A Complete Guide to Local SEO for Business
According to a consumer survey published on Bright Local, 99% of consumers have searched for local businesses online in the past year. Interestingly, even though users don’t use the qualifier “near me” in their searches, Google shows geo-specific results for the most part. The algorithm is designed to show users results relevant to their field and high-ranking ones.
Local SEO can have a profound impact on your revenue and growth whether you are new to digital marketing or planning to launch your physical business in the online space. Whether service- or product-based, implementing local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies could help your business rise to the top of search results for relevant keywords.
This article covers everything you need to know, to understand what local SEO is and why it’s important for business.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process by which businesses can improve their search engine rankings and visibility. Specifically, brick-and-mortar businesses find it useful to turn their leads into customers. An SEO assessment and regional advertising strategy can help any business expand its online visibility.
Search engines use local content, links and social media profiles to give the best local results to the user for a geo-specific search. So not only can you promote your products and services online, but your business can leverage e-commerce to increase sales. A solid SEO strategy and a professionally designed website are invaluable assets for any business.
You may want to work with a consultant or agency to take your business to the next level of digital marketing. For example, if you run a business in Utah, look for the best Utah SEO Company online to help you stand out in local searches, social media, maps and directories.
Why is local SEO important?
According to one study, more than 78% of searches on mobile with local intent resulted in an offline purchase. This means that more and more customers are using online information like social media pages and online reviews to arbitrate in-person purchases. So if you own a physical business, you have a high chance of earning local SEO income.
If you are looking for details, local SEO helps you:
a. Reach your target audience
Consumers in different places have different demographics. If your business operates in multiple locations, it can become difficult to structure your digital marketing strategy. So you need to personalize content and your online presence to reach audiences everywhere and achieve optimal sales. With local SEO, it becomes easier to communicate with your geo-specific audience.
b. Improve search engine rankings
Google’s algorithm takes location-specific data into account when presenting results for a keyword. For example, if you search for a pet hotel from a location in Utah, you will find results for pet hotels in Utah, not California or Texas. Google uses various ranking signals to provide you with the best results. These range from user location, relevant keywords in searches and NAP citations to keywords in online reviews, check-ins for that location, and social media shares. Outranking your competitor for these ranking signals increases your chances of appearing at the top of search results for the targeted keyword.
vs. Extend your reach
Many users search for businesses by mentioning the location (city, state, or region) in the search bar. For example, a potential customer might search for “pizzerias in Salt Lake City” or “pet-friendly hotels in Denver.” If you tailor your company’s online presence to the location you are targeting; chances are that potential customers will find out about your business. Start by doing a quick search for keywords relevant to your business. Adopting local SEO strategies is the best way for small businesses to expand their reach and increase their revenue.
Local SEO Tips for Business
Optimize for Google My Business
To appear on Google Maps when a potential customer searches for your business or keyword, you must create a profile on Google My Business. This is a business directory that establishes your presence on Google for free. The process is simple. All you need is a business account that helps you manage multiple locations of your business. When setting up a Google Business account, add links to your store or website for that specific location so the customer is directed to the one they are interested in.
Claim other business directories
Like Google My Business, set up your business profile on other directories like Bing or Yelp. Add necessary information such as address, opening hours, relevant photos and contact information in the directory. You can also link each directory listing to the location-specific page on your website. Claiming more business directories increases your chances of outperforming your competition in search results. It also helps potential customers learn more about your business and what it offers.
Conduct competitor research
Stock search for competitors is vital for any marketing strategy and not just for digital or local SEO. You may need to assess and understand the market and competition if you have a business in multiple locations. Knowing what makes your business unique or how you can differentiate your product or service from a competitor in the same field helps attract more customers.
Use a single online domain
When creating your business profile in multiple directories, use only one domain, even if you operate in multiple locations. It’s tempting to create a separate website for each location, but that only prevents your customers from recognizing your business. Also, it takes time to create different content for each domain. Instead, stick with one domain and create multiple web pages for each location.
If you own a business, getting monthly visits to your website and leads from users outside of your geographic area won’t help your business significantly. So if you’re not reaching your local audience, your business might be underperforming in terms of sales and revenue generation. With local SEO strategies, you can reach potential customers in your service area and secure higher offline or online sales. Consider hiring a local SEO company that handles everything from site auditing to content creation and helps you establish a successful online presence.