For any business or venture to succeed, it needs to be able to target the right audience. This means that they should manage their SEO in such a manner that their page or information reaches people who would be interested in what they are offering.
There are many factors that can be used to target the right people like age group, gender, financial status, interests, etc. One of the most important factors, that is also quite easy to control and incorporate in your basic SEO operations, is location-based SEO.
Local search rankings have gained more and more attention over the years as access to the Internet grew. This resulted in an increase in the number, range, and variety of businesses that set up their presence online.
Some Critical Survey Reports
Besides wide-area e-commerce, people also started using local searches as their preferred channel to be introduced to businesses near them. This is obvious in the exponential increase in “near me” searches over the past few years, according to Think With Google Reports.
In fact, 46% of all searches done in Google are with local intent.
But that is not all. People do not stop at searches; they actually make purchases based on what they find. As per Clix Marketing, 72% of the people who perform a local search actually visit the store located in the radius of 5 miles.
Not only that but approximately 80% of customers actually expect ads from businesses to cater specifically to their city, zip code, or even their immediate surroundings.
Moreover, 18% of smartphone searches for local businesses culminate in an actual purchase.
Thus, the more granular your targeting is, based on the proximity of your business to your potential customers, the greater the chances of seeing a purchase being done.
Thoughtful local SEO will not only help pull more consumers near you but also elicit a quicker response. These statistics are indicative of how important local optimization is for businesses.
However, I have also attached a video below released by SEMrush Academy that explains the importance of local SEO more vividly.
So, by now, I am pretty sure that you must have understood that how local SEO can help you reach the right audience more easily than those who do not optimize their digital identity for the local population.
Let’s now start with important tips and ways to use local SEO to optimize your business and the top recommended tools that can help you with the same.
How to Use Local SEO to Optimize Your Business?
Local SEO can be really easy to manage but can have a huge impact on your business. Even small changes can increase the number of customers that come to your physical or online storefront manifold. However, you need to know the right steps to build up a sustainable local SEO strategy and maintain and update it.
Here are some tips that can help you through.
- Create your Google My Business page. Add all the required information and keep it up-to-date.
- Register yourself in online directories for the location as well as the niche and other factors. Ensure that this information remains updated at all times.
- Keep your NAP citations up-to-date wherever they appear, including in mentions on the content of other people.
- List all possible channels of communication on your website and promotions, from social media profiles to addresses and phone numbers. People tend to trust easily accessible businesses more.
- Create content that serves and informs the local audience. Inbound digital marketing is the norm of the day and this will help you stay on top of it.
- Use keywords optimized for the location. This applies not only to content but also to any profiles of your business. If your business has branches, have separate location pages for each.
- Use locally trending keywords in not just the body but also the title, meta description, headings, footer, URL, and, if possible, in media descriptions and alt-text too.
- Add rich snippets in your metadata through schema. These have been proven to have a higher clickthrough rate due to providing greater information in a glance.
- Try to get greater online coverage through great networking and collaborations. Also, try to get more references from local creators and ensure the anchor text mentions your business name for clarity.
- Improve your internal linking structure so that the customer spends a longer time on your site to explore around and discover more products they may be interested in.
- Encourage customers to leave check-ins, social media shares, and online reviews tagging your business when they visit.
- Try to address as many feedbacks as possible, thanking for the positive ones, guaranteeing an improvement in neutral ones, and promising to address the necessary issue in the negative ones.
- Create social media posts catered to the local audience. Give discounts, offers, contests, and coupons for the local public for greater online and offline engagement.
- Make your pages mobile-friendly because Google prefers to put these pages on the top of search results.
Using these techniques can yield visible results within a few days. By keeping track of which changes produce the maximum positive effect, you can decide what is working for you and what is not. Accordingly, with the help of comprehensive data analytics, you can progressively improve the performance of your brand in terms of local business.
Let’s us now discuss the most awaited list of top 5 local SEO tools, that you have been waiting for.
Top 5 Tools in 2020 for Local SEO
If you want to stay on top of local SEO for your business, you need to use the right tools to assist you and give you the results you envision. The top tools for local SEO are listed below in order and their best features mentioned.
1. Listing Management Tool by SEMrush
Everyone knows the name of SEMrush as an all-inclusive tool for all your SEO and digital marketing needs. And that is why it stands as #1 in my recommendation list, when it comes to ‘The Listing Management Tool‘ of SEMrush, that has been helping users with all the local SEO and marketing needs of their business. This tool exhaustively makes use of its Knowledge Network to keep your business data synced and updated across all known, popular platforms.
You can access the listing management tool’s free trial, simply by clicking through the banner below.
Its premium features include:
- Single dashboard to update all your business information across popular directories and platforms and make it voice search-ready.
- Focussed visibility for your business through single-click elimination of malicious duplicates.
- Easy tracking and analytics of the performance and ranking of your business from all relevant locations and in comparison, to competitors.
- Streamlined management of business listings across key SEO directories, local or global, with the provision of the most important business information and detailed performance reports.
- Complete control over your online reputation, with easy access to reviews and ratings from different sources as well as user suggestions.
- A unified view of the operation of all branches of your business with relevant recommendations, identification of priority locations, and progress documentation.
Feeling impressed? Then why wait?
You can simply start exploring your local SEO solutions by clicking on the “Try Now” from the below banner, or can simply click the button below and instantly avail a 7-Days Free trial.
At #2, we have BrightLocal. BrightLocal is one of the most popular local marketing and SEO tools, built keeping in mind the special needs of small and medium businesses, local brands, multi-location companies, and marketing agencies. But its convenient tools have attracted many large corporations too for the marketing needs of their local branches.
Its toolkit consists of the following:
The Local SEO Tools include the Local Search Rank Checker, Citation Tracker, Local Search Audit, and the Google My Business Audit. These help to improve the performance of your business in local search results.
As the names suggest, you can manage your citations, perform SEO audits, and keep track of your local rankings using these options.
Let’s discuss them in bullets below :-
- The Reputation Manager consists of the Monitor Reviews, Get Reviews, and Showcase Reviews features. They help track and access all your reviews from a single screen and respond to them easily for better public engagement.
- The Citation Builder comprises the Data Aggregator Submissions and the Yext Replacement Service. These are responsible for the management of citations and listings in data aggregator systems to help enhance brand reach and awareness.
- The Agency Lead Generator has all the tools necessary to manage your brand, capture and convert more leads, and follow up on them with minimum effort.
3. Moz Local
Moz has already become an authority in the world of SEO. Moz Local is their solution to businesses looking for automatic and quick-time management of their local reputation. The USP of Moz Local is its wide distribution of business data across all domains under the purview of local search results, verifying and maintaining their accuracy, and removing any discrepancy.
Its most significant features are:
- Real-time, active synchronization of location data from the source to all partner networks.
- Constant review and survey of data across networks to maintain accuracy and consistency.
- Automatic identification and removal of duplicate and erroneous listings from data aggregation sites.
- Easy management of online reputation by tracking and staying ahead of reviews.
- Streamlined publishing of data on Google and Facebook and data analytics of subsequent interactions with your brand.
- Social media marketing management across platforms through posts and updates at the right time and in the right manner.
- Real-time notifications on any updates with your locations and alerts for matters of utmost priority.
Whitespark is a reliable name in the array of local SEO and marketing service providers available to brands these days. Its range of tools and services are used by large and small businesses to easily manage their local digital presence and listings. Its managed citation services are highly effective in helping businesses boost their local visibility and manage customers.
It offers the following:
- The Local Rank Tracker helps you stay informed about your rankings in all sections of the search results in Google and Bing.
- The Reputation Builder helps you manage reviews, feedbacks, and testimonials and encourage the same from all your customers.
- The Local Citation Finder helps you keep tabs on your rivals, tracking influential citations and helping you get on board.
- The Google My Business Management Service helps you take full advantage of your GMB listing for improved business.
- The Yext Replacement Service helps you audit, manage, and correct your listings on principal sites and grow your presence on more niche directories.
- The Citation Building Service stays on the lookout for the best opportunities to add citations on certified sites to increase your online authoritativeness.
- The Citation Audit & Cleanup Service is the next step, that ensures the consistency and accuracy of your listings across all sites.
- The Enterprise Citation Services provides enterprise-grade services to businesses in all necessary areas to improve their local SEO performance.
Standing at #5, Synup describes itself as a “location intelligence tool” that handholds businesses to establish their online presence, expand brand visibility, and manage their reputation and marketing content delivery. They provide services for single-location ventures, multi-location businesses, as well as marketing agencies. It also takes care of customer acquisition and the digital marketing needs of the brand.
Its roster of products include:
- Digital identity creation with a focus on enhancing brand visibility, customer engagement and conversion, and solidifying consumer loyalty.
- Management and maintenance of accurate local store information like address, directions, timings, and inventory across sites.
- Optimization of promotional content delivery to the audience based on all relevant factors.Provision of accessibility to your business via all popular channels like search engines, voice search, smart devices, social media sites, distributor sites, online directories, etc.
- Management of reviews and feedbacks with a quick response option.Optimization of brand activity to retain old customers and attract new ones.
- Profile management of businesses tailored to the niche they operate in.Insights into compiled data from various sources on brand engagement to help improve your statistics.
While this list does not encompass every capable local SEO management tool out there, it lists out the most popular ones sought after by brands and cited by SEO experts. A business definitely has the freedom to choose any other tool that it deems more suitable and effective for its requirements.
But taking into account the testimonials of clients and the quality of products offered by the names listed here, you will not be disappointed if you choose them to implement your local SEO strategies.