Local SEO: How to Improve Visibility on Google
It’s no secret that customers comprise the 40,000 Google searches happening per second, amounting to 3.5 billion daily. But the searches that matter most are those about finding the right business on the (digital) map.
With 53% of customers searching for something local at least once a month, getting in front of them requires ranking for the most common searches — the ones for local products and services. Local SEO helps you target these customers already in your community and get those clicks and conversions.
What is local SEO?
When searching for businesses or places at their location, customers get local search results. In anticipation of a user’s needs, such as shopping or dining, Google factors their location to rank results from both Maps and Search.
Local SEO is a targeted SEO strategy that allows businesses to target these searches directly by optimizing your website to cater to local searches in your service area. As a result, your website ranks for searches by local audiences. For small businesses, in particular, this means an increased likelihood of connecting with local customers directly, even on a smaller SEO budget than major brands.
Along with targeting relevant keywords that include key locations, successful local SEO requires an optimized Google Business Profile. A verified listing with up-to-date business information, like address and store hours, photos, and reviews boosts your ranking and builds customer trust.
How Google Determines Local Search Rankings
- Distance: Often the first consideration, businesses that are located in the user’s specified location or are closest to their tracked location tend to rank first.
- Relevance: How well a Business Profile matches a customer’s search, determined by complete and up-to-date business information.
- Prominence: How well-known your business is, whether it’s a known landmark or brand, and also indicated by positive ratings and reviews and general search rankings.
Top 5 Ways for Improving Your Visibility in Local Searches
Traditional SEO may be the backbone of your digital marketing strategy, but it takes increasingly precise targeting to reach the right customers — the ones in your area, ready to buy. Local SEO helps you target their searches, such as “restaurants in Toronto” or “restaurants near me”.
This combination of traditional SEO and localization helps you compete with bigger brands who optimize for generic keywords and increase conversions among local audiences. Get started with these tips:
1. Optimize Your Google Business Profile
The core of local SEO, an up-to-date Google Business Profile ensures you rank for relevant searches in your area. Keep your profile accurate and engaging:
- Complete business information: List all essential information, including the address, phone number, category, store hours, website, and other attributes like menu and updates.
- Verify your location: Once your profile is created, make sure to verify it. Google Business Profile will prompt you for next steps, such as receiving your postcard and entering a verification code.
- Update store hours: Make sure your business hours are up-to-date, and add special hours for holidays and events. Accurate hours help customers shop with ease, ensuring they don’t arrive when you’re closed.
- Manage reviews: Show customers that you value their feedback by responding to reviews, and taking steps to address negative ones. Keep in mind that positive, genuine reviews indicate prominence, one of Google’s local search ranking factors.
- Add photos: Show your store, products, and services to give customers a good idea of what they can expect, and ensure that they find what they’re looking for.
2. Optimize Your Website for Local SEO
Signal to Google that your business provides specific goods and services across key locations. Optimize website content by weaving in locations in product and service pages, and building location pages to show how you’re serving customers at a given location.
Additionally, you can also optimize your About page to feature locally relevant information, such as your business’ origins in Toronto and local community engagement. These long-tail keywords tend to perform better than generic searches and connect you with local audiences who are ready to buy.
Aside from content, make sure to embed a map on your website. Include information like your address, hours, and contact information to help customers locate your business.
3. Submit to Online Directories
Google Maps is at the top of your list, but it’s not the only online directory. Yelp, TripAdvisor, and YellowPages are also popular among customers. Create and maintain a listing on various directories to increase local rankings and boost your visibility.
4. Stay Active on Social Media
Various social media platforms offer tools for brands to list business information. Facebook and Instagram business pages, in particular, allow you to list your address, store hours, contact information, and customize your page with buttons like Email, Send a Message, Get Directions, Call, and more.
More importantly, get social. With features like location tagging, check-ins, hashtags, and mentions, you can engage customers in your area. Maintain an active multi-channel digital presence with compelling content to interact with customers, respond to comments and feedback, and launch offers like giveaways and promo codes. Active social media profiles also rank along with your website on search, further increasing visibility.
5. Try Geofencing Advertising
Geofencing is a targeting tool that triggers ads on mobile devices when users are entering or leaving an area. Essentially, it enables hyper-local advertising by setting a virtual boundary around your business, allowing you to increase brand recall among customers in your vicinity. Since ads are hyper-localized, customers are much more likely to click on them, seeing that your business is very closely located.
Work with a Local SEO Company in Toronto
As is often said, it’s all about location, location, location — and it holds true for Google searches. At Consultus Digital, we believe the next click and your next customer are just right around the corner — literally. Our SEO company offers local SEO services to help Toronto businesses hyper-localize customer targeting, with the goal of reaching a ready-to-buy demographic.
With an expertly crafted local SEO strategy that targets customers in your service area, we seamlessly weave this value-added information in your website content and leverage it for optimizing your Google Business Profile. Now, you can easily capture local searches and reach customers looking for the right business at the right location.
Need a boost in your local community? Contact our SEO company in Toronto today to learn more about local SEO. Rank on searches that matter most, and start connecting with customers in your area.