Local SEO is the new Holy Grail of digital marketing. Business owners and marketers went from “I want everyone to see my products” to “I want qualified customers to see my products”. Unless your business is selling digital products or supplying online services, qualified customers are people who live in your local area: your district, your borough, or your city.
And with local SEO you can ensure a higher chance of visibility of your website or place on business in local searches and on Google Maps. In this article, we will discuss the importance of social media for local SEO. More precisely, how to make sure that your social media accounts and your posting schedule help your SEO efforts for local search.
How Does Social Media Influence Local SEO?
For some time now, SERPs include social media pages among its results. For instance, when you are looking for a product, you will find Pinterest pages and YouTube videos among the Google results. Similarly, when you are looking for a business, one of the top results will be its Facebook page.
This is why you should include your social media accounts in the overall effort of optimising for local SEO. All the tips and trick we shall detail below are easy to achieve and do not cost anything.
Plus, once you implement these changes, you will also enjoy a higher chance of discoverability on the social media networks by potential customers. Thus, it is a win-win situation all round.
These being said, here are our recommendations:
1. Choose the Local Business Category for Your Facebook Page
When you created your Facebook page, you probably selected the category “Company”. It is accurate, of course, but you can get even more specific by selecting “Local Business”. What is the difference?
A Local Business page means that visitors can actually go to your store or place of business. By contrast, a Company page is more generic, and adequate for businesses that operate several locations. As for the facilities and options, the only difference is that you cannot fill in the “Mission Statement” for a Local Business page.
2. Fill in Your Exact Address on Facebook
Facebook is compatible with Google Maps API. This is why you will see the Google Maps location of a business on their Facebook page. How do they do it?
The first step to achieve this is to fill in the exact address of your store in the About section of your Facebook page. Next, you have to embed Google Maps – just follow this simple tutorial.
Now, here’s the reason why you should do this as part of your local SEO efforts. First of all, potential clients will look at this map to find out how close your store is to their home or place of work. Secondly, your business stands a greater chance to appear on local Google searches.
3. Encourage Your Clients to Hashag Instagram Photos with Your Location
Now let’s move on to Instagram – another important social media platform for local SEO. If you run a bar or restaurant, a small theatre or art gallery, or any other business where people go to enjoy themselves, they will post a lot of photos of their visit.
This is valuable user generated content and it will help boost your brand awareness. But it can also help your local SEO efforts if you encourage and ask your users to use your business location among the hashtags they use to describe the photos.
4. Enable Geotag for Your Instagram Profile
Instagram allows you to create a specific location for your profile, down to the latitude and longitude. This is a major help for Google to verify your business location and show your website as a result for local searches.
Beside local SEO, Instagram geotag is also helpful to gain more customers – if they like your photos and are curious about your business, they will use the geotag to identify your location and drive there. To create your Instagram geotag, follow these instructions.
5. Curate Reviews and Share Them on the Social Media
Local SEO involves more than just setting your location. It also means proving that you are a reliable business. This is why Google relies on reviews and ratings together with the precise location in ranking websites for local search results.
At the same time, social media users rely on reviews to know whether they can trust a business and its products. The logical conclusion it this: you should collect and curate customer reviews and share them on your social media accounts. In this way, you increase your chances to win new clients on Facebook or Instagram, as well as rank higher for local searches on Google.