Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local prospects and customers.
Local SEO is vital for a local small business to drive people to its e-commerce website and increase store foot traffic.
For Google and other search engines to collect information for local search, search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide the most relevant local results to the user.
Do you have Google My Place in good shape? What about your NAP’s? Do you know?
Let me help.
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. The NAP listings are essential for businesses and local businesses wanting to rank favorably in the local organic search results because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches.
Digital marketing including local SEO services evolves rapidly impacts businesses all over the world. It doesn’t mean, however, that online marketing channels apply to international businesses only. They represent a great way to reach local customers and attract more consumers to your stores.
According to the report, almost half of all Google searches are looking for local information. It’s a clear sign that you need to invest in the best tools and techniques that can help you rank higher in location-related searches in Google and other engines.
In this article, we will explain the concept of local SEO and present you 10 hot digital marketing advances that impact local SEO and search. Let’s look!
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO comprises several factors that help you address your local audience by better rankings in search engines. It’s a critical business strategy that can bring several awesome benefits to your organization, including:
- Improved search engine ranking
- A growth in popularity among local customers
- Customized and high-quality content
- More phone calls, leads, store visits, and purchases
- Building relationships with local consumers
- Boosting customer loyalty
- A huge sales boost
Perhaps this sounds like a little bit too much, but local SEO is having a tremendous impact on physical stores and sales results. Many studies prove this point:
- After making a local business search on a mobile device, 88% of consumers will either call or visit the business within 24 hours.
- 86% of users use the Internet to discover local businesses, while almost a third of users search for local stores at least once a week.
- Almost 80% of location-based mobile searches result in an offline purchase.
- Google reports a 900% increase in using “near me/close by” searches.
- 50% of “near me” Google searches performed via mobile result in a store visit.
The figures are staggering and they reveal the influence local SEO might have on your business, but how can you make use of this strategy and give your company a brand new boost?
There are many things you can do to optimize content for local searches and we prepared the list of 10 suggestions for you.
Create a Google My Business Account
The first rule of local optimization is to create an account on Google My Business. Given the fact that over 90% of the entire traffic comes from search engines, it is essential to make your account on this platform and allow the largest engine.
Local SEO and Google go hand in hand. To display relevant information about your business. This includes features such as phone numbers, addresses, opening/closing hours, etc.
Begin by typing in the correct business name such as ABC or XYZ. After that, you must enter a business address which includes the country, city, street, and ZIP code. You can also tell customers whether you deliver goods or services within a certain distance. Other details you need to fill in include:
- The category of your business
- Phone numbers and website URLs
- Brands and labels
- Attributes such as free WiFi or similar
- Business profile photo
Google reports that businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location, so work on this feature.
You can add a logo, a cover photo, or additional images highlighting the benefits of your business. What is important is to upload high-quality images with a resolution of at least 720×720 pixels and a JPG or PNG format.
Optimize Titles and Descriptions
What are the first things users see when they conduct online searches? The right answer is titles and webpage descriptions. Therefore, make these elements keyword-rich and straightforward to grab the attention of your audience instantly.
We recommend you to include the name of your city and the business you are dealing with. For example, an SEO-friendly title could be something like: “IKEA Kitchen Appliances – Phoenix, Arizona.”
If you need help figuring out the most relevant headline for your webpage with this nice SEO tool, we encourage you to try CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.
The platform shows you the so-called headline score, so you can determine the quality of each title. It highlights power words and emotional phrases that make the biggest influence on readers, but there is also the length, keyword, and sentiment analysis.
Create Quality ‘Near Me’ Type of Content
Do you know that over 80% of smartphone shoppers conduct ‘near me’ searches? This is a big signal which proves how important it is to create ‘near my’ type of content of the highest quality. Such a tactic will earn you more traffic and help you distinguish your business from the whole crowd of niche rivals.
But what does it mean to write a top-level local content? It means two things:
The only way to do it is by creating long-form posts focusing on local affairs, people, and events. Given the fact that 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within five miles of their current location, it would pay off to invest more time into the creation of the ‘near me’ type of content.
Promote On Social Media
Although social networks don’t influence search ranking, they can help you boost the number of website visits. The idea is simple – you just need to create a few social media accounts and write thorough business descriptions.
Jake Gardner, a content creator at NSBroker, says Instagram bios or Facebook page descriptions can help followers to learn more about business: “They can include the same details as Google My Business accounts, so you can expect more people to discover your store this way.”
Of course, you don’t have to waste energy administering dozens of social media accounts. It’s enough to concentrate on two or three platforms that attract most of your audience. Here’s an overview of social media audiences:
Add a Listing to Business Directories
Business directory listing and NAP are critical to your local SEO efforts.
Another very useful tactic is to create listings on relevant business directories. There are hundreds of interesting sites to consider here, with some of the popular options being Yelp, CitySquares, and Merchant Circle.
You should, however, try to find directories that fit your niche. This also includes local business directories you might consider relevant for your company.
The main reason to do it is that you can increase website traffic. Consumers search for local stores on business directory websites, so it’s easy to grab their attention and enable potential customers to discover your company online.
Second, business directories represent backlinks leading to your site. If you know that Google and other engines highly appreciate backlinks as an SEO factor, it’s fair to say that business directory listings can maximize the discoverability of your site.
Besides that, directories help people to find physical stores and encourage consumers to leave online reviews, thus taking care of your online reputation.
Follow Online Reviews
The online reviews can boost your local SEO rankings.
Speaking of online reviews, don’t forget that customers’ testimonials can make or break your professional reputation even if you are running a physical store in a real-world environment. As much as 97% of consumers read online reviews when looking for a local business.
Therefore you need to follow customers’ online comments using some of the best digital reputation management tools like Podium or Review Trackers. Such tools allow you to monitor and analyze dozens of online review websites using one platform only.
With digital reputation management software at your disposal, you can grow the number of user reviews quickly and boost positive comments. It will be easier for you to identify new comments, reply to users’ messages, and improve customer loyalty in the long run.
Take Advantage of Snippets with Local SEO
Featured snippets are valuable to search engine elements that allow you to display relevant information about your business but comprehensive forms. Snippets can include details such as addresses, URLs, product images, and many more.
Keep in mind that snippets come in three different formats because it will help you create content according to the expectations of the local customers. The three types of featured snippets are these:
If you are using WordPress to power a website, then we recommend you to try Schema. It’s an easy-to-control plugin that you can install quickly and use to create eye-catching snippets. In doing so, you should be able to drive user engagement and convince potential customers to visit your site.
Prepare for Voice Search and Local SEO
The number of people who use voice commands to look for local businesses is exploding.
Studies even reveal that 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020. In such circumstances, prepare for a voice search avalanche by creating content which answers business-related information.
If your content can answer the most common questions (remember 5W+H: who, what, where, when, why, and how), you won’t have a problem attracting new visitors to your website.
However, keep in mind that you need to be straightforward and use a conversational style of writing because it matches users’ voice search habits.
You should find and use as many keywords, synonyms, and search phrases as possible, but avoid highly eloquent terms and expressions because it’s not the way average persons speak.
Optimize for Mobile Experience
Most users now browse the web through smartphone devices, so you need to take it into account and optimize a website for the mobile experience. Mobile-first indexing means Google uses the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking.
If you want your local business to be visible in local engine searches, then you should rely on a responsive template that makes your site look good on many devices – mobile phones, tablets, and laptops. Local SEO is a must!
Speed It Up Google Likes Fast Sites
The last SEO tactic on our list is rather technical but extremely important. Website visitors hate waiting for a site to launch, which means you must improve page load speed.
It’s easy to do it with Pingdom, a page speed tester and optimizer which identifies loading issues and helps you to solve them.
This platform lets you know how long it takes to open any given page on your website, while its thorough analytics helps you to figure out the shortcomings that slow down the site. Here’s what you get to learn:
Wrap-up on Local SEO
Are you running a local business with one or more brick and mortar stores? If yes, you have to invest a lot of time and resources and help potential customers to find out about your company.
In this post, we showed you 10 hot digital marketing tactics that strongly impact local SEO and search. There are SEO tools for local SEO like MOZ Local, Whitespark, and BrightLocal to name a few.
We’re listening about local SEO.
Have something to say about local SEO and local search?
Michael Gorman is a digital marketer and a part-time blogger who specializes in social media campaigns and visual content creation. With over 15 years of professional experience, Michael has more than enough ideas to share with his readers and so he tries to write at least one post a week. Besides that, Michael is a father of two lovely toddlers and an amateur long-distance runner.
General FAQ’s about Local SEO
Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local prospects and customers. For Google and other search engines to collect information for local search, search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide the most relevant local results to the user.
How much does local SEO service cost?
Pricing for local SEO services starts at $499 per month and includes Google My Business signals, Backlinks, On-Page SEO (including NAP), Citations, Reviews, and more.
What factors improve my local SEO ranking?
Although the ranking factors are always a moving target, the main ones are pretty steady. The top 5 are Google My Business signals, Backlinks, On-Page SEO (including NAP), Citations, and Reviews. We can help you with all of this. We can’t guarantee rankings, no one can, but this should put you on the map…literally.
What is a Local SEO citation?
What are local SEO citations? A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP). Like links to your website, Google uses them when evaluating the online authority of your business to help boost your ranking.
What is NAP stand for?
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number.
NAP is essential for businesses and local businesses wanting to rank favorably in the local organic search results because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches.