Nowadays, most people I see around me talk a lot about building their own small businesses. The reason behind this is the deep desire to work for themselves, earn more money, build something meaningful, and free themselves from the 9-5 slog.
In my country, the startup ecosystem is thriving, with the number of startups increasing by 68 thousand between 2014 and June 2023.
“I want to build a startup” is the new cool among my generation.
But despite all the excitement, I want to tell you that your business will fail.
Reading this, your reaction may come off like, “Dude…How dare you say that?”
But hear me out; data reveals that 20% of small businesses fail within the first year. The failure rate increases to 30% by the end of the second year, 50% by the fifth year, and 70% by the tenth year.
One of the reasons behind this phenomenon is ineffective marketing. 14% of small businesses fail due to poor marketing.
Furthermore, big businesses like Amazon are well known for putting small businesses out of business. Many traditional bookstores had to close down as they were unable to compete with this e-commerce giant.
“So, are you telling me to pack my bags and quit?”
No! Not at all, but if you are building a small business, please realize that you are David competing with Goliaths like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, etc. The odds are stacked heavily against you.
To win this battle, you need a slinger of your own, which is the local SEO.
In this blog, I will show you how to use Local SEO to dominate the local search results.
But first, let me explain what local SEO is in definition.
In this Article
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing the online presence of your business to boost local traffic, visibility, and awareness of your brand among the people.
It has become extremely important in recent years because
- Over 75% of consumers in the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom use Google when looking for information about any business.
- Google Maps searches for “shopping near me” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year.
- Even mobile searches for “shopping near me” also grew by 250% in a recent three-year period.
So, for small businesses and startups that are looking to establish themselves in the market, Local SEO is the best way to accomplish this monumental task.
This is how Local SEO looks like in action:
In the next section, let’s look into ways through which your business can dominate the local search in your area.
Four Ways To Dominate Local Search
Here are four ways to optimize your local search.
1. Optimize Your Google Business Profile
If a user is searching for a product or service in your area that is related to your business, the first thing they will see is your Google business profile. So, if you want to stand out from the rest of your competitors, optimize it, as even Google has stated many times that it is one of the most essential tasks for SEO.
Here is how you can optimize your Google business profile:
- First, create and claim your Google Business Profile to manage your business’s online presence.
- Add all the essential details like the name of your business, address, phone number, website, and operating hours. Also, include a brief description of products and services.
- Add high-resolution images of the products or services that your business is providing to give users an idea of what you offer.
- Reviews are essential to build trust with potential customers and also act as social proof. So, encourage your customers to leave feedback on your products and services. It will lend credibility to your business.
2. Perform a Thorough Research on Local Keywords
Any SEO strategy you employ is incomplete without keyword research. If you want to cater to the wants and needs of your target audience, you need to first determine what they are searching for on the internet.
First, identify your local customers and what they are looking for on Google. For example, what phrases or terms do they type into the search engine when looking for products or services that are exclusive to your business?
Let’s say that you run a cafe in Dallas. So, you will need to identify the specific needs and interests of local people living in the city who visit cafes on a regular basis.
Here is how you can identify terms or phrases they might use:
- True coffee lovers: These appreciate high-quality coffee, brewing methods, and unique flavors.
- Convenience seekers: Need a quick caffeine fix and value efficiency and accessibility.
- Budget-conscious: Prefer affordable coffee options, like drip coffee.
- Food and atmosphere:
- Remote workers and students: Seek cafes with wifi and a comfortable space to work or study.
- Social butterflies: Enjoy cafes with a lively atmosphere for meeting friends or socializing.
- Relaxation seekers: Look for cafes with a peaceful ambiance to unwind and read.
- Health-conscious individuals: May be drawn to cafes offering organic coffee, plant-based milk alternatives, or healthy snacks.
- Gamers: Might be attracted to cafes with board games, video games, or esports competitions.
- Art enthusiasts: Could be drawn to cafes showcasing local art, hosting open mic nights, or providing creative workspaces.
True coffee lovers:
- Best specialty coffee shops near me
- Coffee shops with single-origin beans
- Coffee cupping events near me
- [Coffee bean roasting company] cafe locations
- Coffee shops with fast service near me
- Coffee drive-thru near me
- Mobile app coffee orders near me
- [Chain coffee shop] locations
- Affordable coffee shops near me
- Coffee shops with happy hour deals
- Coffee shops with student discounts
- [Discount coffee shop chain] locations
Remote workers and students:
- Coffee shops with free wifi near me
- Quiet cafes with comfortable seating
- Cafes with study groups near me
- [Coworking space cafe] locations
- Cafes with live music near me
- Coffee shops with board games
- Places to meet friends for coffee
- [Trendy cafe name] atmosphere
- Quiet cafes with outdoor seating
- Coffee shops with fireplaces
- Cafes with a view
- [Secluded cafe name] location
Potential Terms or phrases:
Now that we have outlined the audience and their specific needs, the target keywords might look like this:
- Coffee shops near me
- Best cafes in Dallas
- Dallas coffee scene
- Unique cafes in Dallas
- Coffee shops open late in Dallas
- Cafes with wifi in Dallas
- Study cafes in Dallas
- Dog-friendly cafes in Dallas
- Cafes with live music in Dallas
- Cafes with outdoor seating in Dallas
- Cafes with vegan options in Dallas
- Cafes with gluten-free pastries in Dallas
- Drive-thru coffee shops in Dallas
- Cheap coffee shops in Dallas
- Coffee shops with board games in Dallas
- Quiet cafes in Dallas
- Cafes with a view in Dallas
- Cafes in Uptown Dallas
- Coffee shops in Deep Ellum
- Best cafes in Oak Cliff
- Coffee shops near Klyde Warren Park
- Cafes in Bishop Arts District
- Cold brew coffee near me
- Nitro coffee shops in Dallas
- Coffee shops with oat milk in Dallas
- Third-wave coffee shops in Dallas
- Instagrammable cafes in Dallas
Once you have decided which keywords you are going to target, the next step is to look for their monthly search volume and keyword difficulty. For this, tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Google Search Console are your best bet.
Aim for phrases with at least 100 monthly searches and a keyword difficulty below 20. This sweet spot maximizes your ranking potential while attracting targeted, high-intent traffic.
You will also need to add these keywords to your Google business profile and websites for search engines to find you. By doing this, you will generate higher traffic and conversions for your business.
3. Get Listed on Online Directories and Citations
Get your business listed on online business directories like Yelp, Facebook, Merchant Circle, Tripadvisor and Citysearch. These online directories often come up top during organic search results.
When a potential customer clicks on those links in search results, they will be able to find all the relevant information about your business.
Do ensure that whatever local directories you choose to get your business listed has high-traffic, otherwise it’s all pointless.
Furthermore, you can also boost your online visibility by getting your business listed on major citation data aggregators like Foursquare, and Data Axle. These platforms distribute your company’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) to hundreds of other online directories, improving your local search ranking and helping potential customers find you easily. Imagine your business details appearing across countless websites, maps, and apps – that’s the power of leveraging data aggregators!
Lastly, make sure that company address, name, and phone number are consistent on these directories and citation sites as possible.
4. Your Website Should Be Mobile Friendly
Optimizing your website for mobile is now mandatory for local SEO — as there are 7.1 billion mobile users worldwide who frequently use “near me” searches on their devices.
Ensure that your website loads fast, as people don’t have the patience to wait for slow pages anymore (40% of users will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load)
You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to understand everything you need to optimize your website and speed things up. Paste your website URL and click the analyze button. You will get a passing or failing score in just a few seconds.
If your website passes, all is good, but if it fails — then pull up your sleeves fix all the issues that Google has highlighted, and try the test again.
Hire a skilled developer who can make a clear and easy-to-navigate UI to help your mobile users find what they need without the hassle.
Lastly, add click-to-call buttons, making it easier for mobile users to reach out to your business, increasing conversion opportunities.
That’s it folks!!
Lastly, Visit GoodFirms To Boost Your Local SEO
If you are looking for SEO services to build your brand, then check out the best SEO agencies listed by GoodFirms. These companies have a proven track record in formulating SEO strategies that will help you connect with vast swaths of people online.