A local search is a powerful tool for small businesses. You need to optimize your business for local search. Or else, you could be missing about 80% of your projected consumers. That’s because 4 out of every 5 consumer use search to get local information.
So, what is local SEO? Precisely, if you want your business to remain relevant, you need local SEO. Local search engine optimization is another branch of SEO that mainly focuses on optimizing your website so that it can be found in local search results. Continue reading this comprehensive guide on local SEO to know more about it.
What is local SEO?
It helps businesses promote their services and products to people looking for results locally. To gather related information for a local search, the search engines depends on certain aspects such as social media profiles, local content, citations, and links. This way, local SEO provides consumers with relevant local results.
Basically, it is a process that emphasizes the optimization of local businesses. Local search encompasses the search terms like doctors near me, lawyers near me, a restaurant in [city name], and more. Link building both local and focused, on-page optimization and content are part of local SEO.
Why is local SEO important?
Local SEO is important because it improves the search results for a potential consumer looking to find solutions. Here are some points that reflect how important local searches are for businesses.
- 50% of people physically visited the store on the same day after doing a local search on their phones
- 34% of people did the same thing after conducting the search through a tablet or computer
- 18% of local searches end in a sale within that day
- About 60% of Americans searches for local products or services through smartphones and tablets
- 50% of people who were conducting local searches from their mobile devices are looking for certain information like a local business address
- Around 78% of local-based searches conducted through mobile phones end in purchases made offline
- About 71% of people have confessed that they have searched for the local businesses to confirm its existence prior to going there
- One out of three searches are conducted by people on smartphones just before coming to the store
- A study shows that about 97% of consumers searched for local businesses online in 2017
What are the best local SEO practices?
Here are some of the best local SEO practices that are intended to improve your local businesses.
- Improve internal linking structure – External links indicating towards your website may be perfect, but you need to adjust your internal links as well to improve your SEO rankings. Internal links support smooth website navigation, distribute page authority, assists with information, and improves ranking power among the webpages.
- Optimize Google My Business – It is the ultimate tool that can help your business fulfill Google’s needs. When Google labels your business as authentic, it can reward your business with a sidebar space in Google’s local search. All you have to do is create and verify the Google My Business page.
- Location pages are a must – When you have more than one location for your business, create location pages. These pages provide your consumers with name, contact number, address, store descriptions, working hours, promotions, parking information, and testimonials from your happy consumers. Also, make sure to avoid duplicate content across all the location pages.
- Optimize your page for search engine results pages – Every time you compose a new piece of content, you have to optimize it for the search engines. For this, you need keywords of high-volume in the URL, header, title, meta descriptions, and body. You may highlight case studies and consumer success stories, as well.
- Don’t forget to have a mobile-friendly website – It is seen that 9 out of 10 people conduct local searches through smartphones. Some of the common things for which people will visit and explore your website include consumer reviews, directions to your location, and contact information. Design a mobile-friendly website to make it easy for your consumers and prospects.
- Create local content – Writing on a general topic that can attract a large crowd, sometimes it is necessary to write about the industry or local news to entice a local audience. You can promote local industry gatherings, employees, news, and other informative content on your website. Think of the content that remains ahead of what your business sells.
- Optimize online citations and directories – Ensure that your citations are complete and consistent across the data aggregators that provide information to Google, Apple, Bing, and more. Deviations such as abbreviations, misspellings, wrong phone numbers, or lack of suite number can create problems. When Google is unable to find out which information is correct about your business, it won’t be listed on the search results. Also, it is helpful to remove duplicate listings.
- Make sure that your contact number, address, and name are consistent online – You need to make it easy for search engines and people to find your business. You can set up a NAP, which means name, address, and phone number including the area code. And, ensure that it can crawl as HTML text on your website. Avoid including NAP on an image because images can’t be crawled.
- Have the inbound links with authority and relevance – Inbound links are very crucial to improve your local SEO. Each inbound link indicates Google that you are legitimate. And, those links can raise your domain authority. Some of the ways to get inbound links are scholarships, guest blog posting, and partnerships or sponsorships.
- Add posts to Google My Business and engage on social media – Now that you have built an amazing Google My Business page, you may proceed further and share it on social media. This way, your page will have better search results. Content shared over social media are more important to Google these days than ever before.
Current data, statistics, and trends indicate that local SEO is marching towards a shift in improved context and understanding. If you want a local audience to find your presence online, you need to have a clear understanding of the local SEO.