If you’re running a business in Uganda such as a restaurant, store, car repair shop, professional services or hotel and have a website, then you must utilise local SEO to help your customers near you to find you easily.
Research done by Google in 2018 shows that there was a 150% growth in mobile searches for “ near me now” for example food near me now, delivery near me now etc within the past two years. In addition to queries for businesses near me, people rely on their phones to check for store hours, directions, wait time, and contact information. (Think with Google, 2018).
What is local SEO
This is the practice of optimising your business for local search ranking on Google. A well-optimised Google business profile will increase your online presence in Uganda. Local SEO focuses on Google my business and your business’ website SEO to increase your search engine rankings and enable you get more leads from local search results for queries related to specific geographic locations in Uganda such as cities like Jinja, Mbarara, Kampala, Entebbe and other local towns or regions.
For businesses such as restaurants, hotels, convenient stores and professional services that mainly serve local customers or tourists can utilise local SEO to help increase their visibility, online presence, driving more traffic to their website and eventually generating more leads and sales.
Overview of local SEO in Uganda
If you are running a business in Uganda whether it is a physical shop or an online one, local SEO is key to attracting customers in your local area.
Local SEO increases your business traffic, and promotes brand awareness from local searches.
In order to stand out among the competition, you need to take advantage of the online search growth by optimising your website for search engines and more specifically for local searches.
Some of the crucial elements of local SEO in Uganda Include optimising a website for local keywords, encouraging customers to leave reviews on the website, building local citations, optimising Google my business listings and developing local content strategy that target geographical regions in Uganda.
Generally, local SEO can be used as a key marketing strategy for businesses in Uganda looking to improve their brand awareness, online presence, visibility and reach more local clients through online search engines.
Local SEO allows you to better your connection with people in your locality, town, or city. That is very crucial considering 87% of consumers now turn to Google to evaluate local businesses. (brightlocal.com).
Importance of local SEO for businesses in Uganda
After reading an overview about local SEO, I now know you are interested in understanding the advantages of local SEO. Here are specific reasons why local SEO is crucial for businesses in Uganda ;
Increased visibility in local search results:
Local activities such as link building, gathering relevant keywords, optimising images for search, and managing broken links and citations increase your visibility and help your business to appear in local search results for relevant queries, making it easily discoverable by potential customers in Uganda.
Higher conversion rates:
Website optimization can drive potential customers to your website and this can boost your rate of conversion through increased phone calls, email subscription and increased sales.
According to the 2016 research by Think with Google, 28% of local searchers result in purchases. Hence presenting yourself as a trusted service provider in your area gives you a higher competitive advantage that can lead to increased rankings and more organic traffic which can result in higher sales.
Incorporating local SEO as one of your marketing strategies gives you a better advantage over your competitors who solely rely on traditional ways of marketing as this helps you to provide both an online and a physical location experience.
And while your audience uses an online experience to learn more about the services and products you provide, they also get to read the reviews about your business and this can convert them into loyal customers.
Local SEO can also help one identify their best ranking competitors thereby learning what sets them apart and one is able to incorporate those tactics into their website optimization to rank better.
Better user experience:
Local SEO often involves optimising a website for mobile devices such as phones and tablets to provide precise and updated information which makes it easy for people to navigate the website and make purchases.
As we already know, local SEO is one of the key marketing strategies employed by business owners.
Other marketing channels such as banners, local television advertisements etc cost a lot of money for business owners to make their business known unlike local SEO which takes advantage of a well optimised website by ranking it higher in search results and creating traffic to your website which can improve your brand awareness and this makes it a cost effective way of advertising your business.
46% of product searches begin on Google (safari digital). This gives an opportunity for a big or small business to showcase their products or services.
By optimising your website for local keywords, you can connect with local potential customers who are actively searching online for products or services within your location.
Improved brand awareness
Content marketing can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field by appearing on top of local engine search results. This helps build brand awareness and increase visibility in your local community.
More in-store foot traffic
Did you know that a research by (Think with Google, 2018) shows 61% of shoppers prefer local businesses with both websites and physical locations.
This is due to the fact that they feel like they already have enough information about the physical location, services and products from visiting the store’s website and the reviews left on the website.
A survey conducted by Brightlocal, 2023 found that 76% of customers frequently read online reviews for local businesses.
By optimising your website and encouraging your local audience to leave reviews, this can help new customers to make well-informed decisions while purchasing your products or services or even choosing your business over others can lead to more sales.
Increase customer loyalty
By ranking high in local search results and directories, businesses can establish themselves as trustworthy providers of products or services in their local communities.
Good reviews written by previous buyers can help establish businesses as legitimate within their local area.
These altogether can help build credibility with local customers and encourage them to choose their businesses over their competitors.
Tips for boosting website SEO rankings in Uganda
Claim your Google My Business listing
Google my business is a free and easy tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence on Google including search and maps.
If you have a physical location for your business, you must ensure that your website is fully optimised for Google my business by performing the following activities;
- Create and verify my Google my business page
- Enter complete data. Search engines favor the most relevant results for each local search.
- Use Google posts within your account.
- Encourage your customers to share reviews and make sure to respond to them.
- Verify your locations.
- Add in-store products or services you offer etc
This will help your business appear in local search results and also provide potential customers with valuable information about your business such as a physical address, phone number, and working hours.
Use relevant keywords
Ensure to optimise the content for your website by using relevant keywords in the URL, title, header, meta description, and the body.
Use keywords like “near me”, “Kampala”, “local” etc. This will help the search engines to rank you higher and this can improve the chances of local customers finding you when they input queries for local businesses.
Optimise your website for mobile devices
In Uganda, most customers access the internet using mobile devices. 61% of all Google searches are performed on mobile devices. So it is important to optimise your website to offer a better experience for those using mobile phones to access your website. This makes it easy for mobile users to navigate through your website since it is able to load quickly on a small screen and has an adaptive design that adjusts to different screen sizes.
Get listed in local directories
Ensure to get listed in local directories such as Uganda Business Directory and Yellow Pages. This can help Google identify you as a high-ranking trusted business and this can in turn help improve your website’s local SEO.
Make sure to provide accurate information about your business such as business name, address and phone number in these directories and use this information consistently across all your online listings.
Build local backlinks
Backlinks are links that other websites use to point to your website. Building local backlinks from other websites with a similar niche in Uganda can help improve your website’s authority and relevance in local search results. Reach out to business directories, local blogs, and other local businesses or organisations and ask if they would be willing to have your website linked to theirs.
Use social media
Use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to promote your business. Ensure to keep your social media active, engage with local customers and share content that is relevant to your business and location. This can help increase your online visibility and improve your local SEO rankings.
Create local content
For one to become the local authority for the local industry, one has to create localised content that exhibits resonance with their targeted local audience. This includes publishing blog posts, images, and videos that highlight your products or services and exercise your expertise.
Get customer reviews
Encourage local customers to comment and leave reviews on your website and Google my business listing. Positive reviews are important when people have to make purchasing decisions for your products or services.
Engage with the local community
Taking part in local community events and activities such as sponsoring local charities and collaborating with other local businesses can help build a good reputation, spread brand awareness, and improve visibility in the local search results.
Tools for Local SEO
This is a free tool from Google that allows businesses to create a profile and list their businesses across Google including on google maps and google search. Optimise your GMB listing by adding accurate business information, photos, hours and regular updates and encourage your customers to share reviews so as to improve your local search rankings.
Moz local is a paid tool that helps you to manage your online presence across many platforms such as google, facebook, yelp etc.
It offers a tool called Local Market Analytics that allows you to see how your business fairs with competitors in your area.
This tool offers many varying features for local SEO such as local keyword research tool, local search engines rankings tracker and competitor analysis.
It also offers a tool known as site Explorer which provides an understanding of your website’s backlink profile which can affect your local search rankings.
This is a local SEO tool that allows you to keep track of your local search rankings, monitor customer reviews and analyse your local search visibility.
It also provides a citation tracker that identifies any inconsistencies in your business information provided across different platforms.
The main importance of this tool is to build local citation and local search rankings. Whitespark offers the citation finder tool that helps to locate citation opportunities, manage your online presence and track your search rankings.
This is a comprehensive tool that offers local SEO features such as Local search engine rankings tracker, a listing management tool, a review management tool, a competitor analysis and a position tracking tool. It also offers a tool known as site audit which provides insights into technical SEO issues on your websites which can affect your local search rankings
It is also a free SEO tool from google. It helps you monitor your website’s performance in Google search including local search results. It provides insights into search queries, click through rates and impressions for your local key words which help in the optimization of your website.
Local SEO is a significant form of online marketing strategy for businesses in Uganda. To fully optimise your website, you will require a combination of both on-page and off- page techniques so as to improve your website’s local search rankings, visibility and also attract more customers to your business. Are you looking for a reliable team of SEO experts in Uganda? We have generated revenue for hundreds of businesses in Uganda that ran to us looking for SEO help. Get a free SEO review for your business today.
Exceptional writer of highly engaging tech articles. Content writer @ Othware.