Local search engine optimization (SEO) is something that will help any business get found when people search for their products or services locally online. When you optimize your site following best practices for local SEO, you improve your chances of ranking well on search engines like Google. Regardless of how superior a company is, it won’t get far if it lacks a clear and consistent local SEO strategy. In every city including Chicago, local SEO is a must for any business, no matter their size.
Optimizing your site for local SEO will eventually drive more prospective customers from local searches to your website. There are several ways you can speed up this process by including keywords, creating compelling headlines, and using images, videos and links throughout your website. You can learn more about search engine marketing in Denver by checking out our detailed FAQ guide.
1. Create and Optimize a Google Business Profile
This is the most important way to be successful with your local SEO strategy. Google literally relies on these public business profiles to help customers find and interact with local businesses.
At the bare minimum, create a business profile for your company and make sure all the pertinent business information is consistent and accurate (e.g., physical address, phone number, website links, etc.). You can optimize your profile even further by:
- Listing your offered services/products.
- Drafting detailed descriptions for each offer that include local, relevant keywords.
- Adding relevant and appropriate photos, videos and links to your website.
- Updating your service areas. It’s important to communicate to users how far you are willing to go in or outside of Chicago.
2. Personalize Your Online Content to Your Region
The content that you publish on your website and your social media feeds should emphasize Chicago. As you draft content, focus on integrating locally-based keywords that are relevant to your industry (e.g., “marketing in Chicago”).
Your website content and that of your social media feeds should be centered around your location, Chicago. However, your content should not be too general. As you draft content, focus on locally-based keywords that are relevant to your industry. When you do keep in mind these key points:
- Be aware of how long people spend searching for your products or services.
- Use local search marketing tools. These tools allow you to manage your campaigns from anywhere at any time. They can also help you identify opportunities for new local keywords and phrases.
- Include relevant third-party links in your content to boost your domain authority.
3. Ensure Your Site is User and Mobile-Friendly
The user experience (UX) directly impacts SEO. A poor or responsive UX will inevitably lead to worse search engine rankings, but a simple and clean UX will benefit your local SEO strategy far more in the long term.
Make sure each service or product you offer is clearly explained on your website so that prospective customers know exactly what they’re buying and where they are buying it. If applicable, make sure you clearly state the locations/service areas where you are willing to travel for work.
Don’t forget to prioritize a mobile-friendly site design as well. Why? Because of these facts:
- 60% of the population “…conducts searches for local services or product information on tablets and smartphones” (Search Engine Journal). This is more than half the population you could be attracting just online.
- “50% of people who did a local search on their phone went to a physical store within one day” (Think with Google). This should be enough incentive to make your website mobile-friendly to everyone.
4. Encourage Customer Reviews and Reply Earnestly
Customer reviews on your Google listing and other third-party platforms are directly tied with local SEO. The more 5-star reviews you accumulate, the better chance you’ll have to rank higher than your local competitors.
Explore ways to make it easy for your customers to leave reviews. For example, once a customer uses your services, send them a follow-up survey to learn more about their experience and include a link to your Google listing to get more reviews. Make it simple for your customers to share their experiences.
5. Optimize for Voice Search
With the rise of smart speakers and digital assistants, voice search is going to become increasingly important down the line. A vast majority of those voice searches will likely be informational, but a good portion will also be navigational too (e.g., “marketing agencies near me”). To optimize for voice search, keep these tips in mind:
- Write content in a conversational tone. Craft content around long-tail keywords to capitalize upon those voice searches.
- Use your content to answer any questions in clear detail that might be asked often.
Final Thoughts and Must-Haves in Chicago for Local SEO
At the bare minimum, keep these closing tips in mind when optimizing for local SEO.
- Get a Google business listing for your company and optimize it.
- Make sure your company name, address, and phone number are displayed correctly in the same format on each page and across third-party platforms.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Insert relevant keywords into page titles and headings.
- Encourage customer reviews when possible.
By creating keyword-rich, relevant, and high-quality content, you can begin to build up an audience through organic traffic. Over time, you can drive traffic from these audiences and convert them into leads and sales. Great content tends to attract organic traffic, which is highly valuable. And since organic visitors are searching for your specific products or services, they’re more likely to convert than paid search visitors.
At Real FiG Advertising + Marketing, we have the resources and knowledge to get your company website to the top of search engine results. Our team is ready to help you with your online SEO needs. Contact us today to learn how we can improve your Chicago local SEO strategy.