Thanks to the powerful presence of Google in everyday life, your business has great opportunities to connect with customers. Local SEO for businesses has developed a lot in the last decade. The rise of mobile searching and voice search has changed the way people find answers, products, and services. Your business can optimize your online presence to make the most of these trends and connect with more customers. Consider these important local SEO elements for businesses.

Google My Business

Google My Business is the “cornerstone” of local SEO, according to Ahrefs. If you run a local business, whether customers come to you or you visit your customers, you need to claim your Google My Business listing. This is the part of the page that shows up on the side of the screen (on desktops) when you search for a business on Google. Your business may already have a Google My Business listing but it may be unclaimed. Make sure to claim it! This listing is a powerful local SEO tool. It grabs the attention of searchers and gives them useful information about your business, including your business hours, contact information, website link, and business reviews.

Reviews

Speaking of business reviews, it’s incredibly important to collect and display your reviews online. Reviews help to build trust between your business and potential customers. In a local search, this is essential. When people are making local searches, they are serious about finding an answer to their needs. Good reviews will certainly play into their decisions. Harnessing the power of these reviews is a local SEO best practice.

Mobile-responsiveness

This one is key for local SEO. Most searches for local businesses occur on mobile devices. It’s a trend of our “on-the-go” culture. Furthermore, 88% of mobile local searches results in a sale or conversion. Without a mobile-friendly website, your business will be at a crippling disadvantage. Mobile-responsiveness involves optimizing your online content for better display on a smaller mobile screen.

Your website should be mobile-friendly anyway, to provide a great user experience. Local SEO is just another big reason to keep your mobile users in mind when designing and developing your website.

“Near Me” Searches

Similarly, the rise of “near me” searches has changed the way local business should approach SEO. The growing popularity of voice searches using AI like Alexa is adding new dimensions to local SEO for businesses. Keywords are among the changes that this technology has driven. The keywords that people use when they type out text into their phone is different than the words they use when they’re using voice text. This should be taken into consideration.  

There has been a 900% increase in the number of “near me” searches. (For example, someone searches for “contractors near me” or “coffee shops near me”.) Of course, this has a huge impact on local SEO for businesses. If you are researching keywords for your SEO strategy, keep this in mind.

Blog/Newsletter

Publishing a blog or newsletter can also be helpful for local SEO. One key ranking factor of SEO in general is consistent content updates. Google likes fresh content and you can help provide some through a blog or newsletter. It doesn’t have to be complicated or exhaustive. Sometimes just an update on your projects or a post of helpful tips can be enough to get people’s interest piqued! Content is one of the fundamental building blocks of SEO and it’s no different for local SEO!

Worthwhile Investment

Optimizing your website, Google My Business listing, and content for local SEO is a worthwhile investment. As local searches become more and more commonplace you will do well to set yourself up for success in the local SEO game.

Need some guidance or help getting started with local SEO? IX Publishing can help you navigate the necessary steps to getting on the map with local SEO. Let us know how we can help!