For several years now, Google has made clear its preference for businesses that focus on their immediate localities. Rather than casting your net too broadly, targeting local customers with local SEO almost always delivers a better result.
According to a recent estimate, upwards of 35% of all search traffic on the web is now local. Which is a pretty astonishing statistic, given the hundreds of millions of searches performed every hour of every day.
But what can (and should) the average business be doing right now to make a real difference to their local SEO? What are the most effective and affordable options for giving local SEO an immediate and ongoing boost as of 2021?
- Create a Google My Business Account
Before going a step further, it is essential to both claim and optimise your Google Business listing. Without which, you will not appear in Google’s local search listings and the rest is largely inconsequential.
- Leverage the Power of Social Proof
In particular, you need to get into the habit of requesting and collecting as much feedback as you possibly can for your business. Online reviews play a major role in local SEO and are one of the biggest motivators for at least 85% of all web users.
- Do Not Forget Voice Search
It may have experienced something of a sketchy start, but voice search (which is far more conversational than traditional search) is now the preferred search option for millions of consumers.
- Create Local Content
The search engines are savvy to both the quality and the relevance of the content you produce. If you want to top the table in the local listings, you need to ensure the content you produce has an appropriate local ‘flavour’ and includes relevant local keywords.
- Optimise Your Website for Mobile
This does not apply exclusively to local SEO but is nonetheless worth emphasising. If you intend to appeal to the major search engines in any capacity, you absolutely must focus heavily on mobile optimisation.
- Conduct In-Depth Research into Local Keywords
The keywords you use must never be random or products of guesswork. You need to conduct in-depth research and detailed analysis to find out what your customers are looking for and how you can help them find it.
- Localise Your “About Us” Page
Both your ‘About Us’ page and your ‘Contact Us’ page can and should be localised with plenty of mentions of your locality. When assigning rankings, search engines like Google pay close attention to things like street addresses, telephone numbers, map coordinates and anything that confirms your location.
- Refresh Your Content Regularly
Last but not least, this is another rule that applies in all aspects of SEO – including local search marketing. If you want to gain and maintain a competitive edge in the rankings, you need to ensure the content on your website is both relevant and refreshed on a regular basis.