You might have heard about local SEO before right, but do you know how important it is to your business?
Do your customers search for your business on Google? Is it important for them to know that your office or business is close to them? Then you might want to read about Local SEO and how it can help you get more customers.
Let’s say you are out for a walk and you forget your keys and get locked out. What do you do? You search for the nearest locksmith on your phone hoping they are close to you and they can come and assist you asap. After all, you are locked outside your house.
What will you do? You will take your phone out, open a search engine (e.g. Google) and type the service you need, in this case, “locksmith near me”. Here is where local SEO comes into play. A few businesses will show up, the ones higher on google maps, and on the first page of Google will most likely be the ones you end up calling for help.
But why did they appear on the first page? Are they closest to your location or is there something else?
As an office or small business owner you would like to outreach more customers, in situations like this. Here is a local SEO guide to help you understand the fundamentals of local SEO and learn how to benefit your business.
What is local SEO?
“You can think of local SEO as the process of getting your online presence ranked higher on local searches.”
Local SEO is all about the process of improving your online presence to make it easier for customers to find you on relevant local searches. Whether your business is a law firm or a medical clinic, optimizing your local SEO strategy leads to making it more visible to your local community.
There are various search engines out there to search for local businesses -Google, Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps. However, in this occasion “Google is your friend”- when we are talking about search engines, Google takes the lead with approximately 91% of total market share worldwide.
The procedure when you search locally includes features -city, state, zip code, etc., where Google identifies your exact geo-location and gives all appropriate results from that area.
Local SEO vs SEO
We can hear you say “wait so there is Local SEO and SEO? “I am getting confused” …
To put it in plain English, organic SEO refers to content that resolves around a website in general, whereas local SEO is more about geo-data as we said before. Even the way search engines optimize information for both is different, for SEO search engines seeking out for trusted content, for local SEO they are looking for a valid location.
Now it’s time to understand the difference between links and citations. To organic SEO links are the same as votes for politics. Links are a successful tactic as they can give rise both to ranking and traffic. In the local SEO world, links are not described in the traditional way. This is where citation comes into play. Citation for local SEO, would be the “signature” that gives proof about your local business. Here, in order to rank higher in search results, you need to aim for consistent information about your brick-and-mortar shop.
We will go through deeper about citation and other local SEO tips – just keep reading.
If you have more questions about SEO, check this blog. It will help get the fundamental knowledge.
Why is it important?
People providing services in a specific geographical area and businesses with a physical location should take into consideration the benefits of local SEO. To make a point, from all Google searches, 46% of them are on the lookout for local information.
What about ROI? In contrast to organic SEO, local SEO has prospects for a tremendous ROI as searches tend to be more precise. You wouldn’t type “dentist near me” if in the first place you wouldn’t have the need to meet one in a short period of time.
Local SEO optimization is becoming a must and with that many competitors on the line, the field becoming denser than ever before.
How local SEO works?
Google’s SERP for “locality” and “near me” searches takes into consideration specific features comparable to organic SEO and provide a result like this:
Originally it contains 3 results -we call it Google Local Pack, with information such NAP, stands for Name, Address, Phone Number, website, and map directions. You should place your business up there.
Why is that? Based on Moz’s study, 44% of people searching locally click on these 3 sites, while only 8% of them consider searching more thorough in “More places”. Traffic amount can be boosted exceptionally, seeing leads converted into purchasers.
To achieve it, you’ll need a local SEO guide for the first steps and a Google My Business account.
Here are 4 simple tips to help your business rank higher.
Tip 1: Research your keywords
You need to use the appropriate keywords in accordance with relevant customer searches. Don’t get confused about what keywords should you use.
Here is an example.
Let’s say you open up a new local coffee shop in Marousi, Athens– how would I search if I were looking to buy a coffee?
Your first thoughts would be something like:
· Coffee shop
· Coffee near me
· Coffee shop near me
· Coffee shop Marousi
· Coffee shop Kifissia
· Coffee shop Chalandri etc.
This is what we call Service in Location. Add also the location and the most relevant variations of your services. If the competition is harsh be sure to search for relevant keywords that local competitors haven’t found out yet.
Tip 2: Improve your site and content
Your images and content of your site are like a shop window for a physical store. It serves to attract customers and represent your businesses’ image. For that reason, optimize your site to be easy to navigate, accessible, and simple. Make sure to have a website that is fast, mobile-friendly, and is SEO optimized. You can read tips more about how to start with SEO for your website here and how to choose the right platform to build your website in the first place here
As for blog ideas, remember- you work locally. Take advantage of events near you and relevant news shoppers might be interested according to their preferences. An important feature is to include FAQs to show informed and intrigued about the city your work in.
Tip 3: Establish your presence in Google My Business
Make sure you create your Google My Business account, that’s the main step on the road to success. First thing you need to do, fill the necessary information, same profile image in every digital channel, attractive and clear photos of your business -make it easy for potential customers to identify your local business, valid opening hours -you don’t want to lose shoppers for such reason and most important, use a professional logo. Your logo represents your identity, it’s the optimal way of how people remember you, so think carefully and don’t hesitate to ask professional guidance from a designer.
Now it’s time to fill in the NAP data. Why is it important? Search engines citate your NAP information across digital channels to confirm that your business is legit -spam sites are unlikely to include genuine information. Make sure that your NAP is correct both on your website as well as on any other social media platform. As a result, your business will rank higher in the local SERP.
Try to get good reviews for your business. Always, reply to customer’s questions in a friendly and understanding manner. To tell the truth, 90% of customers get influenced by positive reviews before they conclude to a buying decision. To make it simple, do you appear as a fine local shop owner? You are going to welcome new customers.
For the ones that are not convinced yet, here is a diagram showcasing the rate of interest for local SEO in the United States the recent years. The growth is reaching the skies – doubled in less than two years.
Are you ready to take action for your local shop?
Make sure to check our blog on how to set up a Google My Business listing properly, doing it correctly from the start is important!
Local SEO is extremely important to your business if your customers are searching for you on Google and need to meet you in person. Whether you are a doctor, lawyer or any type of business that needs a face-to-face interaction with your end customer then local SEO is your first area of marketing investment and should be done properly.
Are you ready now to move your business to the next step? Are there any more questions? Do you need more local SEO tips?
Get in touch if you need more help with ranking your business high with our local SEO services.