In order for online users to find your website, preferably at the top of any search engine query they undertake, you need to have a good SEO strategy. This includes finding the right keywords, providing your audience with meaningful, high-quality content, and making sure your website meets technical requirements including fast loading speeds and safety measures.
This so-called organic or traditional SEO works well for businesses that operate mainly online and across city or country borders. However, smaller, locally-oriented companies need to up their game and specialize their SEO strategy to specifically cater to the local community and ultimately get online users to visit their stores in person.
What is organic SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) encompasses various strategies web developers use to ensure that your business is listed among the top results when users place a query with Google, Bing or any other search engine. It focuses on improving your ranking and increasing the likelihood of potential customers finding you, contacting you, and ultimately purchasing from you.
General SEO strategies
When looking at optimising your SEO strategy in general, the following steps will be helpful no matter where your business is located.
- Keywords: search for and apply relevant keywords on your website
- Content: provide high-quality, in-depth content about your industry to make yourself known as an expert
- Speed: improve your website’s loading times
- User-friendliness: make your website easy to navigate
- Links: include backlinks from reputable websites to underline your authority as an expert
How is local SEO different?
SEO is highly important if you want to keep up with the competition. Statistics revealed that websites listed on page 1 of any search engine result will take up 95% of all search traffic. While organic or traditional SEO focuses on your website visibility on a global spectrum, local SEO focuses on the audience right in front of your doorstep. It can very much be seen as a subset of traditional SEO.
Running a local business that relies on face-to-face interaction with customers means your requirements are different. You will still employ most of the strategies that apply to organic SEO, but the steps of action necessary to connect with online users in your area will vary significantly.
How to improve your local SEO
More than 50% of all mobile searches nowadays are related to local businesses. In addition, 80% of all local searches convert, meaning that the majority of people looking for a local business will then visit a physical store, taking the next step in the purchasing process.
Whether you own a restaurant or operate a car dealership, the range of industries where people are needing local advice and support is endless. In order for you to attract these people and convert them from online users to purchasing customers, local SEO uses a range of tactics to increase your chances of success.
Local listing sites
Showcasing your website on local listing sites such as Google My Business will increase your visibility and make it easier for potential customers to contact or interact with you in many different ways. Studies have shown that by creating and utilizing a Google My Business account, your rankings can significantly improve. Furthermore, your website is more likely to appear in search results related to specific products and services in your area.
One of the most successful ways to attract new customers through your website is by letting others judge you. Reading what the public thinks about you on review platforms such as Facebook (Meta), Google and TripAdvisor has a significant impact on whether people will ever set foot into your store. When it comes to local searches, 77% of consumers regularly read online reviews before they make a decision.
When people are looking for local companies offering products or services they need, search engines are now the main source to find those businesses quickly. If you want your website to be listed among the top search results, you need to implement location-specific keywords and phrases that are targeted to your area.
If you are not interested in clients from other parts of the country or overseas, offering content that is specifically written to target local customers will have an impact on what searches your website will be included in. Including your geographical location throughout articles and blogs on your website in a natural way will help search engines to understand better where you are and what you have to offer to the people in your area.
Adding your contact details including your business name, address, phone number, email address and opening hours to your website as well as local directories will make it easier for potential clients to find and engage with you. Don’t forget to regularly update these details.
You can add even more value for your customers by creating and embedding free Google My Maps into your website. This tool allows you to present your audience with additional information about your business in a visually appealing manner such as the location of all your branches within a certain radius.
Being mentioned and linked to by other websites of local, reputable businesses will strengthen your appearance as an industry expert. These so-called backlinks will also help your website attract more visitors. They should be organic rather than paid for, as the latter can damage your reputation more than give you an advantage.
Times for local businesses have been tough and the competition from cheap overseas retailers is big. However, local businesses do have a few great advantages. Because they often provide a much more personalised customer experience and are able to offer unique or niche products, the majority of Kiwis prefers to shop local if possible.
If you would like to find out more about sprucing up your SEO and attracting more local customers, talk to the friendly experts at Energise Web today.