What is local SEO and how does having a local SEO strategy help to grow your business? Local SEO is about making your business easily found when a potential customer is looking online for the products you sell or services you provide. It includes evaluating and optimizing your:
- Other online presence, including directories and Google My Business
So…let’s begin with:
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a digital marketing tool that all small businesses need to use in order to rank on the search engine results page for local keywords which drive interest or intent to purchase for a local business.
What is a local SEO strategy?
A local SEO strategy is a plan that is designed to improve visibility for specific keywords in the area (both geographic – as in a zip code and/or a specific community – and products/services) that your business is targeting.
Why is local SEO important?
Local SEO is important because it is the best digital marketing tool to increase the chances for the local small business to be able to compete against the big national brands. When a business is optimized for local terms, it helps that local business to address a commercial need in their community.
When your business optimizes for local SEO, you are putting your company’s products and services in front of people that are ready to buy as 90% of local searches on mobile phones result in a physical store purchase .
What is the difference between SEO vs local SEO?
Local SEO is related to keywords that have a physical proximity and commercial intent from the searcher’s point of view. On the other hand, traditional SEO is more focused on informational and evaluation type content that does not have local search intent.
Local SEO Strategies and Tactics
First, having a website with current, accurate business information is important for local SEO as more than 60% of consumers won’t go to a business that has no online presence. In addition to the website, the local business needs to have their business information included in relevant online business directories.
- The first important tactic for local SEO is to have the name, address, and local phone number consistent across all online properties (directories, Google My Business, and website)
- The second local SEO tactic is to include in the website all relevant local business information in the structured data code on the homepage of the website
- The third local SEO tactic is to have local website references from other websites pointing to your business website
- The fourth local SEO tactic is to have the opening and closed business hours clearly displayed on the footer and/or contact us page
- The fifth local SEO tactic is to make sure that your website is optimized for an optimal user experience on mobile because Google analyzes websites through a smartphone crawler
Second, claim the Google My Business listing.
- If you want your business to appear in Google Maps application results and the Google search engine results page, it’s important to select the correct business category to have your business appear when a user searches for specific category related keywords
- Another local optimization tactic is to have 360 degree images of the inside and outside of the business. This helps the searcher have more information and make an informed decision
- In addition, another important local SEO signal to help increase rankings for your business products and services locally is to get reviews and to respond to all of the reviews/questions that are on Google My Business
Popular Local SEO Tools
There are multiple Local SEO tools like Yext, Synup, Bright Local, and many others. All of these tools are useful, however, it’s important to understand that choosing the right tool depends on the needs of your business. Also, be advised that some local SEO tools can get expensive due to recurring costs and if you cancel the local SEO tool, the information for your business might get changed back to unoptimized information. Buyer beware!
Ho w to Manage your Local SEO
- The first step to manage your local SEO is to make sure that you identify all your online web properties and then make sure they have the same name, address, and local phone number
- The second step to manage your local SEO is to respond to all reviews and questions; creating email alerts whenever someone posts a review on all claimed online web properties will help you to respond to all reviews as quickly as possible
- The third step is to make sure that your website is optimized for a fast and mobile-friendly user experience and has local business structured data code on the homepage of the website
How to Choose a Local SEO Service
Ask the local SEO vendor:
- What is their approach to local SEO, are they open about their processes or not? If not, that is a red flag to be careful.
- Are they open to the idea of you talking with current and past local SEO vendor clients?
- Does the vendor provide reporting, and if so, what do they focus on and how often can we talk and ask questions?
Contact us to learn more about the Unfair Advantage approach to digital marketing, including our local SEO best practices, and more.