Do you run a business and hope to attract more customers or clients?

One of the most effective tactics is to utilize local Search Engine Optimization. The benefits of local SEO easily outweigh any costs or potential downsides. Not only will you increase traffic to your site, but you’ll generate leads, increase profits, build a community, and boost your brand. 

Don’t fret if it’s your first time running an SEO campaign. We’ve got 12 effective local SEO tips right here to help you get started:

1. Local Geotargeted Keywords

The first thing to keep in mind is to narrow your keyword research. Aim for local, geotargeted keywords. For example, a coffee shop in Toronto shouldn’t rely on “best coffee shop” but instead use “coffee shop in Toronto” to narrow it down. 

People in the area will focus on geo-targeted keywords. They’re looking for a business they can visit, after all. On that note, you should make sure your business is visible on local directories, which we’ll tackle next.

2. Google My Business Listing

One of the most crucial local SEO tips small business ventures should follow is to register and verify their Google My Business account. Verify the account so you can fill up and complete the page’s information. Include your business, contact information, links to your website and social media pages, and verify the Google Maps location. 

Google My Business is now the top priority when it comes to local SEO. People will look at your GMB page to find your contact info, address, or to read reviews. Your GMB also links to Google Maps, so people will rely on it to learn how to get to your shop.

3. Don’t Forget Other Directories

While Google My Business is the primary directory to sign up for, you shouldn’t ignore the others. Consider signing up on Yelp and FourSquare. 

Those are two additional directories that people check for reviews, addresses, and contact details. Reviews on those sites matter, too. Maintain consistent reviews and details on all these directories.

4. Local Page Optimization

Don’t forget that local SEO goes beyond the keywords you use for blog posts. It also affects your individual web pages. 

This means you need to optimize things like the title tags, image alt tags, and meta descriptions for your pages. Give Google’s crawlers something to associate your pages and content with the local keywords you want to rank high in. 

5. Focus on the Mobile Crowd

The vast majority of people access the Internet via their phones. This means people relying on organic search results to find what they want or need likely conduct their searches on their phones. Your site needs to cater to that crowd even more than it should for PC and laptop users. 

Make sure you have a responsive web design. It should have an intuitive UX for mobile users. Speed is also going to be a major factor, so make sure your pages load quickly to prevent people from leaving.

6. Check Your Competition

How many businesses in your local area offer the same services or products as yours? Those are your primary competitors. Do diligent research and check on their methods and local SEO strategies.

Use tools like SpyFu to check which keywords they rank high in. Determine if those tactics work for your business or if you should try a different approach. Check if they have any viral campaigns or if they’re hitting certain trends you don’t want to get left behind in.

7. Build Up Positive Reviews

Let’s get one fact straight: you can’t cheat reviews. You can’t buy reviews either. However, there are ways to encourage people to leave positive reviews.

Have a powerful call-to-action notification. Before someone leaves your page or after they purchased something, make sure they get a notification asking them to leave a rating and review. When you get negative reviews, respond kindly instead of getting into a fight.

8. Engage With the Local Community

Whenever you can, participate in local events. When there’s a school event, and they’re looking for sponsors, sign up for it.

This will put your brand front and center for the local crowd. For local SEO purposes, make sure they advertise your participation on their online ads, posts, and add links that lead people from the event’s web page to your site.

9. Link-Building With Local Businesses and Blogs

Contact other businesses in the area. If you can, ask if you can, write a guest post to go up on their site. Now their audiences will discover your page and business. 

In return, offer to give them the same opportunity. Build a community with the other local bloggers and businesses. This will boost all your link-building efforts.

10. Local Content Matters

Writing a blog is going to keep your site alive. It’s what ensures there’s always new content going up, even when you have no new products or services. However, make sure that the content you write caters to the local crowd. 

Use local keywords. Geotarget to ensure the content remains relevant to the people from your neighborhood.

11. Optimize for Voice Search

One of the newest local SEO marketing tips to follow is to optimize for voice search. A lot of people now use voice search on their phones and there is increasing use of smart speakers, such as the Amazon Echo.

This may alter how you use keywords. It’s now more important to prioritize long-tail keywords instead of shorter ones. 

12. Consistent NAP

Write down your business name, phone number, site URL, and address. Now make sure your listing on directories like Google My Business and Yelp are all the same.

Otherwise, you risk confusing the system. Google needs to decide which of the information is the more accurate one. 

Follow These Local SEO Tips Now

These are twelve local SEO tips to help you drive traffic and boost visibility. Start by targeting local keywords and don’t forget to take advantage of directories like Google My Business. 

Looking for help in conducting any of this? We’re here to give you a helping hand. Contact us today so we can help you achieve your marketing and SEO goals!