If you are a business owner / entrepreneur who is strongly looking for increasing sales for your products / services at the local level then you are at the right place. This blog will describe what is local SEO, how to do local SEO and local SEO strategy required so you can take advantage of Local SEO.
SEO is an important tool for small businesses to grow their online presence and thrive in the digital world. Local SEO, on the other hand, is a local search engine optimization strategy that helps businesses rank in local search results on Google.
Every business needs a place to list their business. Local listings work like catalogs. Having a listing on a local directory is a must for every local business. Plus, they can be really effective in directing customers to your business.
Here is the list for local listing in SEO
- Google My Business
- Yellow Pages
- Bing Places
- Apple Maps
You must look for local SEO to get found by local consumers looking online for your services. Just think of local SEO like today’s phone book! That guide tells you everything you need to know about every company in your area, from the name of the owner to the address and phone number.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of getting your website listed higher in “local” search engine results when people type in search phrases describing what they are looking for in their geographic area.
Local SEO is a strategy that helps you rank higher in organic search results for relevant geographic areas.
Local SEO allows businesses to increase the volume of traffic they receive from their target market by optimizing their online presence with keywords and phrases that are relevant to their target local area. Local SEO is vital if you want to improve your visibility and attract more customers.
Why is local SEO important for small business? Or Why do we need local SEO?
You might be wondering how many google searches are local? approximately 46% of google searches are looking for local information. You need a strong Local SEO strategy to attract more customers to your business.
When people type in a search phrase that describes something they are looking for (i.e.Take the case of someone who is looking for a good restaurant in their area), they will usually click on the first few sites that come up in the results. And, those first few sites are usually the ones that contain the most relevant and descriptive content.
Google search engine sorts out local search results into three sections – sponsored, snack pack and organic.
In this example, the three featured businesses are the ones that appear in a box related to search results. What this means is there’s a better chance of visibility for your listing if it is included in the “snack pack”.
One way to make this happen is by doing what is known as “local SEO”.
Businesses who prioritize their local SEO will experience an increase in revenue, as well as more positive customer reviews.
Most consumers use a search engine to find local services, and 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business. Hence your website must be optimized for mobile as mobile users are more likely to contact local businesses with a mobile compatible site.
Higher rankings in the search results and in the local pack (maps listings) means more traffic to your website. Having your business on the map ensures your business is easily found and enables people to find you.
Benefits of Local SEO
- Improve Online Visibility : If your business name isn’t appearing on the first page,chances are audiences don’t even know your business exist. Local SEO techniques will help you rank on the first page.
- Reduce Ad Costs : Google My Business is a free advertisement for your website, and gain more valuable traffic than a paid ad.
- Increased Sales : It creates your authority in local area, which may increase traffic and traffic leads to a boost in sales.
How to do local SEO ?
Step1: Google My Business (GMB)
This is most important step in local SEO. In this step you need to Claim and Optimize Google My Business (GMB). Creating Google My Business account is one of the easiest part of local SEO.
Just visit https://google.com/business
You will land up on the page like below.
Click on the Manage Now button and enter all the relevant information of your business.
You can check or edit (if required) all your information by clicking info at the left side bar.
Don’t forget to add your business website in the information as it will create a free back-link for your website.
After completing all above steps Google then sends you a PIN to your business address.
You need to use PIN to verify the address.
If you have completed all the steps correctly then Congratulations, within a couple of days you should see your business name included on the map.
Step 2: Keyword research
Do extensive keyword research of your competitor and see for which keywords they are ranking. And make sure that you are using the right keywords for your products or services.
For more convenience and accurate results you’ll need to use a keyword research tool like Semrush or Ahrefs.
Step 3: On page SEO Techniques
Include your keywords in H1 Tag. Add target keyword in title tag. Set the URL slug to keyword.
Optimize your website homepage which displays Name, Address, Phone number (NAP) information which is exactly matching with Google My Business.
Also use google Structured Data Markup Helper and select Local Business option on the screen.
After completing the relevant information it will generate a script code which you can add to the header section of your website.
Step 4: Build Local Citations
There are two types of citations: structured and unstructured.
Structured citations is the information that mentions your NAP information in a visually structured manner. This may include places like business directories and social profiles.
Unstructured citations are mentions of your business that don’t follow the structure. This might be blog posts, vendor pages. According to MOZ.com citation signals are the top local ranking factor.
You can find industry-specific citations, such as:
- TripAdvisor (for restaurants, hotels, etc.)
- FindLaw.com (for attorneys)
- HealthGrades.com (for doctors)
- HomeAdvisor.com (for plumbers, trades people, etc.)
Step 5: Build Backlinks
Be active on social media and start interacting with others in your industry and guest blog for them. It also increases your online reputation.
You can use Google search query like “your keyword + guest-posts” to find blogs accepting guest contributors.
Check how your competitors are creating their content and also study their link building technique.
Authoritative websites that link to your website creates better rankings.
Local SEO Strategy
To grab local customers’ attention you need some strategies which may include:
- Write blog posts around local news, activities, or events
- Create videos about local causes that your business supports
- Setup location-specific web pages on your website with high-quality local content (if you serve different parts of a country)
Finally here is the Local SEO Checklist for you
- Registration of your business on Google My Business (GMB)
- Keyword research for your product or services
- Publish Name, Address, Phone number (NAP) on home page of your website
- Submit your website to high authority Local Directory
- Build backlinks
- High quality content with reference to local area
- Mobile optimized website
If you don’t want to do all the efforts required for local SEO then you can hire a Local SEO Marketing agency.
Local SEO isn’t as simple as putting your address on the website, but more about creating a strong online presence of your business.