An online presence in the form of websites or social media posts has the ability to reach a wider audience, but what about the brick-and-mortar businesses that neither have any website or social media accounts nor require one? For them, the word-of-mouth marketing seemed to be the only option, until ‘Local SEO’ came in the picture.
Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing the content in a way that it ranks better on the search engine. This works well for big companies that have an online presence, but for local vendors, there is local SEO.
The question that arises here is, how effective is local SEO? To answer this, we have cumulated some statistics –Research by ‘Social Media Today’ shows that 97% of search engine users search online to find a local business, and a total of 46% of Google searches seek local information. Hence, not inculcating local SEO would result in a massive loss of prospective customers for vendors.
What is Local SEO?
Simply put, local SEO is the process of making a business more visible in the local searches. Google’s aim is to deliver the best results for all the queries, so when someone searches for a ‘cake shop,’ it automatically shows results for the same nearby. Local SEO’s work here is to make sure your cake shop ranks higher, especially in your area. It separates search results from a specific location, and focuses on those people so they see more of your page and ultimately reach where you are.
If a company implements a good local SEO strategy, Google will automatically display results based on the location. However, the local SEO process differs from the usual one, as it mostly caters to businesses in specific locations, more about this later.
Why is Local SEO important?
Local SEO puts your business on top
Research shows, 61% of consumers search locally every day. This clearly indicates that many people search online for a local business, so it is crucial for a business to implement local SEO.
Looking at things more practically, when a person searches for a nearby restaurant, they are likely to pick out one of the top most options. Hence, beating your competition and ranking at the top of any relevant local search will definitely confirm a top place in people’s search results. To make things clearer, 44% of local search users click one of the first three locations in the local 3-pack, but only 8% click to load more local search results. This means that most people see no business other than top results, emphasizing the importance of being at the top. This is super true for small companies that are still working on building their customer base. What’s cool is that using local SEO for small business can help you compete and show up more when people nearby run searches related to your products and services. Also, it’s a good idea to get help from experts because there are a bunch of things to handle that require specific knowledge.
Local SEO gives you a competitive advantage
Digital marketing and SEO in general are becoming very competitive as more and more companies realize their potential and try to gain an edge over the competition. However, local SEO is something many businesses are not yet taking advantage of. In fact, only 44% of businesses have applied for a Google My Business listing, despite this being one of the absolute first steps in the local SEO optimization checklist. That means it’s not that hard to win over your customers by outperforming the local competitors in local search.
Local searches are growing rapidly, leading to increased sales. This is why local SEO is so important for businesses. Focusing on optimizing your local SEO ranking can give you a significant competitive advantage in the market. Thoroughly research best practices, stay abreast of new trends, and stay ahead of the curve. Sources like Moz, Bright Local, and HubSpot are great places to read informative blogs and sign up for educational resources dedicated to local SEO.
Local searches spark trade
So many people do local searches to find businesses like yours in their area, but the real value of local search engine optimization lies deeper. In truth, local searches come from people who are most likely to increase sales for your business.
Research shows that 78% of the local searches on mobile lead to offline purchases. According to another survey, 88% of people search for the business locally on their smartphone, and end up visiting to the store within 24 hours. If you have ever Googled local businesses near you, think about the mindset. You wanted something and were an active buyer, which is why you looked up the local businesses in your area.
Once you find a company that has what you want, you go to the store or call them to make an appointment. That’s the power of local search. They represent people actively searching for what your business sells.
How does Local SEO work?
The different ways Google ranks websites also take into account the number of people searching for your business’s exact location because of this element of user behavior, Google now takes a user’s location into account when searching. This happens automatically, so you don’t need to add your location or words like ‘near me’ or ‘nearby’.
A Google search for “Italian Delivery” or “Dentist Appointment” will bring up a list of nearby locations.
With the rise of mobile phone users and the ease of just swiping on their phone and typing in a search, more and more companies think they should be visible to these users. Because of this, the demand for local SEO is increasing as it drives awareness and growth of local services and products.
How to Boost your Local SEO strategy?
Optimize your Google My Business (GBM)
GMB or Google My Business is basically the most important part of any local SEO strategy. Create a free business listing with this Google tool. This is one of the biggest factors Google considers when ranking businesses in organic local search and snack pack search results.
To start, go to the Google My Business website and apply for or create a listing. You must provide the following details for your GMB listing:
- Full and correct company name
- Physical company/office address
- Exact location on the map
- Phone number and website (if applicable)
As soon as your entry is online, you usually have to call or send a postcard to confirm. To optimize Google My Business after verification follow these steps:
- Upload your company photo. These can be pictures of your shop/office or pictures of your premises.
- Please enter your business hours.
- Specify additional categories related to your business.
- Include additional phone numbers if possible. You can further optimize your GMB profile by regularly sharing business updates and new content.
Ensure maximum Customer Reviews
Reviews work wonders for local SEO and snack pack rankings. Having a good number reviews, preferably positive ones, will boost your visibility and also enhance your reputation. That implies you need to pursue gathering more true client audits for your business.
Keep your focus on websites where Google would expect reviews from businesses. In addition to your website and GMB listing, it will also collect reviews from social media and consumer directories. As a result, you should concentrate on gathering feedback for various platforms like Facebook, Yelp, Thumbtack, Foursquare, and Angie’s List. based on which ones are pertinent to your company.
Concentrate on building local links
Link signals like linking domain authority and quantity are among the most important factors that affect your ranking in snack pack results and local searches. Therefore, in order to increase your link profile, local SEO necessitates link building just like regular SEO. However, the linking domains ought to be more relevant to the location you want to target.
That implies, you ought to target authority sites in your specific area. This could be anything from the Chamber of Commerce and trade associations to licensing bureaus and.edu websites.
Scholarships, partnerships, guest posts, and other things could be fantastic methods for acquiring useful backlinks from local websites. For instance, the Connecticut College website’s “Attractions” page features links to a number of nearby establishments.
Voice Search and Local SEO
Research shows that there are over a billion voice searches in a month, and out of those, the majority are intended for a local search. This strongly suggests that local SEO now requires optimizing for voice. For SEO that is solely focused on voice, you must investigate and identify long-tail keywords. Long tail keywords account for more than 70% of global searches. Naturally, the addition of geographic indicators to keywords is necessary for pure local SEO.
It is essential to have an up-to-date listing on Google My Business as well as listings on other major search engines like Bing, as one of the benefits of voice search optimization is to establish a local presence. Even if they don’t want to visit your website, relevant information like your location and hours of operation will still be required by them.
As many categories as possible should be filled in on GMB, keeping in mind that it is assisting in directing customers to your website or physical location. When someone inquires about the best headset for video conferencing, they want as much information as possible, including your URL and the time you are available. Users unconsciously spell out more in-depth search terms when using voice search and it is possible that this will boost your conversion rate.
Local SEO is very important because it helps you to increase your online visibility, bring more walk-in customers to your location, attract more targeted traffic and increase your chances of conversion, and also increase credibility and build trust in your customers. It is very crucial for traditional business models to survive as it brings a lot of new customers. The main purpose of an effective local SEO strategy is to guide prospective customers to your store, and this will only happen if your store ranks among the top results. You can also check SEOProfy for presessional aid. With technological advancements, people have the opportunity to do things in a very leisurely way, which is why optimizing is important for you to keep mobile phones in mind while strategizing anything. When done in the correct manner, keeping in mind the aforementioned things, a good local SEO strategy could land many customers in your store.