SEO is a key technique for getting discovered and staying competitive online.
If you have a physical store or a service area business in Miami, it’s much more practical to target local customers than it is to try ranking on national or international SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
After all, local searchers are much more likely to visit your location and convert into customers.
So, how exactly can you reach out to your ideal customers within your area?
Local SEO is crucial for any type of local business, especially now that people are becoming more reliant on the web to find products, services, and businesses. In fact, 97% of consumers search online to find shops nearby, of which 70% will visit a store after finding information online.
Every day, consumers are learning about new local businesses online. If you don't optimize your business for local SEO, you'll miss out on tremendous customer opportunities.
Aside from this, local SEO can benefit your business in Miami because of its ability to:
Help you market affordably. Unlike running ads on Google, optimizing your business for local SEO is relatively inexpensive. All you have to do is set up local business listings across the web for free!
Generate qualified search traffic. What’s great about local SEO is that it specifically targets people within your location who will likely turn into customers. Local SEO helps you weed out searches that aren't likely to reach out to your business.
Get hold of local consumers who are ready to buy. Did you know that 78% of local searches conducted on mobile result in an offline purchase? 90% of these purchases happen in-store! If you optimize your business for local SEO, you’ll reach prospects who are looking to buy.
How Local SEO Works
Google and other search engines employ search keywords and a user’s geolocation to serve them the most relevant results for their queries.
When a user searches for products or services online, search engines turn to local signals first, such as local content, links, citations, and social profile pages to provide the most relevant local results.
Even if a user doesn't input his or her location, search engines will automatically assume that a search query has local intent. Search engines will use their IP address to find their location and show local results.
This means that if your store is close to where someone is doing their search, as long as you’ve optimized your business, you’re more likely to be found by your prospects for relevant queries.
SEO vs. Local SEO – The Difference
Both SEO and local SEO work to improve your visibility online. As a result, more people can find you and buy from you.
Their main difference is that local SEO focuses on improving your business’ visibility among users located within your area, while SEO is centered around making your website visible on a global or national scale.
If you own a brick-and-mortar store in Miami or an online store that targets local customers, then you should invest in local SEO. But if your business mainly generates sales through your website and you cater to the international community, then you should definitely go for SEO.
Your presence on local listings like Google My Business (GM), Bing Places, Apple Maps, Yelp, Facebook, and many more. You need to create an account and claim your business on these online directories.
The keywords you use in your listings. Your ideal customers use keywords when searching for the products or services you offer. Make sure you incorporate these keywords into your listings as well as in your content, whether in your ads, blog posts, or social media posts. This is a major ranking factor for local SEO.
The location of a searcher. Search engines look at the searcher’s location when providing local results. To make sure your business appears for relevant queries, you need to let Google know your exact location. You can do this by creating an account on GMB.
NAP citation.NAP citations are like backlinks that help establish your credibility with Google. NAP citations are when another website, article, listing, or social media post mentions your business online, including your name, address, and contact number. The more NAP citations you get, the better your chances of ranking higher on SERPs.
Positive online reviews. Businesses that have a lot of reviews tend to rank higher compared to those without reviews and ratings. That’s because people and search engines will see your local business as trustworthy. As a result, more people will buy from you and the more Google will recommend you to users.
Google Maps star rating. Along with good reviews, your star ratings on Google Maps also matter. The more ratings you gain, the higher your ranking will be.
The number of "check-ins" at your location. When a lot of people "check in" at your store, it means you have a lot of customers. People are buying your products and availing of your services. This is another trust signal that both search engines and users consider before ranking and buying from you.
Presence on social media. A lot of people use social media to look for local businesses. Make sure you also optimize your social media presence by being active, putting your business location and contact number in the About Us section, and using relevant and branded hashtags in your posts.
5 Local SEO Tips to Improve Your Visibility in Miami
Optimizing your business in Miami for local SEO can be complex for beginners. But, as long as you follow these best practices given by the experts, you’ll be able to improve your rankings over time.
1. Optimize Your Business for GMB
The first step towards improving your visibility for local search is to create an account on GMB and other online business directories.
GMB is a free tool that you can use to manage your presence on Google, from Search to Maps.
Once you’ve created an account, make sure that you fill out all information necessary to convert a potential customer:
Photos of your products or services
A picture of your building
Business amenities or attributes
Additional contact information
It’s also crucial that you update your listings on all online business directories, especially your operating hours during holidays or if you moved to another location.
2. Make Sure Your NAP Citations Are Consistent
NAP citations play a crucial role in your local search rankings. Being consistent helps search engine bots consolidate all of your location and contact details, providing searchers with correct information about your business.
If you have inconsistent NAP information, potential customers will have a hard time finding you and you will lose the opportunity to make a sale. Make sure you update your NAP citations whenever you do the following so that they’re correct and consistent:
Change business address.
Change contact information.
When you have a different store address from the address you registered.
You can run a NAP audit using a tool to determine if any of your NAP citations are inconsistent.
3. Do Local Keyword Research for Your Business
Local keywords are important because they help you reach the right customers in your area.
To get started, all you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customers and list search terms or phrases people will likely use to find you online.
Once you’ve done that, search for those keywords online, then check out Google’s suggestion for relevant keywords in the “People also ask” section of the search results.
Screenshot from Google.
You can also use a keyword generator tool or service to help you find keywords for your business.
If you want to take things to the next level, create a Yelp account, and then type in a keyword that people in your area might use to find your business. Check out the different keywords on the list, and while you’re at it, you should also check your competitors’ keywords.
4. Optimize Your Local Business for Local Voice and Visual Search.
As more and more people use digital assistants to help them get things done and to search information on the web, your business must optimize for voice search too. According to Oberlo, 71% of consumers prefer to do queries through voice instead of typing.
Aside from this, visual search is also gaining popularity in the past couple of years. As a response to this change in the way modern users search, the Google image search result box is showing up for 1/3 of all queries. 72% of American users also always search for visual content before buying.
Without a doubt, voice and visual search are going to be the future of search. So, how exactly can you optimize for local voice and visual search?
Local Voice Search Optimization Tips:
Use long-tail keywords. Optimizing for voice search is a bit different in the sense that keywords tend to be longer and have a more natural framing compared to text-based queries. That's because when people make queries through voice, it's conversational. For example, instead of typing "American food", a user will likely say “Where can I get a burger in West Palm Beach?” When deciding on a keyword, consider how you speak. Ask yourself how you would ask a particular question when looking for something on the web through voice command.
Publish scannable content. When creating content, make sure that it’s formatted in a way that it can easily be read by voice assistants. To create scannable content, you need to answer a question or query directly, use simple terms, keep your paragraphs short, and use headers to organize your content.
Create an FAQ page. Another way you can optimize and rank for voice is to create an FAQ page dedicated to answering all of your potential customers' questions about your business directly. Make sure to incorporate your long-tail keywords into them.
Visual Search Optimization Tips:
Offer numerous images of your products from different angles. This ensures prospects can find your products regardless of the angle they used to take a photo of the item they’re looking for. For example, if they take a picture of your product from the side, they should be able to find a side-facing photo of your product on your site.
Use high-resolution photos. Nothing is more off-putting than seeing blurry images of products. Aside from the fact that people can't clearly tell what it is, it also gives the impression that your business is incapable of providing quality products or services.
Optimize your images for your target keywords. Keywords also matter in visual search. You can use keywords to provide a more detailed description of your products, so they appear in the right results.
Integrate your local long-tail keywords into your image titles and descriptions. Just make sure to do this as naturally as possible. A search engine can tell if you're just stuffing keywords.
Add captions so people can tell what’s happening in your photo. Adding captions helps search engine bots understand what your image is about. Make sure to add your keyword to help it rank better!
5.Optimize Your Website’s On-Page SEO for Local Search
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing the elements of the individual pages on your site, such as content and HTML source code, to help it rank better and generate more traffic.
Here’s how to optimize your site’s on-page SEO:
Create high-quality, expertly written long-form content. Your goal is to answer your ideal customers' questions and provide a solution to their problems through your content. You can use your keywords to help you decide on which topics to cover in your blog.
Capture more local NAPs for your business by getting mentioned in business directories, social networks, and third-party websites.
Incorporate your local keywords naturally into your title, URL, and meta descriptions.
Prominently place your contact information on your site and add a clear call to action to urge visitors to convert.
Build both internal and external links. To build your internal links, you simply have to link out to other content within your site in your blog posts. To build backlinks, aim to get featured in online news articles and on other reputable websites. It pays to build a relationship with journalists and bloggers in your area.
Optimize your website for mobile. Most local searches are conducted on mobile. Makes sure your website renders well on various mobile devices to provide a good user experience and motivate users to buy from your business.
Make your website load fast. The faster your site loads, the better it’ll rank, and the more positive the experience you can provide your visitors!
Looking for a Digital Marketing Agency in Miami that Specializes in Local SEO?
Local SEO is the boost your business needs to start gaining traction in your area and make more sales!
By following the tips we shared above, you’re one step ahead of your competitors who haven’t established their presence online.
The best way to rank high is to get started now. Invest in local SEO in Miami today to help you get more customers tomorrow and put your business on top of the search results!