There is plenty of research data that cements the importance of local search visibility. For instance, 50% of the searches on Google with local intent lead to a store visit.
Similarly, almost 80% of local searches made on a smartphone lead to a sale. As a small business, local SEO can be a powerful tool to fight against the big budgets of large corporations.
How, then, can you improve your local search visibility? Here are some nifty ways.
Tips to Improve Local Search Visibility
Claim Google My Business Page
Submitting your business to local directories is very important for improving local SEO. However, even if you haven’t submitted to a bunch of local directories, you shouldn’t miss out on Google’s My Business directory.
Creating an optimised My Business page on Google significantly increases the chances of your business showing up on Google’s local 3-pack.
In order to create a My Business page on Google, you need to have a physical address for your business. Google sends a PIN via postcard to your physical address for verification.
Optimise your My Business listing with a good description that includes a lot of relevant keywords. Indicate opening hours, and fill-in as many relevant fields as possible.
Utilise Local Structured Data Markup
In order for search bots to understand your website’s content better, you need something called structured data markup. It is a specific kind of code that you add to your website so that Google has more detail on the content of your website.
Google, specifically, uses structured data markup for rich snippets – search results with extra information such as reviews and price range.
Local structured data markup can be especially useful for ecommerce stores with a local brick-and-mortar presence. If code scares you, you can use Google’s Data Highlighter for including structured data markup on your website.
You can also use Structured Data Testing Tool by Google to check if structured data markup is working correctly on your website.
Hiring an expert SEO agency might be the safest route, though.
Build High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are still one of the most important factors for SEO, and even more so for local SEO. If you are hoping to show up on Google’s snack pack for local results, it is important that you get high-quality backlinks for your webpages.
Influencers in your industry can be an important factor to get high-quality backlinks. Get in touch with them and see if they want to review your product or service.
Creating hyper-local, good quality content also works. The idea is to get good bloggers and reputable news sources to link back to your website.
No matter what content strategy you follow, though, it is important to remain consistent for a considerable length of time, before you will start to see results.
Get Reviews for Your Business
Google suggests that positive, good-quality reviews can improve your search visibility, including local search visibility. Furthermore, responding to reviews also helps your search rankings, since it helps build trust.
Therefore, it might be a good idea to request reviews from customers in order to improve your local SEO. Send an email to your customers with a link to leave feedback for you.
Stay Consistent Across Listings
A crucial factor for good local search visibility is consistency across your business listings, online. Be it a listing on Yelp or other third-party directories, or Google’s My Business Page, make sure that the information is current and correct at all times.
Include relevant local keywords in your listings, add high-quality images, and be sure to indicate your business category.