Digital marketing is key to an online business’s success, but what about brick and mortar storefronts that cater to locals instead of worldwide? This may surprise you, but going online can drastically increase a physical location’s foot traffic in addition to web traffic.
Using local SEO–search engine optimization designed for the area around you–can make all the difference in a day with no customers and a record-breaking day of sales. But it takes more than just a website jammed with keywords to really make local SEO work for you. If you really want to step up your local SEO game, here are a few tips to ensure you’re showing up to the people you want in your store.
1. Optimize Your Google Business Page
Google is by far the most popular search engine out there, and they have an entire business suite dedicated to helping businesses be found, whether that’s on Google Maps or searching for businesses or restaurants “near me”. Setting up a Google Business account is quick and easy–you might have already done it!
But if you’re not seeing results, it might be time to optimize. Google lists locations based on their relevance, distance, and prominence. With a few easy fixes like more photos and a verified location, you can see your listing start climbing the ranks.
2. Make Sure Your Contact Info Is Up To Date
It’s always a hassle to update your information, whether that’s adding a new address or letting everyone know your new phone number. And while that’s annoying enough in your day-to-day life, it’s even worse for your business–and easier for updates to slip through the cracks as you work to keep everything running smoothly. But this mistake is more than a minor annoyance; it can easily wreck your bottom line, especially online.
Make sure your address, phone number, email and all other contact information is up to date on ALL your online spaces, including your website, your Google account, and any social media you use. Having mismatched or out-of-date information will keep search engines–and potential customers–from finding you.
3. Be Liberal With Links
Search engines love when sites use internal linking–that’s when you link to another page on your website. If you can find a (natural) spot to link back to your own website, use it!
You can also get an SEO boost by linking to external sites, provided they’re good quality and reputable. By using plenty of links on your website, you’ll see your local SEO rankings start climbing.
4. Make Quality Content
Even if your business is done in an in-person storefront, you want a website that encourages people to stay. Don’t stick with just a homepage that shows your address and phone number–make sure you have multiple pages with quality, engaging content.
This can include reviews for your business, an “About Us” section that explains how you got your start, a regularly updated blog covering topics related to your product or industry–the list goes on. But always ensure that what you put up is worth reading–no one wants to sift through a bunch of random buzzwords with no substance.
5. Make It Accessible In Every Way
Accessible sites are a necessity on today’s internet, and if you haven’t gone in to update your site for the 2020s, you’ll want to start right now. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, first and foremost. After all, most people who search for a business like yours are going to be on their phones. If they have difficulty finding your address or reading your menu, they’ll just move on to your competition.
You’ll also want to ensure that your website is browsable by people of all abilities. Beyond mobile accessibility, you’ll want your website to be easy to navigate, with high-contrast text and backgrounds and image descriptions provided. Taking this extra step could make all the difference between making and losing a potential customer.
6. Get Socializing–Online And In-Person
Social media plays a massive role in SEO. If you really want to start climbing the rankings with local SEO, be sure to post regularly on social media like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram–these platforms even have business suites of their own, so you can run them efficiently. By interacting as your brand, you’ll be able to make a name for yourself in your online community.
Believe it or not, you can also get involved with the real world and have it reflect on your local SEO rankings as well! Be part of local events, whether that’s hosting a booth at a local fair or farmer’s market or supporting a local little league team. When you go out, be sure to have some way for people to find your website–whether that’s business cards with your url or, even more helpful, a QR code that allows people to visit your site right there with their phones. The more traffic you get organically (ie, people coming to your site without going through a paid ad), the better your SEO rankings will be!
7. Hire A Local Pro
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed at the thought of doing all this yourself, then it might be time to call in a professional marketing team. But try to find one that’s based locally–even if they’re a fully digital team, a local business will know the area as well as you do, which means they’ll know exactly how to reach the audience you’re looking for.
Since we’re based in Salt Lake City, we prioritize our local clients out here in the Wasatch Front. So if your Utah-based brick-and-mortar business needs help climbing the ranks online and getting customers to go from Googling businesses near them to walking through your door, then it’s time to get in touch with Gravitate One. Contact us today, and let’s get climbing!