What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of making sure your website is optimized for a specific geographic area, like a city or county. Local SEO is the practice of ensuring that the search engines will rank your website for a specific location or region (often based on your physical address).
The SEO landscape has changed in the past few years with paid ads now being the main way that businesses advertise on search engines (instead of organic or natural search results). This change has created a digital marketing landscape that is more competitive than ever and has in turn left small businesses in the dust as they simply don’t have the resources to compete with large corporations.
However, with local SEO, smaller businesses still have the ability to be seen by their customers when they search for a service or product. Local SEO has become increasingly important as the number of searches done on mobile devices has increased to over 60% of all searches. Mobile searches often result in actual purchases on the spot!
What are the top 5 strategies for improving your local SEO?
1. Choose a name that is relevant to your location
One of the top local SEO tips is to make sure that you are choosing a name for your website that is specific to your business’s location. If you choose a name that is too generic, you could have problems in SERPs such as Google Places, Facebook, and other social media platforms that are location-specific. Even Yelp is creating its own search algorithm and is now ranking businesses based on where users are searching for a service or product.
2. Register your location on Google My Business
If your business is located in the United States, the first thing you should do is register your business with Google My Business to be able to edit your business information, including your business hours, phone number, address, etc. This is crucial for local SEO because this information is correlated with your listing in SERPs. If you don’t have an address and phone number, the search engine will not show your listing when users search for your type of business.
3. Register your business on other local online business directories
In addition to Google My Business, there are many local business directories that you can register your business on to help improve your local SEO. Some of the more important ones include Yelp, Bing, Facebook, and Foursquare. These directory sites allow you to verify your business, write a description about your business that you can optimize for search, and have a profile picture or even a video that users can click on for more information.
4. Optimize your business name, address, and description
Once you have registered your business with the major local business directories, you can then optimize your information. If you have a home-based business, you may want to consider registering your mailing address as a business address because in some cases, the search engines will not rank a home address for a service or product-related business.
One of the most important things you should do is optimize the business name and description. If your name is long or doesn’t relate to your business, you may want to consider shortening it to something more relevant or even changing it altogether. The description should be a paragraph version of what you would put on your physical business card. This will ensure that you are optimizing the right keywords to help users find your business when they search for it online through the search engines.
5. Optimize your website and content
With local SEO, it is important to know who your target audience is. Once you have that knowledge, you can begin to optimize your content for local SEO. Some of the most important aspects of local SEO include ensuring that you have your Google My Business address verified on your website, optimizing your images, and your website’s title, meta description, and URL.
Every time you create a new piece of content, you should imagine what your potential customers will be searching for in order to read that content. For example, if you are a business that sells car parts, you may want to make sure you include the keywords “car parts”, “auto parts”, or “automotive parts” (or a variation of) to ensure that your content is seen by those that are searching for your type of product or service.
As you can see, local SEO is very important for small businesses. With these five basic tips, you can start to optimize your website for local SEO and improve your search engine results.
How does SEO help with local marketing?
SEO is the foundation of a successful local marketing campaign. With SEO in place, web visitors are able to find you, get a feel for the services you offer, and even read reviews about your business. With SEO in place, you will also be able to show up when someone searches for local businesses.
As mentioned previously, organic search results are the #1 way that customers find local businesses. In these results, local businesses tend to be ranked higher if they have a strong SEO presence. This can be the difference between being the first result or being pushed back to the fifth page of results where you lose the majority of your potential customers.
How does SEO help with social media?
Social media has become one of the most important aspects for any local business. However, to be successful you must have a presence on each social media platform that your customer uses.
With SEO in place, you will be able to show up for local searches on a multitude of social media platforms. For example, if a customer searches for [houston plumber] on Google, you should show up for these searches on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
This is important because many customers do not want to put in a specific keyword search on every social media platform, so by showing up organically for these searches, you will be able to capture these customers and get them to engage with your posts.
How does SEO help with local directory listings?
Local directory listings are one of the best ways to get organically ranked in local SEO. In fact, some customers do not even use Google if they are searching for a specific local business. Instead, they frequently use a local business directory to find a business they are looking for.
There are a number of local business directories you can get added to in order to improve your local SEO. Some of the more popular ones include:
- Google Maps
- Super Pages
- City Search
- Yahoo! Local
- City Search
Each of these platforms allows you to create a business listing, including a description of your business, a profile picture, and a link to your website. By creating a local business listing on each of these platforms, you will be able to improve both your local and organic SEO.
Lastly, local directories are important because often you will be able to verify your address if you are a local business owner (which will improve your local SEO).
If your business is located in the United States, make sure that you claim your business listing with Google My Business, which is the main local directory by Google that will help businesses verify their address and create listings for each one of the above-mentioned sites.
How does SEO help with local mobile searches?
Mobile searches have increased dramatically in the past few years and this trend will only continue as the years go on. It is important that your business is showing up for mobile searches, especially if your business location has a high volume of foot traffic.
Many local businesses can see a large percentage of their business coming through mobile searches. Considering that many mobile users are looking for a service or product on the spot, having a strong local SEO presence can make or break a business’s success.
SEO is a tried and true method that has been used for over 10 years to improve your website’s visibility around the web. Local SEO has become increasingly important in today’s digital marketing landscape as customers are searching for services and products on a local level.
With this post, you should now be able to understand how SEO can help with local SEO. SEO is the foundation for your local marketing strategy, and by making sure your website is optimized for local SEO, you will be able to get more customers through your door.