Did you know that more than 50% of customers who conduct a local search will visit a store within a day? What’s more,78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase, and about 56% of all “on-the-go” searches have local intent. To put this another way, local search is BOOMING, and now is the time to hop aboard. If you’re wondering how to optimize your website to speak to these local customers, wonder no longer. This post is here to guide you through the process.
5 Must-Have Website Elements for Local SEOIf local customers are everywhere, how do you attract them to your website? Here are seven actionable tips to implement right now:
1. Keep Your NAP Consistent Across All DirectoriesNAP stands for name, address, phone number, and refers to the “how to find us” information you must always keep consistent. The reason for this is simple: NAP information is instrumental in ensuring customers know how to locate you. If it’s inconsistent or inaccurate, you thwart the best attempts of your customers to track you down. Unfortunately, about 49% of businesses never update their NAP information online. To make the most of local search, don’t be like these businesses. Instead, keep your NAP information consistent and update it across all major listings whenever anything changes.
2. Collect Positive ReviewsIf you want to build credibility for your business, collecting local reviews is one of the best things you can do. The reasons for this are many. The most important, though, is trust. Right now, 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends. Because of this, collecting a few high-quality online reviews is one of the best ways to position your company as trustworthy and reliable, and ensure those local customers keep walking through your doors. If you’re not sure where to start collecting reviews, turn to social sites like Facebook, your Google listing, and relevant platforms like Yelp and Angie’s List.
3. Create Local ContentIf you want to dominate local search, you need to focus on dominating local content, as well. Local content serves a few essential purposes when it comes to your site’s SEO. To start, it makes it possible to earn links and get the “link juice” you need to ensure search engines are pointing customers to your site. Secondly, creating local content positions you as an authority in your industry, and ensures that customer will turn to you for information and knowledge. Finally, having a large amount of local content in your holster gives you material to share on social media and boosts the likelihood that you’ll land positive press mentions, which, in turn, make it possible to grab the attention of new customers and earn the business you deserve.
4. Optimize for Google My BusinessGoogle is the most dominant search engine in the world, and it wants to focus on sharing content it can support and verify. While Google uses dozens of different metrics to verify a site’s quality, Google My Business is their primary tool. As it stands now, Google evaluates My Business listings to determine if a business is authentic, learn what it offers, and push listings to customers. With this in mind, it’s essential to optimize for Google My Business. Here are a few steps to do that:
- Create and verify a Google My Business page
- Use Google Posts within your account
- Gain reviews on your Google My Business page
- Encourage customers to post and respond to reviews online