For many business owners, the thought of ranking on a local search engine results in a head-scratch. The process can seem daunting and complex. Local SEO can be tricky, especially if you’re new to the game. With all of the changes in Google’s algorithm and local listings, it’s hard to know what will work for your business.
Before you start your search engine optimization strategy, it’s important to lay down some guidelines for yourself and decide how involved you want to be.
What you’re looking for?
The most common local SEO mistake is when business owners think they’re ranking in Google solely because their website shows up on page one or two of a Google search. If your company isn’t showing up when people are looking for you locally, you’re doing local SEO wrong. Your website is the number one marketing tool for your business—more than your brochure, more than a billboard, and way more than a Super Bowl ad. You need to have a website that ranks on page one or two for relevant local search queries.
As a business owner, you don’t have to be the one doing search engine optimization and link building. However, it doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t be involved. The more informed you are about local SEO and your company’s online presence, the better your campaign will be.
- Check the health of your website
You should start by checking if your site is responsive. Also, look at the general health of your website. Are there any pages that are missing or have set up redirects? Look at your URLs to see how relevant they are and whether there are any duplicates. Once you’ve done this basic clean-up, you can move to more specific optimizations for your local SEO campaign.
- Get the right tools for the job
When choosing a tool, several options will help you build authority backlinks, monitor your competitors, and find new opportunities in search engine results pages.
Local SEO campaigns require a mix of on-page and off-page optimizations. If you’re outsourcing, make sure to use tools that will enable you to monitor all aspects of your campaign, such as monitoring rankings and keyword positions, link building, and competitor tracking.
To get started with local SEO, focus on the basics. Set up a Google My Business page for your business and start to create content that includes long-tail keywords related to the services you offer.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
According to Google’s latest study, more than half of Internet users look for local smartphone information. A responsive website design would help you rank higher in both desktop and mobile searches. A slow-loading site will lose the attention of readers who are looking for immediate answers. You can check if your website is mobile-friendly here.
- Create a blog for your business
A big part of local SEO is building good, relevant backlinks to your website. The easiest way to do that is to create a blog on your website and share it with other people through guest blogging, social media updates, or keeping in touch with site owners who have high domain authority in your industry by linking them from time to time.
According to research, sites that publish more content rank higher than the ones publishing less content. Also, local businesses sharing their expertise online are perceived as credible by Google’s algorithm – this means they will likely rank higher in search engine results pages.
- Commit yourself to link building
One of the best ways to build your website’s authority is through link building. If you’re looking for local SEO, it’s important that you start building relevant links to the services you offer.
Start by writing guest posts on other blogs related to your industry and increase the number of backlinks pointing towards your website. These will help improve both page rank and domain authority. You can also run local PR campaigns. The higher quality the content is, the more likely people who are reading it will share it with their friends on social media channels, increasing the number of backlinks coming to your site.
- Monitor your results
What gets measured gets improved, so set up a spreadsheet where you’ll monitor all changes in rankings and link building. You should also set up alerts in Google Search Console that will send you weekly reports about what’s going on with your local SEO campaign. This way, you’ll be able to optimize your strategies in time to improve the results.
- Prepare for future changes in search engine algorithms
As we mentioned before, local SEO is an ever-changing industry, and there are always new players entering the field. For this reason, it’s important that you stay informed and adapt your strategies accordingly because this step will determine how high you rank among searches made in your area.
If you’re struggling to keep up with these constant changes, then outsource your campaign management or hire a professional who specializes in local SEO strategies to take care of your campaign. This will provide you with the opportunity to focus your efforts on other aspects of your business.
- Keep track of your competitors
Keeping track of your competitors is vital for any local SEO campaign. If you want to stand out among the competition, knowing what they are up to is crucial. Pay close attention to the keywords they rank for and the strategies that helped them achieve their position.
A great way to monitor your competitor’s activity is using SEMrush. The tool gives you access to valuable information such as PA (page authority) and DA (domain authority), along with traffic data that will help you analyze which local competitors have the most success online. Also, it provides some good keyword suggestions that can help improve your site’s search engine ranking positions. Always keep in mind that unethical practices might lead Google to penalize your website, so don’t rely just on gathering information from your competitors – create content that people will enjoy reading and share with others. Testimonials, photo galleries, product reviews, and press releases are a great way to draw them in.
Another great tool you could use is SimilarWeb. The way it works is simple – you type in the URL of a website, and it shows how popular they are among other websites and their engagement metrics by showing you what percentage of visits come from social channels.
In order to build trust between your brand and customers, try sharing as much valuable content as possible because this will help increase organic traffic, which can lead to more conversions over time.
The best thing about local SEO is that every business, regardless of the industry they’re in, can benefit from it. You just need to find your website’s niche and start creating content around it while simultaneously building links that are relevant to their search queries.
If you own a local business and want to scale it up, check the Sydney local SEO packages by Helpline Marketing.