Optimizing a website to make it easier to find in local search rankings is referred to as local SEO. Generally, this process will involve on-page optimization, localized content, and link building. If you have a small business with a brick-and-mortar location, improving your local SEO rankings is more important than ever to drive more foot traffic to your door.
Nearly one trillion Google searches a year involve local queries. This lets you know that the average consumer routinely searches for products/services offered in their local area. If you want to stay competitive, then you need to realize the importance of improving your local SEO rankings.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your website’s ranking signals in local searches, and here are some of them.
Website Responsiveness is Extremely Important
If your main focus is to attract consumers using a variety of different devices, you have to realize the importance of mobile responsiveness. Over 62 percent of all website traffic comes from people using mobile devices. If your website and the content contained on it aren’t optimized for these users, you run the risk of losing lots of local sales leads.
Making your website more responsive will require:
- The use of short paragraphs
- Avoid using pop-ups
- Put space between links
- Use light CSS and images
- Alter button size and placement
- Implement a large and readable font
Since the implementation of mobile-first indexing by Google, most website owners have shifted to a mobile-friendly design. Mobile-first indexing basically means that Google will assess the mobile version of your content first when assigning rank to a website. The longer you wait to optimize your website for mobile users, the harder it will be to get your business to rank on the first page of local search results.
Understand the Importance of Website Load Speeds
A fast-loading website can help your business in a number of ways. As Google starts to crawl a website, it will initially consider how fast it loads. If a website loads slowly, Google will move it far down on the list of results.
Slow-loading websites are also something modern consumers detest. When potential customers land on your website, they will quickly exit if it takes forever to load.
Accomplishing your local SEO goals will require a fast-loading website. When you encounter page load speed issues, you need to do things like:
- Enable browser caching
- Compress the images used on your website.
- Use a performance-optimized hosting solution
- Minimize website redirects
- Have coding errors fixed
- Cache your web pages
If you lack the knowledge needed to make these important website changes, enlisting the help of professionals is a must. With this professional assistance, you can get these changes made quickly and correctly.
Make Sure Your Images Are Optimized
One of the best ways to break up large chunks of text on a website is by using appealing images. Modern consumers love looking at images that feature the products/services offered by local businesses. Putting lots of images on your website is just the first step in improving your local rankings.
You need to make sure each of these images is properly optimized before publishing a new page. This optimization process should include relevant alt text and a short description of the image. When creating the alt text for your images, be sure to use localized keywords. With these keywords, you can get your website in more local searches on Google.
Create a Robust FAQ Page on Your Website
Do you find yourself answering the same questions about your products/services over and over? If so, you need to develop a frequently asked questions (FAQ) page on your website. Google loves content that is designed to directly answer a user’s question. When content directly answers a query, it will be put into the Featured Snippet box at the top of the search engine results page.
If you want to create a good FAQ page on your website, you need to do things like:
- Create questions from the customer’s point of view
- Use question and answer format
- Start each answer with either yes or no
- Keep the answers short and concise
- Make your FAQ page easy to find
As time goes by, you will need to add to your FAQ page to meet the growing needs of your audience. Having an SEO expert on your side will make content optimization much easier.
Use Internal Linking To Your Advantage
Creating new content for your website can be challenging. Having a few basic rules can make this process more efficient and successful. Internal linking is one of the main things you need to have on this set of rules. If you mention a product/service in a piece of content, you need to link to it.
This will make it much easier for the reader to absorb information about your business and what it offers. With a great internal linking strategy, you can increase page views, decrease bounce rates and improve site navigation. The right links will guide website visitors to high-converting pages. This will increase your chance of turning these visitors into actual customers.
Show Consumers You’re Serious About Security
When local consumers land on your website, they will be looking for a few signs that your business is legitimate. Most tech-savvy consumers immediately look at whether a website has an SSL certificate before continuing to use it. SSL stands for secure sockets layer, which is a security protocol designed to encrypt the data transferred from a website to the web server.
Having an SSL certificate shows website visitors that every precaution is being taken to protect their sensitive information. This can go a long way when trying to win over a local consumer and convince them to make a purchase.
Meta Descriptions Are Important
If your website shows up on a local search, the first thing the user will notice is the title tag and meta description of the page. The title tag should be both accurate and enticing. Using high-priority localized keywords in these title tags is a great way to attract more attention.
The short blurb under the title tag that describes the content on the page in question is referred to as a meta description. Optimizing your meta descriptions with relevant keywords is a must. You also need to ensure that the content description is accurate.
Allowing marketing professionals to help in the meta-description optimization process is the best way to ensure mistakes are avoided.
Obtain Positive Customer Reviews
An overwhelming number of consumers use online reviews to guide their decision-making. Using tools like Yelp, Facebook, and Google My Business can help you obtain more reviews from satisfied customers. Prominently displaying these reviews will help you establish trust with local consumers.
Putting positive reviews on your Google My Business listing and your website’s homepage is a great idea. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews will be much easier if you reward them. Providing discounts is a great way to generate more positive reviews to use in your local SEO campaigns.
Local SEO Metrics You Need To Monitor
Making sure the methods being used to generate attention from local Internet users are effective is important. The last thing you want is to spend money on methods that aren’t increasing the flow of traffic to your website. This is why working with a marketing professional who can monitor certain metrics is important. Below are just some of the local SEO metrics you need to monitor.
Organic Search Traffic
One of the main goals you should have when investing in local SEO campaigns is improving website traffic. In most cases, it takes up to nine months before you will see a traffic increase from SEO efforts. Rather than getting deterred when this metric doesn’t improve right away, you need to stay the course. Marketing professionals can use tools like Google Analytics to monitor the flow of traffic to your website.
Monitor Click-Through Rate
The number of people that land on your website after clicking a hyperlink on a search engine results page is known as a click-through rate. If your website is sitting near the top of Google, but your click-through rate is low, then making changes to your meta titles and descriptions is important.
Assess Your Bounce Rate
Visitors who visit your website and leave after visiting one page will increase your bounce rate. Ideally, you want local consumers that land on your website to view multiple pages before leaving. Common causes of a high bounce rate include:
- Text readability issues
- The lack of a clear call-to-action
- Bad user experience
- The website isn’t responsive
Instead of allowing these issues to get in the way of local SEO success, you need to work with marketing professionals to address them.
From image optimization to the creation of a robust FAQ page, there are many ways to boost your local SEO ranking. If you are struggling to devise a winning local SEO strategy, let the team at Small Business SEO help. With our assistance, you can reach new consumers in your local area with your brand message.