How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

Donald Miller

Published: May 16, 2024

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If your small business isn’t seeing much local traffic to your website, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity for potential growth and community connections. 

Using local SEO strategies can dramatically improve your website's visibility, attracting more local customers and boosting your impact right where it matters most.

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important marketing initiatives for small businesses to focus on because it makes sure that when folks in your neighborhood are searching online for what you offer, your business pops up first. You’ll get a lot more traffic—resulting in more brand awareness, sales, and revenue— if you’re the top choice when potential customers are looking to buy or engage. 

Great SEO practices not only drive traffic to your website but also enhance your company’s trustworthiness and establish long-term brand authority.

Let’s look at some ways you can leverage SEO to effectively compete and stand out in your local market.

Why local SEO matters

Imagine you run an event center in Columbia, Tennessee. It's vital that when someone in your area searches for "event center in Columbia TN" or "places to host a wedding nearby," your venue shows up first. That’s local SEO at work. It’s about making your business the top choice in digital searches just as much as it is in the real world.

For any business that thrives on local clientele—whether you're running an event center, a cafe, or a clothing boutique—local SEO is the backbone of your digital presence. 

It positions your business front and center in search results and local directories, making it easy for people to find and choose you. Imagine local SEO as your digital billboard, one that's both highly visible and highly effective, drawing in traffic and converting searches into real-life customers.

Moreover, local SEO levels the playing field, allowing smaller venues to compete with larger chains. It gives you a fighting chance to stand out based on your local appeal and personal touch, not just on brand recognition. 

By optimizing your local search presence, you're not just capturing attention—you're building a community cornerstone. You’re making your venue synonymous with Columbia, Tennessee itself, turning online searches into foot traffic and fostering lasting connections with your local customers.

Here’s how you can leverage local SEO to lead the pack in your market and drive more traffic to your website.

Tailor your content to local needs

Crafting content that addresses local issues or common problems is a proven strategy for boosting SEO and establishing your business as a local authority.

For example, if you're a plumber in Denver, creating detailed guides like “How to fix a leaky faucet” or “Emergency plumbing tips for winter in Denver” can significantly increase your visibility. These posts should not only provide valuable information but also incorporate local names and specifics, which helps in aligning with regional search queries.

This method positions you as a helpful, knowledgeable neighbor, thereby building trust even before you make a physical introduction.

Optimize for local keywords

Identifying and integrating local keywords into your digital content is crucial. 

But first, what exactly is a keyword? 

A keyword is a word or phrase that people use to search for information online. In the context of SEO, keywords are the terms that you anticipate potential customers will enter into search engines when looking for services like yours. By including these specific keywords in your content, you can help search engines understand what your page is about and show it to the right users.

For a florist in Charleston, this might involve embedding phrases such as “best flower delivery in Charleston” or “Charleston wedding flowers” across website text, meta descriptions, and even blog posts. 

There are lots of tools to help you identify keywords that are relevant to your business. Some great options include Semrush, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, and AnswerThePublic.

The goal here is to weave your locality into your digital presence so that when potential customers search for these specific services, your business stands out not only as a top choice but as a local one. 

This strategy extends beyond mere visibility, helping to create a local brand identity that resonates with your community base.

Capitalize on your free Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile is a free, invaluable tool for any local business. Keeping this profile updated with the latest photos, promotions, and company news can transform it from a static listing to a vibrant component of your marketing strategy. 

For a café, this could mean posting updates about new menu items, special events, or even daily specials. Regular posts on your Google Business Profile can help improve your search rankings while also engaging customers directly. 

This is important: set a reminder to regularly check and make sure that all contact information, operating hours, and services are accurately listed on Google. Sometimes small businesses change their hours or offerings and can forget to update their Google Business Profile, this can result in a customer showing up to your business and being greeted with a “Sorry, we’re closed” sign—which can lose a customer forever. Setting update reminders for yourself or someone on your team can significantly enhance the user experience, driving both online and foot traffic.

For example, here is the Google Business Profile for Stay Golden, one of my favorite local cafes. 

Stay Golden Google Business Profile

Drive online reviews

Positive reviews are gold in the world of local SEO. Encouraging satisfied customers to share their experiences online is a powerful way to enhance your business's credibility and search engine ranking. 

Setting up an easy-to-use system for leaving reviews—such as a simple URL like “CharlestonFloristReviews.com”—can increase the likelihood of receiving feedback. 

Make the process as simple as possible at first, maybe just a simple “How was your service?” with a thumbs up or thumbs down button. If they leave a thumbs up, you can thank them and prompt them to leave a Google review with more feedback elaborating specifics about your service. Google indexes all those reviews and keywords in the reviews help with SEO.

Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you value customer input and are actively engaged in providing excellent service. This not only fosters trust but also encourages more customers to leave their feedback, creating a virtuous cycle of positive exposure.

Engage with local media and build backlinks

Backlinks are links from one website to another. If another website links to your site, that's a backlink. They’re important because they help search engines like Google see your website as more credible and relevant, potentially improving your site's ranking in search results.

Active participation in the local community can lead to valuable backlinks from trusted local sources like newspapers, blogs, and event listings. These backlinks significantly boost your site’s authority and search rankings.

For instance, sponsoring a local charity event or participating in a community fair can get your business mentioned in local media outlets. Each mention builds your reputation not just among potential customers but also within the digital algorithms that prioritize local businesses in search results.

So anytime you are featured in a publication or on someone else’s website, be sure to request that they link back to your website.

Ensure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

Most local searches are performed on mobile devices, making mobile responsiveness a requirement, not an option. 

A mobile-friendly website provides a better user experience, which is a significant factor in Google's ranking algorithms. It means faster load times, easier navigation, and more accessible information, all of which are crucial for converting searches into sales. 

Do whatever you need to do to ensure that your site is responsive across all devices. This also reduces bounce rates, keeping potential customers engaged longer.

The Impact of SEO

By implementing these SEO strategies, you’ll start to see amazing results. Your phone will ring more, foot traffic will increase, and sales will climb—all because you became more visible online. There’s a direct line between local SEO efforts and an uptick in business.

Local SEO is a worthwhile investment for any small business that wants to stay competitive and visible in today's market. By enhancing your online presence through thoughtful local SEO strategies, you’re not just waiting for customers to find you—you’re guiding them right to your door.