How Effective Local SEO Can Drive Customers to Your Business
The importance of local search engine optimization (SEO) has skyrocketed over the past few years (especially when it comes to local mobile searches). In fact, approximately 46% of all Google searches involve users seeking local information. That’s why Local SEO has become more important to your business than ever before. This is because it provides a highly targeted online marketing approach. That’s why you’ll find your business losing many potential customers and corresponding revenue if you haven’t yet started adopting local SEO strategies to build your online visibility.
The best aspect of local SEO when it comes to your overall digital marketing strategy is that local searches are performed by consumers actively seeking to buy your products or services. Many of these online searchers are using terms such as “near me” or “close by” when they perform their local searches so they can find exactly what they’re looking for at the local level. This makes these potential customers an ideal audience for you to target through local SEO techniques. The good news is that local SEO favors smaller businesses over the likes of retail giants like Amazon, WalMart and Target for valuable positions in local search results.
That’s why if your business desires to grow in a specific geographical area, you need to optimize your local SEO practices as an essential part of your overall digital marketing strategy. Without an effective local SEO strategy, your business will remain unnoticed by a local audience that’s actively looking to seek you out. Note that a successful local SEO strategy involves created a multifaceted approach for it to make an impact on your business. However, believe it or not, just 30% of small businesses have implemented any type of search engine optimization strategy at all, according to a recent survey from The Manifest.
In order for you to get the latest information about local SEO, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to effective local SEO techniques that will enable you to transform your digital marketing strategy when it comes to local search. Use these tried-and-true local SEO tips and strategies to start optimizing your website for local search results that will help you grow your business and substantially impact your bottom line.
What is Local SEO?
In today’s ever-changing digital landscape, local SEO serves as an essential SEO strategy to help your business become more visible in local search results on the major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. With an effective local SEO strategy in place, potential customers can effortlessly view accurate information about your business within a local context. Local SEO allows you to focus on ranking higher in the search engines to target potential customers in your local area instead of taking the type of scattershot approach used in the early years of online marketing.
As part of their complex algorithms, these search engines take your location into account whenever you search for a local keyword. The search engine algorithms focus on such factors as relevance, proximity and prominence when determining the place of your business in the rankings for any given local search. That’s why local SEO benefits any business that has a physical location or serves a specific geographical location. A strong local online presence will show the algorithms that your website is trustworthy and credible.
In addition, a local map pack is displayed above the organic search results on the Google search engine results page (SERP). It features a map containing business locations, as well as the listings of three relevant businesses to any search. Many online searchers never scroll past the first three listings (making the local map pack extremely valuable real estate on the SERP indeed!). By optimizing your business effectively for local search, you’ll also increase your chances of appearing in local map pack results.
How Does Local SEO Work?
By optimizing your website for local search, you can significantly boost local traffic and increase sales. The first step in your local SEO strategy is to optimize your website for local search by adding location-based content throughout your website. Make sure you research and implement location-specific keywords that your potential customers are using in their local searches. Here are some other proven ways you can enhance your local SEO efforts and boost your online visibility:
- Build Location Pages for Each of Your Business Locations as Well as the Specific Locations You Serve in Your Geographical Area (Attach Google Maps to Each Location Page)
- Optimize Your Site for Mobile (about 1/3 of all mobile searches are location related)
- Include a Location Specific “About Us” Page on Your Website
- Use Highly Localized Language to Exactly Match the Search Terms of Your Audience
- Claim Your Business on Popular Platforms Like Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yellow Book, Yelp, Foursquare, MapQuest, and Better Business Bureau (as well as any other industry-specific review sites and local business directories)
- Create and Maintain Social Media Pages for Your Business on Platforms Like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Others
- Work on Your Link-Building Efforts to Get Local, High-Quality and Industry-Relevant Backlinks to Your Website
- Optimize Meta Descriptions and Title Tags to Correspond with your Local SEO Objectives
- Create and Share Content and Well-Researched Articles Relevant to Your Industry
- Provide a Thorough, Sincere and Professional Response to Both Positive and Negative Customer Reviews
- Engage with Local Influencers on Social Media Who Can Promote Your Products or Services
- Encourage Your Existing Customers to Write Positive Reviews About Their Experience with Your Business
- Optimize for Voice Search (over 40% of adult consumers use voice search at least once per day)
- Publish Blog Posts Related to Local Activities, Events and News Stories
- Include Testimonials and Frequently Asked Questions Throughout Your Website
You’ll discover that Google My Business (GMB) is one of your most important resources when it comes to implementing your local SEO strategy. In fact, according to recent studies, GMB listings serve as No. 1 influencing factor when it comes to the effectiveness of local SEO.
To take advantage of Google My Business, you’ll first have to set up a GMB account for your business (think of GMB as a modern-day equivalent of the Yellow Pages). This will allow you to create and verify your local business on Google. Don’t forget to provide a complete and accurate description of your business and add pertinent information such as the product or service you sell, hours of operation and acceptable payment methods, along with images that help sell your business and set it apart from the competition. Your up-to-date business information will appear in Google.com, Google Maps and Google Earth.
Make sure to keep your GMB profile as up-to-date and accurate as possible. Regularly add posts full of fresh content to the GMB dashboard to share information about your products and services, special offers, upcoming events, and other information of interest to your local customers. Another great feature of GMB, Google Q&A, allows Google users provides potential customers with enhanced details about your business.
Why Do I Need Local SEO Services?
Partnering with an experienced local SEO company makes sense. That way you can ensure that you get the most out of your local SEO efforts. The many benefits of local SEO optimization for your business include:
- A Strong Web Presence in Your Local Niche Market
- Higher Search Engine Rankings to Improve Online Visibility
- More Relevant Website Traffic
- A Dramatic Increase in Loyal Customers or Clients
- Enhanced Trustworthiness and Niche Authority
How Much Does Local SEO Cost?
The cost of local SEO depends on multiple factors, including how many products and/or services you offer, how many business locations you have, the number of your competitors actively using local SEO, and your overall local SEO objectives, among others. If your business has multiple locations, you will want to make sure that you’re ranking for local searches in all of them. You will also want to consider partnering with a local SEO company that offers the experience and comprehensive local SEO services to exclusively tailor local SEO strategies to meet the needs of your business.
Consult with Local SEO Experts to Optimize Your Efforts
The bottom line is that if your business has a local focus, then you must tap into the power of local search. The chances are that some of your competitors have already taken steps to try to increase their edge when it comes to local SEO. That’s why you need to step in the ring and optimize your local SEO and knock out the competition by implementing all the latest local SEO techniques!
A comprehensive local SEO strategy can achieve amazing long-term results if implemented correctly. However, it’s important to remember that local SEO continues to evolve and change at a rapid pace. That’s why it’s important to enlist the aid of an experienced local SEO agency that offers comprehensive local SEO services and in-depth knowledge of all the latest and best local SEO techniques.
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