How do you type a search query in the Google search bar when searching for a restaurant, pet store or print shop? Usually I type “restaurant near me” or “pet store in Shinjuku” if I wanted to find a place conveniently near to the place I am currently located. This “near me” search queries are a very popular way to search in Google. According to Blue Corona, third of all Google mobile searches are location related. “Near me” mobile queries equates to a 50% chance of a store visit (SEO Expert Brad). Just by looking at these stats, a huge take away will be the organic search reach of a “near me” search query. Local businesses should capitalize on the possibility that their services/products are being searched by a potential customer/client. A way to tap into this stream of already searching market is local search engine optimization. What is Search Engine Optimization? It “is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results” (MOZ). In short, it is positioning your businesses online presence (a landing page, a business website), to be searchable by customers and their preferred search engine (Google, Yahoo Search, Bing etc.) thus bringing visits and ultimately sales to your business. While SEO could be complicated and may require experts to analyze your website and reposition your website (Click here for a questionnaire for Tsunagari’s SEO service), there are immediate steps and procedures that do not require serious coding. In this post I want to share some tips that you could quickly implement to improve your businesses local SEO and drive some search results to your website/landing page.
Always check-in your location;
In your social media platforms, including and not limited to Facebook and Instagram, you are allowed to location tag your post. This increases your content’s searchability when it comes to location specific queries. In Instagram for example, many people explore posts in a specific location by simply typing the location in the search bar or clicking the location link in a post to see posts tagged in that specific location.
For your website and blog posts, add a location tag to your posts. You could also be specific about the meta-descriptions and tags you write for the photos in the blog pots and your website. Add your business’ location in your business description. Or add a map to your website that tags your business location indefinitely.
Find out your local hashtags;
Another great way to increase your location searchability is to know your local hashtags and use it appropriately. Make sure you do your hashtag research by searching the location first and looking at more specific hashtags by looking at related hashtags in the list. Find a hashtag that is broad enough to reach a good amount of potential people but also specific enough topic for your post to be seen.
For your website, use your industry’s highly searchable keywords within your content. High SEO searchability content creation could take a lot of time and effort, but amazing content marketing is always the way to go in building trust between you and your clients (check out our content creation service to create amazing content for your business!).
Build a friendly @mention rapport with your local businesses;
A fun way to gain local presence is to gain a friendly rapport with your nearby local business neighbors. Whether it be your favorite restaurant or local coffee shop you swear by, be nice and give them a shout out and mention in your own business page. This will not only open new possibilities of a friendly online banter but possibilities of partnership and collaboration. Be generous with the @mention function of your social media platforms. At the very least, be a good neighbor and appreciate the local businesses around you out loud. For some website ideas, try linking your favorite websites to your blog posts. Mention specific places and people (after asking for permission of course), and feature them in your website. It is a win-win for both parties.
Celebrate local events and holidays;
Find out your local events and holidays and celebrate it on your website/social media platforms. This will not only give your audience/customers/clients an idea where your business is located, but your business’ local awareness, advocacy and support will definitely be appreciated by many. Create special content and shout these out or better yet be involved and open a physical store or visit the event and share your experience. Don’t forget to check in your location and be aware of the hashtags the event is using to drive more engagement to your content.
For your website, create a campaign, blog post, special content about this local event. Share your experience and build engagement.
The four tips in this blog post could be immediately applied to your social media marketing and your website in order to further improve your local search engine searches. Try them out and share your results! We would like to hear how these tips helped you and your business. Leave a comment below or send us an e-mail! (This is not the end of our local SEO series—keep in touch for the part two of Local SEO 101. We have more things to share to you!)