Whenever you start a new business, you want maximum exposure for it. You want more and more people to know about you and your product so that maximum ROI (return on investment) can be generated.
All of this is only possible if your website is getting more and more clicks. But how will your website get more clicks? You achieve more exposure via SEO – search engine optimization. But wait, SEO is a generic term.
What if you want more and more local people of your community to search your business online? How can you reach more local people?
For this purpose, you turn towards the art of ‘local search engine optimization’.
What Is Local Search Engine Optimization?
It is a way or number of steps through which your website gains higher rankings, whenever someone searches it on a search engine. Through local search engine optimization, whenever people in your community look up your website, they will find your website among higher rankings.
When a website is made, it has to compete against lots of other websites. LSEO are powerful tools which support your website and help bots to rank your website at a higher index of search engine.
Local Search Engine Optimization depends upon a number of things and all of them have been explained below:
1) Keyword Research
You need to target the right words when it comes to choosing keywords. For example, if you own a restaurant business in Manhattan, you need to choose words like “Best” “restaurant” “Manhattan”.
If you lose your focus and start concentrating on diverging words such as ‘forks’ or plates – even if they are connected (a little bit) to the restaurant, they aren’t really helping to elevate your rankings.
(If one is searching for a restaurant, it is unlikely that he would search forks and knives along with restaurant)
SEO algorithms detect the density of used keywords. You don’t need to bombard all your content with keyword density. Keep it natural. There is a thing known as ‘over use of keywords’ If the algorithm detects that you are overusing the keywords, instead of higher rankings, your website will suffer from lower rankings.
2) Optimize Website with Target Words
A website looks awesome if it is fully integrated with the business. That is possible when each of small ingredients of your LSEO are incoherent with the layout of your website.
In this point, we’ll talk about the optimizing keywords with your website.
Be symmetric in your geometry – The keywords you use in your generic content, link them up with descriptions of titles, tags and metatags.
Tags or ‘hashtags’ are words, if one searches will get similar posts/websites in which those words have been used. Use different tags to grip your content.
Similarly, when you upload a picture, you get asked to fill the space of metadata. Again, fill it up with related keywords.
This holistic keyword approach helps rank your website better.
3) Responsive Website
This is common sense – If your website is not responsive, how will a customer convey his demands to you?
When designing your website, use the help of bots to answer frequently asked questions (FAQs). Connect a real person to the conversation ASAP whenever a new customer wants to get something answered.
It is good that you try innovation and experiment with different web design techniques but remember ‘The customer comes first.’ Your innovation is of no good if a customer fails to get his needs met. Here is a good read where you can learn about the top 10 reasons why you should consider a responsive web design that can help your online business.
In the end, against all costs, make sure that an average person/customer who happens to visit your website randomly/regularly gets impressed by the responsiveness of your work.
4) Implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Accelerated Mobile Pages or (AMPs) for short, are a reduced form of HTML coding, with primary function of creating webpages which are fast in nature.
A project of both Google and Twitter, AMPs are open source and are design to carry a fast response. They use limited tags and streamlined CSS, which makes their speed efficient.
Use these in your website to achieve good loading speed.
5) Page Loading Speed Optimization
According to research, 47% visitors expect a website to load in two seconds and 40% of potential users will abandon a website, if it fails to load under five seconds.
Everyone loves a fast response website. Click – click – click – Tap – Tap – Tap WHAM BAM! THANK YOU! The work has been done. Just see how popular websites such as Facebook and Twitter respond to your requests. One of the main reasons why people like spending time on them is that they are fast. It’s like going to a restaurant and having a waiter fetching up your orders very fast.
When designing a website, make sure to factor speed, user friendliness and accessibility.
6) Google My Business and My Bing Places
To list your business on Google maps, you need to take help from GMB ‘Google My Business’. Google’s Knowledge Graph feeds off the data from GMB and links useful related information to its database. In other words, improving your Local SEO. Using GMB, your business gets exposure and the best part is that it is a free utility.
Similarly, to register yourself on Bing, you need to take help from ‘My Bing’.
7) Get Listed on Other Major Online Directories and Claim Listing
4 out of 5 consumers now use search engines to find businesses. Therefore, it is very important to list yourself on online directories.
Start from Google maps and proceed to Yahoo, Bing and Yelp. Also, ask local people in surveys about which online directories do they use to find anything online. When you come to know of names, register yourself.
8) Ensure NAP Consistency
By NAP, we mean Business name, Address and Phone number. Internet is a vast place and to make a long-lasting impact on users, you need to provide your contact details in the same manner.
You may wonder about the importance of order but know this. Bots are extremely detail oriented. When they are fetching queries of search engine results, they like to keep a tab on NAP. If your NAP is inconsistent, they may get tricked into fetching 3 different types of businesses.
To check whether your NAP is in order, you need to Google your business name with your city name. If you spot a variance, it means your NAP is out of order. Alternately, you can take help of Moz Local.
9) Structured Data Markup
If humans see an organizing pattern in a task, it is easy for them to do it. Same is the case with bots. Computer is a dumb machine. It cannot understand it. But, you can increase the efficiency if we work in an organizing pattern.
Structured data markup is used to highlight business services and products. For example, if you are looking for a restaurant’s name, not only you will see its name but also you will get to see prices, menus and opening – closing hours.
To get started, you need to use a free tool known as ‘Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper’. Submit your request to the helper and help identify the key areas of your website through tagging of your mouse. Data Markup Helper will generate a sample HTML code in which microdata is marked. Download it and inculcate it with your website.
10) Get Real Reviews
Getting real reviews on your website is very important. A public feedback from humans convinces other humans of authenticity of a website.
There is just one thing though – Don’t go for spam comments otherwise search engine algorithms will place your website on lower ranks.
One great tip to gather lots of real reviews is to ask your friends and family members to write their experience about how they felt when they visited your website.
11) Competitor Research
You are not the only one running a business or a website. Probably thousands of people are having similar websites like you. How awesome it would be if you treat those websites as a source of learning? Explore their websites – See how they have written their contents and which keywords are they targeting. This will help you develop innovation and who knows, your website could even be better than them.
To make you stand out from your competitors, you need to know of their moves.
Tools like BuzzSumo and Spyfu help track keywords of your competitors. Knowing what keywords they’re targeting and what are their backlink sources helps you know of their strategies. You can then use the data to your advantage
12) Local Outreach and Relationship Building
Get connected with other businesses from where your business can get support and recommendation. You need more of a marketing and PR approach to tackle this situation. Reach out for local businesses. Grocery stores, fast food joints – shopping malls. Places where people come and go.
Strike out a deal by putting up posters and QR codes so that local community people start reaching for your social media profiles and website. You can even reach local online businesses and promote ‘mutual backlink building’. Both of your links will go up and both of you will benefit.
13) Backlink Building
A backlink is a hyperlink of your website on some other website/webpage. SEO algorithms give preferences to backlinks because backlinks are a sign of trust. Backlinks are indication that your website is important enough to be entrusted in form of ‘links’ on other websites.
When it comes to backlinks building, you need quality over quantity. While you may feel tempted to reach out to spam websites, know that 1 backlink from a trusted higher ranked website may have a 100x better effect as compared to spam websites.
Methods like infographics and broken link building are recommended because they have a chance of higher success.
14) Optimize Social Media Accounts and Profiles
Nowadays, life is incomplete without the use of social media. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are ruling our worlds.
You can find people of every age and gender group, from all countries and communities with a little research.
To increase your local search engine optimization, you need to create social media profiles and optimize them for your website. You can create your business page and you can link up your website’s content through status, uploaded pictures and illustrations.
For example, if your business is about female products in Wisconsin, you need to invest in writing content about girls living their life in Wisconsin and neighboring states. Once you gain some fans, they will promote your content to their friends. Only condition: You need to make good use of marketing strategy by adding humor and current trends of society.
15) Monitor and Analyze Performance
Use the help of plugins and software to analyze your web traffic. Maybe it’s only you who thinks that your website is great or maybe you have done everything awesome at your end and it is the content which is not receiving any reading?
Analyzing data helps identify the problem. There are tools such as Google Analytics, Mint and Woopra which help break down useful statistics. They will tell how many pages have been hit up, from a number of users all around the world. Which age and gender group has been most active on your website? Which pages have been neglected and what is the monthly average of your people visiting your website?
Not only this improves SEO but also helps develop a sound marketing strategy.
The world of internet is an ever-growing market. In 2013 alone, the web grown by more than one third of its total size. New websites will keep on building and in future, there will be more ways through which a website’s SEO can be increased.
Currently, the methods discussed above are a thumb rule through which you can improve your website’s local search engine optimization. It is recommended to go for professional content writers, graphic designers and web developers which can proportion each ingredient into the right spot so that your website’s ranking grows at a subsequent rate.