Search Engine Optimization is an important element of the marketing strategy of any business. Local SEO is nothing but an SEO strategy that helps your business to be more visible in the local search results on Google. It is one of the most impactful methods of marketing any local business online and ensure that they rank high up in the search engine results.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website to increase traffic, leads, conversions, and thus, brand awareness from local search. By following certain local SEO techniques, businesses can improve their organic traffic on the website from the searches performed by clients in areas with close proximity. In order to collect information for these, certain search engines count on signals like local content, social media profiles, backlinks, citations, and reviews, to be able to provide the most relevant local search results to a potential client.
Businesses can use local SEO services to place their products and services to prospective clients who are searching for those particular goods and services. Whether you are a plumber, restaurant, or lawyer, if your business or service is not present on the first page of the search results page, they tend to lose a lot of leads and conversions. The ultimate goal of SEO is to use search engines as a source of leads and grow your business.
Initially, searches made on search engines were desktop-driven, as there were not the level of technological advancements that there is today. Now people want answers to their queries where they are on the move. Statistics suggest that over 40% of online searches have local content that is preferred by searchers.
These refer to the use of special search engines that help local businesses to show up in relevant local reaches made by users. Local search queries are not only about keywords that have the name of the business, but also information like address, name of the city, etc.
SERPs stand for search engine result pages. They are the result pages that emerge when a user performs a search with local intent. A local SERP appears differently from a normal SERP, as the people want information like store opening timings, address, telephone numbers, etc.
The algorithms followed are also not the same as search engines follow at the time of normal SEO. The criteria for determining the rank for local SEO are based on customer reviews, public image, etc.
Since people looking for information on a resident business tend to want different types of information, like maps, store hours, and review information, your typical SERPs look a lot different than a standard search results page.
Importance of Local SEO
SEO is a common practice of executing certain strategies to optimize websites that will enable them to rank higher in online searches. Local SEO does the same and targets specific audiences in your in Certain advantages of local SEO are:
It increases website traffic from users in the area
SEO services for local businesses boost traffic to your website by ranking you at the top in certain local searches relevant to your products or services. This traffic can increase your website’s visibility, improves the generation of leads and thus conversions which facilitate your brand name to be known widely locally.
It is a cost-effective solution
Local SEO allows businesses to upload important information about their site online, like timings, address, website link, phone number, etc. This helps in increasing the online exposure of your business and more locals get to know about it. All you have to do is to set your business up in certain online listings like Google My Business, Facebook, etc. which makes it a free and effective form of online advertising. Agencies offer Local SEO services and are a popular choice as affordable SEO services are a plus point.
Local searches target leads from mobile users
Local SEO targets both desktop as well as mobile users. Mobile searches have become the more preferred way of online searches today. Reports suggest that 79% of mobile phone owners use their smartphones to conduct local searches. This implies that for local SEO, businesses should make sure that their websites are optimized for smartphones.
How to optimize your website for Local SEO?
In order to rank higher on the SERPs, many steps should be followed for the same. The most important steps to be followed for local SEO are:
Google My Business Listing
Your Google My Business page is a platform designed to helps businesses to manage their Google listings. It is a snapshot of the business listing that appears whenever someone searches about anything related to your business and its offerings.
Once a business is listed on Google, the name, address, telephone numbers, and all such important data appear as search results. This gives the potential customers the opportunity to know about your company and get in touch. .It depicts your business on a local map, office timings, customer reviews, and certain images related to your brand. In order to fully use this page, you should include detailed information and keywords in your description of the business.
Some tips for writing an impressive Google listing
- Write a short, crisp, keyword-friendly business description
- Add your address and office hours
- Provide photos and videos depicting location, brand, and products
- Ask existing clients to write reviews and respond
- Enable messaging through Google My Business so that people can contact you when they come across the listing
Using GMB can help you to convert leads into conversions instantly. Moreover, by optimizing your profile, you can inform search engines what your company is all about and increases your chances of ranking higher in the search engine results. The proper management of a GMB profile is an essential element of a successful SEO strategy.
Keyword research is one of the most fundamental parts of a local SEO campaign. A business should know what search terms should be ranked once you start optimizing your website.
Keyword research is important because:
- It helps understand the search behaviors of target audiences
- Helps develop landing pages that are concentrated on search words
- To find related markets to launch or relaunch products and services into
Citations are a vital fragment of how search engines ensure that their searchers are obtaining useful results on searches made. It is basically any place your business’s NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) appears together, mostly in an online directory or a business listing website.
Building and maintaining accurate citations help to build an online presence for the business. They also send signals to search engines that the content on their website is relevant, thus making it easier for potential consumers to find you.
Citations are necessary because if you don’t appear in search results related to your products or services, you are likely to be defeated by your competitor brands, who have the required citations which helped them in appearing in local searches.
Online reviews are very essential as not only do they help potential customers find you, they also help in local SEO rankings. Reviews are a way that is used by Google to determine how well you are ranking on searches.
In local SEO, the main focus is on the content related to products or services that are offered by local businesses. In order to have better search engine rankings and increased consumer loyalty, a business needs to make online review management a part of its digital marketing strategy.
Online reputation management is becoming an integral element for any business nowadays. This makes reviews significant for any business. Having a strong online review management strategy also helps Google realize that your business deserves to rank higher in the SERPs.
SEO can be broadly divided it On-page SEO and Off-page SEO. Although Off-page tactics like online reviews and Google My Business are considered effective tactics, On-page work is a very necessary component to rank higher in local search results.
In order to do that, a business needs to localize its website. One needs to mention the country, city, and other location-based keywords all throughout the site. They need to ensure that keyword is included in the important areas of focus like the URL, Meta description for the web page, images, content written, etc. It is very important to have an SEO-friendly website to be able to rank higher.
Without the right procedures for On-page optimization, all other local SEO efforts will not be impactful and help in increasing online rankings.
Approximately 61% of marketers have suggested that improving local SEO and developing an online presence is their utmost priority. As businesses work on finding ways to rank higher in organic searches, the search engines respond with new ways to ensure that people get the most relevant information when they search for any product or service.
Banyanbrain is a digital marketing agency that offers digital marketing services inclusive of Local SEO services to clients in India as well as abroad, and designs marketing strategies custom-made for your business to ensure that you get the desired results. Partner with us and stay up-to-date on the trends in the marketing sector and rank high on the SERPs.