What is Local SEO?
You must learn local search engine optimization (SEO) to be more visible to local customers online. It is obvious that enhancing your local search presence could be advantageous for your company given that 46% of all Google searches are made by users looking for goods, services, or information in their local area.
What is Local SEO and how does local SEO work efficiently?
Through the use of local SEO, local businesses can increase their visibility in Google’s local search results. Companies who want to have a better online presence for local customers engage in it. You should be familiar with local search marketing if you want to market your goods or services to people in a particular town or city.
You’ll take a few steps to increase your local search presence while performing SEO for a local business. Among the best techniques are:
- Take control of and improve your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)
- Reputation management
- Website optimization
- Citation building
- Adapting to Google search changes
- Local link building
- Spam fighting
When done properly, this kind of local SEO enhances a local company’s visibility in the Local Pack, Local Finder, localized organic results, and Google Maps.
For a local search, the Local Pack is displayed at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Listings are shown next to a map that has pins indicating each business’ location.
Being recognized in Google’s Local Pack is very beneficial. Clearly, the top three results receive the most clicks, which may result in increased revenue and profits.
Results from the Local Pack are based on the Business Profile rather than the company’s own website. To rank in this position, you must have a properly setup and optimized business profile.
A longer list of business profiles for nearby establishments that are pertinent to the search is provided by the Local Finder.
You can access the Local Finder by clicking the “More places” option at the bottom of the Local Pack:
Localized Organic Results
Below the Local Pack, the localized organic results are shown:
The local search algorithm determines the listing order based on a number of ranking parameters, such as on-page SEO, reviews, and inbound links.
On Google Maps, you’ll find a significantly longer list of local businesses.
Results are listed on the left side of the page, while a map on the right shows the locations of businesses:
To explore other areas, you can move the map around and use the “search this area” feature.
Who intends to local SEO marketing?
- Local businesses: typically bricks-and-mortar locations that need to get more people through their doors
- SEO agencies working with local clients
- Multi-location brands and franchises and
- Service-area businesses (SABs)
What advantages can local SEO offer?
Increased presence in local search results is an outcome of local SEO marketing. Therefore, it’s useful if you want to expand your customer base, draw in more foot traffic, increase conversions, enhance your reputation, and expand your business.
1. Reach More People
Better visibility in the local search results means more people are likely to discover your business. From here, the searcher might go to your website, call you or decide to visit your business in person.
2. Increase Conversions
By taking steps to improve search visibility, you’ll inevitably attract more visitors to your company website, and more online traffic can mean more conversions (such as sales, subscriptions, or service inquiries).
Online users won’t always need to visit your website because they can frequently obtain the information they need in the search results.
As shown in the graphic below, a searcher can call the company and get driving directions without even leaving Google Search. Additionally, they can view the business’s opening hours and other information:
3. Improve Your Reputation
A good reputation is a must for long-term success in any kind of business. Utilizing local search marketing can assist you in building a reputable public image.
One of the most crucial components of your online reputation is consistently obtaining new reviews, as they are recognized to have a significant impact on how consumers make decisions. This is a win-win activity because a consistent influx of new reviews is also a recognized local SEO ranking factor.
More details on the advantages of reviews are available in our guide to Google Business Reviews, which also offers advice on how to obtain more of them.
How is local SEO executed?
You must consistently conduct a number of marketing actions if you want to increase your local search presence.
Optimizing and Managing Your Business Profile
Any effective local SEO strategy must include the optimization of a Business Profile. The business won’t be able to appear in the Local Pack, Local Finder, or Google Maps if its free Business Profile hasn’t been verified.
Initial profile optimization efforts, such as adding images and creating a keyword-optimized business description, need to be finished once the profile is created.
Moving forward, regular optimization work and regular GBP monitoring will be required:
- Keeping the information updated
- Adding new images and videos
- Sharing regular Google Posts
- Asking and responding to GBP Q&A
- Requesting and responding to Google reviews
Building Your Reputation
Reputation management is an essential part of a successful local SEO strategy, as we have just shown. This is mostly accomplished by gaining positive internet evaluations and showcasing your brand’s personality through social media activity and email marketing.
Delivering consistently good customer service is the first step in gaining reviews. You shouldn’t anticipate five-star evaluations if you are aware that you don’t deserve them.
You must respond to the reviews as soon as they come in while maintaining your professionalism. Try our review response templates if you’re unclear on how to go about doing this.
Although managing reviews might be a difficult task, it frequently yields substantial dividends. With the help of our Review Management Learning Hub, you can master this area of local SEO.
Your brand reputation is also supported by your social media and email marketing initiatives. Make sure your brand and message are always in the spotlight, and while communicating with your online audience, keep your voice professional but approachable.
How to Optimize Your Website
It’s essential to optimize your website for local search. To accomplish this, you must:
- Create valuable content
- Build internal links
- Have a mobile responsive design;
- Optimize image and content metadata; and
- Provide a positive user experience.
Making Valuable Content
Local SEO is heavily dependent on the creation of relevant, high-quality content for your website. Your content can be presented in a variety of ways, including blog articles, movies, podcasts, animated gifs, and more. You should conduct some keyword research and have a clear knowledge of what your audience needs from you in order for it to be beneficial to them.
Another aspect that affects how well your website performs in local searches is the number of inbound links it receives.
Building Internal Links
Building internal links through your website is a straightforward but effective move that is easily overlooked. Internal links are those that connect different pages on your website. They make it simpler for Google to comprehend your website, which makes it simpler for Google to appropriately portray your website in the local search results pages.
Make sure each internal link you create has appropriate anchor text and leads to a relevant page on your website.
A website that is mobile responsive displays beautifully and functions flawlessly on all screen sizes, including tiny cell phones.
You may test your site’s responsiveness on mobile devices using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Google released the page experience update in 2021, which takes a variety of user experience-related elements into account. Owners of websites should verify their Google Search Console “page experience score.” Core Web Vitals is a significant component of this release, and it should be given priority when thinking about mobile responsiveness.
Metadata Optimization for Images and Content
Your website becomes aesthetically appealing by using appealing graphics. You should always optimize your photographs for search in addition to selecting high-quality, pertinent images.
Using keywords in the file name, as well as adding beneficial alt text and a description is a major component of image optimization. This improves web accessibility and searches discoverability. To prevent your website from loading slowly, you’ll also want to make sure your photographs are in the ideal size and format.
Metadata for content explains your website’s content to search engines. The inclusion of characteristics like title tags and meta descriptions is required for this.
Spending some time going through your website to ensure that your content and graphics have been optimized is a good idea.
Providing a Positive User Experience
Everything you do on your website should revolve around delivering a satisfying customer experience. This is advantageous for more than simply your local SEO effort. Someone is almost guaranteed to go back to the search results and visit a competitor’s website if they can’t discover what they’re looking for on your site because the layout is difficult, for instance.
Building Local Citations
Local citations are references to your company’s name, address, phone number, and website (NAPW) on external websites like business directories and review platforms.
In addition to assisting Google in verifying specific information about your company, you might also receive a backlink that could be useful for enhancing your local search engine exposure.
Additionally, local citations can increase traffic to your business. As shown in the image below, these ads include a variety of helpful details, including reviews, driving instructions, opening hours, and images. This assists a company in building a more thorough profile and aids a searcher in finding the greatest match.
Monitoring Your Competitive Search Landscape
You can learn what your competitors are doing well and decide whether you need to change your own approach by keeping an eye on them.
Pay attention to the type of content they’re producing, the keywords they’re focusing on, and the sources of their backlinks. Check out where they have citations and the structure of their review profile as well.
Monitoring and Exploiting Changes in Google
Google frequently updates its search algorithms without giving any prior notice. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on volatility in the search results to learn about any prospective algorithm modifications. Numerous ranking fluctuations may be a sign that something has changed, necessitating a modification in your SEO plan. An effective and cost-free tool for this is LocalRank Flux.
Local Link Building
One of the most significant ranking elements for local SEO is link building. It shows the worth of the article that created the connection and aids search engines in understanding a company’s local relevance.
Prioritize the creation of high-quality content, investigate the sources of your rivals’ links, get in touch with other nearby companies, and establish local citations to get started with establishing local links.
Less ethical companies may use spamming techniques to increase their local search visibility. This could entail cramming the business name with keywords, providing incorrect location information, or making wholly fictitious accounts.
Even though it can be upsetting when a spam profile outranks you, you do have the option to respond. You can report a company if you think it is obstructing Google’s policies in any manner.
Fighting spam takes work, but it may also be quite beneficial if it helps your profile rise in the rankings.
Local SEO Reporting
Making reports to track your progress is crucial if you’re a marketer dealing with nearby clients. This is an easy approach to showing clients your worth and keeping them informed about your activities.