1. Create a Google My Business Account
First things first, your small business needs a Google My Business account. Optimizing your GMB listing is one of the most effective ways to rank well on Google Maps and gain visibility in local search engine results. Your Business Profile should include your logo, a brief description of your offerings, hours of operation, lots of images, and acceptable payment methods. And don’t forget to include relevant keywords in your service descriptions too!
The more accurate and up-to-date information you provide, the more credible Google will view your listing, and the better you'll rank in local search. We also recommend adding posts to your Google My Business account regularly and be sure to also encourage customers to leave reviews. Nearly 85% of people believe online reviews as much as recommendations from family and friends. And be sure to respond to all reviews—both good and bad—to demonstrate your commitment to customer service.
2. Focus on local keywords
Another great way to connect with local customers is to target local keywords, which are keywords that include your location. For example, if you're a yoga studio in Chicago, you'll want to compare search volumes and ranking difficulty for different variations of locally-based search terms such as "yoga studios in Chicago," "Chicago yoga studio," and "best yoga studio in Chicago." You can also drill down into hyper-local keywords, like "yoga studio in West Loop."
3. Optimize your site for local keywords
Once you have your list of local keywords selected, you'll want to optimize your site for those keywords. Here are a few of the basics for local site optimization.
Ensure that your home page and service pages contain the local keywords you're trying to rank for in the headings, title tags, meta descriptions, and body content.
4. Build local links
Link building is an important part of any SEO strategy and a lot of the link-building tactics you're already familiar with can be adapted for local link-building acquisition. To start building quality “dofollow” links to your site, reach out to local newspapers, media outlets, and online publications to inquire about link-building opportunities.
5. Ensure your website loads fast and is mobile-friendly
No one likes to click on a link only to find that the site takes forever to load (and by forever, we mean more than a few seconds). So, for our fifth and final local SEO tip, be sure to perform a speed test and mobile-friendly audit of your website. More than 50% of site visitors will bounce from a page if they have to wait more than 3 seconds for the content to load. Those site audits will provide information about how to improve the responsiveness and load times of your site.
Work with a top Chicago SEO agency to improve local SEO
If you're interested in improving local SEO, reach out to us today at the Real FiG Advertising + Marketing. We'll implement a well-executed strategy that not only improves your rankings for local search results but also increases the amount of well-qualified leads that your site receives.
Contact us today to start working with a top Chicago SEO agency and improve the local SEO of your business or organization.