We all know that seo is very important to ensure that online marketing is successful, but local seo is the unsung hero of successful search optimization strategies. So what exactly is local SEO, and how does it help your business?
Local seo (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing websites for performing searches that are specific to one area. Google puts certain search queries first in order to display relevant local results, so that customers can search for businesses that are close to them.
Local SEO is a search term that has a geographic restriction:
This is the most important thing to understand. Service + location is the most important thing.
Here are some local search queries:
- There are two coffee shops near me.
- Fast oil change in Atlanta.
- Nail Salon is open now!
- Bar in Cleveland
Why is local SEO so important?
Why is the importance of local SEO? With the rise of global ecommerce, why can’t consumers go to businesses anywhere in the world?
Image source: Wix
In three main ways, you can use local search marketing to benefit your business:
An increase in visibility.
It is the whole idea behind seo, and it is all about getting your business to rank higher on search engines. That’s why local SEO is a low-hanging fruit, which is also very important for getting more page views and ranking higher on Google. That’s because there are significantly fewer competitors in any given area.
Image source: Search Engine Journal
You might be the only shop in your city that has three stationary stores. By ensuring that your seo strategies include local optimization, you are guaranteeing that local searchers will see your listing near the top of the search results.
Encourage locals to act.
According to 99Firms, 78% of local mobile searches result in an in-person purchase. That means that people are actively looking for local businesses to provide services, and they are likely to take action. Even if your business does not show up in their search results, you might be missing out on all those motivated customers. That is where local search engine optimization comes in.
Supports local authorities.
When you offer optimized listings on the Internet (which I will tell you how to do in a moment), you help visitors discover that your business is established and credible.
But it’s not just about getting real customers to find your business credible – SEO is about convincing Google information crawlers that your business is who you say you are and that you have something relevant to offer all those local searchers.
So how can you get the most out of your local SEO marketing? Now you can read on!
Ranking Factors for Local SEO.
What makes a website rank as good as local SEO? The parts of the puzzle are fairly intuitive, so we’ll break them down first.
Image source: Sixth City Marketing
Who is the closest person to me? Local businesses that are searched for in a local SEO field will be prioritized, and they will highlight the listings that are close to what a customer wants to see. A customer who is looking for a carpet cleaner will first be shown businesses that are relevant in his own city, then in nearby areas.
Using backlinks to promote local SEO is crucial. Do other sites have links to yours? Are they really high-quality and reputable backlinks? Google uses this information to rank your site.
Reviews from the customers.
Image source: Backlinko
Local search results in local business, and customers want to know if people like them were satisfied with the business. One survey indicates that 63.3% of customers say they often check Google for reviews before visiting a business.
When it comes to the searches on Google, Google will always try to show what the searcher is looking for, and that is partly determined by the specificity of the query. Things to do with children in Memphis (OR, Things to do with children in Memphis) might include things you have. But, if you own an ice cream shop, you probably won’t get listed for ‘pizza places in Memphis’, but you might get listed for ‘things to do with children in Memphis’.
The more relevant your listing is to people who are searching for something, the more Google will prioritize your listing.
How can we improve local seo?
Now that you know how local business SEO can benefit you, it’s time for you to learn more about it.
Some of the most important things you can do to improve local search are:
- It is possible to optimize your Google Business Listing.
- Tie your on-page SEO around local search.
- Check that your site is mobile-friendly.
- Name, address, and phone number (nap) that are consistent.
- It is also possible to optimize other non-Google listings.
We’ll discuss each of them and explain why they are important for local SEO.
Step 1: Go to Google My Business.
If there is one thing that you can do for your local SEO marketing, it is this: Claim your Google business page.
What is meant by Google My Business?
GMB is a free internet directory displaying hours, services, contact information, website links, and a brief description – and that is directly integrated into Google Maps. It is like an old phone book, but with lots more information.
Today, GMB is often the first place customers visit when searching for a local business or service.
Business owners can easily move their business to high in the search engines by ensuring that all the information that they are listing is accurate and complete.
How do I modify a GMB listing? You must first claim it.
While estimates vary, it is reported that about half of all Google My Business listings never get claimed. As a result, small businesses do not have a way of telling the most important details about their business to local searchers.
It is very simple to do. If your business is already listed on Google, simply click on the link to “own this business”. On the list. Next, you will be asked to provide some verification of your ownership.
If there is no existing listing on Google, you can create one through the Google My Business admin page here.
I will give you an example of a business that has not optimized its Google My Business listing for local SEO.
After you have seen this, you will be able to claim that the business is still available.
After you finish this first step, there are other steps that you can do in order to optimize your Google My Business listing.
Consistent and reliable information.
This is a very obvious point that is often overlooked. Double-check that your basic information – your services, your contact information, your hours of operation, and your location – are kept up-to-date and consistent across all your marketing channels.
It takes only a few minutes to do this, but it greatly helps you build trust with your customers. Contradictory information destroys the confidence that people have.
Categories that are business.
GMB lets you choose a category for your business. What should be as specific as possible, i.e., bakery instead of just “restaurant.”
Image source: RandomByte
You are also able to set up subcategories for businesses that have multiple departments. A good example is if you own a photography business. Under the subcategories, you can create subcategories for wedding photography and senior photography. That way, you can rank for more specific services.
Add products and services to our list.
Another simple and fundamental information you should tell people – what are you selling? You can allow customers to shop directly from your GMB listing.
It is okay to not list all your belongings, but instead, just highlight your main offerings. During the search, you can also include the names of your most important products, the price, photos, and a link to the purchase page. By doing that, you encourage people to take immediate action.
Add additional media.
Did you know that you are able to add photos and videos to your GMB listing? It’s standard to include a photo of your storefront, but you may also highlight popular items, or employee photos.
In the example above, bakeries are using photos to show visitors the kind of delicious pastries that they are selling.
Expert tip – Put a short intro video on your website to help promote your business for free.
Get good customer reviews.
One survey showed that 72% of people believe positive reviews on Google make a business more reliable. They can be used to help with your local search optimization strategy. They will show Google that you are a credible business.
These are some ways to get more positive reviews.
- Sending customers a link for their custom review.
- That is requesting that someone write a positive review on the receipt.
- I have responded to all the reviews that have been posted on your GMB page.
First, step 2: On-page SEO.
On-page, or On-Site, SEO is all about optimizing every page of your site in order to increase organic traffic. Do not include link building or paid promotion. These are considered off-site SEO.
Using on-page SEO strategies, you can instantly boost the relevance of your local seo with search queries.
Local content that we provide.
Do you remember the basic seo local search formula? Good service + location. You have (hopefully) already optimized your site and its content to promote your product or service. The result is that if you create content that includes your local search terms, that will instantly boost the ranking of your search results.
It is possible to use this for your blog, blog, and social posts. On your “about us” page, you might tell people that you serve your town well (“as the only Honda dealership in Columbus”) and you might post blog posts about “the best deals on hondas in the northwestern montana area.”
Use the name of your city.
Tags and meta descriptions are valuable goldmines for optimizing your website. It is important that you include in everything that you publish some of the keywords that you know are valuable. In addition, use some of the keywords to indicate the geographical region in which your business operates. You can do that by adding the name of your city in:
- A meta description of the meaning of the above mentioned things.
- Title tags for titlings:
- Some image tags:
Use Google’s autocomplete functionality or a good keyword research tool to look up frequently searched phrases that relate to the name of your city. Customer testimonials or newsy stories about local functions (especially if your business took part!) What you can do is target local SEO terms.
You can add Google maps to your site.
It’s easy to embed a google map on your site that shows where you are, and which direction you are going. When you view a map on Google maps, click the “share” icon and choose the “embed map” option.
There are a number of benefits when embedding a map.
- Make it easier for consumers to find you.
- Provides additional and accurate citations to Google.
- It encourages visitors to come back to its homes by displaying nearby parking, dining, hotels, etc.
A caveat: Google has tamped down on sites creating excessive numbers of pages with different Google Maps embedded in them.
People who use the maps feature honestly, i.e., showing your real location. Do not try to set up separate listings for your business in every city that you can think of in order to boost your local seo. You will be fined if you do that. Google has become wise to people like that.
Step 3: Optimize your website for mobile.
Overwhelming research suggests that local SEO is most profitable when it’s optimized for mobile. 76% of consumers who search for a local business visit the location within a day.
Furthermore, 86% of people use Google Maps to find local businesses.
So it makes sense that mobile searches should always be action-oriented, because users are often on the go and not just casually browsing. That is a very valuable, actionable timeline that is lost if your site is not optimized for mobile.
While mobile optimization is a given these days for agencies creating new websites, yours might not be optimized for mobile if it’s been around for a while.
Sometimes, optimizing an existing website may require a complete redesign, but sometimes a few small tweaks will do the trick. When designing for local SEO and mobile optimization, one thing that you should always consider is this: the content must load quickly, it must be easy to click on, and it must not have any frustrating elements.
Consumers are always looking for those things when they browse their mobile websites.
- Quick loading time.
- So there are no popups.
- Easy to scroll through.
- Correctly sized buttons.
If you’re not sure if your website is optimized for mobile, use Google’s mobile-friendly test.
Here is an example of a report that came out of the mobile-friendly test:
Next, nap. No, I am not saying take a break.
There are pages on the internet that mention your business. All newspaper articles, blog posts, social media pages, and web directories provide basic information about local businesses. Three important pieces of information are especially important.
- Number of phone numbers.
There is no doubt that a website is just as important as all three of those. But nap is the catchall term for your business’s most important identifying information.
All these must always be consistent and accurate. There are two reasons for this:
Number 1: It frustrates customers when they are unable to find reliable and consistent information.
Number 2: Google interprets inconsistent NAP information as a sign that it is unreliability.
We’ve all called a phone number on Google My Business listing, only to find out that it was disconnected or that the phone number was connected to a different location altogether.
Do not be that business! Provide reliable contact information.
Google is giving your business big points if you always provide consistent information across all your citations. It’s worth your while to figure out how to fix incorrect or incomplete citations. It takes just a few minutes to fix citations on pages that you manage. That includes your gmb listing and your social pages.
It is possible that identifying and correcting the citations on other sites that are incomplete can take longer. Ahrefs has provided a useful guide of the largest citation aggregators and how to access them for business citations.
In step 5, search for non-Google listings.
While Google accounts for over 90% of searches globally, it’s still important to optimize other directory listings as well. Even if the directories are not the first points of contact for consumers, they are still good sources of directory citations that can make or break a local search strategy.
Yelp is a well-known crowdsourcing site that reviews restaurants and entertainment venues. About 73 million people use Yelp monthly, so it’s a good idea to get your business on the radar with Yelp.
Image source: Search Engine Journal
Just like Google My Business, Yelp has customizable business profiles. Make sure that all the information you are posting is complete and accurate. And make sure that you respond promptly to any questions or comments that are left on your page.
Yelp reviews also boost your Google results because Google considers Yelp a high-authority source, lending credibility to your page.
Yellow Pages are very useful for finding things.
Most households do not even keep a huge phone book in their kitchen drawer anymore. Yellow Pages operates a site that hosts the online directory of businesses. It is free to claim your listing and optimize it.
While most new buyers do not start by checking out the yellow pages, it can help you find a reputable business listing that is indexed by Google. You can search for your business on the Yellow Pages are very useful for finding things. site here.
Bing is a search engine owned by Microsoft and operated by them, and it is now more popular than Google. It’s a distant second, but still, Bing gets about 1 billion users a month.
The chart below shows the market share worldwide for desktop searches.
It is tempting to put all your eggs in Google’s basket, but it is not possible. Bing is growing very quickly and aggressively. You would also benefit from knowing that your competitors are not paying attention to optimizing your website. This could enable you to compete with them in search results.
Hotfrog is a directory designed exclusively for small business owners. Then upload information about your business, including coupons, photos, and testimonials. It’s similar to Google My Business.
It is free, and we recommend that you use it to become another useful web citation to boost your authority. When you set up your Hotfrog listing, make sure that you optimize it for local SEO terms, and especially long-tail keywords, in order to capture maximum traffic.
The Bottom Line: Do a Local SEO Checkup Today
If you are already familiar with SEO best practices, then you will probably understand many of the local SEO improvement strategies.
Just keep in mind that 46% of all Google searches are local and that these searchers are highly motivated to make real-world purchases in a short timeframe. This is to remind you that it is worth it to set up and maintain a local SEO strategy.