Why Local SEO Matters
As a local business, you cannot afford to underestimate the power of local SEO for increasing your business’s exposure to customers, which can ultimately help build your reputation and increase your sales.
In fact, the only way for many smaller businesses to even stand out among their larger, more well-known competitors is to appear in local searches where they are given local prominence as opposed to main listings where they are most likely to appear closer to the bottom of the list, virtually remaining unnoticeable and unheard of by potential customers.
Google understands the importance of local business; therefore, when a user performs a search for businesses in their area, it utilizes specific ranking details to determine if your business is relevant based on your geographical location. This way, as a local business, you don’t have to be concerned as to whether or not your business will stand out to local customers over your larger, more well-known competitors. Therefore, it is certainly worth investing time and resources into building and improving your local presence with the use of local search engine optimization.
How Search Engines Work
In general, when a user keys a search term or word into the search bar, the search engine then sends out a group of bots, also known as spiders or crawlers, to scan the internet for the information, using the link as a code to locate the content.
The search engine then stores and organizes the content discovered during the scanning process in its index. Content can be a video, an image, text, or any other format. Once the content is organized and stored in the search engine’s index, the search engine will then display the content as a result for applicable queries.
When it comes to search engine ranking, once a search term is keyed into the search bar, the robots repeat the same process of scanning the internet for content; however, in this case, they scour for the most relevant content instead and then display the results that they deem will best address the searcher’s inquiry.
The search engine results are displayed in order of their relevance, with the most useful content being displayed first and then the least relevant content following. This search engine ordering of results is also known as ranking.
Hence, if you want to make your site visible to search engines, you need to make sure it is able to be indexed, and it is available to crawlers. Otherwise, your site will go unnoticed, which means it won’t be found by users looking for your business, product, or service, which can ultimately affect your profits.
To determine relevance, search engines use algorithms, which are simply stored calculations that determine the order content is stored and retrieved according to its usefulness. It is ultimately the search engine’s goal to provide the most useful, relevant content to searcher’s queries. In addition to quality content, they also value a good format.
Furthermore, as search engines intelligence and semantics increase, they are better able to understand the connection between phrases and words and then provide the most applicable results to even the most indefinite queries.
Search engine optimization (SEO) seeks to ensure your page performs well in searches by understanding the way that search engines work and then incorporating various ranking factors into your content that help ensure it can be found and indexed by search engines, while also making it useful to searchers.
In fact, statics show that businesses that implement SEO are more likely to rank higher, especially on Google, and gain more traffic and business than their more passive competitors.
There are two types of SEO: main SEO and local SEO, and each provides its own benefits. However, as a local business, local SEO provides many benefits over main SEO for your business, such as put you in front of more local customers and help drive more traffic to your physical business, which, in turn, can lead to more conversions.
How Local SEO Matters
Local SEO works similarly to traditional SEO in that it utilizes search engine tactics that help you rank higher on search engine results pages, thus appearing in front of more customers, except its focus is on attracting the people in your specific area when they perform a local search.
In other words, local SEO still focuses on attracting customers by using relevant keywords in the texts that engage users; however, its aim is more on using the local details of your business as the relevant keywords, such as your business name and zip code or town and city, which helps increase your presence in local searches. As we will see later, collecting local reviews and building links also help ensure you stand out in local searches.
By appearing in local search results, it enables companies to gain more sales in a particular area as well as drive customer traffic to their brick-and-mortar location. It also helps businesses improve their presence on Google, including Maps and the local three-pack of search engine results pages.
To appear in Google’s local three-pack, businesses must be relevant to the search, well-known, and located in the same area or within a certain distance of the area of the local search.
What are the Benefits of Local SEO
Local SEO provides many benefits over traditional SEO for small and local businesses, including:
Drives More Traffic for the Most Relevant Searches
Optimizing your site for local search engines helps ensure more traffic for relevant search terms as well as more targeted traffic, which is more likely to lead to conversions.
When optimizing your site for local SEO rankings, you need to consider both on-page and off-page requirements for best results.
Once you have improved your site for local SEO rankings, you also need to keep analyzing your enhancements on a regular basis to ensure they are still effective. If they’re not, simply make any necessary changes as needed in order to continue to experience the benefits of local search engine optimization.
In fact, Google is continually rolling out updates that affect the world of optimization, which means if your website isn’t adjusted to reflect these updates alone, it can cause you to lose your ranking on Google’s search engine results pages.
In the meantime, there are also various other ways to help keep your website optimized, including:
- Research your keywords periodically to ensure your search terms are still relevant and match the search habits of your customers.
- Continue to work on your speed loads for your site, so your pages continue to load quickly, especially on mobile devices, which research shows are the main devices used to conduct local searches.
- You should also invest in a rank tracker, which is an effective SEO tool that helps track your website for various keywords in local search engines, so you can keep a close watch on keyword rankings and make improvements as needed.
- Work with a local SEO firm or consultant to help monitor your site and make the necessary adjustments to key elements of your site that affect your ranking in local searches.
Local SEO Activity, such as Building Online Business Citations, Helps Improve Your Local Rankings
Local SEO strategies, such as building business citations, help improve your online presence, and the greater your presence, the greater the traffic, which provides the potential for increased business and sales.
An online business citation is just any online reference of the details of your business, including the brick-and-mortar address of your business, the business name, and the phone number to your business.
Any business citations on Google sites as well as social media sites, such as Twitter, create visibility for your business, which helps ensure your business can be found by local people within your area who are looking for your specific service or product when they conduct a local search for your type of business. This is true for online directories, such as Trip Advisor and Yelp, as well.
Online mentions of your business play an important role in any local SEO plan as they help increase your chances of ranking high for local rankings.
It Helps Build Your Business Reputation
The online status of a business, especially local businesses, is becoming more and more relevant for success.
In fact, statistics show that online business reviews, such as Google reviews, are becoming more widely used by customers looking for businesses in their area to determine if they will complete a transaction with them or not. Statistics also show that more than 80% of customers trust online reviews just the same as a recommendation by a friend, a family member, or a colleague.
Furthermore, other statistics show that over 50% of customers require at least 4 positive reviews before they will even consider making a transaction with the business, and this rate is steadily increasing.
Some important factors customers look for when analyzing online business reviews include:
- The number of reviews the business has
- The variety of reviews the business has
- How fast or how often the reviews are given
- The date of the reviews
- Businesses’ response to the reviews
Overall, this means businesses need to generate new reviews and on a regular basis in order to remain in good standing with potential customers. They also need to respond quickly to these reviews, including the negative ones, and make it a point to produce reviews that include a search term and location for greater local SEO optimization.
It Helps Improve Relevance and Prominence
Your business’s prominence, or how renowned your business is, as well as how relevant your business is to a what the searcher is looking for, ultimately determines how well your business will rank in local searches.
That being said, both link building and content marketing can be used to increase your business prominence as well as help make it more relevant to users searches.
Link building is one of the most important ranking factors for local businesses seeking one of Google’s three-pack rankings. Link building not only provides a way to drive more traffic to your site, but it also increases the chance that you will also gain links back to your site from other local businesses, which helps increase your relevance and prominence with search engines as well as increases your credibility and authority, which can lead to more local search leads and conversions.
Meanwhile, local content marketing can be used to involve your local community or show your hometown pride by talking about matters that are specific to your area. In doing so, it can help local customers feel more connected to your business, which can help increase their engagement and build brand loyalty for greater prominence. It can also help you build more effective links.
It Provides More Opportunities to Appear in Google’s 3 Pack
Local searches have a huge bearing in local three-pack rankings because the closer your business location is to the user’s search, the higher up the search engine results page your site will appear. However, even if your business is not within the same area of a search user, just, having a Google My Business listing can still help improve your ranking in local search results.
Google My Business is a free online tool that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google, including Google Search and Google Maps, which helps increase their local search ranking.
Furthermore, if you have a low ranking, it can also be used to improve your visibility as well as your ranking, simply by updating your Google My Business information, which enables you to update important details concerning your business as well as helps customers locate you better. In fact, according to Google, businesses that continually update or verify their Google My Business information are more likely to be considered trustworthy and reputable by potential customers.
Since Google My Business is sort of like an online directory, when you access it, you can change, update, or verify all relevant information, such as your web address, your phone number, your hours of operation, and more.
You should also be sure to verify that your business is listed in the correct category or service, which also helps make your business more relevant for local searches. As stated earlier, responding to reviews is also important. Including images and sharing offers and news, etc., can also help increase your local ranking.
In the end, the more developed your Google My Business Listing profile, the more it helps improve your credibility with users as well as your online presence in Maps and Google 3 pack, which can help lead to more local search leads and conversions.
Why Choose Us for Local SEO
When it comes to local SEO practices, it is important to work with a team that both understands local SEO practices and can also help you understand your part in the process for greater success.
We remain up to date in local SEO practices and provide the following benefits to our customers:
Proven Track Record of Results
We have years of experience in assisting many local businesses throughout various locations improve their online presence and local ranking in major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Help Businesses Discover Ranking Trends for Improved Results
With our search rank checker, businesses can view an in-depth look at the various factors affecting their local SEO ranking, including mobile rankings, Map rankings, and more, which can then be used to contrast your rankings against other businesses similar to yours, which then enables you to pinpoint ranking trends for various locations.
Help Businesses Build Effective Online Citations
We offer some of the best citation building services that help increase your presence in local searches and beyond.
As part of our citation building services, we ensure your business is correctly and invariably listed in various mapping services, online business directories, and mobile advertising across the globe for increased exposure locally. And we do it quickly.