Whether you run a food chain or are a fashion retailer, adapting a local SEO strategy can help bring more customers to your store.
Local SEO is a sure way to rank your business higher on coveted search results.
Local results have evolved significantly ever since the top search engine, Google, launched new marketing tools, such as Hummingbird Update. Google has become smarter and has made local results more personalized, relevant, and targeted.
Studies show that customers search on local directories and other places online to get local information. In fact, 97% of search engine users searched online to find a local business. This has proven how important SEO strategy can be for local businesses.
However, local SEO can demand more effort than a conventional SEO campaign requires. Although on-page SEO and links often seem common, some local SEO aspects can differ from other SEO campaigns.
Here are a few local SEO strategies that can help your startup gain a competitive advantage.
Improve your local SEO rankings
Get Listed on Local Directories
Startups can expand their visibility over the web space by reviewing their website and creating business listings or citations on local directories.
While you can list your business with any local directory out there, that doesn’t mean you spam your business details everywhere you can.
Target the most important directories, especially those that are related to your practice. They include The Green Book, Singapore Expats, Yellow Pages SME and many others.
Handling your SEO marketing by yourself can be costly and time-consuming. Thus, consider hiring a reputable SEO agency in Singapore for cost-effective and professional services.
Local Link Building
Obtaining links from local sites to refer to your own website is a great way to feature on top search results. Unfortunately, most marketers often overlook this aspect.
Local link building isn’t always about linking your website to highly authoritative sites. Instead, it involves acquiring links from local websites that are within your niche.
Getting yourself included in local recommended vendors lists would be the best way to get started with local SEO marketing. Find local communities and seek to be included in the list of local retailers in your niche.
You can contact businesses near you for sponsorship. If your request is accepted, you are likely to earn a highly authoritative local link from businesses around you.
Offering internships can also be an excellent way to get links from local colleges and universities. You can also offer discounts as incentives for any local organization that mentions you on its web pages.
Creating local resources such as a
- things to try list (eg must try attractions on Sentosa),
- local area map
- local guide (eg best casual dining in Yishun)
can make it easier to reach out to the local press for coverage.
Work On Local Reviews
Local reviews can determine how your website ranks on local search results.
Startups should invest time and resources to get positive reviews about their practice. Google reviews are not the only reviews to work on. Prioritize reviews on other platforms such as social media.
You can start improving your local reviews by contacting your potential and existing clients to see if they can leave you a testimonial.
You can encourage this by giving out discounts, incentives, and freebies. You can also create a page that instructs your customers on how to write reviews for your online store.
Startups can also hand out flyers with every purchase instructing clients on how they can review their business. Including review links on your email signature and webpages can also assist with local SEO marketing.
Being consistent with your business name, address and phone number(NAP) can set you for success in Local SEO marketing.
Your NAP is the first point of interaction with your potential customers. The first step should be to ensure that your websites details are accurate. Your business name, address and contact number should be consistent on other websites and directories too.
Besides citing your details, being consistent and correcting any omission or error is important as well.
Busy business owners no longer review their citations manually. Consider turning to automated local SEO marketing features to make this task less taxing and simplified.
Specialised automated tools can help pull out any citation that seems inconsistent. Some tools can tally your address and business name against your citations to eliminate room for errors.
Create Your Listings on Google My Business
One way a startup can get displayed on a local Google pack is by creating a listing on Google My Business.
With that, you can be assured of a strong presence on Local Maps and Google+.
Google My Business is designed to help local businesses become more searchable and visible on the webspace.
It targets users from where your business operates. It is high time for businesses that don’t have Google My Business accounts to create one and claim it.
However, be sure to include a unique and detailed description of your brand, social media profile and links to your website when creating Google My Business.
You can upload photos of your products, staff or facility. Including your local phone number can make your business even more contactable. Adding your physical address can make your business more visible and searchable. Do not forget to include your company logo.
Create Content Based on Your Local Events and News
One of the easiest approaches to grab the attention of your target audience is to author content related to local situations or address their local issues directly.
Writing blog posts around local events, activities and stories can set up your enterprise for success in SEO marketing.
Creating videos about charitable organizations that your business supports can also make you successful in local SEO.
Startups serving different geographical areas can set up location-specific webpages and post high-quality local content.
For example, a local real estate firm can create different webpages, where one can feature changes in the local property market or hyperlocal content. This should get your real estate firm ranked higher for each specific region.
Have a Mobile Optimized Site
There are officially more store and service searches done on mobile devices than desktops. People are always on the go and want to pick up items in their vicinity quickly.
88% of mobile searches for local businesses conducted resulted in a call or visit to the business within 24 hours. And an astounding 78% of local mobile searches result in an in store purchase.
Google has placed high emphasis on mobile friendliness as a criteria for its ranking algorithm. But many Singaporean firms have yet to adapt to it. Take the lead and be on top of the local rankings by making your website optimized for mobile surfing.
Local SEO strategy often plays a critical role in the success of a local business. While general SEO focuses on ranking higher on top search results, local SEO prioritizes ranking higher on SERPS in specific locations.
Its success depends on how you market your products, brand and services to the local customer. Optimized local SEO can translate to increased traffic and higher conversions.
It is a digital marketing strategy that targets local customers. Local SEO can be very cost effective for a startup looking to compete with larger multinational brands that enjoy unlimited resources.