So what is local SEO? Local SEO or local search engine optimization is the practice of improving your online presence to get more business from local searches and the practice of optimizing your website for a specific local area. By optimizing your web presence for local search, local businesses can significantly increase their chances of appearing in front of potential customers when they search for the products or services and everything they provide.
Effective local SEO tactics can raise visibility, attract more relevant visitors to the website, and increase the possibility that this traffic will convert into consumers. Knowing and applying local SEO is essential establishing a strong online presence and reaching your target audience in today’s increasingly competitive digital world, whether you are a small local business owner, marketer, or digital strategist. There can be a lot of things you must know about Local SEO and how it works. This article will guide you and help you gain more local customers.
How does local SEO differ from SEO?
But what if you already implement SEO best practices in your local business or campaigns? Does that mean you are already optimizing your business and services in local SEO?
What is the difference between Local SEO vs. SEO? While both concepts have the same goal of raising a website’s position in the search results of an internet search so that more people will find it, contact it, and make purchases from it. Local search engine optimization (SEO) enables you to grab local search locations and engage with local searchers’ area, as opposed to traditional SEO, which focuses on increasing the exposure of your website on a national or international scale.
Both traditional SEO and local SEO employ a lot of the same tactics. On the other hand, local SEO solutions use particular methods to help you connect with people searching for information in your location area. However, if you want to increase your visibility on a micro-level or in your specific area and target specific people, then you need to make a separate plan and effort in your local SEO.
What is local SEO in digital marketing?
Local SEO (search engine optimization) enhances the search engine exposure of local businesses, particularly those with a physical presence. By implementing local SEO best practices, local businesses can increase organic traffic from nearby consumer searches.
To improve a business’s visibility in search results for geographically-specific terms, businesses should engage in local search engine optimization (SEO). This is essential for businesses with a physical location, enabling them to connect with potential customers in their neighborhoods.
Local SEO’s primary objective is to increase a website’s visibility and generate more relevant traffic. This is accomplished through various strategies, including improving the business’s Google Business Profile (GBP) listing, developing citations, generating good reviews, and creating location area specific content. Moreover, it is a vital part of a complete digital marketing strategy since it enables businesses to develop a strong presence online in their neighborhood, more effectively reach their target audience, and eventually generate more sales and money.
Furthermore, it is a cost-effective method for local businesses seeking local customers to improve exposure, raise brand awareness, and develop a reputation in the local market. Whether you are a small business owner, marketer, or digital strategist, knowing and applying local SEO is essential for success in the increasingly competitive digital landscape of the present day.
How does local search engine optimization actually work?
Google’s algorithm considers various factors, including the number of people searching for a particular type of local business in a specific location area. Because of this shift in searcher behavior, Google now considers a user’s physical location when returning search results. You don’t have to manually type in things like “near me” or “nearby” since it handles that for you. You may simply Google “pizza delivery,” and Google will generate a list of nearby establishments.
With the rise of mobile users and the ease with which one can search by simply pulling out their phone and inputting a query, more businesses realize the importance of being visible to these people. Local SEO has increased in popularity since it increases the visibility and growth of local services and products.
So the next question would be.
How can you optimize your website for local SEO?
Unpredictable occurrences such as the pandemic compel individuals to choose the safety of their own houses over venturing outside. To react to this shift in consumer behavior, one of the most critical steps is ensuring that your website operates efficiently. Not only in terms of acquiring customers but also in being discovered by them.
Numerous areas require improvement, including website content, link building, and technical SEO. However, before you dig into those, you should ensure that your website is optimized for the low-hanging fruit. These components will ensure that your website appears in local search results. Below are some of the local SEO examples to consider.
Google Business Profiles
Google Business Profiles are now the gold standard of local search. It’s the fastest way to get into the local map pack. Google promotes, verifies, and generously shares its content, making Google Business Profiles the ideal tool to assist your business in meeting Google’s requirements. Optimizing a business’s Google Business Profile (GBP) page is an extremely strong technique to attract people to a website or business, mainly if it’s a physical store.
To secure your Google Business Profile optimization, you should:
- Create a Google Business Profile page and verify it.
- Utilize Google Posts in your Google account.
- Encourage your consumers to post online reviews.
- Respond to evaluations with authenticity and location-specific detail.
Engage in social media with customers
Google now places a higher value on material users share on social media platforms.
Now that you’ve optimized your Google Business Profile page to perfection, you can further integrate social media and search by posting links on your social media profiles.
Verify local citations: name, address, and phone number
Local citations are internet mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). It is essential to be present in critical directories and to maintain consistency across all citations. Ensure that your NAP is up-to-date on every webpage before changing other pages.
Avoid the usual error of placing simply the NAP within a picture; images cannot be indexed by search engines as HTML text can.
The NAP is most frequently located in the site’s footer or header. Additionally, your NAP should be included on a “Contact Us” page.
Utilize tools to search for current entries and determine which additional web directories need to be updated.
Conduct a local SEO audit
Once you have mastered the essentials, it may be tempting to apply the brakes. However, SEO is a process that is ongoing and intuitive. Instead of stopping there or merely making changes to see what sticks, it is preferable to do a thorough audit to determine the current state of your website and the areas that require improvement to meet your goals.
To conduct a comprehensive Local SEO audit, it is recommended that you address the following questions and factors:
- Audit of Google Business Profile – How does your Google Business Profile show in the search results pages (SERPs)? Are the details accurate?
- Audit of Google Search Console – Is your site crawlable? Exist any errors that would prevent indexing?
- On-Page SEO Audit – Does your website have all the on-page SEO factors contributing to ranking?
- Citation Audit – Are all your citations in the leading local business directories accurate? How does your website compare to the sites of your competitors any holes that need to be filled? How do your inbound links, content, design, and positioning compare to your competitors?
- Website Performance Audit – How effective is your website?
Enhance your internal linking structure to boost local SEO factors
Although external links to your site are excellent, modifying your internal linking structure is on the ranking factors that will also improve your SEO rankings.
Why is internal linking significant? It operates as follows:
- Facilitates site navigation
- Helps with website information architecture and hierarchy
- Distribution of page authority and ranking power
What are the signs that you need a local SEO consultant for your website?
You may lose out on many potential consumers if you don’t put the time and effort into your information becoming noticed through search engines in your location. In addition, unlike other marketing tactics, such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, SEO can help your business survive and win out your competition over the long term.
Suppose you are still unsure whether a local SEO consultant would benefit your business’s digital marketing efforts and rankings. In that case, the following indicators will help you determine whether or not investing in a local SEO consultant would be the wisest course of action for you.
- Sudden decline In organic visitor flow of your website
It is common practice for Google and other search engines to continually improve the quality of the user experience and information by adjusting the algorithm’s rankings used by the respective platforms. Because of these changes, there is a possibility that your rankings will be negatively impacted.
Additionally, this may result in significant financial damages for your business. Suppose you can master the algorithms used by search engines and remain on top of any new developments or shifts in the industry. In that case, you can maintain a competitive advantage over your rivals and generate potential leads.
- The rankings of competitors are higher
According to a survey by Search Engine Land, an astounding 90 percent of individuals who conduct online searches say that they are most likely to click on the results displayed on the first page rankings of a search. This demonstrates that you need to optimize your site and the information it contains in such a way that it shows on page 1 and above your rivals. But that’s far simpler to say than it is to do.
Because there is more competition than ever before, it is becoming increasingly challenging to be on the rankings of page 1. The majority of companies are now aware of the significance of SEO. You ought to do something greater than the others. Suppose your business has yet to gain this expertise internally. In that case, it indicates that you may require assistance from a local SEO agency or an expert who is familiar with SEO and understands how to improve a website’s place inside the search engine ranking positions.
- You are not optimized in the ‘Near Me’ SEO
A variety of location-based apps, such as Google Maps and AroundMe, enable users to locate stores close to them and get into the local pack. You will need to optimize for this kind of search, even on social media sites with these features, for your content to appear in results like this. This is relevant, especially when implementing local SEO for small businesses.
For instance, some customers new to your city who is utilizing Google Maps may select the “explore” button to look for eateries in the area where they are now located. When the button is pressed, a list of all relevant websites appears on the screen or the local pack. Your website will be indexed in the search results if thoroughly optimized. In turn, this may enhance the likelihood that individuals will approach you.
- No content planning and production
Most entrepreneurs don’t have the time to devote to regularly developing new content, even though current and fresh information is of the utmost importance. Also, producing valuable material is one thing, but optimizing that content so it may be rated well is entirely different.
You will need to do keyword research and identify appropriate keywords, put them in the appropriate locations, and maintain the appropriate volume. These are some of the different optimization strategies that can be applied and one that a local SEO can help you with.
- You don’t utilize mobile SEO
In a study, 89% of Google searches for local businesses are accomplished on mobile devices; therefore, you need the services of a local SEO consultant if you do not include mobile in your local SEO strategy.
When you are traveling or even just going out for the night, it is doubtful that you will take your computer with you. Most people are just using a mobile device to look for a hotel, restaurant, or another type of business when they are out and about.
Even when prospective customers are not using their mobile devices, mobile SEO can still be of assistance. In fact, 78% of all local searches conducted on mobile devices will end in a purchase made in person. Thus, your goal should be to position your website in the local pack of the SERPs.
Get more local searches and more people in the door
Ranking on Google, as well as other search engines, was an easy task e a decade ago. Still, due to the tremendous increase in websites and information, achieving a high position in search results and local packs is much more challenging.
These days, businesses shell out a significant portion of their marketing budgets to hire consultants or organizations that will assist them in improving the search engine rankings of their websites. They do this since they know local SEO’s return on investment (ROI) is far higher than many other marketing approaches. If you are still considering utilizing one for your business, consider the information presented above to assist in expanding your organization. Looking to hire a local SEO consultant? Schedule a discovery call today!