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A Complete Small Business Local SEO Guide for 2020

small business seo

The need for small business Local SEO is real.

It is what they need to stay relevant in their market and gain more exposure.

To improve local visibility, small businesses can follow simple yet effective online marketing techniques and boost their business.

These marketing techniques don’t even cost much.

One of these marketing techniques is Local Search Engine Optimization.

In this post, I am going to discuss everything there is to know about Local SEO and how your small business can leverage this superb marketing technique for local success.

By the end of the post you’ll know:

  1. What is Local SEO?
  2. Why Local SEO is Important for Your Small Business?
  3. Local SEO Statistics You Should Know
  4. How to Optimize for Local SEO?
  5. Important Local SEO Questions Answered

So without wasting any more time, let’s get started!

What is Local SEO for Small Business?

Understanding Local SEO is not a difficult thing.

If you are a small business owner, you know that you have a market to sell your products and services.

The same market, however, also has a number of competitors you will have to be wary of.

With the help of a well-optimized online presence, you can beat the competition by promoting the products and services to all your local target customers.

These customers are looking for local brands that can help solve their problems.

So, when you optimize your online presence to provide them with a solution, Google starts ranking you for the local online search.

Search engines rely on local content, social media pages, backlinks, and other citations to provide value to the online user.

Why Local SEO is Important for Your Small Business?

small business local seo google maps open on a mobile phone

There are many reasons why you should be investing in Local SEO for your small business. In this section, I am going to mention some of the most important of them.

1. More Visibility, Better Local Rankings, More Traffic

Local SEO campaigns are run to get more and more exposure in the local market.

The moment you start learning how to do Local SEO, you will find experts talking about the online business citation.

Basically, Local SEO is all about getting your business mentioned online.

It can be done by putting online all the important information like the company’s name, business hours, physical address, and phone number.

In terms of Local SEO, it is what we call NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number).

The more you cite your business on the Internet, the better you will be recognized on the Internet by your local audience and higher the traffic you will get in your store.

2. Get Traffic For Relevant Searches

SEO is not a one-time investment.

It requires you to be on your toes all the time and optimize your website to reap the benefits of Local SEO.

Since Local SEO will make you optimize your website for the relevant searches online, your small business will be all set to gain better exposure on search engines.

Local SEO makes you optimize your website not only for the search engines but also to provide a great user experience.

The more you monitor and work on your website, the better it will get at bringing in the relevant traffic.

This will help build trust and brand loyalty as well.

3. Claim Google My Business Listing

One of the best ways to manage the online presence across the Google network is to have a Google My Business listing. It is where you enter the NAP for your local business.

The proximity of your store to the online user is crucial to the conversion rate of your store.

Thus, having an optimized Google My Business listing helps you get local traffic.

Also, since Google is a very popular and trustable source of information, having your small business listed on it can make your target audience consider it reputable.

This increases the chances of them contacting you for doing business.

4. Content Marketing and Link Building

You stand a great chance of drawing the attention of your local audience when content marketing and link building strategies are taken to a local level.

Local SEO makes businesses create locally-focused evergreen content that will bring backlinks to your business website.

These links boost your online relevance and authority.

Small Business Local SEO Statistics You Should Know

small business local seo statistics on a laptop screen

The benefits seem hollow until you have proof that Local SEO works successfully.

Therefore, I have made sure that you go through the latest Local SEO statistics to fathom the possibilities Local SEO creates for your business.

Here are some of the most important Local SEO statistics you should know.

1. 50% of the Local Mobile Searches End Up in a Conversion within 24 hours

So, Local SEO revolves around optimizing the online presence for high purchasing intent of the local audience.

People searching for businesses online often use long-tail keywords. These keywords often lead to conversions.

Therefore, optimizing the website and other online citations for such long-tail keywords can really help you get conversions. 

2. 18% of the Local SEO Searches End Up in a Conversion for Small Business

This is important.

Since the Internet and smartphone penetration has increased across the world, it has become convenient for the target audience to shop online.

Mobile searchers are often known to purchase the product or the service they were searching for within one day.

For non-local searches, this statistic stands at just 7%.

3. 70% of the Smartphone Users Click on Google Ads

Mobile users trust Google and the results it shows on its search engine.

The smartphone users use the Google Ads present on the results page to get to the business.

For local listings, a staggering 68% of the online searches used the ‘Get Directions’ or ‘Call’ feature.

4. 50% of the Mobile Callers Actively Search for Product and Service Information

As I mentioned earlier, local customers searching for products and services online have a high intent to convert.

When these mobile searchers look for products and services you offer, they are ready to make a purchase when they call a business.

How to Optimize for Local SEO in 2020?

Small business local seo optimzation on a laptop screen

By now, you know what Local SEO is and why it is important for your small business.

I have backed my claims with statistics just to make sure you realize how crucial Local SEO is to your small business success in 2020. 

It’s time that we start learning the complete process of making your small business Local SEO-ready. So without any further ado, let’s get started!

Here’s what you need to do to optimize for Local SEO.

1. Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Your Local SEO efforts will not move a stone if you don’t have a well-optimized Google My Business listing for your small business.

Google My Business is Google’s very own online review platform where businesses can create their listings.

Now, Google pulls up information about the businesses from Google My Business listings whenever an online user searches for them.

Therefore, verifying your small business on Google My Business is a huge deal since it will help your business get ranked on Google’s search engine, in the local search listing.

You will have to provide all the important information about your small business as I mentioned before.

Once you do that and Google verifies it, you will have your listing ready.

Your customers will not only be able to get information about your business but also review them.

2. Improve Internal Linking Structure on the Website

Internal linking is where most small businesses go wrong when they create a website.

Internal linking is essentially the linking of the webpages you have on your website.

Don’t confuse it with external linking.

External linking is when other websites link to your website.

Optimizing the internal linking structure of your website is important to the SEO of the site.

There are many reasons why internal linking matters to the success of your website.

First, it supports the navigation on the website. It makes it easier for the users to move around on the website without having to hit a brick wall.

Second, it helps in maintaining the right website hierarchy.

Lastly, it allows all pages on your website to get ranked and have page authority.

3. Optimize Meta Tags, Descriptions, Header, Title, URL, Content Structure

When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, you must understand the importance of getting website fundamentals right.

Whenever Google’s spiders crawl your website, they are looking for the special elements of your HTML code that provide them the information they need.

The elements help the crawlers understand what the website is all about.

So, it is important you make sure these elements are optimized to perfection.

You must have your target keyword ready for them though.

I am talking about elements like meta tags, title tags, URLs, descriptions, and UTMs. These elements need to be optimized for the target keyword.

Not just that, you also need to ensure that all content on the website is well-structured with the proper use of header and title tags.

4. Add Location Pages to Website

Most brands are used to opening up stores at different locations in a particular city or across the country.

It is not smart to create and maintain separate online spaces for each store.

This is because first, it will require more resources, and second, it will harm your brand image as well.

I recommend you to put all the different locations under one online space.

When it comes to small business Local SEO, it is important for each store to provide its local audience with unique information like name, address, phone number, business hours, unique store descriptions, promotions, and testimonials.

This is achieved by creating location pages on your website.

Create location pages for each store on your website but ensure that the content on each page is different.

Also, don’t forget to add the Google Map location of each store on the respective location pages.

5. Create Localized Content for Better Small Business Local SEO

Google has been trying its best to create smarter algorithms to ensure content creation is done for the users and not for search engines.

While you will be doing your best to implement technical SEO on your website, you should make sure you create enough local content as well.

This is to draw the attention of local online users.

You might be writing for a general audience in your niche, which is not a bad idea.

But to be locally visible, you must write about local or industry news.

It will boost your local authority as you go on to creating content that promotes local industry, employees, social gatherings, and more. 

6. Optimize Website for Mobile

As I mentioned earlier, mobile devices are penetrating the market at full swing and most online users are accessing the Internet on their smartphones.

Google itself is trying hard to move to a completely mobile ecosystem.

Thus, it makes complete sense to create websites and other online content for mobile devices as well.

Your website should be optimized for mobile devices to ensure your local audience doesn’t have any problem accessing it.

A mobile search is done by local audiences mainly to look up reviews, find the location of your store, or look up the contact information.

One tap on the listing will move them to your website.

If your website doesn’t render the way it should on a mobile device, your potential customers will not think twice before quitting it.

7. Ensure NAP is Consistent Across All Channels

Most brands across the world are successful because they realize the importance of consistency.

Consistency is important not just in how you create products, but also the customer experience you provide the moment the potential customers contact you.

The best reflection of your brand’s consistency is the accuracy of the information you provide your customers across all platforms.

Your audience must find it easier to find you online.

Not just that, it is also important for the search engines to find you easily on the Internet.

To achieve that, you will have to set up your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) for all your local stores.

This information on your website should be crawlable as well. There are website owners who have put the NAP information on an image.

Don’t do that. Search engines cannot crawl images.

The best place to mention the NAP is the header or footer of your website.

8. Optimize All Online Directories and Citations for Small Business Local SEO

When it comes to Local SEO, the authenticity and consistency of information you provide across all channels on the Internet are important.

In this guide, I have been putting a lot of focus on creating Google My Business listing for your business and optimizing it for maximum effect.

This is mainly because Google is the most used online search engine and getting listed on it automatically makes your brand trustable.

But, you should also think beyond Google, right?

There are many other data aggregators online that have a large online audience and who provide them with relevant information about businesses.

Some of them are Yelp, Trip Advisor, Bing, Apple, and more.

You should not miss out on the opportunity to create your brand’s account on these sites and claim your listings.

While you do that, make sure you avoid discrepancies like misspellings, inaccurate information, abbreviations, etc.

Also, don’t think twice before deleting duplicate listings.

9. Link Building Practice for Small Business Local SEO

A huge part of Local SEO revolves around link building.

Link building is a practice that improves the authority of your website for any particular niche.

If we talk about the benefits of link building are innumerous, most of them pivot around boosting the domain authority of your website.

So how does it help with Local SEO?

Well, Google is always on the lookout for great content as it wants to provide value to its users. There are many factors Google uses to rank websites.

Trust is a huge factor that affects its ranking decisions. And that’s exactly where link building comes to the rescue.

Link building helps your website get inbound links from top websites that signal Google about how great the content on your site is.

To get the inbound links, you can do partnerships with top websites or submit guest posts on them.

Google starts ranking your content for your target keywords when it finds your content being trusted by a website with high domain authority.

10. Social Media Presence for Better Small Business Local SEO

We cannot underestimate the power of social media when it comes to optimizing your online presence for Local SEO.

Google has revealed the fact that it uses social media signals to rank websites on its SERP.

It takes your social media engagement and reviews into account as well. One must make sure your social media pages are active and have good engagement as well.

You should try driving traffic from social media to your website as well because all social media websites are high-domain authority sites.

Start by sharing the Google My Business page on social media or maybe pinning it on your account feed.

This way, your audience will know exactly where they can look to contact you personally. This is the best way to align social and search.

11. Check the MOZ Local Search Page

It is important to make sure all the information on the Internet about your brand is consistent and the listings are all properly set up.

You don’t have to do that manually. It will take a lot of time and leave room for human error. The best way to do that is by using tools like Moz Local.

This tool figures out if your Local SEO is done right.

On Moz Local, you can enter your brand name and Zipcode to see if the customers are able to find you on different online listing sites.

Check all the listings and optimize them for better results from your Local SEO campaigns.

Wrapping Up

Local SEO is crucial to your business success on the Internet.

If you are not investing enough time and effort into building an optimized online presence, you are not going to gain any competitive edge in the local market.

Did you find this Local SEO guide valuable? Let us know in the comments section. Feel free to put down your questions as our Local SEO expert will answer them for you.

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