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Having trouble with local search? Here’s what your local SEO strategy needs to be competitive in 2022.

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A good SEO strategy is a must for any business looking to stand out in search engines. But for the brick-and-mortar outlet that relies on local customers to survive, it’s local SEO that makes all the difference.

Why? Because effective local SEO efforts are key to dominating local search rankings and outperforming competitors in your area. They provide the exposure your small business needs to reach a motivated local audience, potential buyers who are eager and ready to spend their money now.

If you’re spending time and money on local search optimization, but still struggling to push your brand above the fold, it might be time to make some changes. Here are some local SEO tips to bolster your local business marketing strategy and put your small business on the map.

Claim and control your Google My Business listing

Want to get Google’s attention? If your goal is to gain traction in “near me” and other local Google searches, claiming your Google My Business listing is usually the best place to start.

As the search engine’s local business tool, Google My Business (or Google Business Profileas it’s now called) offers a distinct advantage over other local search elements: automatic authenticity.

Once you verify your business and claim your Google My Business page, you have an online profile that Google instantly recognizes as genuine, providing a foundation of credibility that can improve profile visibility in local search results. from Google.

Claiming your Google My Business account also gives you basic admin control over your profile, allowing you to upload photos; update your contact information, business description and hours of operation; and manage online ratings and reviews across the platform.

This not only supports your local SEO ranking efforts, but also helps improve customer experience and drive more traffic to your website.

For physical businesses, running GMB can also have a significant local SEO advantage when it comes to Google Maps. Owned by Google and a popular local business finder, Google Maps gives potential customers an engaging and detailed display of your business pulled directly from your GMB profile. At the very least, optimizing your GMB profile will definitely have a positive impact on your map display, allowing prospects to quickly locate and contact your business.

Related: How to Set Up “Google My Business” for Your Small Business

Update your business listing information

Inconsistent information in online business directories can hurt your presence in local searches. Indeed, incorrect and incomplete NAP details (name, address and phone number), spelling errors in the profile and even minor typos prevent Google from knowing what information to trust. When Google can’t verify what information is correct, it can affect your local rankings, which hurts online visibility for valuable local keywords.

It can be a tedious process at times, but claiming and updating your business name, location, and contact information in online business directories and review sites is key to creating alignment. brand searched by Google’s local algorithm. Ensuring accurate and consistent listings on online directories and major platforms like Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor (where applicable), BBB and others is key to improving your position in organic search results.

Updating your information on niche review platforms and local directories can also help improve your local SEO, boosting your rankings and credibility on critical local search pages. Typically appearing among major platforms and just below Google’s coveted three-pack, these local listings offer a great opportunity to increase visibility in the local community. Optimizing your business listing on local sites helps build your authority with search engines, and it certainly doesn’t hurt your position for locally relevant keywords.

Optimize your content for local search

Optimized content is the heart and soul of any SEO strategy. Quality blogs, articles, and landing pages are what drive engagement and drive traffic to your site, signaling to search engines that your brand is relevant, and providing information people want to see.

But if you’re a local business owner looking to reach customers in your area, having a local content strategy is essential. Local businesses that create local content, create blogs and landing pages that target the interests and needs of local customers, not only improve their relevance for “near me” and hyperlocal search queries, but they strengthen and also strengthen their position among those competing for local pack and valuable local search space.

In other words, the more authentic and high-quality your local SEO content is, the more your business caters to a local audience, the more opportunities you create to link and direct users to your website. And those higher traffic rates usually translate to higher domain authority, better rankings, and a more dominant business presence in local-intent searches.

Regardless of your business category, it’s essential to infuse your local SEO strategies with content designed for location search. Creating content based on local keyword research and centered around local news, events, and profiles offers a great opportunity to get your foot in the door and build a presence that targets more local searchers (and consumers). local leads) for important industry keywords.

Related: 10 Fundamentals to Understand SEO

Create location pages on your website

For local businesses with multiple physical locations, creating unique location pages can be an effective way to improve local SEO. Original, detailed pages dedicated to multiple locations and including accurate NAP and location information are powerful local SEO tools, helping you signal to the Google search engine that you belong in local results.

With each new location page comes a new online asset to rank on local pages and connect customers to your website. Combining these location-specific pages with a larger contact page — complete with a Google Map of each store location — can provide an even bigger boost in local SEO that turns your site into a local search magnet.

If you choose to add unique location pages to your website, make sure the contact and location details for each unique storefront are accurate and aligned with other listings on the web. It also makes every phone number unique clickable on mobile devices. This not only improves the customer experience, but also makes it easier to access your business at a critical point in the buyer’s journey.

Related: How to Make Your Small Business Website Really, Really Effective

Incorporating a few local SEO tips into your larger digital marketing strategy can sometimes make a big difference, bringing your business to a highly motivated local market. But as with anything SEO, it’s important to keep an eye out for new developments and be ready to adjust your strategy when the time comes.