For a local business, there are few marketing techniques more important than Local SEO.

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a targeted marketing approach that helps your business stand out to the customer leads nearby.

By pinpointing a searcher’s current location, search engines are better able to recommend businesses in the area.

A lot more than just proximity goes into these search result rankings, however.

Read on for our best local SEO tools that you can use to show up for the customers nearest you.

Use These 7 Local SEO Tools to Increase Customer Leads

With the massive increase in mobile search over the past decade, local SEO tools have become more key to a local business’ success than ever before.

In fact, according to Business 2 Community, over 46% of Google searches are local and 50% of mobile local searchers visit a store within a day.

That’s business that you can’t afford to miss. Here’s how you can harness the power of Local SEO.

1. Use Social Media

Social media is an integral part of any marketing plan.

It’s a great way to connect with your target demographic, increase brand awareness and visibility, and improve SEO.

Search engines evaluate the authority of your business based on many factors, one of which is your online presence. Active social media pages can help you rank higher on SERPs (search engine results pages).

It’s not just Google and Bing. Consumers use social media such as Yelp and Facebook as search engines within themselves.

Be sure to list all of your accurate business information such as the address, hours, and a contact number for each location. This information will help search engines orient the location of your business, and therefore rank it higher on the SERPs for nearby search results.

2. Build Local Citations

Local directories are one of the most critical local SEO tools.

Local directories include Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Yelp, White Pages, Foursquare, Facebook, the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and more. Don’t forget about niche directories related to your product or service.

If it seems like a lot of work to set up accounts on all of these sites, it is. But it’s a worthwhile way to improve your local SEO.

3. Google “My Business” Page

If you want to show up for local searches on Google, go straight to the source!

Fill out your Google “My Business” page with all of the following information:

  • Business Name
  • Location Information
  • Contact Information
  • Hours
  • Website
  • Photos
  • Description

You’ll also want to utilize their map location feature, add previous reviews, and select as many relevant business categories as possible.

It’s free to use and one of the best local SEO tools to increase your business. If you only do one thing for your local SEO, do this.

4. Target Local Keywords

On your website and all other platforms, you must incorporate the use of local keywords.

Keywords are a huge part of search results. For example, if someone searches for “vegan Thai Food”, you better believe the results will have the words “vegan Thai Food” written in multiple areas throughout their website, social pages, directory listings, etc.

Think of a list of the most searchable phrases related to your product or services. Also consider your location keywords including your city, neighborhood, state, and street name.

Sprinkle these keywords throughout your digital presence in the form of quality content. Quality content could be a welcome page, blog, YouTube videos, and so on.

For the record, it won’t help if you just repeat keywords over and over again on your site. They have to be woven into quality content in an authentic way. Search engines are smarter than that.

Plus, it’s for the benefit of interested consumers. Quality content will bring in web traffic, which also boosts your SEO and local SEO.

5. Use Schema

Schema markup is code that helps search engines inform users what your site is all about.

Essentially, it’s a virtual business card that searches can read to understand what your business is before they click through.

The use of schema markup is proven to improve click through rate.

More click-throughs mean more traffic and more traffic means better SEO and increased sales.

6. Encourage Reviews

Reviews are a very important ranking factor for search engines and traffic. Positive reviews and star rankings can make or break a customer conversion.

Encourage as many happy customers as possible to leave reviews. You can do this by providing them with great service in the first place (of course) and simply asking them for feedback.

Check out this article for more ways to encourage reviews.

For all reviews, good, bad, and neutral, you should reply.

Replying to reviews helps your SEO by fleshing out your online presence, plus it makes the customer feel validated.

For good reviews, always include your business name in a gracious reply. This will help them show up in search engine results. You can also sneak in some marketing by recommending another product that customer may enjoy or an upcoming promotion.

For bad reviews, leave your business name out of your reply. It’s important to have some review diversity or people (and search engines) will doubt the authenticity of your reviews.

Instead, emphasize that this is not the standard for your business and come up with a solution. Ease them into taking the complaint offline by listing a contact point to get them a refund, etc.

7. Conduct a NAP Audit

NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number.

It is of key importance to keep this information accurately displayed across your website, social pages, and directory listings.

If there are conflicting address out there for your business, it will negatively impact your local SEO.

There You Have It!

For more information on local SEO tools, check out this article on common local SEO mistakes.

If you’re ready to supercharge your SEO efforts, including local SEO tools, look no further than Shiftweb Solutions.

Shiftweb Solutions offers web design, website development, and WordPress tutoring too!

There’s no better way to start than with our Free Website Analysis.

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