Are you looking to rank your business in local search results? Local SEO is the key.
It doesn’t matter what product or service you offer, if you want to attract local customers, you need to do local search engine optimization.
According to Moz, 90% of purchases take place in physical stores and 80% of US disposable income is spent within 20 miles of home. So yes, optimizing your stores for local searches can take your business to the next level.
In this detailed guide, let’s talk about how you can get more out of it. But first, let’s start with the basics.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is optimizing your business for relevant local searches.
To put it simply, local business SEO is how any business can improve their online presence especially for local target audience.
Search engine optimization that is done according to location data is called local SEO. Basically local SEO enables search engine crawlers to give highly relevant results to users that is based on location data.
After all, what’s the use of finding a pizza shop in New York if you are staying in Delhi?
The competition is really comparatively lower in local SEO as you only have to compete with fewer services, products or other businesses. So if you have a better product, you can easily get more customers from search engines if your website is perfectly optimized for local SEO.
For instance, “Best Delhi Decorators” can bring you a lot of search visibility if your site is properly optimized with the relevant keywords that are focused on local SEO terms like Delhi event management, top Delhi decorators, Decoration events in Delhi etc.
Why is local SEO important?
So why should you even care about local SEO optimization? If you’re curious to know the benefits of local business SEO, here are some of them.
- Whether you know it or not, nearly half of all Google searches are local queries. That means, people are searching for products/services that are near them. That’s why “near me” searches are growing rapidly.
- 50% of mobile users who conduct local searches visit the store within 1 day.
- Greater local visibility means more traffic to your stores, more customers and ultimately more sales.
- Generate highly qualified visitors and your conversions will be much higher when you optimize for local searches.
Also, have a look at these interesting stats about local SEO to know its significance.
According to Hubspot marketing stats, 82% of smartphone shoppers conduct searches using the words “near me.” 72% of consumers who conduct a local search visit a store within 5 miles.
Enough said! Let’s now discuss about some of the most useful list of local SEO tips that you can use to get top rankings on Google for your businesses. Let’s get started without much ado.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Google Local SEO Tips for 2021
- FAQs About Local Search Engine Optimization
Top 10 Google Local SEO Tips for 2021
1. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
First things first: mobile searches are growing rapidly.
Did you know that over 60% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile responsive site? So if you want to optimize for local SEO, you need to first make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
If your site is not mobile-friendly, you are losing a lot of money on the table. So make sure to ask your designer to create a mobile-friendly design for your site, or you can simply follow this guide to create a mobile responsive design.
There’s a simple and free tool to find whether your site is mobile responsive or not.
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to easily figure it out. Just enter your site’s URL, click on Test URL and you’re done!
Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, if your site is mobile-friendly, you’re all set. If not, either use mobile-optimized design (we recommend you to check out Elegant themes) or simply install a WordPress plugin like WP Touch.
2. NAP is critical
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number.
NAP is extremely important for any business that is finding ways to rank well in the local search results.
Here’s an example of NAP SEO looks like;
As you can see above, the NAP information is listed on GMB (Google My Business).
Since Google takes the NAP data into consideration to display relevant results for geo-targeted searches. So make sure to include your NAP information within your eCommerce stores, website, app and so on.
Make sure to keep your NAP information up to date and try to be consistent if you want to perform well in local organic search results.
Where to use NAP information?
You should include NAP information on your website, social media profiles, local business listing pages, Google My Business and wherever necessary.
Also, make sure to create a business page. Once you set up your website for local SEO, you need to first create a business page for your website. Include every single information that describes your business.
The key tip here is to optimize your business page for search engines. So use a variety of keywords that define and attract your potential customers. That way you are not only creating a user-friendly business page that increases your brand awareness but you are also attracting organic visitors.
3. Get listed on GMB
GMB (Google My Business) is probably the #1 business profile listing site which helps you reach and engage with local customers across Google Search and Maps.
Here’s how Google My Business listing looks like;
As you can see above, you can get GMB listing for both desktop and mobile users which can immensely help you get more customers if you’re on Google My Business listing.
To get started with their listing, you need to sign in to Google My Business (by signing in to your Google Account or create one). Then, click Next.
Now, you can simply sign up with your business email domain and enter the name of your business.
You may also be asked to position a marker on the location of your business branch on a map. Finally, make sure to verify your account (read more details from here). Once you are verified, you can edit your business information, respond to reviews, and add photos.
4. Find better keywords to rank for
You need to conduct keyword research to find low competitive yet highly profitable keyword phrases to rank for.
You need to create a list of your target keywords. Keyword research is a no brainer. Before dominating the local search results, you need to first define your target audience. Make sure to come up with keyword ideas that are really potential for your businesses to rank higher in search results.
Using locally based keywords is the KEY to start dominating your local results and be found by your local customers.
Ask yourself these questions before performing keyword research.
- What keywords are your target customers searching?
- Are they ready to buy if they have enough solutions?
- Or are they just doing research for your keywords?
- Is your target audience are ready to pay high amount?
- What keywords my competitors are ranking for?
When it comes to keyword research, there’s ONLY one SEO tool that really comes in handy and the tool is SEMrush (read our in-depth review of SEMrush).
SEMrush is the same tool that we’ve been using for more than 4 years now and we’re fully satisfied with its results.
You can find a ton of profitable yet low competitive long tail keywords easily with SEMrush. Here’s how it looks like;
As you can see above, you can find keywords along with other keyword metrics like search volume, trend, keyword difficulty, competition and so on.
So what are you waiting for? Use the following link to grab their 30 days trial for free.
5. Get listed on local review sites
Apart from getting listed on GMB, you also need your business to get listed on other local review sites if you want to get more visibility for your local businesses.
It will also help you with user reviews as reviews will not only help you increase the awareness of the services or products you offer but they give you more local visibility which helps you gain more trust from users.
Here are a few top local review sites that you can try:
- Google Places
- Judy’s Book
- Angie’s List
- Yahoo! local
Make sure to encourage your store visitors and users to leave 5 star and positive reviews for your services and products across these review sites.
Encourage your existing subscribers and readers to leave positive reviews about your products. This definitely helps your local SEO results to get more visibility. Also, it acts as a social proof which brings you even more customers.
6. Keep an eye on your competitors
It doesn’t matter what niche you are in, if you want to take your local SEO strategy to the next level, you need to spy on your competitor’s strategies.
Why? There are so many benefits of competitor research including;
- Gives you a ton of profitable topic ideas to write about
- Gives you ideas on what pages (products and services) are performing well in your niche
- You can find a ton of other monetization strategies that you never thought of
Enough said! How can you spy on your competitors then?
Use competitor research tools like SEMrush.
Once you get access to SEMrush, focus on finding the following things;
- Perform deep organic research which helps you find your competitors top performing pages (including income-generating pages)
- Analyse your competitor traffic stats (find out if your competitors are getting traffic from search, social, referral or paid so you can also think about using those traffic sources)
- Find their Organic Search Positions (SEMrush helps you with that!)
- Keep an eye on their SERP competition strength (to see what keywords their rankings are improving or declining)
Finally, make sure to do some PLA research (Product Listing Ads) using SEMrush as it reveals your competitor’s ads information including all the keywords, titles, CPC, cost and paid traffic they are using to generate more sales to their sites.
7. Optimize your site layout
Your website is definitely the centre of your online marketing success. Your website should be easily accessible to both search engine crawlers and your website users.
One of the key local business SEO strategies is to create a web-friendly design. Here are some quick tips to help you optimize your site properly in 2021.
- Use a responsive theme which is faster
- Move to a better web host (as your site speed mostly depends on your hosting and we highly commend you to try WPX Hosting)
- Enable AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for providing better performance to mobile users
- Create a mobile app (in case if you want to take your online business to the next level)
Here are some of the basic yet important questions you should consider to optimize your site’s layout well.
Is your site user-friendly? Your readers should be easily able to navigate your business pages, contact pages, product pages etc. Make sure to use social media sites to easily find you and use the search box to browse your categories and products.
Is your site search engine friendly? If your site is not optimized for search engines, it’s almost impossible for you to rank higher for your product keywords.
So it’s important to make sure your home page, internal pages are properly optimized with the relevant keywords. Also, focus on optimizing your site loading time to get better local SEO results.
Is your site mobile friendly? More and more users are now using tablets, smartphones etc to browse and buy stuff online. So optimizing your site for mobile (as we earlier discussed) is a no brainer.
8. Create local content
You need to cater your audience with local content to be able to rank #1 on Google for local rankings. There are several types of local content you can create which are explained below.
FAQ pages: You can rank for featured snippets (also known as zero position) if you’re creating useful FAQ pages on your site. According to BrightLocal, 58% of customers have used voice search to find local business information in the last 12 months. FAQ pages help you easily rank for voice searches.
Create city-specific pages: If you want to specifically target local cities in your region, make sure to create city-specific landing pages. Offer exclusive discounts and deals on your products and services to attract more people to become your customers.
Cover local events: There may be events limited only to your local region which can be seasonal, regional or promotional. By covering those local events by targeting the right keyword phrases, you can bring highly targeted visitors from organic search results.
Create videos explaining your services: YouTube is the second largest search engine. If you create videos that explain about the products and services you offer, the chances are you will get rewarding results in search results for various keywords you are targeting for.
Just get a tripod and start shooting your own videos and explain about your businesses to improve your local SEO rankings. Make sure to use your primary keywords in video meta description, title and tags to get better rankings for your keywords. Also start link building for your videos to get more visibility.
If you’re running an online store or website, link building is the key to get more organic traffic. Search engines like Google give a lot of importance to backlinks.
One of the best local SEO tips you can’t ignore is building links for your business-oriented websites. Without incoming links, your website won’t survive to get more organic traffic.
Make sure to get links from
- your competitors (perform competitor analysis using tools like SEMrush to find your competitors backlink sources)
- your local business groups
- local business directories
- your local newspaper websites
- your peers who have sites
- your partners, vendors etc
When it comes to link building, we highly recommend you to try guest posting on relevant sites in your industry. As guest posting is the best way to build highly relevant and quality links no matter what niche you are in.
Also, use blog commenting, sites like Quora to answer questions related to your niche. Although they are nofollow links but they do attract quality traffic and helps you balance your backlink profile nicely.
Although link building takes time but it is worth your time and money. Make sure to also use press releases to build credibility around your businesses as it also helps you boost your branding awareness and overall local SEO strategy.
Note: Go through this detailed post on “The Beginner’s guide to Link Building In Google’s Panda And Penguin Era” to build ethical backlinks around your sites.
10. Don’t forget on-page SEO
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your individual pages for specific keywords. If done right, on-page SEO can bring you a ton of visitors from search engines. Just keep in mind to use LSI keywords instead of keyword stuffing.
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are those keywords that are semantically related to your primary keyword. For example, “Apple” is an LSI keyword for iPad, MacBook, iPhone etc.
That being said, here are some effective on-page SEO tips which are easier to implement to boost your local SEO.
- Use your primary keyword your H1 and title tags as they are extremely important elements when it comes to on-page optimization
- Use short and properly optimized URLs
- Include images and use alt tags with your target keywords (make sure to optimize their sizes before uploading for faster page loading times)
- Always link to other relevant internal pages on your site as it helps with deep crawling and more link juice to other pages on your site
- Use proper optimization plugins like Rank Math or WordPress SEO by Yoast as they help you quickly optimize your posts for your primary keywords
FAQs About Local Search Engine Optimization
Here are some of the most important questions around local search engine optimization to get higher rankings in search results.
Why local SEO is important for SEO?
Yes, local SEO is absolutely important for SEO as there are a ton of benefits including;
- Helps local business owners for building their strong online presence
- Helps drive more customers (from local searches)
- More conversions and sales
Above all, local SEO helps your business stand out in local searches, increase your overall site’s traffic, sales, conversions and so on.
What are the most important things to keep in mind while optimizing for local searches?
Here are the 3 most important factors that play a key role in getting local customers to your business and stores.
- Prominence (refers to how well-known a business is, so the key here is to get as many positive 5-star reviews as possible)
- Relevance (refers to how relevant your business is for the keywords people are searching for)
- Distance (the closer your store is for “near me searches”, the more qualified visitors you get)
Is link building needed for local SEO?
Absolutely yes. According to Moz’s survey, “link signals” are the most important ranking factor for local organic results.
Have a look at their survey results.
As you can see above, link signals such as domain authority, domain quantity, inbound anchor text play a key role in improving your local organic rankings.
Are there any tools for local SEO?
Yes, here’s a list of some of the most useful SEO tools which can help you with local search optimization.
- SEMrush (helpful for keyword research, backlink analysis, keyword research, site audits and so on)
- WordPress SEO by Yoast (helpful for optimizing your blog posts)
- Google My Business (helps you list your business in Google)
- Review sites like Yelp (to get user reviews for your business)
Final thoughts on top local SEO tips 2021
The ability to rank in local search results really depends on prominence, distance, relevance, link signals etc. Always make sure to focus on getting positive reviews from your customers and properly optimize your website for local SEO to get the best results.
If you want to really dominate your local search results, focus on defining your key audience first. Then, build a brand awareness and start using potential keywords to dominate your local business search rankings. Though there are many local SEO strategies, you need to figure out which keywords give you more weight and then start using them on your business websites.
Do you have any more questions about local search engine optimization? Let us know in the comments.