Wouldn’t you love to have a steady stream of customers flowing through the doors of your local business? If so, then you need to boost your knowledge of local SEO practices!

Optimizing the visibility of your local business doesn’t happen without some time, effort and energy on your part. Every time someone in your area searches for “<product or service> near me”, there’s an opportunity for you to gain a new customer. Providing the best and most relevant information on your brand can help ensure that your target audience is seeing your business first.

How Local SEO is Unique

While having a website technically makes your business searchable for the entire world, many businesses thrive from capturing customers within their community and the surrounding areas. That means not only do you have to create a clean and consistent digital presence, but you also need a way to let locals know you’re open for business. Local SEO focuses your digital marketing and advertising efforts on a relatively small area so you’re making your website discoverable to local audiences. Here are the top 7 ways you can optimize your website to pull in local customers.

1. Create a Google My Business / Bing Places for Business Account

Having a website or even a social media page is a great start for local SEO, but to truly optimize your presence you need to be ranking with major search engines. Fortunately, Google and Bing make it easy to get started. You can quickly begin educating your local market about your products and services by creating a robust Google My Business page. What’s better? Bing Places for Business can automatically import your Google My Business listing so you don’t have to duplicate the work.

2. Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews

Search engines adore businesses that have multiple reviews and ratings. This “community pride” in your business shows that locals are engaged and enjoying the products and services that you offer. Many customers are happy to leave reviews on Yelp! or Google — all you have to do is ask! A quick email asking about their experience (and including a link to your Google review page) not only lets customers know you care but also helps build the local presence of your brand.

3. Create (Excellent!) Local Content

Want business in the Denver, Colorado area? Write content for your website that is targeted to audiences in that area. Talk about the beauty of Denver’s natural lands, and how that fits in with the enjoyment of your products and services. It’s important to make this published content as natural as possible. Poorly-written website pages that simply include repetitive mentions of “Denver, CO” are likely to be detrimental to your rankings. Always be thinking of ways you can add value to your readers or solve their problems with your products or services.

4. Actively Focus on Mobile Optimization

It may be trendy in digital marketing circles to discuss the mobile optimization of websites, but you truly should consider your website as mobile-first. According to The Search Review, nearly 60% of local searches are now being performed on mobile phones. What’s more — the total jumps to nearly three-quarters when you consider food and beverage brands. That means you need to have your hours of operation, main services, coupons and contact information front-and-center on your mobile website.

5. Identify and Optimize for Local Keywords

Are you selling cokes or pops? These two words can both mean the same sugary, carbonated beverage but which word you use to order depends on the region where you live. Choosing the right keywords becomes much easier when you use Google’s Keyword Planner or another keyword research tool to ensure you’re getting your business in front of the right customers. You can research which keywords are most effective in your region and even get bid estimates on running digital advertising around those terms, too.

6. Get Listed in Online Business Directories

While Google and Bing are the two major search engines, there are plenty of other search directories that help support local searching. MapQuest, YellowPages, Yelp! — you can spend hours submitting, reviewing and updating your information on these major platforms. At a bare minimum, you would want to include your hours of operation, business name, address, website, and phone number. Fortunately, local digital marketing partners often have tools that will help you submit your listings to many of these online directories at once.

7. Maintain Specific Pages for Your Products and Services

Don’t fall to the temptation to create a single-page website that doesn’t offer enough space to describe the benefits of your products and services. Take the time to write — or work with a marketing partner to write — detailed pages that describe the unique products and services that you offer. When you present your business as an authority in your space, it can help boost your visibility when people are searching for the products and services that you offer.

Creating a robust digital presence for your business doesn’t happen overnight, and requires an ongoing commitment to ensure you are gaining traction with important local audiences. Learn more about boosting your local SEO knowledge by contacting RefractROI digital marketing firm today at 303-501-1821 or schedule a complimentary consultation online. Our team specializes in creating conversions and ROI for clients by creating online communities that are adding value to local audiences.