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2024 Guide to Local SEO

by Marie Lewis | Feb 28, 2024, 05:00 AM
A stylized image of a hand holding a mobile phone displaying a map
If you’re running a brick-and-mortar business in 2024, odds are that you already have a Google Business Profile, Google Maps location, and probably a smattering of citations on sites relevant to your field. However, studies show there are some common areas where businesses still neglect local SEO. Let’s take a look at the ways you should be optimizing for local search this year. 

Start with Local Keyword Research

Ahrefs provides this useful local keyword research guide that can help optimize your on-page content and metadata with local-focused keywords. Start by brainstorming the various services you offer and then combining them with your location to determine local search intent. Remember that Google’s algorithm also accounts for implicit local keywords, in which local intent is assumed even when a location is not included in the search. 

Local Citations

Local SEO citations refer to the online mentions of your business's name, address, phone number, and other essential details. These mentions can occur on various platforms, including online directories, review sites, social media, and your websites and apps. Citations serve as digital references to your business and validate its existence. You want these citations to be uniform and accurate across all sites. (Talk to BoxCrush about managing your local listings on more than 100 sites from a single dashboard!)

Optimize and Regularly Update Google Business Profile

Make sure to regularly update your Google Business Profile (GBP) with high-quality business images, store hours and holiday hours, and relevant changes. Making regular updates to your profile signals to humans and search engines that your business is active and relevant. 

Embed a Google Map on Your Website

Google Maps integration on your Contact or About page increases visibility for your business, enhances the user experience for your audience, and also provides valuable data on their behavior such as engagement, store visits, and more. 

Get Active in Your Community

Sponsoring and participating in local events creates buzz and discoverability that helps increase the volume of local citations and links when events are mentioned and shared around the web. 

Optimize for Local Packs

Keeping your GBP optimized is step one to ranking in local packs. Make sure you choose the category and sub-category listings that most accurately reflect your business. Add photos to your GBP and encourage visitors and customers to do the same. Step two is reputation management. Work on gathering good local reviews and always respond to them, both positive and negative! 

Manage Your Online Reviews

Again, staying active and responsive to online reviews signals both customers and search engines that you’re legit. If you’re struggling to gather a sufficient number of reviews, a review campaign can help you request new reviews and respond appropriately to them. 

Optimize for Mobile Search

According to HubSpot,  70% of mobile search queries are related to location, and Google now uses mobile-first indexing, meaning the mobile version of your site is more impactful to your search rankings. Chrome’s Lighthouse tool for developers provides audits for mobile SEO, accessibility, app performance, and more. Each audit explains why it’s important and how to fix it.

Optimize for Voice Search

Because we talk to our voice assistants as if we’re talking to real people, optimizing for results with Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa will be a little different than optimizing for a query typed into a search engine. Start by optimizing your long-tail, conversational, and question keywords. Keyword research tools like Ahrefs can help you find questions related to your relevant keywords. 

Are you ready to get started on local SEO improvements, or would you like an experienced digital agency to help guide you? BoxCrush has nearly 22 years of experience crushing it for our clients in digital marketing, web development, SEO, mobile-first design and development, and more. Contact us using the form below or schedule a meeting to learn more. 

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