SEO is no longer something businesses can implement as a way of gaining a competitive advantage over the competition. In today’s aggressive digital environment, every business has some sort of SEO strategy. You need to go above and beyond, part of which means developing a robust local SEO presence.

4 Ways to Enhance Your Local SEO

Switch gears for a moment and think about yourself as a consumer. When you look for a product or service, what’s the first thing you do? You pull out your computer or smartphone and run a quick Google search, right?

As a business owner who wants to attract local consumers and drive them to your brand, you have to understand the habits of your audience. Research shows that 50 percent of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit that a store within 24 hours. Roughly 34 percent of those who search on a computer or tablet do the same.

With a local SEO strategy, you stand a much better chance of showing up in the search results and attracting local searchers. But how do you execute this? The following tips should prove helpful:

  1. Outsource Citations

One of the keys to getting your business ranked locally is to create consistent citations in as many places as possible. The problem is that manually conducting citations takes lots of time and energy away from running the core activities of your business.

Want to know what the most successful local businesses do? They outsource citations to a reputable company that understands the process and systems behind creating a strong, sustainable SEO foundation. You should do the same.

  1. Use Lots and Lots of Images

As we prepare to enter 2018, one thing is clear: visual content reigns supreme. Google has certainly taken this stance and rewards businesses that add lots of images to their Google My Business listings.

When you think about it, it makes total sense. Images lead to enhanced engagement on mobile devices. People who find your images on a mobile device are willing to click and swipe through. If they like what they see, it’ll draw them back to your website and other referring pages.

  1. Use Schema Markup

Are you familiar with schema markup? It’s a special code you add to your site’s HTML to improve the way individual pages are represented in search results. It’s essentially an organized way of telling Google what’s on the page and why people would want to click it. By getting serious about schema markup, you can develop more attractive search results that produce higher conversion rates.

  1. Stay Compliant With Google

Nothing matters more, in terms of local SEO and SEO in general, than staying compliant with Google. Like their policies or not, what they say is ultimate truth and you have to follow it.

While Google doesn’t overtly tell us what’s inside their algorithms, they’re more than happy to let us in on what they’re looking for. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be okay.

Target Your SEO Efforts

SEO can be overwhelming. There are hundreds of blogs and thousands of online “experts” who want to tell you exactly what you should do. Unfortunately, spending too much time on general techniques and basic strategies will eat up your time and leave you with nothing to show for it.

In order to make SEO work for you, your company has to drill down and focus on a specific strategy. For many small businesses, this means developing a strong local SEO presence. Perhaps now’s the time to head to the drawing board and get things figured out.