If you’re a business with a physical location, and you want to learn just one thing that will improve your digital marketing efforts more than anything else, it’s nailing local SEO. You know that SEO, when done properly, helps to drive more traffic to your website through organic search engine results. But local Toronto SEO drives more, you guessed it, local traffic to your website.
When you’re driving mostly local people to your business, you’re more likely to obtain loyalty easily from them. A lot of people really want to support businesses in their area. But they also want the convenience of finding what they need online during their lunch break so they don’t have to use up their free time shopping in the evening.
And for a business with an actual location on the map, increasing your local ranking can hugely increase your sales. In fact, focusing just on local SEO can boost both online and in-person sales. Check out these tips to improve your local ranking.
When you want to target a specific local area, you need to first of all make sure that you actually have a physical store location in that place. Just like any SEO techniques, local SEO can be rigged by dishonest business people. And that may help them to drive more traffic to their sites temporarily. But in the end, Google will catch on to them, as they always do, and update their algorithms to incorporate safeguards for preventing fraudulent local listings.
Choose a location keyword to target your area. This is usually the name of your city or the major city closest to you. It’s okay to have more than one location keyword, too. If you have multiple locations or you want to try to optimize both for the nearest large city and the name of the actual town you do business in.
Speaking of multiple locations, make sure you have a distinct web page for each location keyword you plan to optimize for. It’s fine to mention on your main page that you have multiple locations and where they are; however, you should drive local traffic to a landing page that is specifically for that area. Having a dedicated page for each physical location increases your chances of targeting the right search users to your business.
NAP data is your name, address, and phone number. They are simple pieces of information, but you’d be surprised how often it trips up local ranking for businesses. Basically, make sure you spell your business name the same every time, anywhere you list it on the web. Don’t offer variations. Don’t add keywords to your business name. And even if you have multiple locations, don’t list your business as the name plus the location. Just use your actual business name every time. The same goes for addresses and phone numbers. Keep them consistent across your site and online listings.
Get other businesses mentioning you
You probably already network with other local businesses in some way. And you can help each other out in your online marketing, too. Ask businesses in your area about citing you in their email newsletter, on their blog, or in their social media posts. When other businesses mention you, those citations show that they trust you enough to be associated with you. Of course, you should pay back the favor by mentioning complementary businesses in your content also.
One of the most important things you can do to drive traffic to your website is to have the best content for your industry and location. Become an authority on your area of expertise. That means providing relevant information that is useful to your audience. Posting local news or updates on your blog is a good practice that endears your business to people in your area, but it should not be the only kind of content you post. You want to design your content to be useful for anyone who comes across it. That way, when someone is in town visiting and needs a product or service that you offer, you can draw them to your location by showing them your expertise.
Part of having amazing content is having the right content for your potential customers. You don’t want as many people as possible visiting your website. If they get to your site and then leave because the information was not relevant to them, that’s called a bounce-back. And a high bounce-back right harms your search ranking. Content is not just words, either. Adding photos, cartoon drawings, infographics, freebie downloads, and videos make your site more interesting and increase the likelihood that web visitors will stay and look at what you offer.
Securing a top local ranking on Google may seem daunting, but you really only need to remember a few basic SEO principles in order to succeed.
- Be honest by using the right location keyword for your physical location, and only compete for local ranking if you have a physical location.
- If you have multiple locations, have separate web pages for each.
- Provide NAP information consistently across directory listings and web pages.
- Get inbound links from other local businesses through their newsletters, blogs, and social media profiles.
- Be the authority in your area for your industry.
Following these tips will put you ahead of the majority of competitors for local ranking on your keywords.