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The Beginner’s Local SEO Guide: How to Target Customers Near You

Do you know how (or why) to target customers near you? Click here to learn how and why this is important in our local SEO guide.

We can all agree that SEO is a valuable tool for local businesses looking for an online presence. Optimizing your site to increase traffic from local searches will help you improve customers’ experience. 35 percent of all search traffic comes from local searches that your business can leverage.

A local SEO expert can help you rank high in search results for a particular geographical location. It can benefit your business if you’re targeting local customers with your offerings. You risk violating search engine guidelines if you do it the wrong way.

Understanding local SEO can help you create a winning strategy for your business online. Most leads on your website will come from consumers looking for your products. Here’s a comprehensive local SEO guide to help you optimize your business for local search:

Do Thorough Keyword Research

A keyword research strategy is one of the things you’ll learn in a definitive guide to local SEO. Use it to identify keywords with high relevance to your company. Look at the competitiveness and average search volume of each keyword or keyphrase.

As you take note of users’ search intent, make a list of up to 100 phrases or words related to your offerings. You should also check the keywords your competitors are using to get ahead. Visit their websites and study each webpage for the keywords.

Stay updated on Google Trends to learn about popular keywords within your niche and area. Only pick words or phrases that you can embed in your content to target a particular audience.

Use keyword research tools to filter keyword searches for a given region. The tool can help you make a list of words that are relevant to your target audience. You should also list region-specific landmarks that you’ll use in your content.

Optimize Your Business Website for Local Search

Having a great website design is the foundation of your online presence. From a beginners guide to local SEO, you’ll learn to optimize your site for local search for customers to find what they need. Start by creating local content for your blog to offer insights on topics related to your offerings. Mention nearby places or landmarks that fall within your target customers’ interests.

Each web page should have a header, meta description, and title tag for them to appear on search results. You should also add alternative image text to all images. Remember to include a target keyword or key phrase on each web page to make them unique.

Start working with local bloggers for them to include links from your site on their blog posts. Your backlinks may also appear on comments made on online forums, podcasts, and other publications.

Making your website mobile-friendly may improve your local search rankings. Ensure that the site has fast loading speeds and bigger and clear fonts for improved accessibility. You should also reduce pop-ups, choose a mobile-responsive template, and space out the links.

Focus Your Content on Local Events or News Stories

Your content should relate or speak to a local event or story to capture people’s attention. Write blog posts centered around local events, activities, and news stories. You should also create videos on charitable causes you’re supporting or local charities.

Events can help your business raise awareness and translate to engagement, traffic, and sales. You also get to attract genuine customers who are updated on local events.

Try staging a local event to improve your business visibility on industry publications and local press. You may offer free tickets, previews, and interviews relating to the event for increased exposure.

Make Use of Online Business Listings and Directories

With an online business listing, potential local customers can find your business via search engines. Get a listing from online directories like YellowPages, Foursquare, and Yelp. Include your business name, working telephone number, and address for customers to reach you.

The listing should have a detailed description of your company and a backlink to your site. Keep the contact information and description updated as your business changes.

A Google My Business listing will help you reach local customers who use Google Maps and Search. The listing should display your correct store information and link to your site to boost visibility. Include relevant keywords in the GMB business description and answer customers’ questions.

Encourage “Check-ins”

Check-ins on social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram can improve brand awareness. Encourage customers to check in on their social media pages every time they visit your physical store.

The check-ins will include your business name, website, and customer ratings. They also come with a map that gives directions to your physical office or store.

Ask for Online Customer Reviews

User reviews and local search optimization go hand in hand. Online customer reviews can make your brand and offerings credible. They also stimulate customers’ purchasing decisions and increase confidence in the buyers.

Sending post-purchase emails with incentives can encourage your customers to post reviews. Ask them about their experience with your offerings or business on the check-out pages of your site. It is also good practice to encourage customers to leave positive reviews to help negate the risk of having negative reviews down the road.

Use a professional tone when responding to the existing reviews. Thank all reviewers for their sentiments and address any complaints in any negative comments you get.

Optimize Your Content for Voice Search

Voice search optimization is among the tips discussed in every local SEO full guide. Potential local customers may use voice-enabled tools to look up your local business online. Thus, you should optimize content for voice search to target local customers.

Consumers use long-tail keywords in voice searches more than in regular searches. Because of this, your content should have a conversational tone. You should also understand the type of customer, post scannable content, and focus on long-tail keywords.

Create pages with answers for FAQs to optimize your content for voice. Your site’s load speeds should be fast for users to find valuable information through voice searches.

Enjoyed Reading this Local SEO Guide?

Your business will enjoy increased traffic and leads when optimized for local SEO. You also get to compete with more established brands at the regional level. We hope that this local SEO guide will help you gain more repeat customers.

Our work at Evergreen involves helping businesses connect with their customers online. Allow us to handle demand/lead generation, web design, and branding for your company. Book a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experts.


Picture of Mark Hallman

Mark Hallman

Mark works with business to engage their audiences online via targeted marketing campaigns, conversion based websites, and ongoing measurement and optimization.

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