Search engine optimization (SEO) is an immensely perplexing domain, full of continuously changing codes and schemes. We all understand how vital SEO is to digital marketing success and local SEO is the unacknowledged lead of thriving search optimization tactics.
Being noticed online by your local audience highly boosts your business’s likelihood of survival nowadays. Here, we’ll define what local SEO is, and why it matters to your business.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO Marketing or Local SEO is a collection of techniques and measures for businesses to optimize their visibility to users searching in a local area. These searches surface on Google and other search engines.
In other words, it means using standard search engine marketing techniques like SEO or PPC to a local business website.
According to Social Media Today, 46% of all searches on Google are looking for local information, and 97% of users search online to find a local business.
If you own a brick-and-mortar store or service, you want your websites to rank for specific search queries conducted by local clients; then, you’ll have to become skilled at local SEO. Without it, you’ll undoubtedly have a hard time expanding your brand online, affecting offline sales.
What Do Local Search Results Look Like?
A local search engine results page, or SERP, consists of three parts: Map, Local Pack, and Organic Search Results.
You’ll see the local pack at the top of the SERP for a local search. It’s generally composed of three organic results with a map and pins for each ranking business. It’s necessary to keep in mind that it’s a business’s Google Business Profile (GBP) ranks here, not its web page.
The Local Finder is an extended listing of GBPs for relevant local businesses, which appears when clicking on the ‘More Places’ button at the bottom of the Local Pack.
Localized Organic Results
The localized organic results are those most people will understand when thinking of Google search results. They are the classic ‘blue links’ that direct to websites.
What’s the Difference between General SEO to Local SEO?
General SEO is excellent for boosting more awareness of your business online. However, general SEO will capture all website traffic without reference to its geographic relevancy for your business.
That’s where local SEO enters. Use an organic keyword connected to your business and localize it by including your location or the phrase “near me” (given that the GPS is on). These are the most practical keywords as customers apply them near your area—people busily searching for a product or service you offer.
Local SEO is paramount to smaller industries that do business on a regional level. It expedites occurring on SERPs in a particular location. This approach leans on promoting your brand, products, and services to local leads and clients.
How Important Local SEO Is
Improves Local Search Visibility
Targets Leads from Mobile Users
Local SEO can target consumers of desktop and mobile devices, unlike other marketing methods. According to Google, 76% of consumers who research using their cellphones visit a business within 24 hours, and 28% of those searches lead to a purchase. And this suggests that for brick-and-mortar stores wanting to market their products and services, local SEO optimized for mobile search can be incredibly profitable.
The purpose of optimization is to simplify the navigating process on a website. If a customer is pleased with your site, he is very likely to shop.
Increases Website Traffic
One of the considerable benefits of applying local SEO includes increasing website traffic. Local website traffic can maximize your online exposure, increase sales and get your business name found by the local audience.
More users visiting your site means the odds of marketing your product likewise increase. Furthermore, increased traffic broadcasts your business organically.
Reaches Customers Who Are Ready to Buy
28% of local searches resulted in a purchase. This can be connected with local SEO placing you in front of the customer searching for a product or service, raising your chances of being the destination for their purchase.
If local searchers aren’t entirely ready to purchase, they will be driven by your proximity and absolute availability. Why is that? Because they know what they’re searching for is near them.
Gives You A Competitive Edge
Digital marketing and SEO, generally, get pretty competitive since many businesses recognize their capability and try to gain an advantage over their competition. But local SEO is still something that many companies have yet to profit from; hence, it benefits you over your competitor who depends on standard methods.
Such as, various businesses are marketing the same item, but one concentrates on local SEO while others employ conventional methods.
People will shift towards a business ranking higher on SERP results. Appropriate local SEO efforts entitle your business to achieve a strong competitive edge that propels your position ahead of others in the industry.
That’s why local SEO is essential for businesses and local marketers selling local products or services.
Who Needs Local SEO?
All sorts of businesses can perform local SEO marketing, from small independent establishments to big-box retail chains. However, some business types for which local SEO strategy can indeed move mountains.
Small businesses rely on local SEO to improve their online visibility to potential customers. All local business owners want to gain the attention of anyone looking for products and services like theirs in the area. Some businesses that can draw the maximum from local SEO:
There are many significant differences between standard SEO and local SEO. This indicates that agencies reinforcing brick and mortar businesses must know these differences and provide a local-targeted plan. They need to possess the understanding and expertise to help their local clients achieve their particular goals.
Home Service Contractors
Multi-location Companies and Franchises
Multi-location companies and franchises are in the problematic situation of coveting to rank in several locations. This could be quite a few sites, or it could be dozens. Thriving at multi-location SEO will need a thorough plan and coordinated action from all locations.
How Does Local SEO Work?
You might ask how local SEO works if you’re only starting your website. A local SEO runs the same as usual Google search. When someone searches, Google browses its index and pulls up a list of best results for that person’s query.
What makes Local SEO impressive is that Google employs different ranking factors to index the local search results. To guarantee a business ranks satisfactorily for relevant search terms, it’s vital to take note of these factors.
Google Business Profile
Proximity refers to the distance each possible search result is from the location term used in a search. When an individual doesn’t add a location in their local queries, Google estimates the distance based on what it does remember regarding their location.
Relevance defines how similarly the search user’s query corresponds to your business profile’s information. Add accurate and complete business information to help Google gain more insight about your business and connects your profile to relevant inquiries.
Google’s review counts and scores also affect local search ranking. Customers want social proof when selecting a business – they want to know if people like them were pleased with the company. One survey shows that 93% of consumers state that online reviews impact their purchase decisions.
Your safest action plan for a local SEO campaign is to research what type of optimization will achieve better results for your business and secure a spot in a local ranking. You may need to factor in making changes to your website, doing keyword research, producing unique content, and devising a compelling local business marketing strategy.
Local SEO Strategy: How to Optimize Your Website To Rank On Local Sites
Claim Your Google My Business Profile
Google My Business has become the prime of local search. Google analytically feels the safest sharing components it can support and certify, and Google My Business is what permits Google to supply detailed information to your company listing as it surfaces in the local search.
For local businesses, the first step is to claim your Google My Business profile.
Claim Your GMB Profile – To verify, search for your business name on Google Maps before proceeding. If the business has already been running for a long time, there’s a chance a listing has already been created. You simply need to click ‘claim this business’ and verify the listing.
If you don’t have GMB yet, it’s time to set up your Google Business profile.
Go to the GMB page and click ‘Manage Now.’ Skip the verification section, then click ‘add your business to Google.’ Next, enter your business’s address to locate it on a map.
Complete the Google form and fill in relevant information, such as business name, address, phone number, business category, and website. Check that the information you put is the same on every platform, from your web page to all other online directories.
Verify your listing on Google. This certifies that the owner of the listing is legitimate. You can verify it through text or email. Google can send a verification code to the business phone number you input. Or google can send an email to your work email with a code, then go to your email and click ‘verify now.’
Once the profile is set up, you’ll have to embark on initial optimization tasks, like adding photos and writing a business description.
Continually review your business listing to ensure all information is correct and updated. Google lets anyone suggest edits and changes to your listing, so it’s vital to guarantee your business information is completely factual.
Get Regular Reviews from Customers
In this day and age of media, your online reputation is more meaningful than before. Requesting your customers to leave favorable reviews for your business optimizes your Google My Business existence and urges more local customers to purchase from you.
When Google is attempting to determine what the most promising results might be for a particular search query, they will skim at some factors in their algorithm and the number of reviews you have on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. And those will be some factors in that review process.
Ensure your NAP are Consistent and Updated
You need to make it easy for consumers and search engines to discover you. Set up your NAP, which denotes for name, business address, and phone number (with area code). Your NAP must be consistent across the web, as it helps build credibility.
Prevent the typical error of only including the NAP within an image. The most usual spot for the NAP is in the footer or header of the site.
Add your Business to Local Business Directories
Our Top 10 Canadian Directory Picks
One of the most prominent local SEO recommendations is to do keyword research. Your local SEO must strive for industry keywords and topics connected to your business and geo-specific keywords. You can look for locale-specific keywords by adding your location to the keywords you are searching for. Keep conducting keyword searches until you have a comprehensive list of relevant, localized keywords.
‘Service in location’ is among the keyword formats your business must concentrate on.
Add Service and Location Pages
Adding service and location pages enables you to add extra, targeted content for search engines to crawl and rank. Dedicate one page to each particular product or service you offer. Every page must be optimized with the geo-specific keywords you’ve specified and write content that attracts your target audience. Don’t forget to add a call to action to the bottom of the page!
You can also run paid ads to these landing pages to drive organic traffic and paid traffic when done accurately.
On-page optimization facilitates not only general SEO but also local SEO. The best practice to address on-site optimization is via website design and content.
Optimize Meta Description and Title Tags
Another critical local SEO advice is to optimize your meta descriptions and title tags. This data can make your website more apparent to search engines when they crawl your website.
A title tag is a version of the web page title on SERPs. The meta description is a blurb that describes the content on your website.
Both the meta description and title tag must have the relevant keywords and geo-specific keywords. Adding keywords helps improve the exposure of your content by informing search engine crawlers that your content is relevant.
Create Local Content
You may think that writing content with general subjects is the most profitable since it appeals to a broader audience, which can be valid in certain instances. But you also have to construct high-quality, unique local content relevant to your location and easy for customers to discover.
This suggests writing about topics residents in your area are curious about, not only marketing products or services. Use local keywords to your content to alert Google and other search engines that your website pages are relevant to your targeted geographical area and prospects and will be seen more quickly by clients.
Local Link Building
Inbound links are compelling opportunities to grow your local SEO. You’ll need backlinks from local websites, community watch websites, and other area-associated online pages to score this.
You can also request local groups to grant you a backlink by engaging in your local community. Guest postings, scholarships, and partnerships are some methods to gain these links. The more you partake in the local community, the more digital PR you’ll earn.
Every inbound link signals Goggle that you’re a certifiable business, and inbound links can also increase your domain authority. The more quality local links your website has, the worthier it will appear to search engines.
Therefore, the algorithm believes your site has unique content when a website adds an external link that leads people away from their site and onto yours.
Increase Local Citations
Local SEO citations are every mention of your business’s name, physical address, and phone number online. These local listings can appear in local directories, on your own website or blogs, or on social media. Being present on industry-specific sites has more SEO benefits than being featured on the more broad ones.
When adding your business information to different listing platforms, remember to carefully follow the same format, retain the exact information, and index under the most relevant categories.
Despite local citations having considerably decreased overall essence, they’re still helpful for local visibility as they help you emerge in online search and gain loyalty with consumers.
Optimize for Mobile
An overwhelming study points out that local SEO is most beneficial when optimized for mobile since people spend 70% of their time browsing their mobile devices. If consumers spend most of their time on mobile, you have to guarantee they have a good experience on your site.
Make sure your site is mobile-friendly, loads fast, and is easy to navigate. And this likewise includes ensuring your Google My Business page is easy to discover and can be accessed quickly through a mobile device. Your small business should not disregard mobile users in this digital age.
Local SEO Marketing FAQ
There are a few common local SEO marketing issues that can be easily troubleshooted:
1. Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) is consistent across all platforms – this includes your website, social media platforms, and any directories you are listed on.
2. If you have moved locations or changed any of your contact information, be sure to update your listings on all platforms accordingly.
Assuming you are talking about a business that provides services in a specific geographic area:
Your target audience for local SEO marketing are people who live in or near the geographic area that your business services. This could be a city, a county, a state, or even a country, depending on the size and scope of your business. You want to target these people because they are more likely to use your services than people who live outside of your service area.
There is no one definitive answer to this question, as the best keywords for local SEO marketing will vary depending on the business, its products or services, its location, and its target audience. However, there are some general tips that can be followed when choosing keywords for local SEO marketing, which include:
1. Identify the products or services that your business offers, and brainstorm a list of potential keywords or key phrases that potential customers might use when searching for these.
Local SEO helps small and multi-location businesses maximize search marketing. But remember that local SEO is only one aspect of a holistic digital process.
If you want to learn more about SEO and how to optimize your website for local search to generate leads and increase revenue for your business, contact Merged Media today! Allow our team to help you determine what type of local SEO services is best for your business.