What Are Local Search Strategies?
Local search strategies are effective in helping local businesses get found by prospective customers and clients in the organic search results.
With so many users turning to search engines like Google to find brands, goods, and services, local businesses need data-driven strategies to increase their visibility online.
Local search strategies utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to help businesses rank higher, get found, and attract more website visitors.
Learn how to use local search strategies to drive more traffic and customers to your business through Google.
Why Rank in Local Search?
If you own a local business that serves a specific geographic area, you’ll want to attract customers within that service area. Otherwise, you risk trying to compete with a larger pool of businesses, not getting found by users searching in your local area, and getting buried by your competitors in Google.
Local businesses – such as law firms, retailers, photographers, and restaurants – need to rank in local search so they can get found by users searching in their area or for their area. That’s where local search strategies come in.
How Do Local Search Strategies Work?
Local search strategies utilize the power of local SEO to help businesses rank for “localized” keywords – the keywords their prospective customers are searching for in Google.
For example, if a user searches for “family law attorney in Columbus”, family law offices in Columbus will want to rank for that term so they have a chance of attracting that potential client to their website.
Local search strategies involve a wide variety of tactics to help businesses optimize their websites for these keywords, rank high in Google Maps, increase their website traffic, and attract new customers.
Effective Local Search Strategies for Businesses
As a local business owner, you can use local search strategies to improve your Google rankings and attract new customers to your business. In fact, local SEO is one of the most effective channels for local businesses in terms of attracting highly-targeted, high converting traffic.
Discover these top local search strategies to improve your SEO and dominate the local search results.
Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
Google’s own Google My Business platform is a free tool businesses can use to connect with new and existing customers across Google Search and Google Maps.
Simply sign up for your free Google My Business (GMB) account to post your business hours, location, contact information, website URL, photos, blog posts, and more. By filling out this profile and optimizing it for local search, you can attract customers who are searching for businesses in your area.
With a GMB profile, you can rank higher in Google Maps, direct users to your website, or entice users to give you a phone call, all from your online profile. You can also gather positive customer reviews to increase your rankings and build trust with potential customers.
Implement On-Page SEO
When it comes to optimizing your website for your target keywords, on-page SEO is where it’s at. This involves including your localized keywords throughout your website page titles, URLs, content, and more.
For example, if you’re a local accountant in Seattle, you’ll want your website to rank for “Seattle accountant”, “best accountants in Seattle”, and the like. To do this, you need to use these keywords strategically throughout your website.
Want to improve your website SEO and therefore your local rankings? Be sure to check out our On-Page SEO Best Practices guide.
Build Out Your Local Listings
As a local business owner, you might be familiar with online directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing Places, and more. These websites often have existing authority and therefore help businesses get found in local search.
By submitting your website to reputable local directories, you can potentially outrank your local competitors and earn authority-boosting links back to your website. That way, you rely not only on your own website to rank but have the power of these top-ranking directories behind your site.
Read: Why are Local Listings Important?
Attract High-Authority Backlinks
New and/or small businesses can have an especially hard time ranking in local search as they are often buried by larger, more established businesses. But if you’re able to attract high-authority backlinks to your site, you can increase your own website’s authority and give it a boost.
This involves getting other websites to link back to your site, which isn’t always an easy feat. But you can use methods like outreach, guest posting, blogging, and content marketing to attract links to your site over time.
Even better, if you get backlinks from other businesses in your local area, you indicate to Google that your business is also related to this specific area and is therefore vying to rank in local search.
Publish Valuable, Localized Content
The content on your website not only provides information to prospective customers, but it can be used to target localized keywords and increase your local rankings.
You can use SEO keyword research tools like Ahrefs.com or SEMrush.com to find keywords specific to your business and local area, and then write content related to these keywords.
For example, if you’re a local restaurant and want to attract more customers, you might want to publish a “Tourist Guide to [City]” that includes things to do as well as amazing places to eat. That way, you can rank locally and drive customers to your own restaurant.
Finally, you can share this content on social media or to your email list to attract even more customers. As your content circulates, you increase your chances of attracting backlinks, getting Google to take notice, and ranking your business higher in local search.
Increase Your Local Search Rankings with SEO
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local search strategies and how to use them for your business. If you want to make a real splash in local search, you want a data-driven local SEO strategy tailored to your business and customers.
Skip the confusion and work with a trusted local SEO specialist who can assess your current website, identify the best localized keywords, optimize your content, and increase your rankings in Google Maps. The sooner you can improve your local SEO, the sooner you can start attracting traffic, leads, and customers.