As a small business, it is important to target your marketing efforts towards potential clientele in your local area and the surrounding regions.
Optimizing your website for local SEO is one of the first steps that you should take to achieve this goal. We will be going over five ways of how to optimize your website for local SEO in the text below.
Why is it important to optimize your website for local SEO?
Large, national companies want to extend their reach as far as they can to attract customers from around the world. This is not the case with small businesses that are just starting out. Your small business needs to build up a customer base slowly but surely, as more people get to know who you are and what you offer.
When a customer types a query into a search engine, they are likely looking for a product that they can obtain quickly and easily. This means that they will gravitate towards businesses that operate in their general area, so you will want to ensure that your website is prominent in their search. If they go in person to make the purchase, being nearby is a key factor that determines which business they will go with. If they make the purchase online, they will want a business that is close enough to handle potential issues and questions.
This is why it is important to optimize your website for local SEO.
Methods of optimization
1. Optimize location keywords
The keywords that you choose to focus on can be a make or break for the success of your website. You should take the time to research which keywords are the most popular for your industry, and how to avoid duplication from competitors. There are many keyword tools that you can find online to help you achieve this.
For your meta title and meta description, you should use these keywords as well as your location. Meta titles should typically be 50-60 characters, while the length of meta descriptions must not exceed 160 characters.
A well-written meta description can bring in more virtual traffic. It will act as a concise summary that viewers can see as they scroll down their list of website options. For instance, a specialized European dating website might have a meta description that mentions phrases such as sugar daddy UK.
2. Utilize a Google My Business account
Having this account helps to increase your businesses’ visibility online. When someone types your businesses’ name into a search engine, they will see your Business Profile, which shares basic information such as location, phone number, and hours of operation. With a Google My Business account, you can modify your Business Profile and keep all your information up to date.
This also allows you to verify your profile and increase the chances of your website appearing in a local search. You can complete the verification process by matching the identifying details in your profile to the information listed on your website.
The analytics of your Business Profile is helpful for optimization purposes as well. You can view what keywords the visitor searched for to find your business, and which method they utilized to do so (Google Maps, Google search, etc.).
3. Create webpages for all locations
Instead of listing all your products and services under the same webpage, it is more beneficial to break them up. If you have more than one location, you should have separate pages to avoid confusing customers. For instance, a small restaurant chain that operates in two cities will have different content, so you cannot copy and paste from one page to another.
Instead, give each franchise its own, unique subject matter. Customers will want to know where the restaurant is, what the contact information is, directions on how to get there, parking information, and what the meal of the day is for each one. With an optimized website, the customer can navigate over to the location of their choice and easily view all this information.
This separation is also beneficial when customers leave positive reviews and specify which location they attended.
4. Reference local events on your blog
For your blog or events page, it is a good idea to include tidbits that would interest the local community. This could include adding a section about a street festival coming to town, or a popular author coming to visit soon. Having an updated calendar section will encourage people to check your website often to see the latest news. You could also have a map of the town or the local region surrounding your business to help people who are unfamiliar with the area.
Having content on your website that goes above and beyond the service that you offer is beneficial. It will encourage newcomers to check out the site, and word about your business will spread by word of mouth.
5. Optimize your site for mobile
When people search for information about businesses near their location, they will likely be on their cell phones. For instance, if someone is walking through town and looking for a place to eat, it is easiest to pull out a mobile device and search. Your website will need to be mobile-friendly to appeal to this customer base.
To optimize a site for mobile devices, you should keep content simple and concise. If you do not need to say it, you can remove it from your site. As well, consider working with a website designer to create a seamless user experience while navigating through your site.
Once you have finished all your changes, be sure to test the website on your mobile device first. There is nothing worse than losing a potential customer due to technical frustrations from using your website.