Local SEO is perfect for taking on rival companies from your area, building trust between your target audience and your business, and for catering to the way people search and shop online – 88% of people who make a local search get in touch with the store within 24 hours.

To enjoy the benefits of local SEO you need to nail the essentials. Get your Google My Business page right, secure quality customer reviews, leverage long tail keywords, and ensure your contact details are listed correctly with the following tips and advice.

Recommended reading: 40 Facts on How the Psychology of Colour Can Boost Website Conversions (Infographic).

Optimise your Google My Business page

Google My Business is a free service tool that will allow to easily manage your business’s presence across Google. The tools include integration with Google’s search engine, reviews, and maps. You can boost your traffic by optimising your Google My Business page by:

  • Including every piece of relevant information you have about your company (not only address)
  • Uploading images of your business
  • Incorporating local keywords naturally into your page wherever you can
  • Replying to any reviews left on your page by your customers
  • Adding the in opening times for your business (even if it’s only the helpline for your ecommerce site)

After you’ve optimised your Google My Business page you should then add a link of it to your website. This allows your customers to view your business in Google Maps.

NAP consistency wherever your business is listed

Search engines want to see consistency wherever you publish the name, address and phone number (NAP) for your business. A consistent NAP makes your business more trustworthy and increases the chances of it ranking well in local searches. If you want to increase the traffic to your online business, you need to spend the time getting your NAP right.

Your NAP is found all over the internet, on a variety of sites, including:

  • Review aggregation sites – Glassdoor, and many other business review sites
  • Any social media accounts your business has
  • Local and national business directories – such as Foursquare City Guide
  • Your own company website

You can find where your NAP is listed using the Moz Local tool – the screenshot below provides an example of the information you’ll get, using the tool.

4 Local SEO Essentials If You Want To Skyrocket Your Traffic

Once you’ve found everywhere your NAP is published, make each entry consistent. You must use the same format for entering the information (where the listing allows) and include your full Name, Address, and Phone Number.

Customer reviews of high quantity and quality

Customer reviews and testimonials add credibility to your business, by evidencing the quality of your service, and this is used by search engines in their local rankings and by searchers when deciding which website to click on. If you want to improve your traffic, you need to increase the quantity and quality of your customer reviews.

Increasing the quality and quantity of your customer reviews is simpler than you might think. Often you can get a review simply by asking your customers, but you can also offer them an incentive. For example:

  • Give your customers a discount for leaving a review – maybe 10% off their next purchase
  • Add free trials (where possible) to your business – if your customers get the chance to review your goods before having to spend money, they’re more likely to leave a positive review
  • Put a customer testimonial video on your website – video is the most engaging form of content, and your customers see their peers talking positively about your brand it increases the chances of them doing it

Use joined-up thinking by going after Google reviews and reviews on your own website. Every major store builder or CMS has a list of apps that make it easy to add customer reviews to your site.

The more customer reviews you have, and the broader the range of places they’re found, the greater your credibility will be with Google and its search engine peers. 84% of customers trust online business reviews as much as recommendations from family or friends. While your traffic might not skyrocket by 84% by adding high-quality customer reviews to your site, you will certainly see an upswing in your visitors.

Use long-tail keywords with a local suffix

I won’t bore you with a summary of what keywords are. What I will do, though, is explain how using long-tail keywords are great for local SEO, and why they will boost your traffic.

Local SEO is targeted at users who are searching for a particular industry, but not a specific business. The goal of search engines is to give local searchers a list of the best companies in the service they are researching and using long tail keywords increases your chances of being that company. The video below gives some top tips on how to find the right keywords for your local area:

Once you have your list of keywords, you then need to optimise your website for these. To get the maximum value from your keywords, you need a local suffix – here’s how that could look for your business: “Montreal removal company.” You need to apply this principle to all elements of your on-page SEO:

  • Blog posts
  • Landing pages
  • Meta description
  • Page titles

By optimising your website with long-tail keywords that have a local suffix, you increase the chances of being the answer to a local SEO search query. The result? You’ll skyrocket your traffic.

Local searches are growing in popularity, particularly for people browsing with their mobile. By getting the SEO essentials right, you’ll rank higher in local searches and increase traffic to your website. So don’t waste any time, put these four essentials into practice and get more visitors for your site.