10 Practical Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses in 2021

The number of Google searches made daily is over 5 billion!

Over 59% of Google searches are via mobile devices.

Approximately 30% of mobile searches are local.

These are three reasons many small businesses are making the smart move and opting for a local SEO strategy – one of the best ways to stand out in a crowded online market.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) approach that helps businesses get noticed in Google local search results.

A business serving a particular geographical area or physical location can benefit from local SEO. If you search on Google for keywords related to your business, and the results include a map with three listings under it (known as the map pack), then local SEO will help your business grow.

Local search encompasses relevant search terms that scream local, such as:

  • [relevant industry keyword] near me
  • [relevant industry keyword] in [your city name]

The on-page optimizations, link building, and content in local SEO have a focused intent on local physical stores.

Why Local SEO is Important

Optimizing local SEO for your small business is extremely rewarding. Here are some benefits of engaging a local SEO strategy in 2021.

Helps Customers Discover Your Business

Many local searches are from non-locals searching for businesses like yours. If you are in a populous part of town that gets out-of-town traffic, adding information on how people can find you will help your business target travelers as well as local residents. Local SEO done right can capture both audiences.

Provide Potential Customers the Information They Want

For example, if your restaurant is pet-friendly or offers free Wi-Fi, displaying this information as part of local SEO will bring in customers looking for those options. Local SEO can also help a business without a website stand out when a potential customer is searching for important information, which leads to more traffic from online leads.

Provides Your Potential Customers With the Power to Act

Over 76% of people performing a local search visit the store within a day. This provides your business with qualified leads that you can convert. Optimized listings that make searching more convenient for your potential customer are always a bonus.

Local Keywords Rank High in Google

Your potential customers are more likely to search for services or products within their geographical area. This means keywords that help you rank locally are more beneficial than those helping businesses rank nationally. So an ability to target these local keywords is critical if you want to reach your local audience.

Helps Drive People to Decide in Favor of Your Business

The more data the audience has about your business, the more trustworthy you are to them. This is the sturdy foundation upon which you can base a mutually beneficial relationship. These relationships with leads help them move through the sales cycle seamlessly. The resulting long-lasting relationship will influence your customers to recommend your brand to others in the future.

Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses

When you are local, your only competitors are businesses within your region. A local SEO strategy is ideal for avoiding the rat race when trying to claim top search engine rankings at the national level – but it’s only effective when done right.

If you are ready to improve on your local searches, keep reading as we share ten local SEO tips for dominating the market in 2021.

1. Have a Google My Business (GMB) Listing

Setting up your GMB listing is the equivalent of getting listed in the yellow pages. GMB listings are the number one influencing factor for local SEO. And setting up your GMB listing is easy.

However, you must fill out the profile in full. Google has a visual that shows how complete your business profile is, so make sure it is 100% by filling out all the fields. Add your services, products, and a secondary business category. Leveraging the subcategories helps you rank higher on Google Maps.

Another top local SEO for small businesses tip is to use the Google Posts feature once the GMB listing is up. The feature allows the creation of mini-posts for your customers, and it shows Google that your listing is active while providing you more valuable SERP real estate.

2. List Your Business in Online Directories

Other online directories are a powerful SEO factor. Some main directories you might target include:

  • FourSquare
  • Bing Places
  • Best of the Web
  • Yelp
  • Angie’s List
  • HotFrog

You should also see if there are any online business directories for your location or within your niche. Such listings send more local SEO signals to search engines.

3. Make Sure Your Name and Place (NAP) Details are Correct

Correct information in all your listings makes it easy for Google to trust them. Google does not know which information is correct if there are discrepancies. An incorrect telephone number is a major red flag. Google might opt not to display your GMB listing if it cannot tell whether your business is legitimate.

All NAP information must be consistent as well. Update your NAP info across all platforms right away if your business changes addresses. In addition, monitor your listing’s NAP data to catch errors and outside attempts to modify your listings done through the “suggest changes” feature in Google.

4. Target Local Keywords

Keyword research involves determining the keywords your target audience uses when typing their queries into Google. You should also research local keyword variations.

For example, if you are running a pediatric clinic in New York City, compare search volumes for variations of search terms such as pediatric NYC or pediatric doctors New York City. Consider drilling down into hyper-local keywords, such as pediatric clinic SoHo.

5. Optimize Your Website Using Local Keywords

Website optimization is a critical step for local SEO. This process involves ensuring the home page and service pages contain your local keywords in:

  • Headings and subheadings
  • Title tags
  • The meta description
  • Body of the page
  • Website footer

Try incorporating your main local keyword into the URL where possible. Make sure you use each keyword naturally and without keyword stuffing.

6. Publish Local Content

Content marketing strategies that focus on non-local content net a wider audience and bring in higher levels of traffic. However, this will not help your local-focused business. Creating local content can maximize your content marketing efforts to improve lead generation.

Options include relating content to your offerings using local keywords. For example, how to find the best pediatrician in your area. This strategy allows for incorporating local keywords into the content naturally. Apart from such posts, you can publish content about local events and news within your industry.

7. Optimize Your Website for Mobile

Another critical item in the small business SEO checklist is website optimization for mobile devices. A mobile-friendly site is a critical component of local SEO. 

36% of all internet users are likely to use a mobile device to check item availability in a local store. This means that a lot of your customers are using local search on their smartphones. Navigation problems and lack of a proper mobile display do not bode well with your potential clients. They are likely to move on to another site and opt for a competitor who has put in the work to make their website professional. 

8. Implement Voice Optimization

Optimize your site for voice searches, too. Mobile voice searches are likely to have 300% more local content compared to text searches. However, the voice search era is still in its early days, giving you a chance to get ahead of the pack and stand out from competitors!

9. Work on Your Inbound Links

Inbound links can help boost your traditional and local SEO efforts, but building backlinks is not a one-size-fits-all solution. One strategy that works is contacting people within your industry and building relationships. This includes suppliers, partners, contractors, distributors, wholesalers, and neighboring businesses.

List these businesses and optimize the process by searching for website pages where a contextual link would work. Next, contact the businesses and suggest the link placement.

Alternatively, you can generate contextual inbound links by guest posting. If your listed businesses have a blog, find out if you can create content for them that contains a link back to your website. You can also build backlinks by contacting larger sites.

10. Do Not Focus on Local SEO Alone

The final tip in this top local SEO tips guide for 2021 is not to forget about traditional SEO. Traditional SEO is still important for small businesses with physical locations. Rankings in organic SERPs are important for local SEO, as confirmed by Google. Plus, not implementing traditional SEO components can derail your local SEO efforts.

For example, page speed optimization is key in general SEO. When the customer lands on your website via local search, but the page takes a long time to load, guess where they will go next? Probably to your closest competitor’s site!

Outrank Your Competitors Today

Your customers are increasingly going online, making local SEO more important in 2021 than it has ever been before. Now that you are armed with these 10 local SEO tips for small businesses, implement them and boost your ranking for local searches.

Keep in mind, though, that a comprehensive SEO strategy requires a lot of work. Do you want to grow your online presence and outrank your competitors? You are in the right place.

Jax Digital specializes in helping small businesses grow by improving their presence and rankings in search engines.

Do you need help? Contact us today and, we’ll uncover what could be holding your business back from ranking in local search results!

Hero Photo by henry perks on Unsplash

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