For small business owners, focusing on local SEO is a must if you want to attract customers in your geographic area.
Optimizing your online presence for local search helps you connect with people nearby who are looking for your products or services.
In this post, we walk through the key steps to help your small business get found locally.
Why Local SEO Matters
Consider this - over half of all mobile searches are for local information like "pizza places nearby" or "plumber Cleveland."
If you're a brick-and-mortar business relying on foot traffic, you need your business to appear at the top of those local searches. Ranking higher increases your visibility and drives more locals to your door.
Local SEO helps you stand out against national chains and competitors in your hometown.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Start by creating or optimizing your free Google My Business listing. This gives you a presence on Google maps/search for your target keywords.
Complete your profile fully with address, hours, photos, services, and more. Update it regularly to stay current.
Encourage customer reviews too - these boost local authority and clicks.
Use Targeted Keywords
Include locally-focused keywords throughout your website to attract nearby searchers. Think "city name", "near me", "neighborhoods", etc.
Sprinkle these terms naturally in page titles, content, alt text, and meta descriptions. This helps search engines connect your relevance to locals.
Get Local Backlinks
Backlinks from directory listings and other local sites help build trust and authority.
List your business on platforms like Yelp, Facebook, and industry-specific directories related to your niche.
Partner with neighboring businesses to swap links and cross-promote too.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Reviews make a big impact on local rankings. Kindly respond to feedback, and share photos of your business.
If you have just a few reviews, ask happy customers to leave an additional review to build up your presence.
Optimize for Mobile
Today, the majority of local searches happen on smartphones. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, with easy-tapping buttons and legible fonts.
This makes it effortless for people to find and contact you.
Create Local Content
Publish blog posts with locally-focused keywords, e.g. "The 5 Best Hiking Trails in Cleveland."
Share local nlocal-seo-for-small-biz-how-to-get-found-in-your-communityews, partnerships, events, or anything that connects your business to the community.
Track and Measure Results
Use Google Analytics to monitor traffic from local searches. See which geographic terms drive the most conversions.
Refine your keywords and strategy based on these insights to maximize your local visibility over time.