The internet has revolutionized the way businesses market their products and services. Nowadays, a business in any area is not hard to find because of the internet. When you try to find a nearby restaurant or a beauty salon, you search for it on Google. When you want to learn about any business’ services or products, you search for their phone number or email address on Google. Google has made everyone’s life easier. According to a report by Statcounter, Google has a search engine market share of 92.18% worldwide.
Now, what can you do to rank higher in the Google search listings? You work on your business’ SEO. Search engine optimization is a strategy designed to increase the visibility of your business in Google search results. SEO in itself is a vast technique and for any small business, or a beginner in this field, it is vital that you first focus on the local SEO to rank up for potential queries in your search area.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a subset of search engine optimization that helps your local business rank higher when someone from the same locality searches for it. For example, if you are a user trying to find a digital agency in Islamabad, you search something like “top digital marketing agency Islamabad”, “top digital agency near me”, “digital marketing agency Islamabad” and so on — all the digital marketing agencies near you or in the area defined will show up as a list on Google.
These searches are for a specific location and thus, the most SEO optimized business will show at the top or on the first page of Google results. To increase your business’ ranking for your area, you adapt the methods of Local SEO. And the higher your rankings on Google, the better your click-through rate and, as a result, the higher the conversion rate.
What is Conversion?
Conversion in digital marketing is defined as when a user or a customer completes a task that is your goal for the business. For example, if your desired action is that a customer buys your products or your user reads an article, then your business’ conversion goal is achieved when the customer actually buys it and the user reads it.
There is not any specific conversion goal for every business, you can have several desired conversion goals. Now, the aim is to achieve these conversion goals and gradually increase the conversion rate. Conversion rate is the percentage you’ve achieved of your conversion goals. If your goal is to sell 50 products and the products you’ve sold so far are 20, then your business’ conversion rate is 60%. To increase this rate, CRO (conversion rate optimization) techniques are used, but both CRO and SEO can work wonders when combined properly.
The main objective of SEO is to invite visitors to your website. The main objective of CRO is to encourage these visitors to take the desired action. SEO is different from CRO, but the outcomes you accomplish with one will complement the outcomes you reach with the other.
So, in order to increase the conversion rates, let’s dive into how you can utilize a few local SEO hacks. These hacks can help your business’ CRO and invite more users.
Do Accurate Local Keyword Research
Every SEO strategy begins with keyword research, there are also many tools available for analyzing your targeted keywords. Google has a free tool called Keyword Planner — this tool could prove to be great for more general keyword ideas and it’s also very convenient to use.
However, in 2015, Google eliminated its location filter service which made the local search results for anyone from a different place or city a lot more complicated. It means that you can’t add a location to your keyword. For example, if you search “salons in Islamabad” from Lahore and if you search “salons Islamabad” from Islamabad, the results will be drastically different for both.
To factor this, you can use some of the techniques below:
Modify your URL by adding a ‘near’ parameter
In your Google URL, insert “&near=cityname” with your query. This will draw results as if the person’s searched from that place or near it.
Add the ‘Uule’ parameter
Adding a “uule” parameter to your URL will encrypt geological data into your queries. This is finished with a base64-encoded form of the host network’s name for geolocation purposes.
Use software to target the keywords
There are many software tools available that use algorithms to locate the geolocations.
This is the most suitable and efficient type of technique you can adapt to search and focus on your keywords.
Eliminate Inconsistencies of NAP
Make sure that your business’ NAP (name, address and phone number) is consistent on every platform it’s listed on. Inconsistencies in NAP can cause confusion to the users. There are a number of tools out there to help you find if the NAP is consistent.
If you find any problem with the listings, you can contact the directories or site owners and ask them to make corrections. According to a study, on-page signals which include NAP are the second most vital ranking signals for localized organic rankings and stand on fourth for the local pack rankings.
Work on Page Load Time
The first thing any user explores — when they need to find information or buy one of your products — is your website. A study by Google states, “An extra 0.5 seconds in each search page generation would cause traffic to drop by 20%.” According to the same source, 79% of shoppers are less likely to shop again from the site whose performance was bad.
Its effect on the conversion rate is maximum as research by Radware stated that only a 4-second delay can take up to -40% hit in the conversion graph. This sums up that to increase your business’ conversion rate, first you have to work on the load time.
For that, there are many things you may consider working on.
- Start by using a site speed test tool such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix
- Eliminate excessive HTTP requests
- Work on your DNS server response time
- Compress HTML/CSS files on your site
- Enable a browser caching system (such as WP Rocket and WP Fastest Cache)
- Minimize RTTS (round-trip times)
- Optimize (scale and compress) images
Build a Strong Information Scent
Information scent is the estimation of what your users will expect to find when they follow a certain path through your website for information. So, to build a path that is feasible and would take the users where you want them to be is crucial.
Too much fuss can confuse the users and they would give up. Information scent assures them that they are on the right path. A few things you can do to optimize your page scent are as follows:
- Maintain your design based on an information flow.
- Use features like “click-to-call” and “find location” for users to easily touch base with your business.
- Carefully optimize the web copy for your website.
- Structure a clear and easily accessible site.
- Make sure the title tags and H1 headings match.
Make Your Website Mobile-friendly
Mobile devices being handy and easily accessible, the majority of people usually use them to access any website or search for any business on the web. According to BrightLocal, 77% of visitors use a mobile device to look for any local business.
Design your website in a way that it becomes easier for the users to go through your website without any hustle — your site should be responsive and its layout should work on any screen size. Google also prefers to rank those websites higher that are responsive (mostly when someone searches from their mobile phones).
Using CRO and SEO as a single approach — to invite more users locally — can help you rank higher on Google and increase your conversion rate. What you need to do is focus on how to implement local SEO by following the guidelines discussed in this post. Your initial goal should be to improve your organic presence and conversions within your immediate locality. In the next stage, you can scale up the scope of your campaign to cater to a wider range of audience — regionally, nationally, and internationally.