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8 Simple SEO Strategies To Boost Your Local Business Traffic

Written by: Joerg Weishaupt, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Joerg Weishaupt

As search engines like Google became more sophisticated and user-oriented, it became clear that having a website wasn’t enough. Businesses needed to be discoverable via search to tap into the increasing number of consumers relying on the internet for finding local services and products.


SEO logo in yellow background.

BrightLocal’s survey shows that 98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022, up from 90% in 2019. This shift signifies that having a strong online presence is essential for businesses to remain competitive and visible to their target audience.


In this article, you'll learn what local SEO is and 8 simple strategies to boost your search rankings, attract more website visitors, and ultimately, grow your customer base.


What is local SEO?


Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your online presence to attract customers searching for businesses in your geographic area. 


It focuses on strategies that help you appear prominently in local search results (like Google Maps listings) when people search for products or services you offer near their location


Let's say you’re a plumber in Chicago. Someone in your neighborhood has a leaky faucet and searches "plumbers near me open now."


With effective local SEO, your business appears in the top search results, with your emergency service availability highlighted. This increases the likelihood of the person making an immediate call.


Key Benefits of Local SEO for Businesses


  • Increased Visibility in Local Search: Local SEO boosts your ranking in Google Maps and local search results, making it easier for people in your area to find you.

  • Attract Highly Relevant Customers: Local searchers are often ready to buy. SEO helps you connect with them at the right moment, increasing foot traffic and sales.

  • Cost-Effective Marketing: Many local SEO tactics, like claiming your Google Business Profile, are free while offering a high ROI.

  • Improved Brand Reputation: Appearing prominently in search results and having positive reviews builds trust and credibility within your local market.

  • Competitive Advantage: A strong local SEO strategy helps you stay ahead of competitors who aren't focusing on attracting local customers.


8 Simple SEO Strategies To Boost Your Local Business Traffic


1. Claim & optimize your Google business profile


Screenshot of google bar.

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free listing that allows your business to appear in Google Maps and local search results. A well-optimized profile helps you show up when people search for your business, products/services, or businesses like yours near them. It provides potential customers with essential information at a glance, building trust in your brand.


How to get started:


  • Go to Google Business Profile: Visit here and sign in with a Google account.

  • Claim or Create: Search for your business name. If it exists, follow the steps to claim it. If not, you'll create a new listing.

  • Verify: Google will need to verify your ownership, often via a postcard mailed to your business address.

  • Complete Your Profile: Fill out ALL sections, including:

    • Business Name, Address, Phone (NAP)

    • Hours of operation

    • Category & Attributes

    • Description of your business

    • High-quality photos

2. Target local keyword


Local keywords are search terms that people use when they're looking for businesses, products, or services in a specific geographic area. They often include location modifiers like a city name, neighborhood, or "near me."


Let's analyze a Google search for "best haircuts in Denver." 


Screenshot of google bar.

Notice how the results prioritize local businesses in the Denver area offering haircut services. You'll see each salon's name, ratings, location, contact details, and even snippets of customer reviews. This perfectly demonstrates local SEO at work. The businesses ranking highly have likely optimized their Google Business Profiles and website content specifically for local search terms. 


Discover the right keywords for your business with tools like Google Keyword Planner. Brainstorm what your ideal local customers would actually search for, including specific services and location terms.


3. Build local citations


Local citations are online mentions of your business that include your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number). Citations help Google verify your business is legitimate and determine your local relevance. The more quality citations you have, the more "signals" there are about your business, improving your chances of appearing in local searches.


Screenshot of google bar.

Here’s how to get your business listed on reputable directories:


  • Identify Relevant Directories:

    • General: Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, etc.

    • Industry-specific: Healthgrades (for doctors), Avvo (for lawyers), etc.

    • Local: Chamber of Commerce, community websites

    • Create/Claim Listings: Fill out your profile completely on each directory.

  • NAP Consistency is key: Your business name, address, and phone number must be identical across all platforms. Even minor variations can confuse search engines.


4. Encourage customer reviews


Positive reviews can boost your business's credibility and search engine ranking, making it more visible to consumers. They act as personal recommendations that can sway others to choose your services over your competitors.


Google and other search engines factor reviews (quantity and quality) into their local ranking algorithms. More positive reviews can help you rise in search results. Make leaving reviews simple for customers. Provide clear links on your website and receipts, and consider offering small incentives


5. Optimize for mobile


 Mobile optimization ensures your website works seamlessly on smartphones and tablets. This means fast loading times, a design that adjusts to any screen size, and intuitive navigation. It's crucial because a huge amount of web traffic comes from mobile devices.


Consider this: 79% of people are more likely to revisit and share a website if it provides a positive mobile experience. A poorly optimized site will frustrate users, causing them to bounce and potentially choose your competitors.


How to ensure your site is mobile-friendly:


  • Check Mobile Friendliness: Use Google's free Mobile-Friendly Test.

  • Choose a Responsive Design: This ensures your website layout automatically adjusts to different screen sizes.

  • Prioritize Speed: Optimize images, minimize redirects, and consider a content delivery network (CDN).

  • Improve Accessibility: Enlarge buttons and touch targets so people can easily tap on links and elements.


6. Create locally focused content


When you create helpful, area-specific content, you not only provide value to your readers but also increase the chances of your content appearing in local search results, driving more traffic to your site.


For example, a local bakery might publish a blog post titled "Top 5 Farmer’s Markets in Springfield: A Baker’s Perspective," featuring insights into where they source fresh ingredients. And connect with health-conscious locals. Highlight your local expertise by sharing insights on community events, favorite neighborhood spots, or where you source ingredients. Cover events, neighborhood guides, collaborations with fellow businesses, or "best of" roundups – always weaving in location-specific keywords.


7. Utilize social media


Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with your local community and boosting your business's local presence. Sharing localized content can engage a targeted audience, increase brand awareness, and drive traffic to your site or physical store. Choose platforms where your target audience hangs out online, whether that's Facebook, Instagram, or another social network popular in your area. Share content that's hyper-relevant to your local community – highlight events, partner with other businesses, and use location-specific hashtags to boost your visibility. 


Take thecoffeeshop.playlist as an example. They are promoting Mañana, a local Austin coffee roaster. Their post skillfully uses hashtags like Austin coffee and Texas coffee to reach coffee enthusiasts in their city.


A photo of coffee shop.

8. Track your results


Tracking your results means using analytics tools to monitor important metrics related to your website traffic, search rankings, and overall digital visibility in your local area. Data shows you what's working and what might need tweaking, allowing you to refine your SEO strategy. 

Here’s how you can track your SEO efforts:


Essential Tools:


  • Google Analytics: Tracks website traffic, user behavior, and conversions.

  • Google Search Console: Monitors your website's search rankings, clicks, and impressions

  • Set Up Tracking: Ensure these tools are correctly installed on your website and connected to your account.


Key Metrics to Monitor:


  • Search rankings for local keywords

  • Organic traffic volume and sources

  • Localized searches ("near me", [city name], etc.)

  • Conversions (form fills, phone calls, online orders)

  • Regular Review: Analyze your data consistently (at least monthly) to track progress and identify areas for improvement.


Wrapping up


SEO is about connecting with the right people at the right time. When someone searches for what you offer, SEO helps you be the answer they see. While search engine rules change often, the benefits of strong SEO are huge: more visibility, better brand reputation, and increased customer trust.


Your website is the foundation of your SEO success. It's where customers learn more about you after they find you through search. Sites & More makes it easy to build a professional website that also ranks well. Our drag-and-drop tools mean no coding needed, so you can focus on building a great website that helps customers find you.


Ready to give your online presence a boost? Try Sites & More free for 14 days and see how it simplifies the process of creating a website designed to attract your ideal customers.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube, or visit my website for more info!


Joerg Weishaupt Brainz Magazine
 

Joerg Weishaupt, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Joerg Weishaupt is a highly experienced software developer, and IT services professional with over 30 years of experience in the industry. He is the founder and managing director of Sites & More, established in 2022, which is dedicated to helping founders and entrepreneurs launch their online business. Jörg has a proven track record of success in the industry, having previously founded and run successful IT companies in Germany, Armenia, USA and the Philippines. With a deep understanding of the software development process, he has been able to lead Sites & More to become a reputable and reliable all-in-one solution.

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