Did you know that 72% of consumers who search for a local business visit the store within five miles?

With statistics claiming that 46% of all Google searches are local, the way your company rates in local queries can either make or break your business. 

Even though local SEO has many similarities with usual search engine optimization, there are some slightly different factors that you must take into consideration to boost your visibility.

This is how you can get the best results out of your next local SEO campaign.

Claim your Google My Business

Begin your local SEO efforts by adding your Google My Business page. This way, your business will show in searches and maps of your local area with ease, providing relevant information to your target audience, and bringing huge amounts of traffic to your website.

While making your entry in Google My Business directory, make sure to choose the correct categories for your business, and to include the following details:

  • a unique and thorough description of your business, with relevant links.
  • your accurate business address,
  • a local phone number,
  • opening and closing times,
  • relevant photos,
  • profile image and cover photo,
  • reviews from your customers.

If it happens that you find that your business listing already exists, you need to claim it. The process will take some time, but it is vital that you’re the only one managing it.

Be consistent with your NAP

Apart from Google My Business, there are some other relevant local directories too, such as Yahoo Local Listings or Yelp for Business Owners, that you can create listings for. 

Bing still has a large share of the online traffic, so you’ll need to claim your Bing Places for Business account too, and you can consider getting your listings in Yellowpages, Foursquare, and Apple Maps.

The crucial thing to pay attention to when managing your directory listings is that your Name, Address, Phone (NAP) details are accurate and consistent.

Google and other search engines want to be positive that you’re providing accurate information, so they double-check your details on several places.

If what they find is confusing, your SEO ratings will fall, but so will your sales and conversions. After all, 86% of customers try to find a location of the business online, so ensuring that your NAP details are the same across the web will make it easier for them to get in touch with you.

Acquire local reviews

The reviews your customers leave will also directly affect your local search rankings, so you should try to acquire them.

Make Google Reviews your priority, as they have the greatest impact, but don’t stop there. You can add your listing on other relevant review sites, such as BBB, Angie’s List, Yelp, and Glassdoor. 

The goal is to get as many reviews as you can and make sure that the majority are the positive ones, as this will improve your online visibility.

Apart from the number of reviews and their quality, there are several other review-related issues that influence your SEO ratings:

  • The language your clients use when leaving their review matters. If they include keywords or locations in their review, it is a good sign to search engines that your business can be trusted.
  • Make sure you respond to the reviews, it positively affects your SEO.
  • Not responding to a negative review is a bad sign for the search engines, so do follow up.

Choose the right keywords

You should optimize your website pages for local SEO, too. 

For this purpose, you’ll need to do a local SEO keyword research, and try to find out what words your customers most probably use when searching for your products or services. 

Your winning combination will be the relevant terminology used in your niche and your location, as it will give you the lowest competition and the highest chance to rank.

Once you have your keywords, you should integrate them into your website content. It is important that you include your relevant keyword and your city/region within the following element of your every web page:

  • title tag,
  • H1 tag,
  • meta description
  • URL,
  • content,
  • image ALT attributes.

The content you post should be localized so that you can include your relevant keywords and your location. You can write about community events or organize a charity, whatever makes sense for your brand, as long as you can find a way to naturally optimize your content. 

If you’re aiming for success, your business can benefit from hiring a local digital marketing agency to fully address your local SEO needs. If your small business is based in Brooklyn, for example, you can check out the offers of professional SEO services in New York and outsource some of the most complex tasks.

Build links

Another important part of any SEO strategy is the number and the quality of the links you have. 

To rank well, you need a range of high-quality inbound links that are relevant and authoritative, coming from sites Google trusts.

If you want to prove that your business is trusted by members of your local community, include links from your local community blogs and local news sites.

Even though local SEO is a highly competitive field, if you follow the tips above, you’ll improve your search engine rankings and help your customers find you.