After a rough couple of years, small businesses are looking for ways to bounce back in 2022.

For many organizations, local customers will continue to be your biggest supporters. But you may need to increase your efforts to reach them effectively with the help of top-rated local marketing services.

Local SEO can allow you to appear more readily in relevant searches performed by people looking for nearby solutions. But how can you leverage the power of search engine optimization for your small business? Here are just three tips to try next year.

Generate More Online Reviews

In today’s tech-driven world, online reviews are just as important as personal recommendations from friends and family. Consumers trust online reviews because they’re seen as impartial.

However, online reviews don’t appear by accident. Typically, customers will be motivated to leave a review in one of two situations: after a bad experience or after a business helps them understand how powerful a positive review can be for their business.

You’ll want to be proactive in your review generation and management, so don’t be afraid to ask your customers outright to share their honest thoughts in a review on Facebook, Yelp, or Google. Remind them in person, over the phone, in email blasts, or on social media and let them know this small action can have a big impact on your success.

Since online reviews for small businesses are usually left (and sought after) by local customers, making sure you have a strong presence on third-party review sites can improve your ability to appear in search results.   

Optimize For Local Keywords

As a small business owner, you probably know how difficult it is to compete with large corporations. But when your customers are primarily people from your community, you won’t actually want to compete on a global or national scale.

Instead of optimizing your website content with overly broad keywords in the hopes of beating out million-dollar marketing budgets, you can put your money to better use by including location-based keywords on your site.

Targeting a phrase like “emergency plumbers in Salt Lake City” will help you connect with nearby customers more effectively than “plumbing company.” Making sure that your optimizations are well-aligned with your audience and their search intent will yield better results.

You’ll want to target the areas that you serve, as well as where your business is located. If you have multiple locations, consider creating separate landing pages for each one to maximize your chances of reaching customers on a local level.

Claim Your Google My Business Profile

Google My Business is a free platform that can help your organization get noticed online. It supplements your on-site SEO efforts and can increase your visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

If you haven’t already, claim your GMB profile and fill out all of the fields. You can optimize much of this content to reach local customers! Be sure that your NAP (business name, address, and phone number) remains accurate and consistent across all online listings and your website.

When used correctly, GMB may be the first thing that pops up when users perform searches nearby. It can instantly tell them where your business is located, when you’re open, and any pertinent updates that might help customers make a purchasing decision. GMB also allows customers to leave reviews and lets businesses make miniature blog posts to share exciting announcements.

Your GMB can drive traffic to your site and encourage customers to walk in or contact you for further information. It provides an even more convenient way to access the answers they need, which is why you shouldn’t ignore the importance of your GMB profile. And since most mobile users want to find solutions close by, GMB will get you one step closer to instantly connecting with customers in your area.

Even the Playing Field With Local SEO

Being a small business owner will never be easy. But you’ll be in a better position to reach your target audience if you use local SEO to your advantage. With these tips in mind, you’ll start to see a real difference in both your search rankings and your sales.