Now that you know the basics of how to build your local web presence from the ground up from part one of this article series, we need to move on to the more intricate details of local SEO. Local search engine optimization is as much about art as it is about science, but there are plenty of concrete ways to improve your site or campaign immediately to start appearing higher on the search engine results page (SERP). In fact, 67% of consumers want ads customized to their city and zip code, so you know that your customers are craving local services. It’s time you took your game to the next level and took over one of the top spots.
Local searches lead 50% of mobile customers to visit the store that same day. This shows that people who are searching in their surroundings on mobile are in buy-now mode. They are on the hunt for a restaurant on the corner, a shop with the right gift, or a store with items they can use immediately. Making sure you have a responsive mobile site is essential. Here are some other mobile stats that will blow you out of the water:
- 50% of consumers prefer a mobile browser to an app – being on a browser gives freedom, and many customers prefer you just have a mobile site. Sites are far cheaper than apps, so take advantage now.
- 72% of consumers want mobile-friendly sites
- 70% of mobile searches lead to action within an hour!
- 5-7 seconds is all you have to capture a user
All of these stats show how vital it is to maintaining a functioning mobile site. Use a tester to make sure yours is working right.
Concentrate on images and logos
Logos help you get recognized in your local area. This is especially true if you are a popular, locally-based brand. Think about how valuable it would be to be seen as a local institution as compared to a corporate chain. A unique, SEO-optimized logo will help customers identify you and trust your company. Not only that, logos and images will be effective on your social media profiles. 60% of customers are more likely to contact your business if images show up in local search! Here is how to SEO them:
- Add captions – add a caption with a local keyword.
- Add a description – write a description of the image so search engine crawlers can read it. Include your local area.
- Add tags – most web platforms will allow you to add image tags. Use them to identify your business and your location.
Tip: Images and logos are effective, but making them too large will slow down your site. Consider keeping them around 400×800 or maybe even a little less if possible.
Interact with customers the right way
There is a right way and a wrong way to approach customer reviews. The wrong way is to ignore them, not engage them, or respond in anger or with elusive, scripted apologies. A local business deals with a different breed of clientele than a large, multinational entity. 88% of customers trust online reviews – they are going to be what brings customers through the door.
With new updates to the SERP, users can now automatically see ratings and reviews. This means you need to be on your game. Some quick tips:
- Respond personally – don’t script it.
- Don’t make excuses – customers don’t want to hear them. If they are legitimate gripes against your business, apologize and move one.
- Encourage them – ask customers to like you. Offer incentives; hand out cards, or even run promotions or giveaways. Get as many as possible.
- Offer compensation – nothing feels better than getting value back from a business that admits a mistake.
Getting to the top of the SERP in your local market requires diligence and knowledge of the idiosyncrasies of the search algorithm. Make sure to respond to reviews the right way, use and optimize images, and embrace mobile technology. You are one step closer to getting to where you want to be. Stay tuned for more great local SEO tips, and start building your business’ web presence the right way.