Is your local business struggling to rank in local search engine results? Are you looking for ways to improve your local SEO? To rank higher in local search engine results, one must understand the best practices of local search engine optimization.
Local SEO differs in many ways from organic optimization that a Professional SEO agency uses for their client’s websites. When your business relies heavily on local customers, you need to understand how your local presence can be brought to the knowledge of people geographically close to your business.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a form of search engine optimization that helps local businesses rank in search engine results for their geographic area. For instance, if you own a salon in Amsterdam your local SEO company will optimize your website for keywords related to “Salon in Amsterdam” so that when someone searches for those terms, your website will show up in the search engine results.
Local SEO includes:
- Optimizing your website’s meta tags and content with local keywords.
- Submitting your website to local directories.
- Creating listings in local business directories such as Google My Business.
- Building citations from local news sources and other websites that mention your business.
Google My Business is particularly important since it allows you to control how your business appears on Google Maps and in Google local search results.
Ways to Boost Your Local SEO and Win New Business
Review Your Competitor’s Google Business Profile Q&As
The Q&A function of Google Business Profile is a great way to understand what your potential customers are looking for when they search for local services. It can help convert customers who are hesitant to take action if used well. For instance, if a potential customer has found you on your GBP page and has considered you enough to ask a question, a thoughtful response can take them further down the purchase funnel.
But that’s not all. To further increase the visibility of your business, you should also monitor your competitor’s Q&A answers to understand what your potential customers are asking others from your industry.
Now you must be wondering how this will help you. To understand this, you need first to understand how Google Business Profile’s Q&A works.
When someone asks a question on GBP, the question is not submitted to the owner’s profile but gets posted publicly. This means it is visible to anyone who sees the GBP listing. And when that question is answered, it will be available for all to see.
Now you can use this to your advantage by understanding what your potential customers are asking for and filling out the related gaps on your GBP listing. For instance, if you come across many questions asked about the availability of organic skin care products on your competitor’s page, you can ensure that you highlight your organic skin care range on your site and GBP listing.
This will give you a significant advantage over your competitors in winning those organic skin care customers in your local area.
Tweak a Google Product Listing to Appear More Prominently
Google allows businesses with GBP to upload details of their products and services along with their business profile. This product listing can include descriptions, images, prices, etc. This listing appears in GBP in carousel format on Maps, and in both carousel and under the ‘Products’ tab on Search.
Both formats allow users to click for:
- More details
- Call your business
- Visit the website
Now to upload a product to your GBP listing, all you need to do is log in to your GBP account, go to the ‘Info’ option, and add a product. However, what you cannot do is set the order of the products in the carousel. Google will display them in the order they are uploaded or edited. Even a minor tweak to the listing can bring it up to the top of the carousel.
So if you want a particular product to showcase over others, like “buy one get one free offer” or a “new launch,” you can play around with the product listing and tweak it so that it appears more prominently. This will help drive additional engagement and conversions from potential customers near your local area.
Use Google’s Business Messages
With the help of Google’s Business Messages, you can stay connected with your customers in real time and provide them with the convenience of text messaging. This will help you quickly respond to customer queries and provide support.
When you activate Business Messages on your GBP listing, a “Message” button will be enabled that the users can use to start direct conversations with your business. You can also take advantage of the initial autoresponder sent out when a customer initiates a conversation.
Moreover, Google recommends you reply to the customers within 24 hours, and if you don’t, Google may deactivate your Business Messages feature. Depending on your average reply time, Google may also display a badge on your GBP listing that reads “Usually responds in a few minutes” or “Usually responds in a few hours”.
Leveraging this powerful feature not only ensures that you provide timely solutions to your customers but also helps create a positive impression about the responsiveness of your business.
Things you can do:
- Customize the conversation templates to reflect your brand voice so that customers can have a personalized experience while interacting with you.
- Make use of the local name for the area your business is located in
- Talk about the specific events and charities you are associated with
Any indication that your business serves local customers helps boost the engagement rate of potential customers in your local area.
Not using this amazing feature of Google to its full potential means you are missing out on a great opportunity to stay connected with your local customers and increase conversions.
Update Your GBP with Newly Added Attributes
Google keeps adding new functionality to Google Business Profile that businesses can benefit from. However, not every new feature is available to all business profiles. Your eligibility to access depends on what category is set as your primary on your GBP listing. To keep up with new updates and check your eligibility, visit Google’s GBP announcement page regularly.
Early Adoption of new attributes to your GBP listing can put you ahead in the race as it will allow you to tap into customers looking for something specific.
For instance, during the pandemic, Google allowed customers to add attributes related to health and safety. This included wearing a mask and checking customers’ temperature on the premises.
When customers see a business following health and safety guidelines, it builds a sense of trust in them, eventually improving your local reputation.
Moreover, adding new attributes to your GBP listing indicates to the customers that they are dealing with an updated and active business profile. This increases customer confidence in your brand and encourages them to engage with your business.
Join Local Marketplace and Forums
To promote your local business, you must first understand what your audience is looking for. A great way to do that is by spending time on local forums and online marketplaces relevant to your local industry.
Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great resources for discovering what customers want and how they find it. You don’t necessarily have to engage in conversations or start a dialogue every time; being present and understanding the conversations will give you valuable insights and help you create relevant content your local audience will likely engage with.
Moreover, whenever you post content, add your website address and contact details so interested people can easily get in touch with you. This will help you generate more leads for your business.
Protect Your Reputation
Reputation matters a lot when it comes to local SEO. Positive reviews, ratings, and comments can make or break your chances of ranking higher in local search results. You may be keeping a close eye on the reviews on sites like Google and Yelp, but what about other places in the SERPs that might give customers an outsider’s view of how your business is performing?
Aside from the inaccurate data about your company that these websites may contain, you should also check what your customers, former employees, or even your competitors are saying about you.
Since links to these sites appear as the first feature in the Google SERPs for any query related to your brand, use tools like Google Alerts and Brand Mention to monitor any negative sentiment around your brand and address it promptly.
By staying up-to-date on what people are saying about your business and responding promptly, you’ll be able to show potential customers that you care about their opinion and take action if necessary. In addition, this will build trust between your business and the local community, helping you boost your SEO ranking.
Do Not Ignore Other Search Engines
Google may be the most popular and widely used search engine, but there are other search engines you should keep an eye on if you want to boost your local SEO. Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo are some of the search engines that can be beneficial for your business’s visibility.
Apple Maps power DuckDuckGo’s maps and Bing uses Bing Places to power their local search results. Therefore, if you want your business to appear on this search engine, you’ll need to ensure that your business is listed on them as well.
By ensuring that your business is visible across multiple search engines, you increase the chance of potential customers finding you in their local area. Moreover, if your competitors are not listed on all the search engines, you can gain an edge over them and boost your visibility in the local SERPs.
Upscale Your Local Business with a Professional Local SEO Company
How your business appears for searches with local intent can significantly affect how many customers you are able to acquire. Unfortunately, as competition heats up, it is becoming more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd in local search results.
To ensure your business is not left behind, you need to develop a robust local SEO strategy. And for that, you need Alpha BPO, a reliable SEO agency in the Netherlands.
We are a team of experienced SEO professionals with the skill set to help your business dominate local searches. With our white hat SEO tactics, keyword research services, onsite optimization, link-building campaigns, and more, we can work with you to develop a comprehensive SEO strategy that can drive more traffic to your website and generate more leads for your business.
So, if you are serious about dominating local searches and building your presence online use our reliable local SEO services. We’ll be happy to assist you in your journey toward digital success.