Setting up your brand’s digital presence has numerous advantages, but only when done right. Whether or not you have a physical store, attracting your target market is a growing challenge, especially when you’re a local business competing against many new and well-standing brands.
In such a competitive environment, merely building a website won’t cut it. You need to make sure that your entire marketing strategy is optimized to help your brand stand out in the local market and enable your business to grow organically. To do that, you need to invest in the right SEO tactics that put your website in front of more people over time.
But determining the key local factors by which you want to improve your ranking can be difficult, especially if your business is relatively new to the playing field. Here, we‘ve assembled a simplified but thorough list of the key factors that will contribute to your local presence in the eyes of search engines as well as your target audience.
For starters, many companies put all of their eggs only in the Google My Business basket. While that is one hugely relevant directory where you need to register your business, it’s certainly not the only one that matters, especially for localizing your SEO efforts.
When you claim your GMB page, do your best to research, find, and register in other local directories where people can find your brand. The key here is to make sure all of your NAP details are consistent across all platforms and that they match your website details, too. Combine your listings with customer reviews , add a few photos to help people find you more easily, and Google as well as other search engines will give you even more credibility in your local market.
All lasting results need long-term commitment, and this very same principle applies to your SEO strategy, too. You cannot expect one blog on the right topic to send you straight to the top of SERPs.
It’s a process of creating locally-relevant content that will earn you authority through specific keyword implementation, localized keywords and phrases, and above all, higher engagement levels from your target audience. So, instead of seeing it as a single strategy, look at your content creation as an intricate cycle of overlapping efforts you’ll need to invest to build your digital standing.
To make sure your ongoing optimization efforts make sense, however, you should use comprehensive SEO reports software designed to give you detailed insights into how effective your strategy really is in the local market. You can select your own key parameters, monitor the progress of your campaigns, and above all, use the collated data to adapt your strategy as you move forward. There’s no room for “best guesses” with your content strategy to enhance your local SEO. You need data-driven solutions that give you the control over your brand’s presence.
Your Local Link Portfolio
Yes, backlinks are vital for your authority in the industry. But it’s not just the quantity that matters, but the quality of those links should be your primary concern. In fact, by letting go of the chase after as many backlinks as possible, you will help your brand raise its relevance, albeit more slowly, but without jeopardizing its reputation in the eyes of search engines. They love spotting backlinks to your site from authority websites in your industry, all the more so if they are localized, too.
The practice will differ from one niche to another, so it’s up to you to recognize and refine your link-building efforts. That said, you should also regularly audit your backlink portfolio, because you can never know when an old link might be broken, or if the site has changed focus. The bottom line is, the more quality backlinks you earn and build in your community and locally-relevant digital platforms, the better your ranking will be.
If you provide a great customer experience every time you interact with your buyers, it would be a shame to let those go to waste. Why not use such interactions to inspire more people in your local community to trust your brand? In fact, Google as well as other search engines appreciate when a business enables and encourages genuine customer reviews. It shows just how hard you’ve worked to make your customers happy, which then increases your relevance in the eyes of search engines.
The next time a customer comes to search for the same solution your previous customers have found with you, search engines will gladly put you at the forefront. Claim all review profiles you can, embed first-party reviews directly on your site, and of course, enable Google reviews, too. An added benefit of this practice is that your customers will naturally use keywords, often localized, to add even more juice to your SEO.
To Sum Up
Most, if not all of the listed SEO factors are found on any website’s must-have checklist for a stronger digital presence. This time, however, they need to be refined with your location in mind, so that you can bring more local people to your brand and boost your on-site engagement with the help of relevant content.
In recent years, local SEO has become more vital than ever, and it’s expected to keep growing in relevance in upcoming years. It’s up to you to implement these and other comprehensive SEO strategies and to build a stellar local presence as a result.