What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is an approach to search engine optimization (SEO) that makes your business appear more prominently in Google’s local search results. Local SEO is beneficial for any business that has a physical location or serves a specific region, city, or nearby area.
If you run a local business like a store, restaurant, or agency, you want your web pages to show up for specific local search terms. Making sure that people can find you both online and offline is the goal of optimizing the website for your nearby business. Even now, even though you might not be getting many people into your building, you’re still trying to reach people who live nearby.
Local search has been for a long time, but its use was restricted because most people exclusively used desktop computers. Local SEO has become crucial for the success of any company supplying local products or services as well as local marketers due to the recent explosion in mobile internet connectivity.
Why Local SEO is important?
Even without a website, local SEO makes your company stand out and increases foot traffic to your storefront by generating online leads. These leads are also likely to have a high conversion rate because they come from people who are specifically looking for the goods or services your company provides.
Searches with a local focus are increasing, with 4 in 5 users now utilizing search engines to locate local information, and a massive 75% of users being directed to a real store by search result information. Additionally, local SEO influences consumer choice in your favour. The more knowledge they have about your company before they come, the more credible you appear to them.
These additional examples indicate the continued importance of the local search for businesses:
- Google reports that 28% of local smartphone searches result in a purchase, and 76% of those searches lead to a visit to a business.
- Google estimates that geography is a relevant consideration in 30% of the searches it processes.
- Google Maps is used by 86% of people to locate businesses.
- For their local searches, more than half of all Internet users globally utilize a mobile device.
- To find out more about nearby businesses, 85% of searchers use Google Search; 60% use Google Maps, 45% use Apple Maps, 40% use Yahoo, and 30% use Bing.
- Around the world, 74% of in-store customers who conducted their search prior to entering the store claimed to have looked for information such as “closest store nearby,” “locations,” “in stock nearby,” and other kinds of location-based data.
How does Local SEO work?
In order to return a list of websites that match your search, Google analyses the pattern of several website signals, or ranking variables, such as how relevant your site is when you enter a search term.
Most people are unaware that when they type something into Google’s search bar, it doesn’t immediately perform a live search of the entire internet. Actually, it’s searching for a cached duplicate of every site that Google has found. The Google Index is the name of this replica.
Google uses “spiders” which are tiny algorithms that crawl the web to create the index. Every spider operates in the same manner: it begins on a single page, follows the links on that page, then scans the information on subsequent pages, and so forth.
As web content is crawled, Google’s servers store it, and an index is created. The size of the spiders’ labour is astounding; they continuously crawl trillions of pages at an exceedingly quick rate. By doing this, the index is kept as current as possible and new websites and links are found rapidly.
What is the difference between SEO and Local SEO?
Traditional and local SEO both concentrate on improving your ranks in internet search results so that more people can discover, get in touch with, and buy from your business.
Local SEO enables you to seize local search territory to interact with searchers in your area, unlike traditional SEO, which concentrates on increasing your website’s visibility on a national or international scale. Many of the tactics used by SEO and local SEO are similar. However, local SEO strategies use unique techniques to connect you with local searchers or visitors.
Now that you are aware of the distinctions between local SEO and SEO, let’s examine some characteristics of each approach.
Businesses that use organic SEO typically want to rank for certain keywords and reliable content. The goal of a local search marketing campaign, on the other hand, is to rank for a specific place related to the business.
Your business’s nature and type will determine whether you should pursue organic or local SEO, as each offers an advantage. You should choose organic SEO if your customers are not geographically bound. On the other hand, local SEO is the way to go if your company only operates in a specific geographic region and sells its goods or renders its services there.
How to do/optimize Local SEO?
If you’re relatively new to local SEO, you may have many questions and be unsure about how to begin optimizing. This section clarifies the local SEO landscape and provides some key local SEO strategies.
There are several factors involved here, so let’s concentrate on the most important ones:
Enable and improve your GMB listing
The most important aspect of any local SEO strategy is GMB or Google My Business. Using this Google service, you can make free business listings. Visit the Google My Business website to begin by claiming or adding your listing. For your GMB listing, you must give the following information:
- Your complete and accurate Business name
- Your physical address for your business
- The location of you on a map
- your category of business
- Your contact info and website (if applicable)
By routinely posting company updates and new information, you may further enhance your GMB profile.
Remember to keep mobile in mind
It makes sense that many individuals would use their smartphones to look for local information and companies since that smartphones are a common part of our daily lives. In a survey that UberAll paid for, it was discovered that 82% of respondents had used their mobile devices to do a “near me” search. This demonstrates how frequently individuals use their phones for local searches.
Therefore, it’s important that you satisfy these searchers by making your website mobile-friendly. Make your website mobile-friendly so that visitors using mobile devices may easily navigate it and locate the information they require.
Gather a large number of customer reviews
Review signals are also important in local search and snack pack ranking. Having a large number of genuine reviews, particularly favourable ones, may do wonders for your visibility in local search as well as your reputation. That means you should work on getting more genuine customer reviews for your company.
Continue to concentrate your efforts on sites where Google expects businesses to have reviews. As a result, it will collect reviews from consumer directories and social media in addition to your website and GMB listing.
Work on local links Building
Your ranking in local searches and snack pack results is influenced by a number of factors, including link signals like linking domain authority and quantity. As a result, link building is also necessary for local SEO in order to improve your link profile. The linked domains, however, ought to be more pertinent to your intended location.
As a result, you should focus on authoritative websites in your intended market. The Chamber of Commerce, trade associations, licensing offices, and even.edu websites could all fall under this category.
Collaborations, awards, guest posts, and other opportunities could all be great ways to get high-quality backlinks from regional websites.
Consistency of NAP/citation required
In order to improve local search results, Google takes into account citation signals including citation volume and NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) consistency. This means that your information should be available on important citation websites, such as Bing Maps, Yelp, and Facebook in addition to GMB. Prioritize larger domain authority directories above smaller listing directories.
Make sure your company’s NAP is consistent across all platforms and websites, which is more significant. To enhance your local SEO, keep an eye out for any misspellings, address and phone number inconsistencies, and duplicate listings.
Utilize social listening to its full potential
Although social listening has traditionally been used as a source of marketing information, it has numerous other advantages as well. If you know what insights to look for and how to make the most of them, it may even support your local SEO approach.
Use social listening to find out what locals are saying about your company or the local area in general. It might also be used to gather data on the preferences and interests of the viewers. Take advantage of this information to determine how you might alter your strategy or even your products and services.
What is a Citation for Local SEO
A local citation, also known as NAP data, is any online reference of a local business’s name, address, and phone number, whether it is partial or complete. Citations might appear in social media platforms, on websites and apps, and in local business directories. Citations both aid in local business discovery and have an effect on local search engine rankings. In particular, having solid basic citations can improve your position on Google’s local search results pages. Numerous citations can be actively managed by nearby firms to guarantee data accuracy.
Types of Local Citations
Online references to your company regularly arise without any direct action on the part of the company. Online citations may be produced through automated aggregation and the data flow from platforms that store local business information. Data from one website, such as Data Axle, may flow down to another, such as YP.com. Due to the nature of the web, it is crucial for local businesses to take charge of the quality of their data. By doing this, inaccurate data may be found and fixed, minimizing client loss, lost revenue, and any adverse effects on local search rankings.
The primary categories of local citations are shown below:
- Search Engines – Google, Bing and Apple.
- Primary Data Aggregators – Foursquare, Data Axle, and Neustar/Localize are examples of core platforms.
- Major Social Platforms and Important Directories – Important local business listings can also be created on well-known social media and review websites like Facebook, Yelp, and others.
- Platforms dedicated to the Specific Location/industries – Your business can aim to create listings on websites that are particular to its particular sector and area in addition to developing local business listings on the big local business data platforms that serve all industries. Websites for business chambers or those of trade organizations and guilds serve as examples of these platforms.
- Unstructured Citations – On a wide range of media, including blogs, news websites, apps, maps, government databases, and more, supplementary citations can be created or acquired. Despite not being designed primarily for the publication of local business listings, these still serve as references to your company.
- Owned Properties/Websites – The most reliable online source for information about your company is its website. All of the citation kinds mentioned above can be created using automated software (like Moz Local), by manually filling out forms on local business platforms, or by using other PR/marketing techniques on various platforms.
Why are Local Citations Important?
Local citations are crucial since they influence search results ranks and aid users in finding new businesses.
Better Ranking in Local Search
Verified content frequently receives higher rankings. Your local SEO effort can benefit from improved ranks and local citations. They also help search engines verify the information about the business itself.
Increase website traffic
Increased visibility through search engines would indicate improved or better ranks. This results in visitors to your website, which can help you generate new business and strengthen your brand. You may put your company in a variety of directories by using local SEO services to add the proper citations, which directs traffic from Google and other search engines to your website.
Use business directories as a springboard
Online business directories typically appear as the first result when you search online. With local citations, you may benefit from these directories’ opportunities for local businesses, as web directories do.
Create a customer base
With the correct local citations, adding your company to many business directories can increase your consumer base. Customers want to know whether a company is trustworthy and sincere. Listing in directories with local references shows sincerity and fosters trust.
Increases state of awareness
Citations from the area can help people learn more about your business. Users can learn more about your business through accurate information, especially if it is a new player in the industry.
It is crucial for you to use local SEO tactics as a business owner to draw in and keep local clients. You should first add your company to GMB and other web directories. Additionally, you must look for regional keywords and include them in your blogs, videos, and website material. Additionally, you must inspire pleased clients to leave favourable evaluations and testimonials. And finally, you can quickly establish your brand authority by giving each of your product and service offerings its own page.