Think of the last time you made a search on Google for information on a service or a product. You typed out your query and the search engine delivered a local business result that displayed the description of the business, details of the service or product and finally contact numbers and even directions to the business to fulfill your query.
The process of getting all the information required was effortless, and the backdrop of such convenience was a well-oiled Local SEO strategy. For businesses with a local target audience, having a solid Local SEO strategy is imperative, or in other words, is make or break. Think about it, 4 out of 5 searches on Google revolve around local information, that’s 80% of your audience online – that you can capitalize on or lose out.
7 aspects to consider in order to build a strong digital marketing solution
Having a strong Local SEO strategy is not your only assurance to reach customers, create conversions and build engagement, in fact, consider these 7 aspects as the pillars of your digital marketing solution, and they do intertwine with your Local SEO strategy as well:
With SERP saturation the goal to reach customers and improve chances of conversions, having strong website authority is crucial. Having local citations and quality inbound links confirms the
legitimacy of your business with Google and helps build authority.
With the recent Google BERT update a confirmation of this approach, having relevant content (conversational) on your website that can be picked up as a voice answer or a direct result to a query of a product or service is important.
For Google to understand the context of your web pages your website needs to be crawlable (without server errors, broken links, unsupported scripts, blocked crawler access). Once crawled your website can be indexed as a search result.
Website speed and User Interface
If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you’re bound to lose out on customers. Considering that most searches nowadays are carried out on mobiles by users on-the-go, having a mobile-friendly website is a must. Needless to say, for users to stay on your website, the interface should be interactive and engaging.
Performance Marketing (Pay Per Click)
To stay on top of a competitive market, having Ad campaigns on Google will improve your chances of improving impressions, clicks, and conversions.
Business Intelligence Analytics
Analyzing website, local and social data from all channels and providing key insights to the management to make data-driven decisions (keeping competitive benchmarking in mind) will prove to be incisive.
Having schemas implemented in your website code will give the search engine context of your content which will then be converted in the form as rich snippets or rich results. In addition, carrying out Conversion rate optimization (CRO) will lay out the requirements to improve business conversions on your website.
How you can build a strong Local SEO Strategy
SERP visibility is your key to reach a local audience and improve conversions. That in mind, here’s how you can build a strong brand presence online with local optimization and this tried, tested, and successful Local SEO framework:
- Build Local Citations
A measure to build page authority as mentioned above, having local citations from quality websites will improve the reach of your business multifold. Having your business details listed on popular directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, etc., will improve authority. However, keep the points listed below in mind:
- Your UNAP (URL, Name, Address and Phone Number) has to be consistent as
inconsistencies or duplication of details will affect your ranking and you’d lose
out on potential customers
- Update key details such as the business description, work hours, amenities, type of product and services offered, photos and videos, and business category
- Report and spam duplicate business listings and content
- Google My Business (GMB) optimization
Having a GMB listing is possibly the most important step to take for a local business as it will describe and direct customers to your business on its search engine. To optimize for GMB, you’d need to:
- Ensure your UNAP and business category across all directories are consistent
- Your business location is accurate to be located on Google Maps
- Suitable photos and videos are added – 90% of customers are more likely to visit a business that has photos on a search result.
- Encourage customers to review your product and have fair responses
- Create local content using Google Posts
- Create Relevant Local Content
Going with Google’s recent algorithm updates, the search engine giant favors local content that is conversational and relevant to directly answer queries. As part of creating local content, you could:
- Create local flavored content with FAQs (long-tail keywords and conversational content) – optimizing for voice search and featured snippets
- Include Maps on the website for “Near Me” and Keyword-based queries
- Create Event Pages and include local news and activities
- Add local attractions around the business to acquaint tourists with the city
- Optimize for Mobile and AMP
With most searches carried out by users on the go, having an optimal website speed is critical, and here’s when having an Accelerated Mobile Page does the trick. By caching and loading lighter content (that’s necessary), the page load time reduces drastically. In addition, the on-page content needs to be mobile-friendly, with to-the-point and conversational content that is easy on the eyes.
- Optimize your URL and content
Having SEO-friendly or keyword-based URLs will improve the chances of the page being picked up by search engines. In addition, the content should have suitable Title Tags, Header Tags, Meta Tags and Descriptions, and relevant keywords and synonyms (keeping the recent neural matching algorithm in mind).
- Location Pages & Schema Markup
If your business has multiple properties in multiple locations, having a dedicated location page for each property is vital to reach a local audience. In addition, each location page should have relevant schema markup to describe the business and its location and other details to the search engine.
- Authority Backlinks
While internal linking on a website is important to describe authority pages and the hierarchy of website pages to search engines, having quality backlinks sets the foundation for an authority website. This can be achieved by guest posting on authority websites, or through partnerships and sponsorship programs.
- Local Pay-Per-Click Campaigns
Local Pay-Per-Click Campaigns helps get your business’s nose ahead of the rest in a competitive market as there is a surety of visibility on SERPs through Ad Campaigns. Of course, use Business Intelligent Analytics to ensure successful paid campaigns.
Using the 7 pillars of digital marketing as the foundation, Milestone carries out Local SEO Strategies for our clients to ensure that their brand is visible on SERPs to accomplish their goal of reaching their target audience and increasing conversions.
Download our free Local Marketing Guide.
To know more on how you can build and implement a strong Local SEO strategy, contact us at +1 408-200-2211 or mail us at [email protected]