Competing with big businesses online can be difficult for your local business. Local Search Engine Optimization can help you establish a strong online presence in the locality of your business. It helps your business website’s visibility to the customers in your geographical region and impacts your ranking on local search queries. Investing in local SEO services will help your business generate more organic traffic. It also helps outrank competitors in searches, and all these eventually will translate to an increase in leads. Having the right strategy will make your business have a greater feeling of legitimacy, build trust and attract more customers.

To improve your local SEO ranking, you first need to understand Google’s factors in the ranking. Even though Google uses more than 200 factors that are constantly changing for its SERP algorithm, three main factors are important for your local business. These are proximity, relevance, and prominence. These factors will be evident as we look further into the steps of improving your local SEO.

Step 1: Create and Manage Google My Business Account

Google My Business has great importance that cannot be ignored if you want to improve in local SEO rankings. Usually, it is what gives the first impression of your business. GMB accounts will help you improve visibility in local search results and help your business rank higher in Google Maps.

First, you need to create a Google My Business Account to take advantage of this awesome tool. Next, you need to claim your business and verify ownership. After claiming, you should update your business information. This will work in your favor by making it easier to find your business in a relevant search. Provide information that will help users know more about your business. You should include things like phone numbers, physical addresses, and operating hours. You can as well post images of the business.

Step 2: Make use of Local Keywords

Local keywords have location-specific phrases, and this is what you need as you are targeting people from within your geographical area. The local keywords will assist in directing the people in your locality to your business.

You need to identify the popular terms within your area that are relevant to your business. You can do this using many easily available keyword research tools. In choosing keywords, you should use the following tips.

Include your location: if you are running an auto shop in New Jersey, part of your keywords should include the location, for instance, Best Auto Shop New Jersey. Use your relevant industry. This is because you will only want to get traffic that will eventually lead to sales. Using misleading high-volume keywords is not a good strategy for your business.

Step 3: Get Reviews for Your Business

Having your customers write reviews about your business can be very helpful to your online presence. Survey shows that the majority of customers read online reviews of businesses. The reviews can have the same effect as personal recommendations. Having customer reviews also shows credibility. You can politely ask customers to leave reviews after service or via a follow-up email.

Responding to customer reviews shows you value the customers’ feedback. You should respond professionally regardless of if the review is negative or positive. Having positive reviews will help boost the visibility of your business.

 Step 4: Optimizing Your Website for Mobile Devices

Consumer trends suggest that there is an exponential shift from desktop website visits towards mobile visits. A mobile-friendly site is characterized by responsiveness which is an important SEO ranking factor. This means that having a mobile-friendly site is not an option if you want your business to rank better. It is also notable that many people who search for local businesses use mobile phones.

Your mobile site ideally should use larger fonts to make it easier for reading. The site should also have fast-loading pages. Priority should be on communicating the information and less filler.

 Step 5: Getting Local Backlinks and Coverage

Having others link to your pages will do you a world of good in improving your local search rank and getting referral traffic. Backlinks to your site indicate authoritativeness and trustworthiness. You can get quality backlinks by creating good quality content on your site. You can also guest post on reputable sites. Reaching out to local journalists, bloggers, and influencers and building a relationship with them can help your business greatly. Having your business listed with big business directories can also help in getting high-quality backlinks.