Finding the best local SEO solutions for your small business can be challenging because there are a seemingly infinite number of resources and options.
Let’s make it feel less daunting by starting first with, what is local SEO? It’s the practice of optimizing your website so that you show up in search results when your target audience tries to find local businesses like yours.
Imagine someone searching for “shoe store open near me.” Local SEO solutions help you show up for those relevant location-based queries. The goal is to hyper-focus on customers or clients in your area. Google explains why this optimization is important:
“Mobile searches that contain a variant of ‘can I buy’ or ‘to buy’ have grown over 500 percent over the last two years. These include things like ‘where can I buy stamps near me,’ ‘places to buy scrubs near me,’ or ‘where to buy vinyl records near me.’”
If you need further proof of the benefits of Local SEO, look at this case study for a dental practice that increased organic conversions by 122 percent, or this SEMrush case study for a taxi company that ranked number one for its target keywords.
If you’re not sure where to begin, use these five local SEO solutions to start optimizing now.
Keep Reading: Blog SEO: A Foundational Guide
1. For B2C: Create Educational Local Content
B2C organizations can boost local SEO by focusing on creating localized content that’s targeted toward ideal customers. Localized content refers to articles that relate to your area or neighborhood and can help you rank for location-based keywords.
This is especially powerful for local service providers, like real estate agents who might create neighborhood guides, like Steele San Diego Homes who regularly publish neighborhood spotlights on local neighborhoods in their area. When potential buyers are searching for local information on those neighborhoods, Steele San Diego is more likely to show up and drive a potential client to their website.
Remember: you don’t just need to be selling homes to create useful, local content. As another example, a local jewelry store could create the article, 10 Best Places to Propose in San Diego, to attract potential ring buyers.
New to keywords? Download our Keyword Research Guide.
2. For B2B: Publish Local Industry Content
For local B2B organizations, focus on creating industry-related content that helps you stand out as an authority among your local competitors. To do this, consider a few potential content ideas:
- Create thought leadership articles about the local area. For example, this law firm publishes blog posts on regulations related to employee visas. That type of information is helpful to local business owners trying to understand the proper procedure for hiring non-US workers.
- Publish recaps or reviews of local industry events, like conferences or networking mixers. You can also tag the event coordinators when sharing this on social media to drive more traffic to the post.
- Interview complimentary local businesses that your clients may also want to work with and publish your interviews as a Q&A-style blog post. Then ask your interviewee to share with their network as well.
Ultimately, the goal is to figure out how you can provide valuable content to potential clients and customers—and there are many ways to do that, depending on your business, location and expertise.
3. Earn More Local Links
One important factor in SEO are your backlinks, or in other words, the links that are pointing back to your website from other websites. This is valuable because when other local websites link to yours, it gives your website and brand more local “clout,” which gives Google a reason to rank you even higher in search engines.
There are a lot of ways to get these links and one of the best is to simply get involved with your community, which will naturally lead to fresh backlinks. For example, if you’re part of a local event, the event organizer will likely link to your website when featuring you as a sponsor or participating business.
Check out BrightLocal’s data below to see which other link building opportunities are most valuable.
Don’t forget about these easy local link opportunities as well:
- Chambers of commerce: upon joining you’ll likely get a listing with a link to your site.
- Community partners: reach out to your neighborhood partners and network to cross promote on their sites.
- Local newspapers or news sites: depending on your business, many local news outlets have business listing opportunities.
Keep Reading: The CMO’s Guide to Backlinks
4. Garner Local Promotion via News Stories
Show your expertise by sharing insights for local news stories. Nikki Corbett, owner and lead editor at Precise, explains to FitSmallBusiness:
“For example, if you are a fitness expert, contact your local media before National Senior Fitness Day or National Men’s or Women’s Fitness Weeks. Offer your expertise for a news article, radio show, television segment, or podcast. When you show your local community that you are the expert in your field, the news media will want you to keep coming back.”
While it might take a little legwork to cultivate relationships with journalists and editors initially, as Corbett explains, this can prove to be an effective partnership for coverage and links in the future.
5. Get Your Listings Pages Up-to-Date
Business listing sites—think: Google My Business, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau—are one of the easiest local SEO solutions to leverage and manage. Simply having accurate information across all your local listings sites will help boost your SEO because Google wants to see that your listing information is the same, I.E. accurate.
Not to mention, listings sites give potential customers and clients the information they want about your business in an easy-to-find location.
Consider the following as you get your local listings up to date:
- Start this process by understanding where your business is currently listed. Yahoo’s Local Works is a great free tool that scans for your mentions of your business on listing sites, so you can see where there are gaps and ensure current listings are correct.
- Don’t forget about your Google My Business page, which is arguably the most important listing site if you want to rank in Google. MOZ found that Google My Business signals account for 25 percent of the local pack finder ranking, so make sure this is up-to-date and accurate with reviews from customers and clients.
- To optimize each listing, make sure that you include your business category, high resolution images, address and a local phone number.
Use Local SEO Solutions to Boost Your Small Business
Don’t let your competitors beat you in search. Use these local SEO solutions to rank higher and earn more customers and clients.