Every business has an equal opportunity to improve its ranking in search engines through Local SEO. This is regardless of the business size. A proper SEO plan can not only improve your rankings, but also increase the traffic to your business. Approximately half of all Google searchers are seeking local information. The majority of users rely on search engines to find local businesses. SEO that is specific to a locality is important when you want to establish your brand or grow your online presence. Having a well-thought-out SEO strategy is key to making your business successful. Why? Because your business can have enormous benefits from it. We should review our Local SEO basics before discussing the advantages.
Brief Guide to Local SEO
We all know that SEO can help us improve our ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). Then what makes Local SEO Services different? It is the same.
This is a type of SEO that is focused on attracting people who are physically close to your business. The main purpose of using local SEO is to improve your business’s visibility in search results for geographic location-based searches.
Local SEO refers to the process of attracting customers from nearby locations. This means that if you want your business to be found by potential customers, you need to have a strong local SEO strategy. 28% of local searches lead to purchases, so if you want your business to be found by potential customers, you need a strong local SEO strategy. This is a great opportunity for local businesses to increase foot traffic to their physical store or to develop their business within a specific area.
Local SEO also provides an opportunity to be featured in Google Maps and the local pack without any charge. If you have a physical store, local SEO can help customers within a certain distance from your store to find you online when they do a search. Searches that include a city, state, zip code, or phrases like ‘near me’ are considered location-specific searches.
Whenever someone searches for something on Google, the results are based on the geographical location of the person.
If you own a restaurant in Cortez Hill, you have a good chance of appearing at the top of the search engine results page (SERP) when someone searches for the best restaurant in San Diego. If you want your website to appear as the top result for a competitive search query, you need to have a strong local SEO strategy. The following guide will help you get started if you are new to SEO.
What is a local search?
When a customer searches on Google, they can either be looking for information or looking for a local business.
Local searches are generally done with the intent of finding a specific business, unlike informational searches which are done without any specific businesses in mind. A customer might type in the following query if they are looking for home remedies for toothache: “How to get rid of toothache.”
This is a query that is solely looking for information and has no intention of finding a product to buy. On the other hand, if the same customer wants a local dentist to fix their tooth for them. As such, they might type this: “Dentists near me”.
The person who wrote this query clearly has commercial intent, as they are hoping to take some sort of action immediately. Instead of just saying “dentists,” they might say “dentists in Manhattan.” This is because their intent is to find a specific location.
Differentiating between an informational search (i.e. looking up the definition of a word) and a local search (i.e. looking for a nearby restaurant) is crucial for local, small businesses that want to optimize their SEO.
Local SEO statistics
Let’s take a quick look at some stats that will help to illustrate why local SEO is so important, as well as the patterns and trends that are helping to define the local SEO strategies small businesses need to put in place:
- 46% of Google searches are local-based
- 88% of users who search for a local business with their mobile device go onto call the business within the next 24 hours
- 92% of users who use local-based searches won’t go past page one of Google
- More than 55% of customers use voice search when looking for a local company
- 97% of internet users have used local search at some point
Who benefits from local SEO?
Local SEO is beneficial for all businesses that are already online. There are no limitations to the types of businesses who will benefit from this service, but some of the businesses who will benefit the most are listed below.
SEO has the potential to bring you an endless number of customers if you can get high rankings. SEO is a good option for small businesses because it is a relatively low-cost option.
Local SEO is beneficial for professions such as doctors and dentists because people often turn to Google when they are feeling ill or have a toothache. The last thing they do is let it linger. They want to get better ASAP!
Salons (hair, nail) and spas
This one seems obvious. People start searching for makeup artists more when wedding season comes around.
In addition to looking at a salon’s reviews and photos, they will also look for documentation of the salon’s work. The better your store’s reviews are, the more likely it is to show up in a potential customer’s search results. If you use local SEO tactics, like adding your business to directories and citations, you can improve your business’s ranking in search engines.
Small law offices
Remember when it was difficult to find a lawyer? Not anymore. Local SEO has increased the visibility of small law enforcement agencies tremendously by placing them on the Google Maps platform.
If a smaller law firm uses the correct SEO strategies, it can be just as successful as bigger law firms in terms of search engine optimization. If you have an optimized website as well as many positive reviews, you will be successful.
Small businesses that are not commercialized, such as family-run restaurants and stores, can really take advantage of local SEO to get more customers who might not have known about them otherwise. For example, your seafood restaurant might be located in a less busy area of town, away from the busy streets. If you utilize the appropriate practices, people will be able to find you on Google even if they can’t see you there.
Repair shops are similar to doctors and dentists in that they can gain a lot from local SEO. This is because people will always need things fixed. If you have car trouble and need to get to work, you’ll probably search online for “local repair shop reviews” to find a good nearby shop.
Some Useful Tips for Local SEO
Search Engines change their algorithms periodically. If you looked online, you would find more than a million blogs about successful SEO strategies. However, each blog advises using different methods. But here are some of the tips we consider most useful when it comes to Local SEO:
- Reviews : Feedbacks are important! Try to get as many reviews on GMB as possible. Negative reviews will help you improve, while positive reviews will encourage other customers to buy from your store.
- Keywords : Focus on local keywords. Thoroughly research your keywords and then optimize your website and content accordingly.
- NAP : Whether it is your GMB profile or your website’s ‘About us’ page, fill in your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) details, possibly everywhere. Also, make sure it is consistent.
- Phone-friendly websites : Make sure to check your website’s mobile compatibility. As per HubSpot Marketing Statistics, 61% of mobile searchers prefer to contact a local business if their website is mobile-friendly.
- Backlinks : Earn high-quality backlinks. Because local search ranking factors take link signals (links pointing to your website) into account.
7 local SEO tips to ensure maximum search visibility
Now that you know the benefits of local SEO, let’s take a look at what you can do to make sure your business shows up in online searches.
1. Use the right keywords
To help you attract the right traffic to your site, you need to use the keywords that your customers are searching for.
You’re probably already using keywords like “doctors in Brooklyn” (or something similar based on your business and location), but there are other types of keywords you can use as well.
For example, you can mix things up like this:
- Brooklyn doctors
- Best doctor in Brooklyn
Related search terms people are using to find doctors in Brooklyn on Google are “Brooklyn doctor”, “Brooklyn doctors”, “doctors in Brooklyn”, and “Brooklyn physician”. You shouldn’t just limit your keywords to one specific location. Instead, get creative and add the state, too.
In addition, use your imagination when choosing keywords related to your field. There are a number of tools you can use to help with your keyword research, including both free and premium options. Google’s Keyword Planner is a good free option, while Moz and Ahrefs are two popular premium choices. The image above shows that users are not just searching for “doctor in Brooklyn.” The article’s authors are also using terms such as “family doctor” and “medical doctor”.
2. See what keywords your competitors are ranking for
Your competitors might be using different or better keywords than you which is why they might have a higher ranking. Its a good idea to find out what keywords they are using.
The most effective way to do this is by using tools such as Moz’s Keyword Explorer. This sentence is about the Keyword Explorer tool from Moz.com. The tool allows you to research keywords in a particular niche, and it displays monthly search volume and difficulty. This text tells the reader that the tool not only shows the user how they are doing, but also how the user is doing compared to a competitor. If a competitor is ranking well for a keyword that you are not, you can try to figure out what they are doing to be successful.
3. Use Google My Business
Google My Business helps you to get your business on the digital map. Once your business is listed, it will show up on Google Maps and Google search results when users type in, for example, “vegan restaurants near me” – like this:
4. Get your business listed in directories and citations
Directories and citations help improve your business’s online visibility by creating more mentions, as well as consolidating reviews and ratings, which is beneficial for optimizing your business locally for search engines.
Not all of these directories and citations are guaranteed to list your website, but using some of them might help. It would be beneficial to create a list of a few avenues for people to find you online and to enter your information correctly so more people can find you.
5. Make sure your website copy has strong on-page SEO
It’s really important that you properly optimize your copy. Although keyword research is important, it is only one part of the puzzle. Ensuring that you use keywords correctly is also key.
Here are some tips:
- Use your main keyword in your opening 150 words. This is an old-school SEO tactic that still works today.
- Add a local-based keyword to your H1, HT, and H3 tags (your sub-headers).
- Add a local-based keyword to your image alt tags. For example, if you’ve got an image of a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles, you could simply write “vegan restaurant Los Angeles”.
- Add a keyword to your title tag. Ideally front load it in your title tag. For example, if a page is about the best doctors in Manhattan, you could write: “Best doctors in Manhattan: A complete rundown”.
- Link internally. Any local-based content that you create presents more internal link-building opportunities.
6. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
When creating your website, it is important to use a responsive theme. If your website is designed responsively, it will automatically adjust to whatever device a person is using. Many customers who perform local searches do so from their mobile devices, as we demonstrated earlier. This is extremely important to keep in mind.
7. Create local content
Additionally, using local keywords will help you to rank higher in search engines. Useful content on your website can also be shared on social media to help drive traffic to your site.
As we’ve shown, local SEO is vital for small businesses and not overly complicated. If you own a small local store, the tips above will help drive more customers to your website.
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