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Local SEO: How Small Businesses Can Convert Local Searchers into Customers

Alekh Verma | February 21, 2023
local seo

Suppose you have a small bakery shop at W Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles in the USA. A person who lives nearby your shop location wants to buy pancake. As usual, to search anything in the world, first thing that comes to anyone's mind is Google.

Google SERP

He types on Google and searches for ‘bakery shop in Los Angeles’, and then he finds a list of bakery shops on the top of Google search result page. He clicks on one of the available options and gets the phone number and gives his order to the store.

This is the result of Local SEO.

For small businesses, whether you run a bakery shop, grocery store, clothing store, or electronic shop, local SEO plays a big role when it comes to acquiring new customers who are searching for the products nearby their location.

SEO is an ever-changing domain. Google constantly introduces new algorithms on its SERPs for local searches. As a small business owner, it is critical to always stay on the top of Google search result to grow your sales.

Modern consumers expect a faster and easier shopping experience. Therefore, your website must be found easily on the Internet so that you can convert online searchers into your customers.

Today in this article, eSearch Logix will guide you on how small businesses can convert local searchers into customers. This post will help you a lot if you have a small business and match any of the below conditions.

- You are a franchise owner

- You want to put your listings across online directories

- You have a local company or are a small business owner

- You run a local shop or retail store

- Your company has offices or provides services in more than one city at the local level, not the national level.

- You want your company or shop to be found on Google and other search engines 

So, let’s get started.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the search engine optimization process of enhancing the organic search visibility of your company's website within a certain geographical region. These online searches are mainly related to a user's geo qualifiers such as service city, state, zip code, etc.

Local SEO is an effective way to market your local business online. It enables businesses to promote their products & services to local customers in real-time when they are looking for them online.

Why is Local SEO Important for Small Businesses?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the most affordable method for businesses to get new customers and make their company into a brand.

It happens because when a customer intends to buy some products or services, for example, “web developer near me”, he or she first Googles about it, and the options which appear on the top of SERPs get the first attention and eventually conversions.

So, when your website appears on the top so search results, you get the most user traffic. That is why Local SEO is extremely important.

Today, almost half of Google queries are local searches. Even when people perform a typical daily search, the chances that Google shows local businesses nearby remain high.

According to Google report (2017-2019), there is a 900% increase in online searchers which include the phrase "near me today/tonight". To provide the best information to users, Google started giving more results for geographically related searches based on:

  1. Proximity
  2. Relevance
  3. Prominence

It means if your business is nearby to where someone is conducting their online search, provides services or products they might be looking for, and your website is optimized for local business listings. 

To summarize, local SEO help your small business to:

  • Reach more customers
  • Find relevant online searchers for your product
  • Increase traffic
  • Reach your target audience quickly
  • Improve conversion rates
  • Beat competition
  • Enhance brand awareness
  • Reduce cost per acquisition
  • Get long-lasting rankings
  • Continuous business growth
  • Grow with better scalability

Sounds good, right?

Now let’s move for the real action

How to Convert Local Searchers into Customers

1. Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Google My Business is the backbone of local search since it directly talks about the essential information that users need at the moment. In a 2018 market study, Moz found that Google My Business is the #1 SEO ranking factor for getting a spot on the local search engine optimization.

Best SEO Company in India reports that 56% of business owners who optimize their Google My Business page get significant organic traffic to their website. Therefore, it is highly important to ensure your local shop or store is optimized for Google My Business. To do this, you should:

  • Create and verify your Google My Business Page
  • Use Google Posts within your account
  • Encourage your customers to share reviews online
  • Respond authentically to customer reviews while specifying the location.

If Google verifies your business as authentic, the search engine will potentially reward your business on top SERPs. To get more help on it, Contact our SEO experts at eSearch Logix who can do it for you nicely.

2. Build NAP Citations

Before we dive into NAP citations, first you need to understand what exactly they are.

NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) citations are the basic online information about your business on the Internet directories.

If you live in the USA, your Google My Business profile is one of the 150+ local SEO citation sources in the USA. Make sure NAP citations are included as crawlable HTML text on your site.

Don't put the NAP within an image as images can't be crawled from search engines like HTML text. The best place for the NAP is either footer or header of your website.

For the USA, these four map data aggregators give a large amount of the map data for the most popular search engines and online directories like Apple, Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, and more.

  1. Factual
  2. Foursquare
  3. NeustarLocaleze
  4. Express Update

In this way, local searchers will be able to find your website at the top of the search results and get the essential information about your business profile.

3. Conduct a local SEO Audit

SEO is a dynamic process that constantly needs improvement and timely updates. By conducting a comprehensive local SEO audit to see where your business website stands and what you need to work upon to achieve your business goals. Here are the following things that a local SEO audit generally contains:

  1. Google Analytics Audit: It will tell you all the needed data whether your site is crawlable, does it have any technical SEO errors that could hamper indexing, etc.
  2. On-Page SEO Audit: To know does your website contains all the on-page SEO elements which help to rank.
  3. Citation Audit: Are all your citations correct in the most popular business directories
  4. Google My Business Audit: How does your Google My Business appear in the SERPs? Is the information about your business, right?
  5. Website Audit: How well is your website performing? Are you aware of all technical and non-technical SEO performance metrics?
  6. Competitor Analysis: Where does your local shop match up with your competitors? Are there any gaps that you require to fill? How does your website compete in terms of inbound links, content, web design, and SEO ranking?

4. Do Local SEO Keyword Research

Conducting local SEO keyword research is very critical because keywords determine the road to finding a particular website. For “med spa business owner in San Francisco”, prospective customers could search on Google with the keywords like:

Med Spa in San Francisco, CA

Medical Spas San Francisco

Skin Medical Spa near Union St

Skin medical spa San Francisco

There could be more related keywords that you find on Google, Quora, and business listing websites. To get a detailed list of local SEO keywords, you can use keyword research tools as well.

5. Improve On-Page SEO

When you know what keywords works best for SEO for local business, you should use it some of them in your website content to improve your on-page SEO. These keywords will help you in:

  1. Local SEO optimization for your location-based landing pages

If your company provides services in multiple locations within your city, you require different location-based landing pages to show up for every local SEO keyword which customers or sales prospects use on search engines.

Take a lesson from a fertility clinic website that is optimized for multiple locations.

locations
  1. Homepage content optimization

Similar to landing pages, you have to optimize the homepage for your primary keyword and location. Below is the example of a medical spa website that does it accurately:

Omnicoreagency

                     (Image Source: Omnicoreagency.com)

As it is clearly shown, the homepage is optimized to rank for "Best Med Spa in Colorado."

These keywords allow you to add links to your homepage and let search engine crawlers understand your website better and convert local searchers into your customers. So, by using keywords on the homepage, you can optimize your site for better on-page results.

6. Improve Local SEO Link Building

Any company which provides best local SEO services must focus on building high-quality link building. These inbound links are highly beneficial way to boost your local SEO for small businesses.

When you get links from local sources it tells search engines that you run an authentic and relevant local business in your area. You can get inbound links for local businesses by:

  • Getting Listed in Local Business Directories
  • Getting Published on Local News Outlets
  • Sponsoring Local Events, Teams, and Organizations
  • Guest Blog Posting

You can also think of sponsoring a webinar or meet-up, hosting a community event, promoting something local that people love, and building relationships with prominent people and social media influencers. If you implement all these things, you will get better traffic to your website and witness improvement in lead conversion.

Also Read: SEO Reports

7. Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly

Local SEO and mobile search are strongly interconnected. Google reports that 61% of all Google searches come from mobile devices or smartphones.

And this is obvious as people find mobile phones much easier to look up reviews, find directions to a location, shop online, and search for contact information. If you pay close attention to the report (Think With Google), "near me" searches on mobile have enhanced 250% since 2017.

So what how it affects your local small business? It means Google uses the mobile experience as an SEO ranking factor to rank a website. Therefore, you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

Read Also |7 Principles of Mobile Website Design to Attract Smartphone Users

To make your small business website mobile-friendly for local SEO, you should:

  • Focus on simple designs
  • Use responsive themes
  • Use mobile menus
  • Use standard fonts
  • Use media queries
  • Optimize image files
  • Avoid large chunks of text
  • Make simple forms
  • Eliminate pop-ups
  • Include a search bar
  • Take care of Core Web Vitals
  • Ensure Mobile usability
  • Optimize JavaScript and CSS 

8. Optimize Your Website for Voice Search

The best advantage that a small business can take in today's mobile-driven world is through voice search. Remember we discussed how the number of "near me" based searches increased tremendously on Google.

Voice search plays the biggest role in such queries. Whenever people want to search for something online, they now just pick up their smartphone and say restaurant near me and they instantly get the results on the top page and call on the available number.

As per PEW Research, 1 in 4 Americans (25%) own a smart speaker which implies that local businesses need to focus more on voice search. Consumers use voice search for various purposes that include:

  • 54% to make a restaurant reservation
  • 6% find out prices of a local business's products/services
  • 40% ask which products are in stock
  • 32% buy directly from a business

To optimize your small business website for voice search-

  1. Use long-tail keywords
  2. Use natural language
  3. Add FAQs on your business’s website
  4. Optimize your site for local search

Conclusion

Small businesses need to focus on specific and most relevant SEO practices. If you have a shop or small company that serves local people, local SEO is not an option but a must-have method to grow your small business online.

With local SEO, you can bring high relevant traffic and convert those online searchers into your customers by providing them with instant information they want.

And to make this fully successful we would advise you to hire a professional SEO agency, or you can do it on your own if you think you have expertise in this.

We hope this post will help you to make new customers for your local small business. If you want to take your small business to the next level, collaborate with eSearch Logix and we will enhance your online presence on Google.

We provide the best local SEO services for small business that bring high organic and relevant traffic to your local shop or company.

Schedule a Free Online Meeting and Discuss Your SEO Project Now.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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