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8 Strategies To Increase Your Local Business Online Visibility

By jiajia on October 1, 2021

Searching for ways to improve your local visibility online? Creating a strategy for local SEO can be slightly different from the standard digital marketing methods many online businesses use. In this post, we will guide you through 8 effective strategies you can use to build local brand awareness online and reach customers. 


The goal of SEO is to rank at the top of search engine results to get the much-desired online visibility. After all, the Top 3 results are said to hoard almost 75.1% of all clicks. 

The same goes for local businesses as well. With more consumers taking to the search engine to look for businesses in their neighborhood, your potential customers cannot find you if you do not appear at the top of the search results.  

According to Google, there are as many as 1.6 billion searches with local intent every day. In other words, there are a lot of local searches happening on Google. 

So how do you become the top-ranking answer for these local searches? Well, the only solution is to make your small business become locally visible online. 

What is Local Search Visibility?

Local search visibility is the idea of reaching audiences in your vicinity when they are searching about your brand, products, or services online. 

This could mean targeting local-driven keywords on search engines like Google and Bing. Or optimizing your profile on Google My Business, Yelp, and Tripadvisor – wherever your local audiences might be. 

Local search visibility on Google Maps

Image Source: GeekFlare

By building your local presence and marketing online, you can effectively boost your business traffic and sales.

For better understanding, local visibility is a part of local SEO and is different from regular SEO that is international by nature. It is based on a separate set of ranking criteria that focuses on distance, prominence, and relevance.

Naturally, this means different online marketing tactics. So what are the steps to increase your online visibility and make your local business profile rank higher in search engines? 

Well, we have got your back! Your local SEO strategy should be a proper mix of these 8 tactics: 

8 Tips to Increase Your Local Visibility Online

1. Get customer reviews

As a local business, customer reviews are your lifeblood. Because not only does your review profile play a factor in where your business rank, consumers love reviews! And they often base their final purchasing decision on what others have to say. 

And they often base their final purchasing decision on what others have to say. 

Google Local 3 pack

Image Source: WordTracker

From deciding which products or services they should buy to what they should eat and travel, reviews have become an integral part of a business on the internet, which means managing your online reputation is more important than ever. 

Bright Local did a study on local services ads clicks and found that review ratings are the biggest driver of clicks on the local SERPs, even above paid ads!  

That’s why always make sure to encourage your customers to share reviews! Provide excellent service and make sure all your review URLs for Google My Business or Trustpilot are readily available. In any case, implement an active review acquisition strategy in your business. 

You can train staff to verbally mention how much a review would be appreciated, especially when a customer seems happy. Or send a friendly email reminder to prompt your customers to leave a review and provide an incentive. 

More importantly, make sure you respond to your customer reviews. Many reviewers feel that if they take the time to leave a good review of a business, it’s only common courtesy to receive a “thank you” from the company. 

However, keep in mind to avoid impersonal and robotic-feeling of using the exact phrasing for all owner responses. Vary your message and have fun. Your statement of gratitude can be brief in length, but it should be uniquely worded. 

customer review can improve your brand reputation, thus increase your local business online visibility

Image Source: Vendasta

Customers observe when a business responds to the majority of its positive and negative feedback. This action will signal to new customers that the company genuinely cares about what their customers have to say and will further incentivize new customers to take a moment to share their own experiences.

2. NAP citations

Local search results rank businesses based on consistency across listings using a simple standard known as NAP, short for Name, Address, and Phone Number. 

In other words, this means Google recognizes your business based on your NAP citations, and it expects that wherever your business is listed, this information should look the same. 

So, for example, if you decided on “Marinova’s Pet Feed & Supply Co.”, then write it only in that manner, not as “Marinova’s Pet Feed and Supply Co.” or “Marinova’s Pet Feed & Supply.

Plus, many online marketing experts recommend sending important business announcements using press releases when building your business NAP citations. 

NAP (name, address, and phone) is an important factor to boost your online visibility

Image Source: MarketersMEDIA

Running your business announcement on reputable media outlets like FOX News or New York Times provides additional exposure. It helps build NAP consistency on an authoritative outlet that will add credibility to your business. 

3. Insert your listing in business directories

Google My Business is a good start, but having your local business listing on other online directories, especially those famous in your area or industry, can bring your online visibility to the next level. 

For example, if you are a business owner in the United States or Canada, you want to list your business on Yelp. According to Alexa, the platform has over 184 million reviews worldwide and is one of the top 50 most visited websites in the United States. 

Image Source: SEJ

Or perhaps you are running a restaurant or homestay; then you would want to be sure to list on TripAdvisor. Consumers often go to these online directories and review sites to find actual user recommendations, so having your business there will help expand your visibility. 

Review your online listings to reflect your business information if your businesses are already found on these sites. To an extent, these business listings also contribute to NAP citation, and making sure your company’s name, address, phone number, website URL, and email address is correct will avoid any penalty. 

Some other directories worth looking into are Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the local Chamber of Commerce business group in your neighborhood. This can benefit by validating your authority in Google.

Other sites like Bing, Apple Map, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, G2 Review, Trustpilot, CitySearch, and MapQuest.can also expand your online visibility in local search results. 

But most importantly, actively manage your local listings and respond to all the customer reviews. We know this may sound like too big of a bite. So again, analyze and select only the ones that are relevant to your business. 

Outdated listings don’t produce results. Create a review schedule to update listings routinely, and particularly if the business changes. Keep a master list of places you are represented online to avoid missing one when you update.

4. Have a mobile-friendly website

Local SEO works even if you don‘t have a website. However, having a mobile-friendly website can only bring you advantages. It helps drive more traffic and leads to your premises as they search for products or services that your business offers.  

Moreover, most consumers now rely on their smartphones to get any information or discover nearby businesses. To grab their attention, you’d need to have a mobile-friendly website that makes it easy for the audience to learn about your business. 

Google my business

Image Source: SEJ

Besides, mobile-friendliness is a Google ranking factor and can contribute to the visibility and ranking of your business. As a general rule of thumb, make sure your website is fast and offers convenience. Otherwise, people may leave the website while they are browsing. 

You can always check your website with Google Core Web Vitals to see if you meet the search engine requirements.

5. Optimize your website for local content

Content marketing is also another method to improve your local visibility online. However, your focus here is to create content that speaks or relates directly to your local audience. 

For example, you think people might be searching for the best pet shop in Orlando. For your business to show up in the results, you need to do proper keyword targeting. We recommend using BiQ’s Keyword Intelligence to do your keyword research. 

The tool supports location and language-based results that can identify more specific geo-targeted searches and find the exact search terms people are using in the area.

Content marketing is also another method to improve your local visibility online. However, your focus here is to create content that speaks or relates directly to your local audience. 

BiQ

Turns out, instead of ‘pet shop’, locals here are more likely to search for ‘pet store’ instead. So in this scenario, it’s better to include the term ‘pet store’ in your business description. 

BiQ Keyword Intelligence

And that’s just the beginning; make sure to use BiQ Keyword Intelligence to uncover all the terms your potential customers are using to find your products and services. 

Once you have these locally relevant keywords, optimize them into your website’s homepage, meta description, and URLs to have your website rank better for them. Integrate these keywords into both your on-page and off-page SEO efforts to see better results. 

Along with product and service keywords, you might also want to focus on keywords with informational search intent. Potential customers are always on the look for helpful information about their questions and problems. 

Using the example of an Orlando pet store again, your customers may be first-time owners and are looking for some vital advice into picking which cat breed might be suitable for them.

By creating helpful content that will answer your consumers, you can show that your website is constantly updated and attract highly relevant traffic who might walk into your store doorstep the next day. 

Keyword-targeting aside, here are some other ideas on creating local that will help boost geographical relevance: 

  • Writing blog posts around local news stories, activities, events, or industry
  • Creating videos about local charities or causes that your business supports
  • Setting up location-specific web pages on your website with high-quality local content if you serve different parts of a region

6. Schema markup

Schema.org markup has plenty of uses when it comes to local SEO. There are various markups for all kinds of businesses like doctors, attorneys, and regular brick-and-mortar businesses. 

You can find the complete list of schema markups for local businesses here. 

Including a structured data markup on your website will allow search engines to understand and recognizees your local business better to show your GMB page result. 

Moreover, it helps enrich your search result display — making it more user-friendly and engaging. Now let’s quickly go through two essential markups we think would work great to boost the visibility of most businesses.

First, starting with the Local Business Schema Markup. 

<div itemscope itemtype=”https://schema.org/LocalBusiness”><span itemprop=”name”>Name Of Business</span><span itemprop=”address”>Business’s Address</span><div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”><span itemprop=”addressLocality”>City</span>,<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>State</span><span itemprop=”postalCode”>Zip Code</span></div><span itemprop=”telephone”>Business Phone Number</span></div>

Here’s the result! This is an example of Sun’s Donuts after using the local business markup that now shows a Knowledge Graph panel when people search for the brand.  

local visibility on Google Search

Image Source; SEJ

Another is the Review Schema markup, and you should implement it if your local business has raving reviews. By adding this markup, your search results will display your reviews and 5-star ratings, which will let you stand out from your competition. 

Image Source: Blurpoint

These are just two of the examples. There are more Google-rich snippet results that can make a huge difference, like the breadcrumbs markup and site navigation schema markup. 

So make sure you check out the schema markup list and implement what works for you. 

7. Use social media

Social media like Facebook and Instagram is a high-visibility medium. And creating a social media profile for your local business can effectively boost your local prominence. 

Social Media helps business improve their local search visibility

Image Source: Social Media Worldwide

Recent data show that one-third of the global population is active on social media, which means your potential customers are there too. Besides, having a business account on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can open up more platforms to interact with your customers. 

Before you get started, here are some crucial tips. While producing a high-quality social media campaign across many platforms can help you boost your business, it’s meaningless if you cannot maintain a consistent social media presence. 

Small businesses often fall into the trap of updating social media pages sporadically.

Instead, choose your platforms. Plan and craft an effective strategy to engage people on social media. Make sure you post regularly (at least once a week) to keep your products and services top of your customers’ minds. 

8. Optimize your GMB page

Now, if you are serious about winning customers on Google, you need to rank on the Google Local 3-pack. And the key to doing that is optimizing your GMB page. 

First and foremost, ensure that your Google My Business account is claimed and verified. This will allow you to edit your business information, and you want to make sure you meticulously complete every relevant section. 

Use high-quality and captivating photos descriptive of your business and make use of videos. Many often skip this, but videos are highly effective at telling a story and can be an effective marketing tool to get customers into your store. 

To further optimize it, you can also include the target and relevant keywords you found using BiQ Keyword Intelligence naturally into your business description, FAQ, and even posts. 

Image Source: WordStream

This will strengthen your business relevance to these search terms and increase the chance of having your business show up when people key in these queries. 

Above all, manage your GMB and keep it active! Answer questions posted by users and respond to any reviews you get! 

If you have completed the strategies mentioned above, there is approximately an 80% chance that you can rank your page to the Google SERP top 10. 

However, when the competition between local search rankings is fierce, how do you ensure that your business’ web page appears at the top of the Google SERP for your target audience?

What other ways are there to secure your strategy to improve search visibility?

This is when a local rank tracking tool comes in handy.

Bonus: Local Rank Tracking Tool in 2021

Grid My Business

best local seo tool/local rank tracking tool for local search visibility


Grid My Business is a relatively new local SEO tool specializing in monitoring search visibility and providing valuable insights to its users.

In just one click away, you can instantly obtain important information about your local business, such as real-time local rankings and local competitors, based on the search query you aim to rank.

The best thing about Grid My Business is that it also supports all locations that can be found on Google Maps. You can choose the see the search visibility based on the grid size and location you want to see. 

Grid My Business shows your local search visibility in one grid

Identifying your actual local competitors, monitoring their local search rankings, and learning their strengths and weaknesses can enable you to stay ahead of the local ranking competition.

Thus, you will be able to increase your business’ search visibility for local SERP effectively

Improve your local business’ SERP search visibility with Grid My Business now!

Conclusion

Becoming the busiest store on the street is every local business owner’s dream. 

And with your customers going online to search for information before making their purchase decision, online visibility is the next best weapon for local businesses. 

Whether you offer products, services, or running a brick-and-mortar store, building for local search visibility will make your marketing efforts more impactful. It can be pretty simple with these 8 tactics we have shared. 

Fundamentally, the right keywords can make all the difference. Check out BiQ and Grid My Business to improve online visibility for your local business and see your sales go up today!

Updated: 19 October 2021

JiaJia

About JiaJia

Once you've got wanderlust in your blood, you've got it for life. JiaJia is a life enthusiast who also finds interest in digital marketing. She usually can be found eating, baking, traveling, or wandering in the world of marketing.

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