A Comprehensive Guide to Local SEO in 2022
Jul 17, 2022 | 9 MINUTES TO READ
Summary: Local SEO is a great way to get your business noticed in your neighbourhood. Learn what you should be doing to ensure you get seen in 2022.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential, but local SEO might be even more valuable. Many of the people conducting Google searches each day are looking for information on local businesses, places, or events. Without optimizing your website for mobile search, you will not be able to reach all of these potential leads.
Now is the time to learn how to capture the attention of this massive audience. Our guide to local SEO in 2022 will further explain the importance of this technique and offer some tips on how to implement it on your own website.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to attract leads who are located nearby. This includes people who live in your geographic area as well as people who are just visiting. If they are close by and might be interested in visiting your business, they are worth trying to reach.
Many factors influence local SEO, including keyword optimization, linking structures, social media traffic, and more. Optimizing all of these areas for local search will significantly increase your business’s foot traffic and will likely result in higher sales as well.
Note that while some local SEO explicitly names the place you are talking about, not all instances of it do. If you have set up your location data correctly, Google will automatically read it and consider your website for ranking when displaying results for local queries. This is why it is important to address local SEO from all angles for maximum success.
Our Tips for Great Local SEO
So how can you improve your website’s local SEO? Follow our 12 tips to get started.
Optimize for Google Business Profile Manager
Google Business Profile Manager is the new name for Google My Business, inarguably the most important platform for local SEO. Google gives businesses that are listed on this platform access to special ranking opportunities within the local pack, a display of local results that is given prominent positioning at the top of the search results page.
Create a complete Google Business Profile page and encourage your customers to post reviews on it. You may get some lacklustre reviews during this process, but this is all part of the process of building a local reputation. Respond to as many of your reviews as possible, prioritizing the negative ones. Try to mention your location in as many of your responses as possible to show Google that you are authentically communicating with the people in your area.
Engage on Social Media and Add Posts to Your Google Business Profile
Social media traffic is given a lot of weight in Google’s local search algorithms. Posting regularly on platforms like Facebook and Twitter will boost your site traffic and show Google that your site is important to the people in your area.
You can make your social media posts even more effective by reposting them on your Google Business Profile. You should also share a link to your finished profile on all of your social media accounts. The more visibility you can give this page, the better!
Set a Standard NAP
You likely know that all online listings for your business should contain your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP for short). However, presenting this information properly is just as important as including it in the first place. Every instance where your business’s contact information appears should be formatted exactly the same way wherever they appear.
Be sure to include your NAP as crawlable HTML text on your website. It should be a prominent part of your Contact Us page, but you can also place it in the footer to ensure it gets even more exposure. These will set the standard for what your NAP should look like on other websites, such as review sites or business directories.
Optimize Online Directories and Citations
Ensure that your business is listed on major map data platforms like Foursquare and Factual. These platforms provide the data used to map your business on major directories like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Bing, and more.
Once this is done, check each of your listings and verify that they are all consistent. The NAP on each one should be formatted exactly the same way as your standard NAP. Look for misspellings, missing information, inappropriate abbreviations, and other problems that might confuse Google’s indexing bots. Remember, bots cannot discern context: in their eyes, information either matches or it does not. Creating more exact matches makes their job much easier.
Finally, remove any duplicate listings you find during this process. Listing your business in many different places is fine, but listing it twice on the same platform may incur penalties from Google’s bots.
Perform a Free Local SEO Audit
To take any further action to improve your local SEO, you will first need to know how well your site conforms to various ranking factor requirements. A local SEO audit checks for things like one-page SEO elements, indexing, website performance, and other key criteria that influence local search ranks. Some SEO audits also look at your competitors’ tactics and performance to see what can be learned from their approach.
Many digital marketing companies offer SEO audits as part of their SEO service packages. At WSI Comandix, ours is free with no strings attached. Signing up for one is a great way to get some actionable steps you can take toward better local SEO.
Improve Your Internal Linking Structure
One of the things that your website audit is most likely to find lacking is your internal linking structure. How many of your web pages contain links to other pages? There are countless opportunities to connect your pages together, such as by adding a link to your company blog on your home page.
Adding extra internal links like this helps users better navigate your website, improving their browsing experience and your SEO. Every page on your website should contain a few internal links, and any page should be accessible within just a few clicks. You can also add some links to key pages like your About Us and Contact Us pages to your footer.
Streamlining your internal linking scheme also has other benefits. Connecting your website elements with links spreads out your website’s algorithmic authority among more pages, amplifying its effects on your SEO. You want your whole website to be perceived as important and reliable, not just your home page!
Optimize Your Site’s Text Elements
Adding geographic search terms to your list of keywords is critical to good local SEO. Referencing your local area confirms your location and lets Google know that you are invested in your community. You can also try using keywords like ‘near me’ and ‘close by,’ referencing the area around your users without naming your specific location.
You should obviously include some of these keywords in your main website copy, but your URLs, title tags, headers, and meta descriptions can all be injected with local keywords. Doing this reinforces their importance and makes your website more likely to show up prominently for local users.
Add Location Pages to Your Website
If your business has multiple locations, it is a good idea to create a location page for each store or branch you operate. This allows you to use location-based keywords on each of these pages. Many SEO companies will do this as part of their local SEO services.
If you have just one physical location, you can implement similar tactics on your About Us page. Mention the city in which your main shop or headquarters are located, possibly adding a few local details to reinforce the idea that you are well-established within the area.
Create Local Content
Your company probably already has a blog for general SEO purposes, but few companies make full use of this channel as a way to target local users. To grow your local audience, focus on creating content that is relevant to users in your geographic area. For example, a farm-to-table restaurant might write posts about the local farms where they source their ingredients.
These posts do not have to be directly connected to the things you sell. Think of them as a way to get the interest of people nearby before the sales pitches begin. If you can win someone over with quality local content, they are more likely to buy from you in the future.
Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Mobile optimization is the industry standard, and it is even more important for local search. Users are significantly more likely to use their phones to search when they are out and about, which is also when they are most likely to visit your business.
Use responsive design to create a website that automatically adjusts to fit the user’s device. This will ensure that your content displays correctly and loads as quickly as possible. Google will reward you for both of these things. A local SEO company can help you implement responsive design if you are not sure how to do it yourself.
Get Relevant, Authoritative Backlinks
Getting other websites to link back to yours improves your website’s authority and provides extra visibility. You can do this by guest blogging, sponsoring industry events, or offering your expertise for a segment in your local news media.
Some of these methods will take time to bear fruit, but you should have no trouble accruing a few backlinks right away. For example, you can submit your business to your city’s Chamber of Commerce website to instantly score a premium backlink that will give your local SEO a sizable boost.
Participate in Your Local Community
If you want to benefit from being a part of your local community, you need to show the people there that you care. Get your company involved in local events like clean-up initiatives, fundraising drives, sports games, and other noteworthy occasions.
Taking part in these events will not only win you goodwill from the people around you, but will also provide excellent backlinking opportunities if any articles are published about the events online.
Read More: Top 10 Local SEO Tips to Grow Your Small Business in 2022
Choose WSI Comandix for Outstanding Local SEO Services
Harnessing the power of local SEO could give your business the extra visibility it needs to rise above the competition. Many of our customers have reported significant increases in foot traffic after hiring our local SEO services. If you would like us to do the same for you, contact us today to book your free local SEO audit. Our findings will provide the blueprint for improvements that are sure to help you dominate your local search results.
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