Optimizing your business and its website for local searches is the best way to take your product or service to the target audience without splurging a lot of money, especially if the success of your business depends on the local community — a cafe, for example. The searches in the form of keyword followed by either “near me” phrase or the name of the place have skyrocketed in the recent years as more people rely on smartphones to discover best products and services nearby. And that means if your business is not optimized for such searches, you’re missing out on a large set of potential customers. In this post, we will be taking a look at how one can optimize their business website for search engines so as to leverage relevant “near me” searches and attract local customers effectively.
Google My Business listing
The very first step is to add or claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing. For the unaware, GMB is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to manage your business’ online presence. You need to make sure your listing contains accurate and up-to-date information, including your business name, phone number, address, website, and business hours. You can take things up a notch by adding high-quality images and also asking your recurring customers to leave reviews.
Keyword research is a crucial part of search engine optimization (SEO), and for “near me” or location-based searches, it’s essential to target relevant local keywords. Incorporate location-specific keywords into your website content, meta tags, and headings. For instance, if you run a real estate firm in San Miguel De Allende, use keywords like “houses for sale in san miguel de allende” or “properties in san miguel de allende”. Adding such location-specific keywords can help search engines “understand” your business further and display your offering for relevant searches from your location… even if void of place name. Let’s say someone is searching for “rent otdr” without mentioning “near me” or place, the top results would still be locally available options.
Build for mobile
Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly should be a top priority as such searches are often made through smartphones. Plus, mobile optimization is a strong factor when it comes to Google search rankings . Make sure your website loads instantly, has a responsive design, and provides a seamless user experience for mobile users.
Local structured data
Structured data markup, such as JSON-LD, can help search engines understand the context of your content. Implementing local structured data can provide search engines with critical information about your business — including address, phone number, reviews, etc., making it more likely to appear in “near me” searches.
Building local backlinks can significantly boost your local SEO efforts. You may want to reach out to local organizations, business directories, and news outlets to secure quality and relevant backlinks.
Unless you are a global firm not tied to a particular location like one of those international freight forwarding companies, appearing in SERPs for local searches is foolproof way to build a thriving business.