Did you know that almost 9 out of 10 consumers (88%) looking for local businesses make a call or visit a business within 24 hours? This very revealing fact belongs to Nectafy. And it is not the only one that endorses the growing importance of SEO at the local level.
But how to improve the local SEO of a business? More and more ecommerces are asking this question. Even if they have a global customer base, local searches are on the rise. Therefore, in the following lines, you will discover a step by step to perfect your organic positioning at the local level.
5 Steps to Improve Local SEO Effectively
No matter what your product, customer or niche market is: achieving optimal search engine positioning was crucial in 2018 and will be crucial in 2019. This is demonstrated by a Forester report: 8 out of 10 retailers (85%) consider SEO to be the most effective customer acquisition strategy, as opposed to SEM or email.
But how to improve local SEO results? In the following lines you will find the answer:
Step 1: Register your company in Google My Business, Yelp, etc.
Currently, the biggest ally of companies interested in improving local SEO is Google My Business. Since its creation in 2014, this platform has become the great ‘friend’ of local businesses and retailers.
Creating a profile on this platform is easy and fast, although its optimization may require the presence of specialists (implementation of a logo, company biography with keywords, etc.). The most important thing is that our business will appear on Google Maps.
This is the main reason to create a profile in Google My Business. When a user searches for ‘clothing store near me’ or ‘shoe store in my city’, our business will appear in the results, as long as it is geographically close.
It is also important to have a symbolic presence in other directories, such as Yelp, Citysearch or Foursquare. In the long run, this and other details make all the difference.
Step 2: Get customer feedback
Another indispensable step in knowing how to improve local rankings is to encourage and accumulate customer feedback. Most ecommerces seek to get the most online reviews, due to their importance in the algorithms of Google, Bing and other search engines.
Search engines love businesses with a high number of reviews! Opinions can accumulate on Facebook, Trusted Shops and other platforms, but Google My Business has extraordinary power. Why? Because the most used search engine on the market (with an estimated 96% share) prioritizes the ratings of this platform.
But in addition, customer opinions have a positive impact on the credibility and professionalism of the business. You only have to put yourself in the client’s shoes to understand it: a user searches for ‘perfumery close to me’ and receives a list of different businesses, one of which has abundant positive ratings, unlike the others. It is obvious what perfumery this fictitious user will visit.
Step 3: Accumulate backlinks to your ecommerce
If online reviews are the word of mouth of consumers, backlinks are a green light that tells search engines: several sources link to this business, it’s important.
Getting inbound links is another excellent answer to how to improve local SEO. Beyond the web traffic derived from those links, Google’s algorithms use backlinks to determine the value and importance of a business within a sector. Obviously, in the case of local SEO, Google will give more importance to backlinks in the same geographical area (for example, a blog about New York flowers that links to a flower shop in your city).
However, any link is useless. It is important that the sites where backlinks come from are relevant, have a good reputation and are related to our market niche. Google would be suspicious if a shoe store and a florist were to link to each other. Logically it could consider it a black hat practice and sanction it accordingly.
Step 4: Have a presence on Facebook and other social networks
In addition to providing many other benefits, increasing presence on social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest has a positive impact on local SEO. Firstly, it allows you to get backlinks at no cost and increase web traffic. But in addition, a Facebook fan page with thousands of followers should improve the positioning in the SERPs at a local and global level.
Step 5: Bet on a local content marketing strategy
And if you are still wondering how to improve your local SEO, you should know that content marketing is a perfect strategy to achieve this goal. Organic search engine positioning is the ultimate goal of this technique, which can be adapted to attract local consumers, build brand image and improve conversions.
Leaving aside the blog, ebooks, and apps, the format that best suits the local SEO is the guest post. Why? Because it allows you to achieve backlinks in a natural way, while at the same time establishing positive alliances within the same sector. For example, a Boston shoe store could publish a guest post about shoe trends in a magazine in their city, with a link to their ecommerce. Simple, isn’t it?
Knowing how to improve local SEO can’t be missing from the skills of the best ecommerces – now you must take action! The percentage of local organic searches grows year after year, and this 2019 will be no different. If you want to beat your competitors, local SEO can’t be missing from your ‘arsenal’.