What is Local SEO and Why Should Your Business Care?
What do you do when you need to find a restaurant or a car repair shop nearby? You look it up on the internet! You may not realize it, but you’re probably already familiar with local search. What do you do when you need to find a restaurant or a car repair shop nearby? You look it up on the internet! You are not alone in this. By 2022, 78% of consumers will have looked up local business information online at least once a week. So, if your company has a physical store or location, make sure customers can find it! Local search engine optimization (SEO) is required for this.
What exactly is local SEO?
Although there is no official definition of local SEO, the concept is straightforward. It is the process of optimizing your website to achieve higher rankings for localized searches. When a user includes the name of a city in their search, or the search engine infers a location based on the user’s device, they can get results in that area. “Car dealership in Los Angeles, California” is an example of a local search phrase. You’ll need to use a variety of techniques and tactics to optimize for these local searches. If you succeed, your company’s ranking in local search results will improve.
Why should my company be concerned about local SEO?
Local SEO is extremely important if your company serves a specific town or area. And it’s only going to get more important in the future. Even if you already have an organic SEO strategy in place, increasing your local visibility is worthwhile. People nearby are your potential customers, so don’t pass up the chance to catch their attention.
Local search is a significant driver of leads, sales, and in-store traffic for local businesses, in addition to improving overall online brand awareness. A better question might be “why wouldn’t your business care about local SEO?”. The effort and potential costs involved are the only real arguments against investing in local optimization. But don’t worry; depending on the keywords and tactics you’re using, you may already be implementing a local SEO strategy without even realizing it!
Make use of these local SEO strategies.
Begin with these steps to implement a local SEO strategy for your company.
Website content that has been localized
One of the most important local search engine optimization strategies is to create content on your website that reflects your location. There are several approaches to this. First, ensure that your name, phone number, and address are easily accessible on your website. Most businesses include this information in the website’s header and/or footer, as well as on the Contact page.
Following that, you can create website and blog content centered on local keywords. For example, if you were a dentist and wanted to rank for the term “NYC Dentist,” you could incorporate this phrase into the content of your service page. One of the most important aspects of local SEO is incorporating locations into your keyword optimization.
Warning: keyword stuffing is not permitted! When launching a local SEO strategy for the first time, many professionals make the mistake of stuffing too many keywords into their pages, blog posts, and online listings. Search engines consider this practice to be spammy and tend to demote content and listings that use it. Instead, incorporate keywords naturally into your content. For the best results, include them in your page title, headings, meta description, and image alt tags.
Take control of your Google Business Profile.
Google controls 92% of the search engine market, making it the most popular search engine in the world. With this in mind, you must claim and optimize your free Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). This listing appears when a user searches Google for your company’s name, location, information, or relevant local keywords. These listings can also be found on Google Maps.
Include as many details about your business as possible to make the most of this free map listing and Google account. Users must have your name, address, and phone number at the very least. This is known as your “NAP” information. Aside from your contact information, Google Business Profile allows you to include important business information such as your website, opening hours, reviews, and more.
Use this Search Engine Journal guide to fully complete your Google Business Profile.
Fill out online listings and directories
Listing sites and business directories abound on the internet. These websites are online directories of businesses in a particular niche, location, or category. These websites display your address and other local business information to interested users, so they can be extremely useful for connecting with local customers.
Complete these listing and directory profiles as much as possible, just as you did with your Google Business Profile listing. Include your name, address, and phone number again. Bing Places, Yelp, Whitepages, and Foursquare are some popular listing sites you might want to join.
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Make the most of customer feedback.
Did you know that 49% of local consumers believe online reviews are as trustworthy as personal recommendations? With this in mind, it’s easy to see how online reviews can contribute to a successful local SEO strategy.
You want to put your best foot forward as local SEO tactics work to increase your visibility on search engines and map listings. You don’t want to be at the top of search results and make a bad first impression, do you? 75% of users report feeling positively about a business when they see reviews describing positive experiences, so generating genuine customer positive reviews is extremely beneficial.
Keep in mind that your reviews are not limited to Google. Some companies prioritize getting reviews on popular websites like Yelp and Facebook. However, there may be other niche sites that your company can benefit from as well. Request that customers leave reviews on industry-specific or targeted review websites. If your company is a hotel or a restaurant, you could direct customers to TripAdvisor. Alternatively, if your company is related to weddings, try getting reviews on The Knot. Conduct some research to determine which review sites are most beneficial to your company.
In addition to increased online exposure, these review sites all include links back to your website. These backlinks help drive traffic to your website and increase your online authority, both of which help you achieve your local SEO objectives.
Begin your local SEO strategy.
It’s time to plan and execute your strategy now that you understand why and how local SEO can help your business succeed! Begin with our suggestions and keep an eye on your local search visibility.
Have you ever worked on a local SEO strategy? What strategies did you employ? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.