As a small business, you know that it can be tough to compete with the bigger businesses out there. One way to level the playing field is by using local SEO tactics. According to a study by Moz, businesses that use local SEO receive 50% more leads than those that don’t.
Local SEO helps you to be found online by potential customers who are searching for businesses like yours in their local area. When your business shows up in local search engine results, it builds trust and credibility with a local audience, which can lead to more sales and repeat business. Local SEO strategies are used to maximize the amount of traffic by ranking it higher on the search engine result pages (SERPS)
So, what is local SEO? And how can you use it to benefit your small business? Keep reading to find out!
What is Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Local SEO is a type of search engine optimization (SEO) that helps businesses promote their products or services to local customers. It involves optimizing your online presence so that you appear higher in search results for relevant searches. For example, if you own a bakery, you would want to optimize your website and social media profiles for keywords like “bakery near me” or “cakes in XYZ city.” By optimizing your online presence for local searches, you can make it easier for potential customers to find and purchase your products or services.
What does a local search look like?
A local search is a search that includes a location modifier. This could be a city, state, or country. For example, someone might search for “restaurants in New York City” or “plumbers in Los Angeles.” Local searches can also include business types and keywords. So, someone might search for “pizza delivery near me” or “24-hour locksmith.” Local keywords are important for businesses to target, as they can drive more traffic to your website.
Google Map Pack
If you’ve ever used Google to search for a local business, you know that the results will show what’s called a google map pack. The map pack includes the name, address, and phone number of a local business that matches the search. Google will also show reviews and ratings for each business.
Organic search results
In addition to the map pack, Google will also show organic search results. These are the results that appear below the map pack. They are typically websites or blog articles that match the searcher’s query.
Paid search results
Finally, there are paid search results. These are the results that appear at the very top of the page, above the organic results and the map pack. Paid search results are marked with an “Ad” icon. Businesses can pay to have their website or listing appear in these results.
Local search ranking factors
As a small business, it is important to understand the factors that influence your local ranking. Here are some key factors:
The distance of your business from the customer is a major factor that influences local ranking. The closer your business is to the customer, the higher you will rank in local search results. This is because customers are more likely to visit businesses that are close to them.
Another factor that influences local ranking is relevance. This means that your business needs to be relevant to the customer’s search. For example, if a customer is searching for “pizza,” your business will need to be about pizza to appear in the local search results. You can increase your relevance by optimizing your website and Google My Business listing for the keywords that customers are searching for.
The third factor that influences local ranking is prominence. This refers to how well-known your business is. The more popular your business is, the higher you will rank in local search results. You can increase your prominence by creating positive online reviews and listing in local business directories.
By understanding the factors that influence local ranking, you can optimize your website and Google My Business listing to improve your ranking. This will help you attract more customers and grow your business.
What is Google My Business Profile?
Google My Business is a free listing that allows businesses to appear in the local search results. This is a vital tool for small businesses because it helps customers find your business. It also allows you to control how your business appears in the local search results.
Creating a Google My Business listing is simple and only takes a few minutes. You will need to provide your business name, address, and phone number. You will also need to choose a category for your business. Once you have created your listing, you can add photos, videos, and other information to help customers learn about your business.
By creating a Google My Business listing, you can improve your local ranking and attract more customers.
According to recent studies, local SEO is becoming increasingly important for small businesses. Here are some key statistics:
- 78% of small businesses do not know what local SEO is
- 76% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses
- 61% of consumers say they are more likely to contact a local business if they have a strong online presence
- 52% of consumers say that positive online reviews make them more likely to visit a local business
- One in three customers will not buy from a business if results come up on page two or further
- 44% of people who call a business don’t know the company’s phone number
- Local searches account for 61% of mobile searches and 35.7% of desktop searches
- 46% of Google searches have local intent
- “Near me” searches have grown 132% since 2015
- Mobile devices influence 52% of in-store sales
As you can see, local SEO is essential for small businesses. If you want to attract more customers and grow your business, you need to optimize your website and Google My Business listing for local search.
What are the best practices for Local SEO?
There are several best practices for local SEO. Here are some local search optimization strategies:
Create a Google My Business Profile
Every business wants to rank high in search engine results, but what’s the best way to achieve that? For businesses with a local focus, there are certain things you can do to optimize your website for better results in Google Maps and other local searches. One of the most important things you can do is create a Google My Business listing.
Your GMB profile listing is what shows up when someone searches for your business on Google Maps or performs a “near me” search. It includes your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, website, and reviews. You can also add photos, videos, and other information to help potential customers learn more about your business.
Do local keyword research
If you want your website to rank high in local search results, you need to include relevant keywords in your content. But how do you know which keywords to use? The best way to find out is to do some research.
Start by searching for your main keyword and see what comes up. Look at the results that show up in Google Maps and take note of the businesses that appear there. Look at the keywords they use in their website content, titles, and metatags. You can also use tools like Google AdWords, Semrush, Ahrefs to find out which keywords are being searched for in your area.
Make sure your NAP is consistent
Your NAP is your business name, address, and phone number. It’s important to make sure your NAP is consistent across the web. That means if someone finds your business listed in one directory, they should see the same information in another.
If your NAP isn’t consistent, it can confuse search engines and potential customers. Google may even penalize your website in search results.
To make sure your NAP is consistent, list your business in directories like Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages. And be sure to include your NAP on your website and in any other online listings.
Optimize Your Website for Local SEO
Include keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, and website content.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Make sure your website is responsive and that it loads quickly on mobile devices.
Add Location Pages
Add location pages to your website. This is a great way to list your business in multiple cities and towns.
Get Reviews from Local Customers
Get reviews from local customers. This can be done by asking customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, Yelp, or other review sites. Make sure to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. By responding to your reviews it lets Google know your business is active and engaged.
Create Local Content
This can be done by writing blog posts about local news or events, creating videos about local businesses, or creating a podcast about local topics.
Create Local Citations and Backlinks
Citations are listings of your business on other websites. Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. Both of these are important for local SEO. You can create citations by listing your business in online directories like Yelp, Foursquare, and Yellow Pages. You can get backlinks by writing guest posts on other websites or creating helpful content that other website owners will want to link to.
Measure your Local SEO metrics
To find out how well your local SEO efforts are working, you need to track your progress. Google Analytics is a great way to do this. You can track things like website traffic, organic search traffic, and conversion rates.
You can also use tools like Moz Local and Whitespark Local Citation Finder to track your citations and backlinks.
The answer to why local SEO is important for small businesses is simple. Local SEO for small businesses helps them compete with larger businesses by making them more visible in search results. It also helps potential customers find the products and services they need.
As the world of SEO continues to evolve, it’s becoming more and more important for small businesses to focus on local SEO. After all, four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information, and most of them are looking for businesses that are within proximity to their current location.
If you’re a small business owner and need help with your local SEO you should consider hiring Webify Legacy, we offer local SEO services and create a custom local SEO strategy that fits your business needs.
What is the importance of Local SEO?
The importance of Local SEO is that it helps small businesses compete with larger businesses by making them more visible in search results. It also helps potential customers find the products and services they need.
How can I improve my Local SEO?
There are a few things you can do to improve your Local SEO:
- Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across the web.
- Optimize your website for mobile devices.
- Add location pages to your website.
- Get reviews from local customers.
- Create local content (such as blog posts, videos, or podcasts).
- Create local citations and backlinks.
- Measure your Local SEO progress with Google Analytics or other tools.
What is the difference between Local SEO and organic SEO?
Organic SEO is the process of optimizing your website for Google search to earn higher web traffic levels. Local SEO, on the other hand, is the process of optimizing your website for Google search to earn higher web traffic levels from users who are searching for businesses within proximity to their current location.
How can I track my Local SEO progress?
There are a few ways you can track your Local SEO progress:
- Check your NAP (name, address, phone number) listings across the web to see if they are consistent.
- Use Google Analytics or other tools to measure website traffic, organic search traffic, and conversion rates.
- Use Moz Local or Whitespark Local Citation Finder to track your citations and backlinks.
- Check your website’s mobile optimization to see if it is responsive and fast loading.
- Monitor your local customer reviews to see if they are positive.
- Look at your website’s content to see if it is relevant and engaging.
- Check your local citation and backlink profiles to see if they are strong.
- Use Google My Business Insights to see how your business is performing on Google Maps and in local search results.
- Ask your customers how they found you and what their experience was like.
- Conduct A/B tests on your website to see what changes result in more conversions.
What are some common Local SEO mistakes?
There are a few common Local SEO mistakes that businesses make:
- Not optimizing their website for mobile devices.
- Not having consistent NAP listings across the web.
- Not creating local content.
- Not monitoring and responding to customer reviews.
- Not tracking their Local SEO progress.