7 Local SEO Strategies to Gain Awareness
Local SEO strategies have become crucial for small businesses in today’s hectic digital landscape. It’s undeniable that an online presence in 2024 can make or break a local business’s success. Think about it: whenever you need something, you pretty much rely on the internet to find an answer or solution. So now, with competition heating up, it’s increasingly important for small businesses to deepen their understanding of local SEO strategies and implement advanced plans to truly stand out over the companies in your specific industry. Elevating your local SEO game is about more than visibility; it’s a blueprint for driving traffic to your storefront and boosting sales.
Personal Use Case with AdamHelper
Let’s use my AdamHelper business, which is here in the United States, as an example. While I want to hit the masses, I generally only want to hit prospective customers living in or moving to Massachusetts. And while we could say that Massachusetts is local enough, we technically aren’t serving families in the Berkshires, Springfield, or Worcester, all far west of Boston.
Our primary target bases are Boston, Cambridge, the Metro West, and the surrounding area. Of course, we can help families in other areas; we go down to the Cape all the time, but because of our travel fee structure, it doesn’t always make sense for some customers, who can find cheaper options closer to home. So, I tend to use geographically local SEO strategies to target the right prospective customers.
The Crucial Role of Local SEO Strategies
Local SEO strategies aren’t just another marketing buzzword; they’re a lifeline for small businesses trying to make a mark amidst industry giants and bustling local markets. How do you think AdamHelper can even be recognized when you have national powerhouses in Boston, such as Gentle Giant and Olympia moving companies, here on the same playing field: my local SEO strategies! With more consumers turning to the web, especially via mobile, to find local services and products, robust local SEO strategies are the gateway to ensuring your business surfaces when and where it’s needed most, which is now!
Today, I’ll share seven essential pieces you can apply to your marketing strategy regarding your ability to target the right local attention. Too often, I see ads from a moving company across the country that intends to serve their own local community, but instead, here I am in Boston, watching them waste their hard-earned money. Not only do I have my own moving company, which means I’m not the right target, but I’m in a completely different geographical area.
The point is, I’m sure many of you, other self-employed and small business owners, are doing the same thing and wasting your marketing budget. So, in this blog post, we’ll dive into effective local SEO strategies that can transform Google searches into new customers walking through your doors that will help you make the most of your investments.
What is SEO?
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is the ability and skill to create and improve online content to boost its ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). By crafting content that aligns with search engine algorithms, we can enhance its relevance and value, ultimately driving more organic traffic to your website. So, SEO is essentially the foundation of your local SEO strategies.
Unraveling Local SEO Strategies
Before wielding the advanced tools, it’s crucial to grasp the basics. Local SEO strategies are about refining your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. Unlike broader SEO, this discipline zeroes in on geographically proximate audiences. As a small business, mastering local SEO means that your website, social media profiles, and online directory listings are optimized not just for generic industry terms but for the local queries that matter most to your bottom line.
This reinforces what I mentioned above about my AdamHelper content being geared toward prospective customers here in the Boston area. What good is it to display all of my ads to people moving throughout western Massachusetts when I don’t serve that part of the state? It’s a waste of marketing money or time if you are creating the content and optimizing your platforms for the wrong geographical location. If your services are meant for businesses and families in Texas, make sure to be specific to your state, county, district, town, and city. You can even get more granular and zero in on communities or neighborhoods if the pool is big enough to make it worthwhile.
Mastering Keyword Research
Your journey toward launching the best local SEO strategies begins with keyword research. Unlike global keywords, local ones are specific to a region, neighborhood, or city. Tap into location-based phrases that customers are likely to use, such as “best coffee downtown,” and don’t shy away from long-tail keywords that offer less competition and higher intent from searchers. Strategizing your content and SEO around these phrases is a magnet for local traffic.
This is easier than you think when you are using the right tools. I recommend SEMRUSH, KWFinder, and Google Keyword Planner, to name a few, depending on your particular situation. SEMRUSH is the industry standard, and you can find Fortune 500 companies using it since it’s a robust digital marketing platform full of tools and features. KWFinder is what I personally use and recommend if your budget is smaller or you only need an SEO and keyword research tool. And lastly, regardless of your budget, I suggest Google Keyword Planner since it comes directly from Google and, better yet, it’s free.
Google Business Profile Optimization
The ecosystem of local SEO orbits heavily around Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly called Google My Business (GMB). It’s often the first point of contact searchers have with your business. Ensure your GBP profile is not just complete but comprehensive. Every field filled, high-quality images, accurate business hours, and a detailed services menu, all contribute to a robust Google Business Profile. Maximize the use of Google Posts to share promotions, event news, and more, keeping your audience engaged and informed.
I get a fair amount of leads from my Google Business account, and I believe it’s the combination of locally optimized descriptions and optimized posts that I can credit for my success. I’ll occasionally take a picture of me working on the job and share it with a description that includes how I can help and/or where I can help by sharing what town or city I was in at the time. These little steps help me get leads and customers directly through Google Business.
Local Citations and Digital Directories
Citations, the online reference of your business’s NAP (name, address, phone number), play an essential role in local SEO strategies. Ensuring NAP consistency across the web, especially in online directories relevant to your industry and locality, signals the reliability of your business information to search engines. The more consistent and widespread your citations, the higher your local SEO plummets.
Make sure your website’s contact information is the same as your Google Business Profile and your social media pages that show it. So, for example, if you have a business line but also list your personal phone number on other pages, you confuse Google and Bing as they crawl your different pages and profiles, trying to find connections. If it were a point system, you’d be losing points for having mismatched information. Instead, ensure it’s the same across the board, which helps to show a match.
The Power of Local Backlinks
Backlinks, links from one website to another, are like currency in SEO. Local backlinks from other community websites can be a goldmine for local businesses. Collaborate with local bloggers, sponsor community events, or offer your insights to local news media. Each local backlink acts as a vote of confidence in your business’s relevance, catapulting it up the local search rankings. When it comes to the best local SEO strategies, they often include backlinks.
This is honestly one area I absolutely need to improve, and I plan to do so this year. AdamHelper, fortunately, has done pretty well on its own with organically getting people to link to it, sharing it, and building that backlink pipeline. This is what you want. But you should technically go a step further and actually make an effort to engage with others in your surrounding community or industry, to network where you all support and link to each other. Relevance and legitimacy will help give you more credibility, improving the chances that you are shown more often and to the right audience.
Content Creation for Local Audiences
Content remains king, even in local SEO. Create content that’s valuable to your target audience and also deeply rooted in local flavor. Blog about local events, offer insights into neighborhood trends, or dispense advice exclusively tailored to local demographics. This level of personalization resonates not just with search engines but with your local audience, too.
The AdamHelper brand is slowly evolving into informational product reviews, unboxing, and tutorial content as I shift my attention back toward my sales and marketing roots… hence this new site, etc. So, while I’m not consistently pushing out new content daily, most is geared towards prospective customers in the towns we serve or the moving and general labor industries since I also create some training and tip videos that not only help others but also help build my credibility. Some content specifically shows us working in Boston or Newton, for example, while others are more broad and generic but still relevant to moving.
Tracking and Measuring Your Success
Implementing these local SEO strategies is just the beginning; to truly master local SEO, you must measure the impact. Platforms like Google Analytics and Google Search Console provide detailed insights into your website’s local performance. Monitor changes to your website traffic, conversion rates, and search rankings. This data isn’t just informative; it’s directive, allowing you to refine and tailor your local SEO efforts for optimal results.
I use and recommend many of the same tools for multiple purposes, including the ability to evaluate my marketing efforts to see if what I’ve invested my time and energy into is actually paying off. Beyond the free Google tools mentioned above, as a WordPress user, I also need to recommend Rank Math as my main source for measuring the effectiveness of my SEO strategies. To be honest, there is a good chance you found this page because of some data that I saw inside Rank Math. It’s legit, no joke!
Rank Math is one of the best WordPress Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools! SEO is a must!
Start Your Blueprint for Local SEO Strategies and Success
Local SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all undertaking. It’s a dynamic, ever-evolving set of tactics designed to connect with the specific needs of your local audience. By understanding and implementing these advanced strategies, small businesses can establish themselves as local powerhouses, attracting new customers and ensuring longevity in their community.
Now, it’s over to you. As you question how to harness the digital levers for your business’s benefit, consider the potential impact that these local SEO strategies could have. With a little guidance, your online presence can transform from a passive listing to an active, revenue-generating resource. After all, why spend your time or money building a website for your business if nobody will find it?
So, are you ready to take charge of your local SEO strategies? Start by conducting a full audit or review of your current online presence, pinpointing areas for improvement, and setting a strategic course of action to take. Remember, the internet is also a series of local communities online, and within these virtual streets lies untapped potential for every small business willing to strut their digital stuff. But, like the real world, you don’t want to go down any street.
This means it’s time to put these plans into action and watch as the virtual doors open for your local business, bringing in real, relevant customers looking for what you offer. The power of local SEO strategies are in your hands; use it wisely and watch your sales soar.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level with tailored local SEO strategies but aren’t sure where to start, I’m here to help. Contact me, and I’ll develop and implement robust local SEO strategies to put your business on the map in your town, city, or state. And if you’re looking to dive in on your own first, my blog is full of free tips and tricks to get you started. This should be a good starting point to get the ball moving forward. Let’s unlock the full potential of your online presence today.