Customers are looking for the best services and products they can find near them. They need the answers to their queries quickly and efficiently. Search engine optimization (SEO) has been used by multiple businesses to increase their search engine visibility and gather more leads. However, if you run a business with a local storefront, you do not have to compete with global websites in your niche. What you can do to have a more targeted reach is to utilize local SEO marketing.

Going back to the initial scenario, a customer is searching for a specific product or service near them, the question would be, will they see your business when local customers are searching for your industry’s product or service? Will local customers choose your service instead of all the other local businesses that compete with your business?

Compared to the traditional SEO approach, local SEO marketing needs a more targeted approach and strategic goals. Previously, SEO was mostly used for websites and businesses that wanted their content to rank in the overall search engine results page (SERP). However, as more people became reliant on search engines to find their needs and wants, SEO has evolved into a more concentrated approach which led to the rise of local SEO.

Brick-and-mortar stores and local storefronts wanted to get the upper hand with their competitors online. This is why they use local SEO to get ahead of the curve. Local businesses have to make sure that they make use of all the local signals to ensure that the search engines, especially Google, will rank their businesses higher when a customer is looking for their product or service.

To properly define local SEO, it is an SEO branch that is more focused on website optimization with the goal of ranking high with the local SERP. SEO strategies such as content, link building, on-page, and off-page optimizations are used but with the intent to localize these efforts.

Here are 10 ways that you can use to improve your local SEO marketing efforts:

  1. Use one domain only.

If you have businesses that have operations in various locations, you might think that creating separate domains for every location you operate in will be helpful. This is a mistaken mindset since each domain will be separately indexed by the search engine. Your marketing implementations such as content publishing and link building will only affect one domain.

This means you will exert the same amount of hard work and effort for each domain you have to rank on local SERPs. It will multiply the needed budget, time, and effort if you separate all of your articles. If you want your locations to rank in the SERPs, create individual pages on your domain for every location you operate in.

In the event that you want to create unique content for each of your locations, use a subdomain or subfolder when managing these contents. This strategy allows you to target specific geographic locations without the hassle of optimizing and wasting your budget on multiple domains.

  1. You have to research your competitors.

To effectively use SEO for various locations, you need to properly assess your industry and competitors. Understand your unique selling proposition and how you can leverage your uniqueness in the market. Knowing these factors will aid you in properly utilizing a local SEO tactic to help you gain potential leads and convert customers.

You can begin by simply conducting an analysis of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, and growth opportunities. Additionally, check if your competitors are doing well in certain areas and how you can improve your approach to become better than your competitor’s strengths.

  1. Claim your Google-My-Business listing including other directory listings.

You can improve your local search engine ranking by claiming your directory listing in Google My Business. Include your main information such as your contact information, operation hours, photos, address, and other additional information about your business. To rank for the other locations you may have, link every local directory to each location page found on your website. Aside from Google, claim your local directory listing from Yelp and Bing as well.

  1. Create content that is specific to your location.

To rank in the higher spots for your locations, you have to create pages that are specifically optimized for every location. You may create certain testimonials from your local customers for every location. With the creation of unique content and pages for every location page, you will be able to optimize those pages, including the H1’s, content, and page titles.

You have to remember that you copy content from every location page you may have. You might get duplicate content penalties if you re-use your content on other pages. To avoid penalties for duplicate content, make the content of each location page unique.

  1. Maintain consistency on citations across the web.

When you claim or list your business on relevant directories, you have to be consistent with the information about your business. You must have the name, address, and phone number consistent on all the directories where your business may appear.

What are the other important factors in local SEO marketing?

Aside from those five ways to improve your local SEO, there are other factors that you also have to utilize to get the best results. These factors are used in a traditional SEO approach but with the goal of a more localized approach.

Gather Local SEO Backlinks

Link building is an integral part of SEO. This is why it is also important to use it with local SEO. Identify local websites. These can be blogs about your location, tourist websites on those blogs, and many more. Reach out to these local websites to see if they are accepting guest posts. Other websites can be local sites related to your industry, chamber of commerce websites, and NAP or citation websites. You have to make sure that you will not violate any of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines as it may result in your website getting penalized and disappearing from the search results.

Research Relevant Keywords

Research keywords that are relevant to your business which will more likely be used by users to research. These keywords can be as simple as “find a lawyer near me” or “find a septic tank maintenance near me”. Google can mostly identify the location of the searcher which is why using the words “near me” would prompt the search engine to show results based on where the user is located.

However, there is also a rise in people using voice search to do the research. The advent of Alexa, Siri, and other similar technology paved the for queries to be geared towards a conversational voice search.

Which Businesses Will Benefit With Local SEO?

Local SEO is a laser-focused approach compared to general SEO. With general SEO, you may rank globally for the keywords you are targeting. Local SEO weeds SERPs that will not benefit your business. Instead, it will benefit a business that requires local customers to gain revenue. Location-based businesses will benefit from SEO as their business is placed in front of the searcher. The businesses that may take advantage of local SEO can be doctors, clinics, salons, restaurants, lawyers, home improvement contractors, hotels, and many more.