Much like Boca Inlet is a connection between Lake Boca and the Atlantic Ocean, search engines are the path of least resistance for customers seeking local businesses. Local search engine optimization (‘local SEO’) is the process that South Florida businesses can use to carve out this pathway.
If you’re a South Florida business, a significant portion of your business probably comes from search engines like Google. But, making a few key changes to your website can help you earn even more business. In this article, we’ll talk about how companies in South Florida can earn additional business with local SEO.
Why Local SEO is Important for South Florida Companies
46% of searches have local intent. And, because of South Florida has such a high population density, local SEO is critical here.
There’s a lot of business you can get if your local SEO presence is good. Making sure your website is optimized for local searches will help you earn more business from local searches and rise above your competitors.
Besides earning more traffic for your website, another important benefit of local SEO is that the traffic you will earn from these searches will be more likely to buy. The ‘conversion rate’ (the percentage of users who end up buying your goods or services) of local searches tends to be much higher.
If you’re a South Florida business, optimizing your website for local SEO is one of the fastest and most effective ways to start earning more business.
Importance of Directory Sites for South Florida SEO
For local SEO, it’s important to make sure your business is present on local business listing websites. Search engine web crawlers look for mentions of your business on local directory sites like Yelp and Bing Places.
South Florida has a large population and you’re sure to have a lot of competitors near you. Even if you’re the only business in your category in town, there are sure to be others nearby. If you don’t list the address of your Boynton Beach business, then your competitors in Boca Raton or Delray Beach will be easier for search engines to find. They’ll steal your business without having done anything.
In addition to having basic information listed on as many of these sites as possible, it’s also important to make sure that the information is consistent across local listing sites. If not, search engines will not rank you as strongly. Investing in a location data management tool like Yext or Synup, will help you manage your business listings.
Seek Online Reviews
Receiving positive reviews on your Google My Business, Yelp, and other business profiles is very important to your South Florida SEO. It’s probably the most important factor, in fact.
Because of this, it’s important to reach out to your customers on a regular basis. An automated email or SMS service that reaches out to past customers can be beneficial in encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews.
It’s also not possible to fake it. Google and other search engines will recognize a surge of reviews. They will also know if reviews come from the same IP address. So, instead of sending out a mass request for reviews from your email database, (or worse, writing fake reviews), it’s best to seek honest reviews from real customers as part of an ongoing effort.
Successfully earning positive reviews will help you rank above local competitors in the local pack (as shown below).
Let’s say there are thirty websites for competitors of your business in Fort Lauderdale, but only five have reviews. And only two have an average rating of more than four stars. If you earn three five star reviews, then you have a good chance of ranking in the local pack for Fort Lauderdale for searches related to your business category.
Unless you’re an extremely locally-sensitive business (like a restaurant) you will also rank much more highly for searchers as far as Palm Beach.
Make Sure Your Mobile Website is Up To Snuff
80% of local searches are conducted on a mobile device. Because of this, search engines prioritize businesses with fast and responsive mobile sites when deciding local rankings. Having a website that is well-optimized for mobile devices is a vital aspect of effective local SEO.
A well-optimized mobile site is a combination of a few factors:
- Mobile Responsiveness
- Viewport meta tags
- More prominent navigation
- Mobile-optimized Images
- Larger font for mobile devices
If you had to focus on one aspect of local SEO first, I would recommend focusing on building a good mobile version of your site. Google looks at your mobile website first when deciding where to rank it for searches. Improving your mobile site will help your overall web presence in addition to your local SEO.
Create Pages for Each Business Location
Businesses that have multiple locations in South Florida also need to create web pages for each location. The URLs of each of these pages should include the highest-volume location keywords that searchers use in that area. Also, make sure that each of these pages has the address and telephone number of the store. Additionally, inserting a Google Map widget onto the page is a best practice, and will help your local SEO.
Focus on Long-Tail Keywords to Carve Out Your Niche Locality
Lastly, it helps to have location keywords throughout your site. When somebody nearby searches for your business, they’ll probably use a location-oriented keyword to find businesses like yours. You’ll want to make sure you include this location in the content that you write for your site in order to better rank for those types of searches.
If you’re a car dealership, you might find that people are searching for “Gold Coast Toyota dealerships” instead of “Boca Raton Toyota dealerships.” Often, these local search patters depend on how much money customers will have to spend on their purchase. Deciding which term to include on your site in order to get the most traffic in the long run via keyword research will pay off in the long run.
Similarly, South Florida also has a fair number companies belonging to high-power industries like aerospace and pharma. Searchers for these types of companies require an even larger type of investment from their clients. The radius that a company will show up on the search results page for relevant searches increases because of that.
Targeting “South Florida pharma” rather than “Treasure coast pharma” may make sense in a local SEO strategy in that case.
bfw is Your South Florida SEO Agency
At bfw Advertising, we’re South Florida lifers and SEO experts. We know the spots that attract tourists and we know and where the locals take shelter during the snowbird months. We know where to find beach-front parking in the winter just like we know how to align your local SEO strategy with high-impact outdoor advertising.
Our combination of local SEO experience and South Florida knowledge can put your business on the map. The Google Map. Contact us today at https://www.gobfw.com/contact or call us at 561-962-3300 to discuss your South Florida SEO picture.