What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is similar to Search Engine Optimization, in that its also a way to affect the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results (SERP- search engine results page), often described as natural, organic or earned results. It helps businesses promote themselves to local customers at the same time they’re looking for them online. This is achieved through a variety of methods, some of which differ greatly from what’s practiced in standard SEO, and some of which are way easier to manage.
How is Local SEO different from SEO?
Over the years, Local SEO has evolved to create a targeted online marketing approach allowing local businesses to show up in SERP based on local search signals. This creates a difference from broader organic SEO which prioritizes relevance of the search over distance of the searcher. Local SEO is an incredibly effective way to optimize the online presence of a company/brand by attracting business from relevant local searches on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, other sites like LinkedIn, Angie’s List and Yelp, and social media channels like Facebook. According to Google, 46% of searches have a local intent. When a person types “near me” with their search query, local results are shown. The same thing happens when a search query is made in a map area.
The Importance of Local SEO
A website is a crucial way for a business to market to its customers, communicate and generate brand awareness. The higher visibility a website has, the more customers it can get. Therefore it is important to increase the number of avenues a website has to get viewers, and SEO optimizes the number of people who are led to the website. Local SEO allows people in a business’s area to find the business’s website more easily by filtering search results to make local websites the most relevant. Websites such as Yelp, Facebook, Google Maps are websites that show local results, generating more traffic for a business’s website. Most people use Google to search for local businesses.
How to Use Local SEO to Improve Your Business
- Local is a combination of SERPs and map rankings, and how those perform can depend if your business is a service or location. Focus on on-page SEO first and using structured data. Major search engines use rankings to determine the relevance of websites in search results. You can increase your website’s ranking by quality of citations, number of reviews, amount of content, keywords, and followers
- Build your business’s reputation, credibility, and visibility by getting reviews and feedback from customers or clients on your business’s third-party review websites, such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google Maps. These reviews can drum up business. Clients will almost always choose a business with a 5 star rating over a business with a lower rating. Having a high rating also increases your search result relevance.
- Don’t forget NAP (name address phone number). Customers can find your business easier and SERP- search engine results page can be optimized by listing the address, phone number, and city whenever possible. Make sure this information is consistent anywhere it’s posted. This will make it easier for local customers to discover your business through their search results. To increase search result relevance, optimize your business around your primary location. Accuracy and consistency are very important, so make sure all of your information is the same anywhere your business has a listing.
- Clients often search for businesses in their area by using Map searches (Google Maps, Yelp, etc.). If your business is registered with its address on these websites, potential customers can easily discover or locate your business simply by seeing it on their map search results.
- Many people in a community prefer to support local businesses in order to keep their community, neighborhood or city alive and thriving. Local SEO is a great way to get local visitors to support your business. Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is the most essential part of local SEO. Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. You can do this here by creating a new business or claiming an existing business. Enter your business’s name, address and exact location, then choose a category. Then enter your business’s phone number and website. Next, verify your listing. After you’ve completed all of those steps you can proceed to further optimize your listing by adding more categories, photos, listing your hours and individual services you offer, etc. Next, repeat the process on Bing Places, Bing’s equivalent of Google My Business. Although Bing Places is only 1/10 as important/effective as Google My Business, it only takes a few minutes to set up your profile so its still something worth doing. Millions of iOS users still use Apple Maps since it’s the default map application on iPhone, so make sure to claim and optimize your business listing on Apple Maps too.
How can GlobeSEM transform your business?
There are many ways to use digital marketing and SEO tactics to increase your brand awareness. Our expert team at GlobeSEM has years of practice in reputation management. These services include:
- Maintaining a uniform look across all your social media platforms
- Increasing your social engagement
- Creating and monitoring custom hashtags and mentions
- Posting regularly
- Creating high-quality content for your website
- Generating organic website traffic
At GlobeSEM, we know that your business is your passion and you need someone you can trust to keep your brand awareness in check and your company’s reputation running smoothly. You can contact us to get a proposal and a free quote for these services at globesem.com.