Local businesses need locally-focused SEO to operate on a regional level. We know that SEO focuses on the ranking in searches, and this can be to your advantage if you operate your business in a smaller, local location.
By focusing your SEO efforts to local leads and customers, you have a better chance of monopolizing the market in your area. Especially if you're in the top section of search rankings.
Optimizing SEO locally will show you more website traffic, better lead generation, and ultimate lead conversions. The way to think of local SEO is that it's taking your business and showing it to a genuinely interested, focused group of potential customers.
46% of all Google search traffic is local.
From customer reviews to local directories, here are the best local SEO tips to supercharge your online – and offline – traffic for customers in your area.
Best Local SEO Practices
We're sure that you have a handle on your SEO situation. You know what your business does, what services it offers and you've probably implemented keywords into your website and you have the basics of your SEO campaign down.
Using the best local SEO practices is about taking your broad SEO campaign and honing it down to your local, target market.
This is where using customer reviews is paramount.
Local customer reviews can help your business rank higher in searches.
Your smaller, local company doesn't need to break the bank in order to have a large but local presence, online. A few great reviews, written and posted by local customers, go a long way towards helping new customers find your business.
Here's how you do it.
Tips For Generating Online Reviews
The general norm is that customers are more outspoken when they're unsatisfied with a company's service. So for you to get in positive reviews is a little more tricky.
Ask For Them
It's a no-brainer. If you don't ask your satisfied customers for a review, then you won't get them. What's the age-old saying? If you don't ask, you will never know. Tell your customer base that you take your reviews and customer feedback seriously, you can ask for a review over any medium of contact, the phone, email, social media, and others.
Pay Attention To Bad Reviews
There's nothing that shows professionalism and great customer service than a company that can handle a bad review. Make sure you stay on top of these as well. Respond to the comments as quick as humanly possible, sort out the problems and your potential clients will be impressed to see you take control.
Make It Easy
If the process of giving a review is complicated, then a customer will simply not put in the effort. Make sure your review process is simple, there shouldn't be too many click-throughs that a customer should have to go through to submit their review. No complications.
Now it's important to note that there is a purpose behind gathering your reviews. There's nothing more convincing that social proof. When people are contemplating a certain purchase, they're more likely to make the purchase when they how many good things have been said about it.
How Reviews Boost SEO
Smaller companies often believe that they can't compete with larger organizations that have a huge online presence. But you can.
Google My Business pages with loads of positive reviews can make a drastic SEO boost for your business. Google sees lots of reviews which in turn shows that that local business does really well and holds a positive reputation with local customers.
The more places that a search engine can your reviews, the better for your SEO. It's sort of like many links spidering back to your website.
And then, your rankings go up.
Quality and Quantity Matter
Best local SEO practice: gain as much quality as well as quantity as you can.
Google will give special attention to reviews that mention the name of the city where the business is located as well as specific keywords that are related to your business.
Websites with high-quality links always rank well in local searches where customers are looking for a product or service within a small town or city. But on the other side of the coin, businesses who don't have the most high-quality links but have managed to gather good reviews on Google My Business, show up high in search rankings too.
Imagine what you could accomplish if you focused on both?
Other Review Platforms
It's important to mention that there are other platforms apart from Google My Business to get positive reviews.
Your Local SEO strategy should include other sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp and your own website. Make sure your keyword strategy extends to these. And manage your responses and reviews by claiming your business on these listing websites.
When you have a presence on all of these review platforms plus your own website, they create signals and links between each other and they tell search engines that your business is relevant. Then this increases your search visibility.
A Few Final Words
Gathering reviews and optimizing your best local SEO go hand in hand. Reviews are going to boost those rankings, as well as your business' reputation.
However, before we part ways, it's a great idea to also think about how you can create content for your website based on local news and stories. Think of terms that people in your area may be searching for, answer that call.
SEO Optimization is a process, even on a local level.
Stay focused, and stay adaptable. Remember, you'll only see results if you remember to measure them.