Digital marketing has been and continues to be one of the key elements of a wining business strategy, particularly in the times of COVID-19 pandemic. Now that the majority of small businesses are forced to venture online in order to stay competitive and remain afloat, investing in digital marketing is more important than ever before. The key is to build a recognizable digital presence that will drive people to your site and social media, encourage engagement and interaction, and ultimately drive sales and loyalty.
To do this, you need to invest heavily in search engine optimization, with a focus on local SEO. For small businesses, ranking high in the local search results can make all the difference, and skyrocket brand recognition and local success. Whether you’re trying to drive people to your online store or your offline place of business, local SEO will help you achieve both.
With that in mind, let’s go over the five important tips on how you can build a top-notch local SEO strategy for your business in 2021.
Claim your business on GMB
Let’s start with the most basic and essential way you can boost your ranking and recognition in the local search results. The Google My Business platform is a service that helps display relevant and accurate business information to users, and it verifies that your company is legit. The first thing you should do is to claim your GMB page as the owner, and update all of the information and fill every field. This will provide Google with relevant data and make you more relevant in the search results.
After all, Google’s goal is to provide the most relevant results to its users. If you already have a GMB page, then make sure to update and optimize it. Add photos and attributes, update your hours, list all services you provide, price ranges, add your reviews, and make sure that your contact information is accurate. Provide multiple ways for people to get in touch with your business quickly.
Ensure NAP consistency across the board
Speaking of relevant business information, you also have to make sure that all your business info is consistent across the online world. The basic information that has to be consistent everywhere is called NAP (name, address, phone) but it basically stands for all the info that helps users figure out who you are, where you are, and how they can get in touch without too much trouble.
NAP consistency is one of those local SEO factors that many small business owners overlook, simply because there are too many online channels to manage at the same time. Run a quick checklist of all your online channels and platforms where you have a presence, and check if your NAP information is consistent. This includes your site, social media, GMB, and all third-party websites like review platforms, forums and online groups, and more.
Drive quality traffic with high-intent keywords
User intent is a concept that every experienced SEO professional should take seriously, and use in their SEO strategies. This is a concept that states that every user is searching for something with a specific intent in mind, and usually these are: informational, navigational, and transactional. If you want to lead people towards the desired outcome, you have to optimize your content for the right user intent.
This is something that is crucial to integrate in local SEO in competitive markets, like Sydney or Melbourne in Australia. For example, a local SEO agency in Sydney needs to use specialized local keywords targeting a specific user intent in order to create content and landing pages that drive local traffic. This is how the small businesses they’re working with can gain local exposure and address the specific needs of their customers with the right keywords and optimized content.
If you’re operating in a highly-competitive market, then make sure to work with experienced SEO teams to rank higher for high-intent keywords and craft content that Google will prioritize in the local search results.
Get positive reviews
Customer reviews don’t just look pretty on your site, they serve a myriad of purposes and can help you take your business to the next level. When it comes to local SEO, getting as many positive reviews as possible on your site and third-party review sites is essential.
Not only will these reviews build social proof and validate a customer’s decision to get in touch, but they will also boost your company in the search results through relevance. The better the reviews, the more relevant will you be in the eyes of the search engines.
Build a local backlink portfolio
Lastly, don’t just post content on your blog page – focus on disseminating it and contributing content to other websites in order to generate quality backlinks. Building a backlink portfolio is a great way to improve your global standing, but it’s one of the best ways to maximize your presence in the local search results.
Be sure to reach out to authority websites in your niche that focus on the local market, and see how you can earn a do-follow link back to your site. With enough links leading back to your website, Google will deem you worthy of the first page because other authority figures trust your brand. That said, make sure to get links from quality websites only, because otherwise you can hurt your SEO ranking.
Local SEO is becoming increasingly important as small businesses venture into the online marketplace. If you want to reach new heights of success in 2021 and the years to come, make sure to implement these tips into your SEO strategy as soon as possible.