11 Tips for Local Search OptimizationKaren Axelton
Americans are using their mobile phones to search for just about everything, including products, services and businesses. Among the most common types of mobile searches are those seeking local information, according to a recent study from Hitwise on mobile search trends and terms. This type of search usually includes keywords such as “near me,” “where to find,” “where is,” “where to buy” or “hours.”
Not only are local searches growing, but they’re also paying off for businesses. A whopping 56 percent of local searches on a mobile device result in a consumer visiting a business, Hitwise reports.
How can your small business take advantage of the growth in local searches to get more customers in your door? Local search optimization is the answer. Here are 11 local SEO tips that will boost your local marketing results:
- List your business address and phone number on each page of your website.
- Include your city and state in your website’s title tags.
- Get listed in online directories of local businesses. Be sure to use the exact same format for your address and phone information each time. Creating and updating local directory listings can be time-consuming, so use a local search optimization service that does it for you.
- Work location information into the body copy of your website whenever it’s relevant. For example, your description of your business could say something like, “Serving the Long Beach, California, area since 1992.”
- Third-party online mentions of your business, such as getting mentioned by the local newspaper’s website, a local blogger or an online press release from a local organization, will further help localize your business and boost its presence in search results.
- If it makes sense without making your domain name too long, consider using your city in your business’s URL. This won’t work for every business, but it may for some.
- Include a map on your website that shows your business location. Driving directions help, too.
- Include your business hours, since “hours” or “24 hours” are often key search terms.
- Get listed on as many ratings and review websites as you can. Since these listings are location-specific, they can help boost your local SEO.
- Get inbound links from other local websites, such as those of other local businesses or community organizations, back to your website. For example, if you sponsor or participate in a community event, see if you can get a link from the event or organization’s page.
- Use keywords containing local information as many places as you can — your website content, your social media posts, and the descriptions of your business in local search directories and on ratings and review sites. In addition to the city and state where your business is located, other keywords to use include the cities or neighborhoods where your target customers live. This will help your business show up in search results when people in those areas search for what you sell.
Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.