People can find whatever products and services they want using local search results and then follow turn-by-turn directions straight to the front door of the business.
Hungry? Simply search for restaurants near me. Are you bored? Look for escape rooms, arcades, and other forms of entertainment in the area. Do you require anything else? Enter your search terms and hit enter.
So, if you want to increase foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store, you must embrace the power of local search. Otherwise, competitors in the know will leave you in the dust.
Do you have no idea where to begin? Here’s everything you need to know about the year’s hottest topic: “Local SEO: Why does it matter?” Local SEO, or search engine optimization, enables business owners to increase brand visibility when users conduct local searches. These searches employ keywords that indicate a desire to locate a restaurant, shop, or other physical location in the area.
The results are typically displayed in the map pack at the top, making it quick and easy to navigate to the business. Additional results appear below the map, allowing users to navigate to the websites of relevant brands if desired.
What Is the Point?
If your business isn’t optimized for relevant local search terms, it won’t appear at the top of the map results, potentially leaving you out of the running entirely.
You will most likely lose foot traffic to competitors who benefit from higher visibility by ranking higher on the page.
Local searches are also big business. Local search intent accounts for more than 46% of all searches.
Furthermore, over 75% of people who conduct a local search visit at least one of the businesses within 24 hours.
So, if you miss out on the opportunity to capitalize on relevant local searches, you could miss out on a lot of sales opportunities over time.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO works similarly to regular searches in that the search engine matches keywords with relevant content. However, the ranking factors used to populate the results differ significantly from those used in standard searches.
First and foremost, Google’s algorithm considers the user’s location and compares it to nearby brands’ NAP citations. The system then compares the user’s search term to keywords in each company’s Google My Business (GMB) profile and reviews.
In order to accurately rank the results, additional factors such as:
- The overall tone of the reviews
- Google Maps has a star rating system.
- Shares on social media
- Number of check-ins total
To maximize their appearance in local search results, brands must have a strong online presence and a following.
The Advantages of Concentrating on Local Queries
By ensuring that your brand ranks high for local seo queries, you will be able to reap the following benefits:
- Increase the overall awareness of your brand.
- Increase the number of people who visit your physical storefronts.
- Increase the number of organic visitors to your brand’s website.
- Create strong bonds with your target audience.
- Increase your credibility among prospective and existing customers.
With so many advantages available, you simply cannot afford to overlook opportunities for local search engine optimization. Your competitors will if you do not. So, don’t let them leave you behind.
Best Practices for Appearing in Local Search Results
Simply follow these four steps to improve your search rankings if you want to appear in local results.
Look for keywords with a local intent.
To rank high in local seo searches, you must have a keyword map to guide you.
Begin by researching keywords relevant to your brand using smart tools such as Semrush, SpyFu, or WordStream. Then, narrow the list down by selecting only those with a local intent.
Local keywords are typically made up of location-specific phrases. They may also include other terms that indicate they want to find something nearby, such as “pizza near me” or “best pet stores nearby.”
Improve Your Google My Business Page
You have little to no chance of ranking high in local results if you do not have a Google My Business profile. Fortunately, creating your GMB profile is a simple process. You simply need to create an account and then follow the prompts.
Once your profile is complete, optimize it with local keywords, current images, and micro-blog posts. Don’t forget to express gratitude or offer to resolve any complaints in all of your reviews.
Review All of Your NAP Citations
When it comes to your NAP, or name, address, and phone number, citations, precision is essential to local seo. These citations should be consistent everywhere your brand appears on the web.
Otherwise, the search engine may become confused about your company’s actual location. Not only will this jeopardize your ability to rank well for local keywords, but it may also have an impact on the placement of your storefront on the map.
Produce Localized Content
Your website should make it crystal clear where your physical location is. To do so effectively, simply infuse your site with locally optimized content.
You could start by using your blog to share local events that your customers might be interested in attending. Consider sponsoring local events, which will provide you with local backlinks that will help boost your credibility even more.
Don’t forget to include your city and state, as well as any positive nicknames given to it by the locals, on each page. If you live in Seattle, for example, you should use the phrase “Emerald City” in your quality content on occasion.
More customers will most likely come your way after you complete these four steps. At that point, all you have to do is provide an excellent customer experience to earn positive feedback, raise your rating, and gain social media shares.
All of this will contribute to your local SEO success even further, making it easier to rank high for all of your relevant local search terms.