The search volume for the keyword “grocery store near me” is about 1 million. For “bookstore near me” it’s more than 300,000, and for “restaurants near me” the search volume is a staggering 13,600,000.
What does it all imply?
A hell lot of people are looking to find local businesses, and if you aren’t doing your local SEO right, be sure that someone else is and you are losing out on a big opportunity.
Now, if you are wondering what you can do to boost your local SEO rankings, here are 5 local SEO best practices for the win.
1. Target Google’s Local 3-Pack
For the benefit of the uninitiated, this is how Google’s Local 3-pack looks like:
It is the set of first three results that appear immediately beneath the sponsored ads.
Granted this block of results is a competitive space, but if your business were to feature in the Google’s Local 3-pack, your chances of attracting the right audience multiply by several folds.
Now to have a chance of getting your business listed in the local pack, the first thing you must do is set up your Google My Business account.
Fill out all relevant information. Add NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number). Preferably, you should also include your NAP and other key business information like working hours in your website’s footer.
2. Optimize Content for Niche- and Location-specific keywords
Optimize your site content, title tags, meta description for the keywords relevant to your location(s) and your business niche. This is a no-brainer SEO advice but significant all the same.
If it’s a multiple-location business, then you can even consider creating separate pages for each of your business locations. Optimize each page for the keywords specific to that location. You may even embed Google Map showing your business locations, and apply a schema markup to each of your location pages.
3. Target your competitors’ keywords
Not only is it important that you optimize your site’s content, meta description, and title tags for the niche- and location-specific keywords, it’s equally important that you target your competitors’ keywords.
There are multiple tools out there in the market that let you find keywords for which your competitors are ranking. Find out those keywords and target them. You may optimize existing page content, create blogs targeting these keywords, and even consider having a separate page if it’s a particularly target-worthy keyword. If you do decide to create a separate page, just ensure that you follow industry best practices like applying schema markup, submitting your sitemap to Google, etc.
4. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices
Have you ever wondered why Google downsized the local 7-pack results to 3-pack results? If you think about it, it’s pretty simple.
An increasing number of people are accessing the internet via mobile devices, and Google seeks to give them the best possible user experience.
This is why Google has adopted a Mobile-first approach. So, if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, chances are you will lose out on rankings to competitors who have mobile-friendly sites.
To make your site mobile friendly, you can go for a more responsive web design, use optimal font size and CTA buttons that are large enough. Google even has an SEO checker that lets you know what you need to do to make your site mobile friendly.
Follow these 4 local SEO best practices to improve your rankings and drive more traffic to your site, which in turn would propel the growth of your business.