If you want your website seen, you need search engine optimization. This technique will improve your SERP rankings to ensure more internet users find your webpages. However, if you have a service area, there’s another type of online marketing you need to invest in: local SEO.

What’s So Important About Local SEO?

SEO is a great way to expand your customer base on a global level, but taking it local lets you focus on nearby searchers. Plumbers, contractors, carpet cleaners and other professionals who offer services in a limited area are better served by targeting searches with locations. Keywords with geographic tags are picked up by the algorithm and offered to searchers in the area.

How Should You Optimize?

Now that you understand the importance of local SEO, how can you use it to boost your business? Fortunately, there are several ways to optimize.

1. Links

Search engine algorithms place a great deal of value on webpages that have a lot of backlinks, which are links posted on third-party webpages or social media posts that lead back to your site. The idea is that people share and reference valuable sources, so the more backlinks there are to your page, the higher the algorithms rank your site. To earn more backlinks, you should produce high-quality content.

2. Reviews

Google shows reviews in local searches, which means you have a chance to illustrate to potential customers how great your business is. Make it easy for customer to leave a review by including the option on your website or linking to it in correspondence.

3. Citations

A “citation” is a fancy name for an online directory listing. Interestingly, most companies are listed in some sort of directory whether they do it themselves or not. However, you should try to take ownership of your listings to ensure that all your information is correct.

4. Name, Address and Phone Number

Often abbreviated to NAP, your name, address and phone number are essential information that should be identical across listings and webpages. Any differences — such as spelling or capitalization — can throw off your online marketing campaign. Even minute variations can prevent algorithms and internet users from connecting your business across platforms.

5. Google My Business

Last but not least, you need a Google My Business account. This will provide a number of digital marketing tools in addition to letting you interact with your Google directory listing. One of the most important tools is access to your analytics, which allows you to see what marketing strategies work and which don’t.