It’s no surprise the importance of driving traffic to your business website, but what about driving local traffic to your website and how it can benefit your local business? Today, we’re going to go in-depth about SEO (search engine optimization), what local SEO is, and how you can improve local SEO for small businesses and make gains on your website traffic using some of the ideas in Neil Patel, a local SEO expert, recommends in this article.
The What and How of SEO
In simplest terms, Search Engine Optimization (referred to as SEO from here on out) is the means and method of getting website pages to rank higher in search engines such as Google or Yahoo. It is gaining web traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in these search engines.
The “means and methods” generally involve:
- Using keywords or phrases.
- Creating high-quality and valuable content.
- Relevant links to other websites.
- Measuring the results of traffic driven and the origin of the traffic.
Now, let’s talk about local SEO for small businesses and why this is so important. Forty-six percent of searches on Google are local, and about eighty-nine percent of people search for local businesses on their phones weekly. Ideally, you want your business to land in the top three in local search results on Google.
Local SEO is increasing the web visibility of local businesses. It’s comparable to regular SEO but focuses additionally on geographical location to drive traffic to your local small business so you can land high in the search engine results pages for local searches.
After all, why would an Italian restaurant in San Francisco want to gain traffic from Santa Fe when the reality is that people in California would be more likely to visit the restaurant?
Here’s how to go about doing this by upgrading your local SEO for small businesses:
- Make sure your website contact page is up to date. Little things like making sure your phone number, location, hours of operation, email, etc. are all up to date. If you have a physical location for your business, include a recent picture of what your business looks like to make it easy for people to find you.
- Make phone numbers and emails clickable on mobile devices. The easier someone can get a hold of your business in the heat of the moment, the more likely you get that business.
- Add an up-to-date map on your website so customers know how to find you.
- Claim your free Google My Business, Yelp, Angi, Thumbtack, NextDoor, or other industry-relevant profile (and optimize).
- Claim your social profiles on Instagram, Facebook, or X (formerly Twitter), post relevant content regularly, use hashtags, and engage with customers.
- Create locally targeted content, like a list of local events or relevant blog posts that somehow tie in your line of business and the area you live in. Ensure your blog is attached to your website, not a separate site (i.e., http://www.websitename.com/blog). This way, you drive traffic to your website, even when potential customers are
- Prioritize getting more customer reviews on Google and Yelp or other public forums where people can leave public reviews for businesses.
This also includes prominently displaying customer testimonials on your website. Speaking of which, apps like ServiceWorks can automatically send out customer satisfaction surveys consisting of testimonials. Of course, you will want to ask permission before you post publicly.
- Build citations on local search engines, directories, and blogs. Citations are the way you tell your reader that the work came from another source, such as some of the material referenced here in this article comes from Neil Patel’s article.
- Maybe you run a pet-sitting business, and keeping that SEO phrase simple and direct is better than adding any fluff in the wording. Scour your website and make sure you’ve included your SEO phrase that will attract local business. Some examples of effective local SEO for a pet-sitting business could be:
- Pet-sitting (city or zip code)
- (city or zip code) pet-sitting
- Pet-sitting in (city or zip code)
10. Since most Google searches are conducted from phones, it’s essential to look at your website and ensure it is set up to be mobile-friendly. The main elements of a mobile-friendly site should include the following:
- Proper text formatting
- Readable fonts
- Optimized media display
- Responsive page display
Now you know how to improve your local SEO for small businesses. Let’s do a review of the main concepts covered today
- Updated contact page
- Make phone numbers and emails clickable on mobile sites
- Add a map on your website
- Claim your free listings
- Claim and use social media
- Create locally targetted content
- Prioritize getting reviews and testimonials
- Build citations
- Ensure your local SEO phrase is relevant, simple, and appears several times on your website
- Mobile-friendly website
While you’re at it, why not invest in an app like ServiceWorks that is designed to make your life easier with brilliant features such as integrated client scheduling on your website, automated customer satisfaction surveys, invoice features, integrated features for use with accounting apps like Quickbooks and other features like route optimization and client information storage. Best of all, it has a risk-free 14-day free trial.