We are living in an era where more people rely on internet searches to findsolutions for their problems. This means search engine optimization has become an important channel to reach customers in any industry today than ever. With more businesses recognizing the benefits of SEO, the search pages are highly competitive nowadays and you must know how to utilize SEO in order for your business to stand out of the rest.

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Search engines are tailoring their results to match the geographical location of users. For this reason, you can attract more potential buyers to your niche by leveraging the local search tactics.


Why Should You Focus on Local SEO?

Shopping locally has become easier. If you want to buy groceries, for example, you typically pull out your smartphone and type something like "groceries near me." Then, the search pages give you a list of businesses that sell groceries in your locality. After all, you'll consider the stores that appear on the first page.

When your business gain visibility in the local search, you only get the attention of the people in your geographical location who could actually become viable customers. Businesses that invested in SEO a few years ago are not only getting more traffic from their local area but also enjoy a wave of prospective buyers from other parts of the country or event internationally.

While there are strategies to gain national traffic, running your business locally and at the same time looking for a national or international audience is a recipe for failure. With local SEO, your business can rank high on the local search and attract customers within your local area who are looking for your services. When your local buyers identify your business, they'll continue to come back as long as their buying experience is positive.


How Does Local SEO Get Results?

Just like any other marketing approach, achieving results requires research and formulation of a unique strategy. For you to gain local visibility, start by considering the benefits of your products to the customers, the market you are targeting, and whether your business has any competitive advantage. With that information, you can research the right keywords that'll help you rank on the google search.

The goal of every business is to secure a space in the local park. So what is a local park? When users search information based on local intent, a block of 3 business appear on the first section of the first page. If you want to generate more leads, you need to be visible in the local park. To get more ideas about the local pack, check out the screenshot below.


Expert Tips for Optimizing Your Business Website for Local SEO

To attract more potential customers to the business, you need to boost your local visibility. Here are helpful tips to keep in mind:

1). Build Out a Mobile-Friendly Website

In this digital era, more people search for information on the web using their smartphones. According to a study done by comScore in 2012, the total number of American searchers using mobile phones increased by 26% between the months of March and December. Interestingly, this increment was expected to continue as time goes on.

Today, more customers search for local information using smartphones instead of desktops or laptops. This means that your business website should be responsive, adaptive to any screen size and quick to load if you want to attract more potential customers to your business. When your site has these attributes, it'll perform better on search engines and offer better customer experience.

2). Have a Google My Business Account

Claiming a GMB account is as essential as having a business website if you want to get more exposure on Google. When creating Google My Business page, make sure you include all the critical details such as the address, contact, opening hours and category.

Creating a GMB page doesn't automatically make your business rank. You must boost local visibility by updating and adding new content regularly. You can add photos, FAQs as well as create custom content. When crafting content for your GMB, make sure to use primary and LSI keywords as they can bump up the possibility of your business to get into the localpark.

3). Citation Building Technique

While GMB is the best way to build a business citation, you can use other superb methods to do this and get the desired results. However, when building citations make sure every single detail is similar and accurate in each directory. Vital details such as the name of the business, contact info, address and website should be the same in all the lists.
The more citations you have, the easier to convince Google that your business is genuine and honest. To boost your local search, your business should be added in the following directories:
  • Angie's List
  • Facebook
  •  Yelp
  • Yellow pages
  • TripAdvisor
  •  Bing

Even if doing all this job may appear time-consuming, accomplishing it correctly can push your business to the next level. If you don't have time to do this task, you can find out plenty of tools out there that can take this burden off your shoulders as long as you are willing to pay some coins.

4). Build Healthy Links

Boosting your domain authority is the key to local ranking. One of the best techniques to achieve this is by gettinghealthy backlines from reputable websites. When search engines start crawling and indexing pages, they decide which page has sufficient outbound links to rank. The tenet here is, the healthier the links, the more chances to rank higher on Google.
When it comes to local ranking, Google knows very well that your local business is unlikely to have backlinks from huge domains such as the New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Alexa, etc. However, building links from trustworthy websites from your town such as local newspaper, TV station, University, college or community-based organization can help your business get into a top position on the local ranking.

There are plenty of tactics you can use to build your link profile. However, these tactics take more time and offer the best result. No matter how complicated this process is but never buy links from anyone claiming to sell them. This behavior can entirely ruin your business credibility.

The starting point of building strong links is by creating compelling and original content that informs and entertains. People will link and share your content when they find it useful. You can also ask your friends, colleagues, or family members who have websites for backlinking. Another way to get backlinks is by guest posting. When submitting your guest article, you can include a link to your website in your writers' bio. To get guest post opportunities, you can type "write for us + your niche" and Google will direct you to websites that offer guest posting.

5). Embrace the Best Local SEO Practices

To achieve local ranking, you must understand and follow local SEO best practices. Even if you use the above four strategies and fail to follow the basics of local SEO, your site will never appear in the local pack. Some of the best practices you can observe are:
  • Using the right keywords
  • Consider paid search
  • Create the right metadata and title tags
  •  Perform on-page checks regularly
  •  Audit your site to remove broken links

Although local SEO is important, it's not the only way to grow your business in this digital era. However, when it is done properly and by experts, it can lead to more traffic, more sales and more credibility. If you want your business to thrive locally, do not hesitate to use some of these tips, if not all. 

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