Local SEO is a big deal. Why? 46% of all searches on Google are local. And about 72% of people who do local searches, visit the physical location within five miles.

If you’re a local business and don’t use local SEO strategies, chances are you’re missing out on gaining valuable customers.

Not sure where to start with local SEO? Don’t worry. In this guide, we break down everything you need to know about local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO refers to the process of optimizing your website so that it attracts business from local searches.

Essentially, you’re targeting an audience that is located in the same geographical area as your business. The goal is local SEO is to rank high in the search engine results for local searches.

Now that you know the basics of local SEO, let’s talk about the ways you can use it to get your business noticed.

Optimize Your Website for Local SEO

You can’t rank high in search engines without an optimized website. In addition to standard SEO methods, you should also do the following:

Create a Contact Page

This is a simple way to implement local SEO. Your contact page should have your business name, address, and phone number. If you have more than one location, make sure to include the full name and address of each location.

Add a Store Locator/Map

Not adding a map will defeat the purpose of local SEO. You want to make it easier for people to find you.

In fact, 86% of people look up the business location on Google Maps.

Even if you only have one location, an interactive map helps your site rank high on search results pages.

Add Schema

Schema is a tool designed to help search engines read your site. Adding a Schema markup to your website lets search engines know that you’re a local business.

After you’ve added your schema, test it out with Google’s testing tool.

Get a Profile on Google My Business

Getting a profile on Google My Business is crucial. It allows you to list your business location on Google Maps.

A profile on Google My Business lets you add details about your business like opening and closing times, contact information, or a link to your website.

By completing your profile, you will also be able to collect reviews — this is another factor that helps improve your ranking.

Create Local Content

Who said blogging was dead? Website blogs are an essential part of standard SEO and local SEO.

Publish content that contains keywords relevant to your city or region. For example, you could write about upcoming community events or fairs. You could even cover local topics.

Don’t feel limited to only mention the city your business is located in. It also helps to include neighboring towns and cities. This is another thing that helps you rank higher in local search listings.

Build Links

As you create blog content, you want to ensure you collect inbound links. An inbound link is when another website links a page from your website.

The more inbound links you have, the more website authority you have. This results in a higher ranking.

There are a few ways you can organically get inbound links. One way is by commenting on relevant blog posts and attaching a link to your website — in a non-spammy way of course.

Another way to build links is to reach out to local bloggers and ask them to include a link to your website in one of their posts.

Get Reviews

As we mentioned earlier, reviews help your website get a local SEO boost. According to marketers, reviews have the greatest impact on Google’s local rankings.

Getting reviews is an ongoing process. While it may be tempting to offer incentives for reviews, don’t do this. Incentivizing reviews may get your site blacklisted by search engines.

Instead, politely encourage customers to leave reviews. This could be via email blasts, social media, invoices, or on your website.

How’s Your Local SEO?

Getting your business to rank among the top of local searches is hard work, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But, with patience and the right tactics you can work your way up the rankings.

Not sure where your website stands? Contact us for an SEO audit.