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4 Local SEO Tips for Small Business

#Marketing

21st March 2019

Small businesses with brick-and-mortar stores are not utilising local SEO to its full potential. According to WordStream, 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. If you’re operating offline and at a local level, our four local SEO tips are an easy and cost-effective way to improve your online presence in your area.

Optimise your website for mobile devices

While our next three tips provide an almost immediate way to improve your local search results, we want to address the elephant in the room straight away.

Fixing an unoptimised website will require more resources than any of our other suggestions. However, all of your efforts might go unnoticed if your website isn’t responsive.

30% of mobile searches are related to a location, according to Google. People are looking for your business when they’re out and about. Ensuring a flawless mobile experience is crucial.

We have prepared a quick guide on how to make your mobile website load faster. A number of tips included there do not require development time and anyone can implement the changes. Be sure to check it out for a quick and easy way to improve your mobile page speed.

Join local business programmes

If you haven’t claimed your company’s profile on Google My Business (GMB), your business won’t appear on Google Maps. While Google holds the monopoly on search engines and drives 96% of mobile search traffic, we highly recommend looking into the services of its competitors.

A person looking for a company on their smartphone, using Google Maps.

Make sure your company is on Bing Places and Yahoo Local. You aren’t limited to the services provided by popular search engines. HubSpot has prepared a comprehensive list of local business directories.

Create compelling company profiles, consistent across different directories. Include pictures on GMB – and lots of them! Swiping through images on mobile takes just a few seconds and lets Google know people want to interact with you’re showing them. Knowing your business is relevant to the visitor’s search phrase, they will rank your listing higher.

Encourage customers to leave an online review

Reviews on Google and local business directories like Yelp can play a big part in increasing your “local conversion rate”.

Even though the two mentioned companies approach reviews differently (Google encourages you to ask customers for reviews, while Yelp believes leaving a review should be an organic process), 88% of people trust them when they decide on making a purchase.

Reply to each review

A short message thanking the customer for a review goes a long way – and helps you rank higher. Be honest and try to include the address of your business in your response, while keeping your comment natural and authentic.

Create localised content on your website

If your business has a few stores in the area, don’t just cram them on one page. Create a separate one for each of them. Write a unique copy for these pages, focusing on the area you’re targeting, to avoid duplicate content.

Use consistent NAP information (name, address, phone number) across your website and business directories. Even a slight difference in the address format will hurt your rankings so keep an eye out for that.

Make sure each change is reflected on the local pages and business listings to avoid frustration for your customers.

Local SEO checklist

To sum everything up, we have prepared a short checklist of local SEO practices to help you keep track of all the steps. Follow our guidelines to drive your local success and improve the visibility of your business in its local area.

And the best part is that for the most part, the below tweaks don’t require technical know-how – you can optimise your website right now.

One-off activities:

  • ensure your website is mobile-friendly
  • create compelling company profiles on local business directories
  • build local landing pages
  • use consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) data

Ongoing activities:

  • if you’re creating content for your website, make sure the multimedia are not slowing it down on mobile
  • update your company profiles and NAP when justified
  • encourage online reviews
  • reply to the local reviews and include your location in the responses

Here’s What You Should Do Next

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