Hello there fellow internet surfer!
Here to learn all about Local SEO for small business?
Don’t know what it means?
Do you want your local audience to find your business online?
If you answered yes to the last question, Then you need to understand Local SEO.
In this article we shall be specifically sticking to Local SEO for Small Business.
While there is a lot of information for a person searching on the internet for Local SEO for Small Business, it is mostly vague if not diffused across thousands of websites.
What we have done is organize all of the information that you need to know into a small and easy-to-digest article, so that your time is saved (you can thank us later).
So without further ado let’s get started with our Complete Guide to Local SEO for Small Business.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO for small business means optimizing your web presence so that Google (or any other search engine) trusts your website and rewards it with higher visibility.
Think of your website as your business forefront on the internet. When you optimize your website to Local SEO, Google increases its visibility which leads to more customers.
Now before moving any further we need to clarify between Local SEO for small business and Organic SEO (often called just SEO).
Local SEO vs Organic SEO
According to Hostinger SEO is a practice of optimizing your website. This optimization will let the search engines know that your website is worth showing in the top positions of search results.
Local SEO, on the other hand, is a branch of SEO that focuses on optimizing a website to be found in local search results. By local search results we mean all those nifty search terms that scream local like:
Plumbers Near me
Content Marketing Services in [city name]
Now that we know what exactly is Local SEO, the question that is inevitable is “What is the need of Local SEO for small business companies?” Let us come to that.
Importance of Local SEO for Small Business
Whether you’re a small scale business or the CEO of a multinational company, there is opportunity for everyone to attract local customers and grow their business through Local SEO. Don’t believe us? Maybe the following stats will convey our message:
50% of online users who performed a local search on their phone went to a physical store within one day. The same applies to 34% of users who performed the online search on Computer or tablets.
4 in every 5 consumers use search engines to find information pertaining to local stores’ addresses, business hours, products availability and directions.
4 in every 5 online users want ads customised to their location. This is a very big deal. The problem with traditional advertisements (the ones on TV and Newspaper) is that they can’t cater their target audience but what this study tells us is the fact that the majority of internet users want personalized ads which gives your business a chance to become visible to a larger target audience. Now who wouldn’t want that?
Consumers can be influenced to purchase in store if they know a store is nearby.
In 2017, 97% consumers looked online for local businesses, with 12% looking for it everyday.
What do these statistics mean for you and how are they related to local SEO for small business?
They signify that a majority of your potential customers are present online and expect you to be too.
These customers want to be able to get the information regarding your business from their favourite search engine.
What we are trying to say and will continue to scream about until the cows come home is that Your business needs local SEO.
Not just as an extra investment but as a necessity.
How To Do Local SEO for Small Business?
In order to optimise your website for local consumers you need to follow the step-by-step guide we have given below.
1. Keyword Research
Keywords are words that your consumers use when they are searching for services or products that you can offer.
In order to gain higher rank on Local SEO for small business, you need to ensure that your website has ample keywords specific to your field. Tips for that are down below.
1.1 Google Search’s Auto-complete feature
You can gain a fair idea of the kind of keywords that are trendy in your niche, through the auto-complete feature of Google Search. In the example given below, we have searched for Coffee Shops in Delhi, which has brought some interesting keywords.
Also you can look up at Related Searches at the end of the search results. That will give you a rough idea of the keywords related to your business.
1.2 Brainstorm Your SiLs
Keyword research is not rocket science. You are basically searching for the keywords that your potential customers will use.
Taking the Coffee Shop example let’s see what an online user will type, for searching a coffee shop in New Delhi.
“Coffee Shop in New Delhi”
“Top Coffee Shop in New Delhi”
“Best Coffee Shop in New Delhi”
Did you spot the format? It’s Service in Location (SiL). Creating a SiL is easy: you merge your services you offer with your location to create potential keywords. Here’s a cool tool to help you with SiLs.
Additional Resources on Keyword Research and Local SEO for Small Business
2. Google My Business
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organisations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
Setting up your Google My Business account is very important for optimising your Local SEO for small business. The steps for doing so are given below.
Step 1: Enter your business name
Google will first ask for your business name.You have two choices here:
- Create a new business
- Claim an existing business
Start typing, and Google will search for your business in their system.
You’ll see it if they have it. Hit the option to “create a business with this name” if you can’t find your business.
Step 2: Enter your Address
Next, Google will ask for your address.
If you’re claiming a business that Google already has in their system, this will be already filled. Otherwise, you will need to enter your address.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business with a storefront, this is easy—just enter your shop address.
Step 3: Select your location
Now input your business’s location. You can use the auto-locate feature or manually enter your address.
Step 4: Choose a category
Google is pretty strict in selection of your category. There can only be one category for your business so take your time. You can find help related to the category selection here. In a nutshell your category should be something that your business is rather than what your business has (source). Makes sense?
Step 5: Enter your Phone number and Website
This is easy and straightforward. Enter your phone number and website. Here’s some advice on this from Google.
Step 6: Verify your listing
Before your listing goes live on Google, you need to verify it. This can be done through post or phone. Follow the instructions given by Google to verify your business listing.
Step 7: further optimising your listing
Congratulations you have created your listing on Google My Business! Now it’s time to optimize it a bit more by:
- Uploading some photos (ideally ones taken on your premises or at least nearby, as these will have location metadata attached).
- Listing your opening hours.
- Listing any individual services you offer.
- Adding any additional phone numbers.
- Adding relevant attributes.
3. On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals. (source)
For local SEO for small business, some of the on-page SEO practises that can be adopted include:
- Keyword in H1
- Keyword in title tag
- Keyword in URL
- Short and sweet URLs
- Enticing meta description
- Set Up Your Website Structure to Rank Local Landing Pages. If you serve multiple areas/cities and want to rank in each of those locations, you need to set up local landing pages. Here’s the structure we recommend:
yourlocalbusiness.com/area‑1/ yourlocalbusiness.com/area‑2/ yourlocalbusiness.com/area‑3/
- Optimize your website’s homepage according to your location.
4. Link Building (for local sites)
Here are some ways to build local links for your small business website.
- Create and promote useful local resources.
- Guest-blog on different websites to promote your brand and find diverse target audiences. You can search for availability of Guest Bloggers by searching:
[location] intitle:"write for us"
[location] intitle:"write for me"
[location] "write for us"
[location] "guest post"
5. Keep Optimizing
As we said at the start, SEO is an ongoing process. One cannot apply “use it and forget it” principle to it.
At the end of the day if you’ve done all that you could, come back tomorrow to optimize your web presence further. Building your presence on the web through Local SEO for small business is a long game. Every day the search engine giant, Google, updates its algorithms and thus your website must too.
Below are some of the steps you can take to keep optimizing your web presence and Local SEO for small business:
- Stay active on Google My Business. As we said before, GMB is very crucial in increasing your visibility to online users on Google.
- Experiment with Google posts. It has been shown that there is some correlation between Google snack pack ranking and Google posts activity (source)
- Keep posting new content regularly on different media. Do blogs, social media posts, polls, etc to keep your presence active.
So that’s all folks!
Pat yourself on the back ’cause you just mastered Local SEO for small business today.
No matter where you are, you can learn and grow your business with the power of Local SEO.
We know that our guide was a bit exhaustive, but if you’ll try the steps mentioned above you’ll rank your business higher than 99% of your competitors.
Thank you for reading this article and we’ll see you in the next one.
Bye & Good Luck!!