Dominate Chicago Local SEO: 9 Tips for Improved SEO Ranking
A Chicago business can better promote its products or services to customers with an optimized local presence. With local search engine optimization (SEO), they can improve their rankings in search results and reach customers looking for what they have to offer.
This guide highlights the top seven local SEO strategies you should implement today:
- Perform local SEO audits.
- Manage your Google Business Profile (GBP).
- Add your businesses to directories and citations.
- Improve metadata.
- Create a mobile-friendly website.
- Be part of local community activities and events.
- Engage local audiences on social media.
Optimize your local rankings with a Chicago SEO agency. Let’s go!
Want to learn more about the Digital Authority Partners approach to SEO? Watch this video!
1. Perform Local SEO Audits
An SEO audit comprehensively analyzes a website's on-page and off-page factors that impact search engine visibility and ranking. It focuses on specific factors that affect local search results, including accuracy and consistency of business information, quality and relevance of local content, the number and quality of local citations, and online reputation.
By conducting a local SEO audit and addressing issues, businesses can compete effectively against other local companies, especially in Chicago, where market competition is intense. A local SEO audit involves the following:
- Start with keyword research through tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to identify which keywords the target audience uses.
- Analyze the website's on-page SEO, including title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and content quality.
- Check the accuracy and consistency of business listings on Google Business Profile (more on this later), Yelp, and other local directories.
- Review the backlink profile. Check for spammy or low-quality links and remove them.
- Analyze local content. Ensure high-quality, relevant content optimized for local search by including information about location, service area, and that the areas the business serves.
2. Manage Google Business Profile (GBP)
Managing a business GBP can increase a website's ranking because these listings appear in Google Maps and local search results. Companies must provide accurate and up-to-date information, including address, phone number, hours of operation, website URL, and more, so that people can easily find their local store or office.
GBP is a crucial factor in local search rankings. A well-managed profile increases trust with potential customers. It also provides valuable insights into how people find and interact with business listings. Businesses can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to improve local search rankings.
Managing GBP involves several steps. Here are some local SEO tips:
- Claim and verify the GBP listing. Only verified business owners can modify their listings.
- Provide accurate, consistent, and up-to-date information, including the business category and subcategories.
- Add high-quality photos and videos, such as images of your storefront, products, services, team, and more.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews in GBP. Respond in a professional and timely manner.
- Use GBP features such as Google Posts, Q&A, and messaging.
3. Add Your Business to Directories and Citations
Local directories and citations are crucial in local search rankings because search engines use them to verify the accuracy and consistency of business information.
Accurate and consistent information across all directories and citations helps boost local SEO and improve a business website’s ranking in local searches. Additionally, many local directories and citations provide high-quality backlinks to websites, thus further boosting a business’s search ranking.
Here are ways to add your business listing to directories and citations:
- Identify relevant local directories and citations in your industry and location. Use Moz Local, Yext, or BrightLocal to identify and manage listings.
- Claim and verify the listing. For verification, directories and citations may require proof of ownership, such as a phone call or email.
- Ensure that all the information you provide in your business listings is accurate and consistent.
- Optimize using keywords and phrases that are relevant to the business.
4. Improve Metadata
Site metadata includes meta titles, meta descriptions, and meta tags that provide search engines with information about the webpage. Improving site metadata makes it easier for search engines to understand and index your site.
Optimized site metadata is a crucial factor in on-page SEO. Adding relevant keywords and phrases in your meta titles, descriptions, and tags improves your website's ranking for those specific keywords and phrases.
When website content is shared on social media, site metadata is also displayed in the post. Optimizing meta titles and descriptions makes content more shareable and increases the likelihood of people visiting the website.
Here is how to optimize meta data:
- Use relevant keywords and keep meta titles under 60 characters to make sure that they display fully in search results.
- Provide a webpage summary and include relevant keywords when optimizing meta descriptions. Keep your meta descriptions under 160 characters.
- Include header tags (H1, H2, and H3) to structure web page content.
- Add descriptive alt text for images to help search engines understand the content of these images.
- Regularly update your metadata to reflect changes in the webpage's content.
5. Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
A mobile-friendly website provides a better user experience (UX) by adapting the layout and design to fit smaller screens. A good UX leads to longer on-site engagement, reduced bounce rates, and higher conversions.
Google has shifted to mobile-first indexing, meaning that the mobile version of a website is now considered the primary version by search engines. A mobile-friendly website is more likely to be indexed correctly, and the content is given more weight in search engine algorithms.
Here are some ways to create a mobile-friendly website:
- Use a responsive design to adjust its layout and design to fit the screen size of different devices.
- Optimize mobile speed using tools like Google's PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyze your website's performance.
- Simplify navigation with a clear and concise menu and avoid cluttering the screen with too many links or buttons.
- Use at least a 14-px font size to make certain that your content is legible on mobile devices.
- Design buttons and links with touchscreens in mind. Use large, easy-to-tap buttons and links to avoid accidental clicks.
6. Be Part of Local Community Activities and Events
Participating in local events and activities increases local visibility for businesses. This can include participating in community events, sponsoring local charities, or hosting company events. This increased visibility can lead to higher traffic, backlinks, and social media shares, all of which improve rankings.
Businesses can build a formidable reputation by being active community members, leading to more positive reviews, higher ratings, and better search engine rankings. A business can also improve its ranking by participating in community events and activities using these techniques:
- Sponsor local events such as festivals, fairs, expos, or other community events. Sponsorship packages often include branding and advertising opportunities.
- Participate in local charity events such as charity walks or runs.
- Collaborate with local organizations such as schools, sports teams, or other community groups and build strong relationships with the community.
- Attend business networking events to meet other local businesses.
7. Engage Local Audience on Social Media
Engaging in social media can help increase online visibility and brand awareness. Social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have millions of active users. Businesses use these platforms to reach new audiences and promote their products and services.
Social signals such as likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms can indicate to search engines that a business is relevant, trustworthy, and engaging. Social media can also be used to engage followers and customers and provide support. By sharing content that links back to their website, businesses can increase backlinks, which are essential in determining rankings.
A Chicago SEO agency advises businesses to use social media to increase their ranking. These experts use the following top strategies:
- Create and optimize social media profiles on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Share local-focused content on their social media channels, including photos and videos of their products, behind-the-scenes content, customer testimonials, local events, and more.
- Engage with customers by promptly and professionally responding to comments.
- Use relevant hashtags on social media to help local businesses increase their visibility and reach a wider online audience.
- Collaborate with local influencers on social media to help businesses increase their reach and attract new customers.
Local SEO strategies such as performing local SEO audits, managing GBP, and adding businesses to directories and citations can boost site rankings. Improving site metadata, creating a mobile-friendly site, and improving local social media presence also help promote ranking on local search.
Non-digital marketing strategies, such as participating in local community activities and events, help increase the brand’s visibility and spread awareness. All of these efforts can successfully boost the ranking of local businesses.
Learn more about how local SEO can help you increase business. Partner with the experts by calling Digital Authority Partners (DAP) today.
Want To Meet Our Expert Team?
Book a meeting directly here