can also target blogs that talk about health. Use search engines and social media platforms to identify local blogs, websites, and online publications that focus on topics related to dentistry, healthcare, or London-specific interests.
Reach out to the local bloggers or website owners and propose guest posts that are relevant to their audience. In health, Dental etc. niches.
8. Perform a Local SEO Audit every once in a while
SEO has always been an ongoing and continuous process. Sometimes when we start to build and grow we often forget that we need to take a moment and look back to see what has been working for us and what not.
Performing a local SEO audit every once in a while makes sure that your website is still relatable to your target audience and they are actually getting the value that you are trying to give them.
An SEO audit can also help you to understand and evaluate your position in the market as compared to your competitors. This is a very important factor for Local Website owners as they often tend to compete with a lot of local service providers or maybe with a much bigger brand.
Here are a few things that you need to keep in check while executing Local SEO audit –
- Check whether your Google business profile is updated with information like store locations, phone numbers, address and product images(if required).
- Check if your business profile is showing up on the SERPs for the targeted search terms.
- Make use of Google Search Console to understand if there are any crawling issues you are experiencing and your pages are indexed properly.
- One page SEO is a crucial element for local pages. Check your title tags, meta tags, keyword placements, URL structures, etc. These factors determine your ability to rank higher on search results.
- Check your website links. Get rid of broken pages and utilize internal linking optimization to avoid making orphan pages.
9. Leverage Social Media platforms to build up audience
Social Media platforms are a great way to get your local business in front of your target audience. Strategic social media marketing has the potential to build a community around your business thus helping boost your brand exposure.
But before tying out social media platforms, you need to perform research on your audience and make a list of social media platforms where they tend to hangout.
The goal is to take your business to them, not the other way around.
Google now gives more priority to websites which get social media citations than ever before. Keep your social media audience engaged with well crafted contents like, short informative blogs, videos, graphical posts, and many more.
Remember social media is also one of the best earned media marketing channels. That means if your existing customers found your product or service to be valuable to them then you get free mentions from them. Which will further let other unknown users know about your business from first hand experience and they might end up buying from you.
Always keep a tap on what people are saying about your brand on social media as you will get to know how your users perceive your brand.
Relevant Read: Local SEO Statistics 2024
As we wrap up this journey through the realm of local SEO, remember that Google may be getting smarter, but so are you.
By optimizing your Google Business Listing, harnessing the power of online reviews, embracing voice search, targeting local keywords, thinking mobile-first, leveraging online directories, conducting regular SEO audits, and embracing social media, you’re not just keeping up – you’re thriving in the competitive world of local business.
So, go ahead and take these steps to enhance your online presence, build trust, and reach new heights in your local community. Your success story begins here, in the world of local SEO.