It’s always a good time to revise and revitalize local SEO efforts, but with consumers staying close to home this year, what better moment than now? Today, 76% of people searching for a nearby business to suit their needs visit the location within 24 hours, and 28% of these searches result in a sale. With COVID-19 still in our midst, it’s crucial to fortify your small business in every way possible. Revisiting how you’re managing SEO in your area may be the boost you’ve needed. Whether you occupy a brick-and-mortar space that’s seen less foot traffic since March or operate your shop via web, your search to strengthen local SEO ends here.
Create a Google My Business Account
Without a proper Google My Business listing, landing optimal local SEO rankings proves to be difficult. In fact, using the free tool is one of the most effective ways for small businesses to increase local visibility. A Google My Business account helps your company rank higher on Google Maps, which is an undeniable win for traffic both in-store and online.
By creating a Google My Business account and adding the appropriate information (phone number, website URL, physical address, photos, category, etc.) you’ve released another piece of content into the wild and gain insight into how nearby customers interact with your business on Google. Enter complete data and keep information current and engaging to get the most out of local rankings.
Optimize Mobile Performance
The digital consumer expects peak performance from mobile sites. With around 60% of online searches happening via mobile in 2020, ensuring your mobile site is operating at full force is essential to effectively reaching local audiences. To enhance accessibility and your website’s mobile experience:
- Prioritize speed (ideal load time for mobile is 1-2 seconds)
- Simplify menus and make links and navigation easily clickable
- Prominently and clearly display CTAs
- Keep forms short and sweet
Being mobile-friendly improves the consumer’s journey, and in turn, generates in-store traffic. Last year, Forbes reported that shoppers often purchase more when physically shopping at a location. Prioritizing your mobile site strengthens local SEO rankings and your overall business.
Embrace Customer Reviews
Positive reviews about your business are equally positive for SEO. We previously spoke to the power of customer feedback and its impacts on SEO, but let’s break it down on a local level. Customer reviews improve local Google rankings because every review acts as a testimonial complete with keywords relevant to your business. Signals from feedback and reviews account for approximately 16% of the search engine decision-making process in terms of local rankings. Metrics like number of reviews, frequency, and diversity of reviews play an important role as well.
If you already have a Google My Business account, encourage customers to leave feedback. This will boost your account’s presence and lead to more potential purchases and more awareness of your product or service.
Implement Local Keywords
When you’re speaking to the community, optimize keywords within reach. If you have multiple locations, expand your keyword collection to a state level. If you’re operating from one space, focus on how a consumer would search for your business and be sure to include your specific city or county. By identifying the search queries that are leading people to your business, you can create a mix of broad, specific and long-tail keywords. For example, if you owned a flower shop in Winter Park, “Winter Park flower shop” works as a broad keyword while “best bouquets in Winter Park” highlights your products and exactly what buyers are looking for at that moment.
Despite the hard hit SMBs have taken throughout the pandemic, many communities have rallied around their favorite mom-and-pops. As locals continue to shop to show their support, take the proper steps to get in front of your audience. There’s a good chance they’re searching for you.