As you probably know, the ultimate purpose of a business website is to turn visitors into paying customers/clients. However, if you’re not getting traffic to your website, then you might as well not even have one. The good news is that through search engine optimization (SEO) you can get more local customers by driving buyer-ready traffic to your site. That said, there is a big difference between the implementation of general SEO, and local SEO.
Think about it this way; if you run a business that operates within a very specific area, such as a city, county, or state/province, then getting traffic outside of your area of operation won’t do you any good. In fact, driving useless traffic will decrease your conversion rates, and can even undermine your SEO efforts when large portions of your traffic immediately click off of your site, increasing your bounce rate in the process.
Fortunately local SEO isn’t that hard to implement, it just requires a little more thought than general SEO. This being the case, let’s take a look at five proven-to-work local SEO strategies that will help you to generate more revenue, and grow your business.
List Your Business with Google My Business
No matter what kind of business you operate, or what your area of operation is, you want to make sure that you’re listing it with Google My Business. This is a free service that comes with a lot of benefits that will help you to get more exposure, and in doing so, bring in more paying customers.
Get Higher Search Result Rankings
When you list with Google My Business you will have a chance of being ranked at the top of the search results whenever someone searches for your type of business in their area. For example, if someone searches for “Denver bakery” Google will display several bakeries located in the Denver area at the top of the results. If you’re listed with Google My Business, your listing will have a chance of being up there at the top with the other business results. This is much more effective than trying to rank your website by itself because Google My Business listings will always come first.
(Image Credit: WordStream)
Show Up for Vague Search Terms
In addition to getting ranked for obvious local search terms like “Denver bakery” Google My Business can also help you to get ranked for vague search terms as well. For example, if you ran an SEO firm, Google My Business could help you to get ranked for non location specific search terms like “how to get local business,” or “how to get more local business.” Even though there is no city, state, or province in the search term, Google will already know if you’re in the area of the person doing the search if you’re listed with Google My Business.
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Show Up on Google Maps
Google Maps used to be a big thing but now it’s kind of merged with Google My Business as far as getting your business extra exposure goes. Not only does this help to show potential customers and clients how to get to your location, it also provides other handy information as well such as your hours of operation, customer reviews, and more. If you want to give a customer local business information, Google Maps is a great way to do it.
If you’ve ever run a search on how to attract local customers to your business then you’ve probably heard of on-page SEO elements like keywords, navigation, and other factors. However, when it comes to local SEO, things are a little different, and you need to take care to make sure that you’re optimizing your webpages to show up in local searches.
Navigation and Internal Linking Structure
Believe it or not, your site’s navigation and linking structure plays a role in how Google and the other search engines will rank your site. A site with poor navigation will get buried, while a site with simple yet intuitive navigation will get a push. Here are a few tips when it comes to designing a navigation and linking structure that Google will approve of:
- No dead ends (pages with no links)
- Simple and uncluttered nav bar
- Cross-linking between related pages
- Relevant links in the sidebar
- Image links that make sense
Your URL, Tags, Meta Data, and More
There are a lot of little things that add up when it comes to local SEO. You want to make sure that you have location based keywords in a variety of key places on your website to give Google a good idea of where you’re located in real life so that your pages can get ranked for location based searches. Here are some of places you want to include your location based keywords:
- Domain name
- Meta data
- Image description
- Page text
- Sidebar text
- Navigation bar (If you have locations in more than one area.)
- As anchor text in your internal links
Separate Location Pages
Speaking of having multiple locations, if your business operates in several different cities or areas, you don’t need a brand new website for each one. Instead you can have separate pages for each location so that they can rank in Google for location based searches. For example, if you’re a plumber that provides service for all cities in a specific county you can have a page for each city. Just make sure that you’re not reusing text since that can get you a duplicate content penalty. Instead, make each page unique and focused on the specific search term you want it to rank for. Take this movie theater for example, it has separate pages for each of its locations:
(Image Credit: Walker Cinemas)
Off-page SEO is a little more involved than on-page when it comes to local SEO. Even so, it isn’t something that you should overlook if you’re serious about learning how to attract local customers to your business. In fact, some off-page local SEO strategies are very powerful when used correctly.
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Reviews are a powerful form of social proof that can lead to a big increase in conversions when used correctly. While you can get reviews on Google My Business, you can also get reviews on other sites as well which can help show Google that you site has a high level of “authority” so that it will be ranked higher. The best way to get review is to simply ask for them. Just keep in mind that the FTC has many rules and regulations about how reviews and endorsements work that you may want to read up on in order to make sure that you’re compliant with their guidelines.
Google My Business isn’t the only business directory online. In fact, there are so many that listing with all of them would be incredibly time consuming. Even so, you still want to make sure that you’re listing your business with as many directories as possible. Not only does this give your website more “link juice” so that it can rank higher in the search results, it also helps give your business more exposure as well.
On top of this, being listed in business directories will go a long way in helping Google to know where your business is located. This way if someone uses a non location specific search term like “how to get local business,” “dentist near me,” or “I need new tires,” Google will know to recommend your business if you’re in their area.
Social media can be a very powerful marketing tool, but if used incorrectly, it can do more harm than good. As a general rule you need to use social media for branding, engagement, and exposure, not selling. No one will want to follow your business on social media if you’re only using it to pitch ads. Instead, provide your followers with quality content to keep them engaged and entertained, and occasionally pitch them a special offer, discount, or some other incentive to do business with you. For instance, take a look at one of Diib’s Facebook posts. This post isn’t pitching an ad or telling the viewer to click on a link, it is simply giving advice that some people were asking for.
Another thing to remember about social media is that demographic research is very important. For example, you might be tempted to jump onboard with Instagram since it’s very popular these days, but it might not fit your demographic since it caters mostly to a younger audience. On the other hand, Facebook now has a much older user base making it a poor choice for targeting a younger demographic. If you’re going to use social media to market your business, make sure that you know who you’re targeting, and what platforms they use.
As far as how social media plays into local SEO, having social media posts that link back to your main website not only give you extra traffic, they also give your site more link juice so that Google will be more likely to rank it higher. Just make sure that your links make sense. Mindlessly linking to your homepage is also a bad idea. Instead develop some content on your website that your followers will want to engage with, such as a blog, or video series.
Have a Mobile Friendly Website
This may sound out of place compared to the rest of the local SEO strategies on this list, but having a mobile friendly website is the single most important SEO factor today. This is because of Google’s Mobile First Initiative. What this means is that sites that are mobile friendly will get a push up the rankings, while sites that aren’t will get buried. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re losing out on a lot of traffic. That being the case, let’s go over several of the most important factors when it comes to making your site mobile friendly.
How Your Site Displays
A mobile friendly site needs to look good on mobile devices, that’s pretty obvious. However, there is more to this idea than just having your site fit the smaller screen size of tablets and phones. Here are the most important factors for making sure your site displays well on mobile devices:
- Large text
- Large buttons
- Fits smaller screen sizes
- Appropriately sized popups
- Sans-serif font
- Minimal reverse text (White text on a black background)
- Smart graphics placement
- Videos that can be enlarged
There are certain websites you can use to test if a website is mobile friendly. For example the Mobile-Friendly Test from Google:
Something to consider when it comes to making your website mobile friendly is the fact that voice search is becoming more popular every year. This is because voice search technology is improving, making it a more attractive option for people using mobile devices. The thing to remember is that when a person does a voice search, the search terms they use might be slightly different than what you would expect.
In fact, search terms used for voice search tend to be more inline with how a person would speak normally, rather than when typing in a search term on a keyboard. This means that a person would be more likely to use search terms like “how to attract local customers to your business” or “how to get more local business” rather than something like “local SEO firm Ontario Canada.”
We hope that you found this article useful.
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Optimize Your Landing Pages
Optimizing your landing pages for customer local traffic is important for a variety of reasons. For one thing, if your landing pages aren’t optimized you’ll have a higher bounce rate which will harm your local SEO efforts overall. On top of this, an unoptimized landing page won’t be as effective at converting the traffic you do get into paying customers. This can make all of your local SEO efforts practically useless.
A good example of this principle would be having a blog post that you’re linking to via social media. This blog post would then need to be optimized to do something useful with that traffic, such as linking readers to a product page, prompting them to submit their email address in exchange for a freebie of some sort, or pitching products/services via ads in the sidebar. In any case, you never want a page on your website to be a dead end, and this goes double for landing pages.
Maintaining the Flow of Your Sales Funnel
The very first thing a landing page must do is let the traffic that reaches it know that it has what they’re looking for. For example, if a person clicks onto your landing page from an ad promising to teach them how to train their dog to sit, then the headline and images at the top of the screen should immediately communicate to them that the page has that information. Failure to quickly communicate these ideas to people who land on your page will have them clicking off of your page almost immediately and will harm your local SEO by raising your bounce rate.
Smart Landing Page Design
When it comes to landing page design, simpler is better in most cases. Headlines should be eye-catching but also straight to the point. Images should always be relevant but not distracting, and your text should be broken up with headers and divided into short paragraphs for easy reading. The goal of your landing page is to lead the reader further down your sales funnel. This being the case, there should be nothing on the page that distracts them from that purpose. The image below shows a very straightforward landing page that is easy to read and understand:
(Image Credit: Standout)
Your landing page should also contain the appropriate marketing elements in order to help you turn your readers into paying customers. Here is a list of some of the most common marketing elements used on landing pages:
- Price justification
- Big promises (That you can back up)
- List of product/service benefits
- Social proof (reviews, endorsements, etc.)
- Loss leaders (Freebies and giveaways)
- Moneyback guarantees
- Product/service demonstrations
Choosing the Right Type of Landing Page
There are many different kinds of landing pages that you can use, and choosing the right one for the kind of traffic that you’re driving is important. For example, a blog post or video would be a good landing page for traffic coming from social media since you don’t want to get too salesy with them too fast. On the other hand, if you’re driving traffic with ads and want to make back your investment as quickly as possible, a sales page would be a great choice. For example this landing page that shows the viewer their big sale right away:
(Image Credit: Target)
In some cases you may even want to link to your home page, such as the links you get from directories like Google My Business. Your homepage should almost always be “soft-sell” not “hard-sell” and serve as an overview of your products and/or services. Don’t list prices, and don’t use high-pressure CTAs like “click here to buy now.” Instead, use low-pressure CTAs like “click here for more info” to get people to visit your product/service pages where you can be more aggressive with your selling.
SEO: Local SEO
The main thing to remember when it comes to local SEO is the fact that it must constantly be monitored, analyzed, and updated. This is because Google and the other search engines frequently change their algorithms. While this may sound like a huge drawback it actually brings with it a major benefit with it as well; the fact that SEO is an evergreen traffic strategy. Diib integrates with your Google My Business account, giving you local metrics and demographics that can help you fine tune your strategy. Here are some of our features we know you’ll love:
- Technical SEO monitoring, including your Google My Business profile
- Alerts when changes occur within your GMB account
- Bounce rate monitoring and repair
- Social media integration and performance
- Broken pages where you have backlinks (404 checker)
- Keyword, backlink, and indexing monitoring and tracking tools
- User experience and mobile speed optimization
Click here for your free scan or simply call 800-303-3510 to speak to one of our growth experts.
First off, network in your local community. Second, Offering coupons and deals is also good, who doesn’t like saving money? Third, make sure your local SEO is on point. Fourth, make sure you build healthy relationships with your current customers.
There are five main areas of a promotional mix: Advertising, Personal selling, Sales promotion, Public relations, and Direct marketing.
If we could stress one thing (besides hiring Diib) to advertise your small business it would be to claim your Google My Business listing. This will advertise your business in the local area complete with a map and directions. Your local customers will see these first.
Some of the best promotional tactics for your business are, or should be, creating the best content out there. This can include blog posts, guest blogging, white papers, videos ect.
There are a few ways you can build customer loyalty.
- Start a customer loyalty program
- Engage your customers on social media
- Encourage customers to be brand ambassadors
- Build an email campaign for product updates
- Use special occasions to personally remember customers