Local Search Engine Optimization is a technique of optimizing a website to enhance visibility for local searches and customers. It is one of the most reliable methods for a business to grow online. This article will explain what local SEO is, what are its benefits, and how it is performed for achieving maximum visibility.
There are several advantages of local SEO. That is why it has gained quite a lot of popularity in the last few years. Did you know that 40% of all the searches are seeking information about local businesses? Similarly, 76% of all the people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical store within 24 hours, and 28% of these searches result in a purchase. Local SEO is a necessity if you want more conversions and sales.
Keep reading to find out more about local SEO and how it works to rank your website.
What Is Local SEO and How Does It Work?
Local SEO is a type of marketing that involves optimizing your web presence to increase your exposure in local search results. It results in more leads and better sales as you get the relevant traffic which has more potential for conversion.
Each search engine has a single goal: to return the most relevant results for a user query. Search engines do this by crawling, indexing, and ranking all the information on the internet and filtering out the best results using artificial intelligence.
If you own a business website, your position on the results page is determined by whether or not your website and other directories provide all the information Google needs to determine your area of service. If Google bots fail to find this information, your website might not show in SERPs for the relevant query in that location.
What happens when someone in Milford types “Web designer” in their search bar.
Google analyzes the location from where the search query is entered using the IP address, searches all the information on the internet, and sorts out the most reliable and relevant results for that query. This is what the searcher sees in response:
An excellent local SEO strategy has enabled NSDS to rank above the organic results from the rest of the area and show up at the top in the local map pack. The people who visit our website have more potential for conversion as they are local and prefer to hire someone local. We can create a foundation that helps our clients get there too.
Benefits of Local SEO
1. Improves Online Visibility
Google’s top five results receive 67.6% of all user clicks. This does not include the paid advertisements at the top of the page.
If your company isn’t listed in the top five, or even on the first page, chances are people don’t even know you exist. One of the benefits of local SEO is that it helps you show above the organic results in the map pack.
But what is a map pack?
Whenever you type a query in Google, you see a set of results in a box at the top of organic results. This box of results is called map pack. Map pack lists local businesses and identifies their location on Google map with little place marker icons.
These map pack results get 44% of all the clicks for that search query. Ranking in the map pack gets you the most relevant traffic.
Customers are the most important success factor in your business, so start putting yourself where they are. Using Local SEO tactics will assist you in breaking into the top results and increasing your chances of being found.
2. Higher Conversion Rate
28% of local searches result in an immediate purchase, according to research. Of the many benefits of local SEO, the one that is valued most is the high conversion rate. Local SEO helps in driving targeted traffic to your website that is more likely to convert.
These leads are the people who are specifically looking for the services or products like yours, in the same area where you serve. Tt’s safe to assume that these are extremely qualified leads with a higher conversion rate.
3. Stay Competitive With Neighboring Businesses
Another advantage of local SEO services is that they allow you to remain competitive. If a person walking through the neighborhood conducts a mobile search for running shoes, for example, your business (assuming that you sell shoes) will theoretically appear alongside all of your nearby competitors.
However, if you do not use local SEO, you will not be ranked in local searches. So, even if you have a better product or the same product at a lower price than your competitors, you may lose a sale. Customers who shop on their smartphones have short attention spans as well. So if you don’t hit fast, you’re unlikely to hit at all.
Local SEO helps you to show for these searches at the right time and stay competitive.
4. Establish Relationships with Local Businesses
Another advantage of local SEO is that it may allow you to form alliances with other local businesses. Many local businesses want to cross-promote their products and services with other companies in the area. Sometimes they attempt to create a coordinated marketing campaign that will benefit several local business owners. If you’re listed locally, they’ll be able to find you.
Once another company is aware of you, you are more likely to be mentioned in their social media posts or to receive referrals from their customers who are looking for products that you sell. Of course, you can then strengthen these relationships by returning the favor.
5. Trust and Authority
Local SEO helps your business get trust and authority by maintaining an online reputation. It involves getting and responding to reviews on platforms like GMB. According to the Search Engine Journal, 91% of consumers trust businesses with lots of positive reviews.
Another way in which local SEO helps you build trust and authority is by achieving a higher ranking on Google. Consumers assume that high-ranking SERPs have been vetted by Google and are trustworthy businesses.
Gaining a prime spot on the results page will encourage your audience to trust your business and gain their respect. This will also reflect you as an authority and gain you more traffic.
6. Reduce Ad Costs
Organic traffic is considered better than paid traffic in the long run. While paying for advertisements may have been your only option in the past, using local SEO will eliminate the need for these measures.
Local SEO helps you improve your ranking. Google can act as a free advertisement platform when optimized for local SEO. Your business can generate more valuable clicks than you would with a paid ad.
5 Tips to Improve your Local SEO
A local SEO plan involves but is not limited to the following tactics:
- Rank in Map Pack by Creating and Optimizing Google My Business Listing
- Location-specific pages
- Online business citations
- Maintaining up-to-date GMB
- Review management and response
1. Rank in Map Pack by Creating and Optimizing Google Business Profile
As we discussed earlier, whenever a query is entered into the Google search bar, a set of two results appear. Map pack consists of local search results that appear at the top of organic search results. It is more convenient and beneficial for local businesses to rank in the map pack.
The most essential ranking criteria for the map pack is Google Business Profile signals. These map pack results are largely informed by Google My Business Listing. If your Google Business Profile listing is incomplete, or worse, non-existent, search engines will have a more difficult time showing your business website for the query entered by your potential customer.
The creation of a Google Business Profile listing is only the first step. After you’ve created your listing, you’ll want to include as much information as possible. Your local customer wants to know who you are, where you are, and what are your business hours. GMB profile should list the following:
- Your unique selling proposition
- Description of the Company
- Date of inauguration
- Location and Address
- Area of Service
- Operating Hours
- Hours on Holidays
Your company’s name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP) must be consistent across the web so that the customers as well as Google bots can find you easily.
Inconsistent NAP information is one of the leading causes of poor local search ranking. Read our in-depth guide on how to create Google Business Profile.
2. Location Specific Pages
A few businesses have multiple locations. Naturally, they want to rank for their important keywords in all the areas where they serve. If a lawyer wants to rank for the keyword “probate attorney” in Milford, as well as Danbury, he needs separate location-based web pages to rank for these two locations.
However, all the content on each of these location-based pages must be unique and relevant. That includes original images, texts, videos, and reviews. If you properly optimize your location pages by posting in-depth, unique, and relevant content, these pages could easily dominate the SERPs.
3. Online Business Citations
Citations are critical for local SEO. According to a survey by Moz, creating a local listing on data sources such as local directories, data aggregators, etc. is the fifth most important ranking factor in local SEO.
An online business citation is simply any mention of your business’s name, physical address (preferably including zip code), and phone number on the internet. While directory listings are a typical source of citations, they can be produced in other places as well. For example, when you complete the profile information for your Facebook Page and include your address, you’ve created a local citation.
Increase your business’s online visibility by establishing citations on Google, Facebook, and relevant internet directories such as Yelp or TripAdvisor. Additionally, it helps your potential customers to find you online conveniently.
4. Maintaining Up-to-Date Google Business Profile
It’s also critical to include accurate, up-to-date information on Google My Business Listing. This includes information like your offers, discounts, or new services or products as well as your operating hours. Remember to include special holiday hours to avoid frustrating customers who arrive at your office only to discover that it is closed.
Google My Business Listing is often ignored. Many businesses never pay any attention to it for years after it is created. At NSDS, we create Google My Business Account for our customers as a part of a web development package and recommend how our clients could update it frequently. This results in better online visibility and more conversions.
5. Review Management and Response
Businesses need to get and manage online reviews for boosting their local SEO ranking. Online review management refers to the process of monitoring, analyzing, generating, and responding to reviews on websites as part of a business marketing strategy.
Popular websites for online reviews include Yelp, Google My Business, and even social media platforms like Facebook. These reviews help to establish your credibility and result in more conversions.
If you incorporate local SEO into your marketing strategy, you’ll boost your site’s organic rankings in various search engines, giving you an advantage over your competitors.
By creating an exceptional local SEO strategy, you can assist your online business in attracting more customers. You can also easily expand your customer base and manage your small or medium-sized business’s online presence more effectively.
For over a decade, NSDS has aided local businesses, and multi-location businesses, in gaining an understanding of and improving their positions in the local search market. If you would like an expert to help you grow your business through SEO, contact us today to schedule a chat. We can help you create a customized local SEO strategy that will boost your business ranking. Ready to begin? Schedule your free consultation here.