Focusing on the local market in the age of global business can be a smart move and an excellent way how to avoid fighting battles that could be almost impossible to win. Winning local customers is, however, by no means an easy accomplishment. Search engine optimization plays a just as important role as ever. Our 10 tips for local SEO describe the most crucial steps you should take in order to attract customers and rank higher than your competition.

1. Maintain a sharp focus on a local market

Try to keep all your eggs in just one basket. It doesn’t make too much sense to waste resources on global marketplace only to get just a miniature fraction of a share and a bad return on your investment. A strong local focus will help your business get into the prospect’s mind and stay there for a long time.

2. Don’t underestimate the importance of NAP

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number and it’s widely regarded as one of the most important aspects of local SEO. According to Moz, inaccurate contact information is among the biggest contributors to a loss in search engine ranking. Lack of time should never be used as an excuse for neglecting to update your website with up-to-date contact information.

3. Do a proper keyword optimization

Think about keywords as a reflection of what your business is focusing on. You wouldn’t tell your customers that you sell, for example, just “beds”, instead, you would speak about “beds with lifetime warranty” or maybe “luxurious handcraft wooden beds”.  A tool like Google Keyword Planner can help you find exactly what customers are looking for and plan your keywords accordingly.

4. Establish authority in your field

One of the easiest ways how to attract and keep customers is to become an authority in your field. When you are seen as an expert, a source of knowledge, and an influence on others, people have the natural inclination to seek your partnership and advice. Share your inside knowledge on your website, organize seminars, or workshops.

5. Write copy sells

You can have a much better-designed website than any of your competitors, but it could all go in vain unless you have a strong copy that will turn your visitors into paying customers. Focus on emotions and try to be as memorable as possible.

6. Be easy to find and contact

A surprisingly large number of business owners underestimate the importance of giving visitors clear contact information with phone number and embedded map. Search engines like Google display locational relevant information directly on their search results page and businesses that are optimized for search engines stand out from the rest.

7. Get positive reviews

Positive reviews are essential for online retailers and local businesses. Google takes the best-rated businesses from sites like Yelp or TripAdvisor and displays them right at the very top of its search results page.

8. Let’s not forget about social signals

Long gone are the times of the one-sided client to businesses interaction. These days, companies are working hard to stay engaged with their audience and customers on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. You should always plan your social media strategy well ahead and frequently post relevant content.

9. Cultivate your own personality

One of the greatest advantages that small businesses possess over their bigger counterparts is their approachability. Cultivating a unique personality is a proven way how you can stand out and develop long-lasting partnerships with your clients.

10. Make use of an automation software

Last but not the least,  using the automation software gives you a big advantage of building backlinks with minimal efforts. To outreach your competition and maintaining your high position, you should be generating backlinks regularly, and link building software will help you in a great way for that.

What’s the takeaway?

Combining and properly implementing these 10 tips is a guaranteed way how to increase your ranking and get more customers. It’s important not to think about them as some sort of clever tactics, but rather as a natural extension of what small businesses have been doing for centuries – defining their target market, building community ties and recognition, and clearly communicating to customers the value of their products.