Local SEO is a sure way to rank your business higher on coveted search results and improve your brand position.
Whether you run a food chain or are a fashion retailer, adapting a local SEO strategy can help bring more customers to your store.
Not many understand what local SEO is. It refers to the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more local business via relevant searches on search engines.
Localised results have evolved significantly ever since the top search engine, Google, launched new marketing tools with its Hummingbird Update. Google has become smarter and has made local results more personalized, relevant, and targeted.
Studies show that customers search on neighbourhood directories and other places online to get information. In fact, 97% of search engine users searched online to find a nearby business. This has proven how important SEO strategy can be for businesses.
However, local SEO ranking 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 SEO strategies that can help your startup gain a competitive advantage.
A Guide to Local SEO
What You Need To Know To Beat Your Competition Today is designed to help readers answer three important questions:
How do I know if my website is being found by local customers?
How do I know if my website is ranking for local search terms?
And, how do I know if all the signals in Google’s local search engine are correct?
This guide includes an introduction to local search engines, a summary of the most important local search ranking factors, a description of the tools you need to test your site for local SEO, a discussion of common mistakes made by local website owners, and much more. By the time you are finished reading this guide, you will have everything you need to know to make sure your website is getting found by local customers.
What is local SEO and why is it important?
When someone does a local search, they are basically looking for something within a small radius of where they are currently located. This means it is easier to rank for these types of local searches than it is for national (or even international) searches.
When someone uses these types of phrases in a search engine, they will be shown a map with different businesses, products or services relevant to where that person is located circled on it. The person then has the option of clicking on one of those businesses, products or services and going to its website to see if it meets their needs.
Local SEO refers to the process of increasing your online visibility to show up in such local search results.
Local SEO is important for many reasons. It helps you:
- Get found by local customers who are actively searching for what you have to offer.
- Stand out from the crowd of local businesses competing for their attention.
- Increase your visibility on the web, both locally and globally.
- Improve your credibility and increase your visibility in the eyes of potential customers and clients.
- Grow your customer base and increase your bottom-line profits.
Local SEO is important, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses serving specific areas such as towns, cities, regions, or states. By doing local SEO properly, you give people the contact information they need to find you quickly and easily, putting them one step closer to a transaction.
Local SEO is important for all types of businesses, especially brick-and-mortars that serve a specific area. By doing proper local SEO, you give people the information they need to find you, which puts them one step closer to a sale.
Local Seo Ranking Strategy Best Practices
Online Citations and Get Listed on Community Directories
Local citations on legitimate online directories with business listings is important for any business. It gives your site credibility, provides useful info for visitors and helps search engines confirm your site’s authority.
Startups can expand their visibility over the web space by reviewing their website and creating business listings or citations on regional directories.
While you can list your business with any district 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 Google Maps, The Green Book, Singapore Expats, Yellow Pages SME and many others. Make sure your info is complete, consistent and accurate on all your platforms to give yourself the best shot at winning local customers.
An important factor is to 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 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.
Local Link Building
Local SEO includes obtaining backlinks from local sites. Backlinks from such sites are more relevant than backlinks from non-local sites because the linking domains should be more relevant to your target location.
Link signals such as linking domain authority and quantity are among the top factors that influence your ranking in local searches and local pack results.
So just like with regular SEO, local SEO also requires link building to boost your link profile. However, the linking domains should be more relevant to your target location.
That means you should target authority sites in your target region. Look for regional tourism websites, chambers of commerce and even education sites. Use partnerships, scholarships, guest posting, etc. to gain backlinks to your website from these authoritative sites.
Obtaining links from 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 SEO ranking link building isn’t always about linking your website to highly authoritative sites. Instead, it involves acquiring links from websites that are within your niche.
Getting yourself included in recommended vendors lists would be the best way to get started with local SEO marketing. Find communities and seek to be included in the list of recommendations 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 inbound links from nearby colleges and universities. It is also a good way to maintain high link quality. You can also offer discounts as incentives for any organization that mentions you on its web pages.
Creating resources such as a
- things to try list (eg must try attractions on Sentosa),
- location area map
- guide (eg best casual dining in Yishun)
can make it easier to reach out to the press for coverage.
Work On Local Reviews
Clients will always read available information about a business before making a purchase. They’ll look for positive reviews (both online and offline) which will paint a picture of the business as legitimate, reliable and trustworthy.
Generating a large amount of good reviews and ratings for your business will have a significant impact on your local SEO rankings. A satisfied customer is more than just a happy customer; they are a customer who will leave you positive reviews and ratings which can help to improve your local search ranking.
Local SEO ranking signals consider the total number of reviews, frequency, diversity, and quality of online reviews that are generated for the business. Businesses that have a significant number of five star reviews tend to be those that provide exceptional service.
Google places the user first. Encouraging positive reviews from happy clients is one of the best ways to build your clientele, reputation and local search ranking.
You can start collecting customer reviews by contacting your potential and existing clients to see if they are willing to 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.
Remember to respond quickly and positively to negative reviews. This would show that you care about your customers and will improve your reputations in your industry.
Create Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is arguably the most crucial of all local SEO ranking factors. It’s free and the biggest impact by providing local businesses with customers via Google Maps . Get your business verified, listed, and managed properly and you should see a significant boost in your organic rankings.
By claiming and verifying your GMB listing, you get all of the powerful signals that Google uses to find businesses, including proximity, contact details, business hours categories, and fresh content. By carrying out a comprehensive local SEO campaign you can optimise your listing for enhanced visibility.
Google My Business is designed to help 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 GMB listings.
You can upload photos of your products, staff or facility. Including your 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 Local Content Based On Nearby Events And News
One of the easiest approaches to grab the attention of your target audience is to author content related to their situations or address their issues directly.
Writing blog posts around local events, activities and stories can set up your enterprise for success in your local rankings.
Use location based terms – specific locations, key words and descriptive phrases in the copy will help attract people to your website and improve the visibility of your site.
Creating videos, graphics, event announcements and even articles charitable organizations that your business supports can also make you successful in local search engine optimization.
Startups serving different geographical areas can set up location-specific webpages and post high-quality content.
For example, a real estate firm can create different webpages, where one can feature changes in the property market. This should get your real estate firm ranked higher for each specific region.
Have A Mobile Optimized Site
People use their smartphones for so many things these days it’s only natural they would use their phones for local searches. 82% of smartphone users conduct a “near me” search. This proves just how much people rely on their smartphones for search.
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.
It’s crucial that you cater to such searchers by making your website mobile device friendly. Your website should be mobile phone adaptive so that mobile visitors have no trouble navigating it or finding the accurate information they need on whatever mobile devices they use.
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 search rankings by making your website optimized for mobile surfing and providing a better user experience.
Social listening has many benefits for your local SEO strategy. It can even help fuel your marketing strategy if you know what to look out for and how to make the most of these insights.
Not only does it give you a chance to find out what people in your target physical location are saying about your business or in general, it also gives you an opportunity to find out what they want, and how you can provide that to them.
For example, if you own a restaurant and notice people have been grumbling about the lack of outdoor seating in your neighbourhood, it might be time to provide this additional amenity to get more people in the door and hopefully generate more business.
Announce this update on your Google My Business profile and optimize your SEO by updating the information as needed.
Also, don’t forget to use social media to gather ideas from your own customers as well as from other marketers. There’s almost no limit to the ideas you can gain by keeping your eyes and ears open.
SEO Agency In Singapore
There you have it. We’ve provided the most important ranking factors in this comprehensive guide for the business owner of small businesses as well as major enterprises. Local SEO ranking strategy often plays a critical role in the success of a 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.
Benefits of outsourcing local SEO include
- Authority grabs visitors to your website
- Superb online presence in your local niche market
- Increased website traffic
- Improved lead generation from potential customers
- Increased connection with buyers at the end of sales funnel
As a digital marketing strategy that targets customers near you, local SEO can be very cost effective for startups looking to compete with larger multinational brands that enjoy unlimited resources.