If your local traffic is low, your brick-and-mortar business may suffer.
Boost that traffic, and you’ll likely see a boost in customers as well. In fact, when a local search is run, there’s a 50 percent chance that search will lead the web surfer to visit the actual store within a day.
Drawing a crowd starts with putting the right local SEO tactics to work. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy local SEO checklist to help you get started! Keep reading to learn more.
The first step to boost your local search SEO is to get your company listed on the major search engines, including Google and Yahoo.
Google My Business and Yahoo Business are local directories connected to each search engine giant. When a web surfer runs a search with local indicators, Google or Yahoo will generate localized results using this directory.
If you want to start improving your local business SEO, you need to start by getting your company listed on both search engine directories.
This will this give Google and Yahoo the correct address, contact information, name, and business description to provide to web surfers when they run a local search. Web surfers can also leave business reviews in both locations, which can provide an SEO boost as well.
Localize Your Standard SEO Tactics
While getting your site listed in the major search engine directories is good for local SEO, you’ll still need to work to get your site as close to the top of Yahoo and Google local searches as possible.
To do this, you’ll use some of the same standard SEO tactics you’re already using, but with a localized approach.
For instance, you’ll want to incorporate local keywords into your website and content. This might change your top keywords from “coffee shop,” “best espresso drink,” and “music venue” to “Portland coffee shop,” “best espresso drink in Portland, and “Portland music venue.”
Don’t forget to update your titles and meta description tags as well.
Adding the name of the city or area that your business operates in will help get your site ranked in local search results.
As we mentioned above, getting your business listed on Google My Business and Yahoo Business allows web surfers using either search engine to leave a review of your business.
But simply setting up this possibility isn’t enough.
Online reviews are rapidly overtaking personal recommendations. Rather than asking a friend or colleague for a suggestion about where to eat or the best hotel to stay in while on vacation, we now turn to our fellow web surfers for answers.
More than 90 percent of consumers now check out online reviews before they choose to visit a local business.
This alone is great for boosting local traffic. It also may give you a boost in local SEO as well.
Encouraging reviews from customers can help you climb the ranks. The more reviews you have can have as much of an effect as just a few really great reviews, although the better your reviews are, the more traffic you’ll receive.
Google and Yahoo aren’t the only places for reviews. Facebook is another spot many web surfers turn to reviews, especially of local businesses.
There are also plenty of industry-specific review sites you’ll want to target.
For instance, if you own a tour company or hotel, TripAdvisor is a popular review site you’ll want to encourage among your customers. If you own a restaurant, Yelp might be a better choice.
Optimize Your Website
When you’re just starting out, you need to keep local SEO on your mind if you want to begin to grow your business and boost local traffic.
This starts when you’re first setting up your website. Or if you’ve already created your website and are now making changes to optimize local SEO tactics, you’ll need to make the following changes.
To start, it’s important to be very clear on your website that you have a brick-and-mortar location, even if you also run an online store.
At a minimum, you should list your business and location on your “About” page and “Contact” page.
If your brick-and-mortar store is your main source of traffic, you might consider also mentioning your store and its location somewhere on your homepage. You can list it at the bottom of the page, top, or wherever else you think that it fits naturally.
If your business has more than one location, you’ll need to list each of your locations in these places. If your website has too many locations, you can skip listing them on your homepage and instead link to your “Contact” page.
Another option is to create a “Locations” or “Directory” page where you list the name, address, and contact information of each of your business’ locations.
A large percentage of local searches are performed on mobile devices. Making your phone numbers and email addresses clickable will allow those web surfers to quickly and easily reach out to your business with any questions.
Putting the Local SEO Checklist to Work
This local SEO checklist is a great starting point for mastering localized SEO tactics and boosting traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.
But as with standard SEO tactics, these strategies take time to implement and have to be continuously updated and improved if you want to keep your website’s ranking on search engines.
When you’re also trying to run your business, this can quickly become overwhelming.
We can help with that.
If you’re ready to start expanding your business locally, check out our SEO web solutions and request your free quote today.