As a business owner, you know how important having a strong online presence is. These days, that means more than just having a website you need to make sure your website is optimized for local search engine optimization (SEO) to help you reach local customers.
Why Local SEO Matters
Local SEO is optimizing your website and online presence to help you appear in local search results. For example, if someone types “best pizza in Chicago” into Google, you want your pizza restaurant to appear at the top of the search results.
Local SEO is important for a few reasons:
- More and more people are using search engines to find local businesses. According to HubSpot, 46% of all Google searches are local searches.
- Local search often results in more qualified leads, as people searching for local businesses are typically looking to make a purchase or visit a physical location.
- Local SEO can be less competitive than broader SEO terms, making it easier for small businesses to rank well in local search results.
So, how can you improve your website’s local SEO? Here are some tips to get you started:
- Optimize your website for local keywords
To rank well in local search results, you need to make sure your website is optimized for the keywords people are using to find businesses like yours. This means including location-specific keywords throughout your website, including:
- Your website’s title tags and meta descriptions
- Your website’s content (including your homepage, about page, and service pages)
- Your website’s URLs (e.g., www.yoursite.com/locations/chicago)
Make sure your keywords sound natural and fit seamlessly into your content. Keyword stuffing (overloading your content with keywords) can actually hurt your ranking in search results.
- Optimize your Google My Business profile
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to manage your business’s information across Google services, including Google Maps and Google Search. Optimizing your Google My Business profile can help you show up in local search results and attract more customers.
To optimize your profile:
- Claim your Google My Business listing (if you haven’t already).
- Make sure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are correct and consistent across your website and all online directories.
- Choose relevant categories for your business.
- Add photos and videos of your business.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business page.
- Get listed in online directories
Online directories (like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yellow Pages) can help you attract local customers and boost your local SEO. When you’re listed in online directories, you increase your visibility in local search results, and you may also get backlinks to your website (which can improve your overall SEO).
To get listed:
- Choose relevant directories for your business (depending on your industry and location).
- Create profiles on these directories and make sure your NAP information is consistent across all profiles.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your profiles.
- Create local content
Creating content specifically for your local audience can help you rank better in local search results. When you create content that’s relevant to your local customers, you increase your chances of appearing in local search results (and you also give people a reason to visit your website).
To create local content:
- Write blog posts about local events or news related to your industry.
- Create location-specific landing pages for each area you serve.
- Showcase local customer success stories or case studies.
- Offer local promotions or discounts.
- Use schema markup
Schema markup is code you can add to your website that helps search engines understand your content better. When you use schema markup, you can improve the way your website appears in search results (including local search results).
Some types of schema markup that can help with local SEO include:
- LocalBusiness markup, which tells search engines that your website represents a local business.
- Address and contact markup, which helps search engines understand your business’s address and contact information.
- Review markup, which can help you display your business’s reviews in search results.
Improve your local SEO for better results
By optimizing your website for local search engine optimization, you’ll help your business reach more local customers and improve your online presence. Make sure to follow these tips to improve your local SEO and attract more customers to your business.