SEO for local businesses
Sometimes it may feel like search engine results are dominated by the big brands because they pay big bucks to place their ads at the top of those pages. However, the truth is that the success of Google ads actually depends on the same techniques we use to create a good SEO strategy and draw traffic from organic search results.
If a Google ad is not optimized to match the language of the users searching or link to a web page with high-quality content that responds to users’ needs, it won’t translate into profits.
So, understanding how to use SEO to boost your visibility on search engines will also help you create a more effective Google ad campaign in the future.
what is local seo
Local SEO is a Search Optimization Strategy that focuses on creating website content that promotes products and services to users in a specific geographical area. If you search for “physical therapy center” in Google, the search engine will show you website links and a map with the top best results pinned to it.
Google uses all information related to your location found on your website and social media to determine whether your business should appear on that map or not.
We talked about why small business enjoy an SEO edge in another article but basically it comes down to user convenience.
Highly specialized businesses face less competition at the local level.
Companies like health centers that serve a public good are especially sought after in their towns.
Neighborhood shops and maintenance contractors get to the front of the line because they quickly satisfy users’ needs.
How to create an effective local SEO strategy
We recommend 6 steps to boost the visibility of your local business and increase website traffic. The first four steps need to be done on your website to make it user-friendly and easy for search engines to crawl. The last two techniques address actions that you carry out on social media or other platforms.
ENTER YOUR LOCATION IN YOUR SITE TITLE AND META DESCRIPTIONS
Search engines gather the information about your business’ address, physical location if you have a shop, phone number and email that appear on your site. It’s very important that this information shows both on your homepage and contact section of your site. If you can add a map with the location, even better.
When you write your meta descriptions, include your location so that when users do a search and land on your site, they know right away that your business is in their area and they can contact you right away.
2. ADD THE LOCATION TO BLOG POSTS
Squarespace gives you the option of adding your location info on every post you publish to indicate that the content is relevant to a specific region. If you regularly cover news and events that are related to your business area and the region where you work, this can help you even further with your visibility in search engines.
3. CHECK YOUR SITE NAVIGATION AND LINKS
It is very important that, once a new visitor lands on your site from a search result, they can find the most relevant information right away. Make sure that all the links in your navigation are clearly organized and that any call to action —book a class, make an appointment— are visible as soon as they enter the site. Also, review that every link on your site works properly.
4. USE RESPONSIVE DESIGN
Nine out of every ten smartphone owners use them to search local businesses, according to Google. If you show up on those result pages but your site doesn’t work properly on smaller screens, users may abandon your website right away and increase your bounce rate, which can hurt your visibility later on. All our templates are responsive from day one, but if you need help with your site, contact us.
5. USE THE SAME INFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Search engine like Google value as a positive factor that all your contact and location information available online is the same throughout social media platforms. If the phone number on your web site is not the same as the one on Facebook, it may affect your SEO ranking because search engines cannot know which of the two is correct.
6. CREATE YOUR BUSINESS PROFILE WITH Google My Business
This trick may be the least used resource for local SEO and also one of the most effective you can use. Google My Business is a directory created by the search engine company where you can list your business with all your contact information and more details than you could imagine. Register your account as soon as possible and fill out all your contact information, products, services, photographs from your shop, videos and more. All this information will show on search results as well as on maps when people look for businesses like yours.