Local SEO is the process of promoting a business or product within your local area using public places like web pages, public places like plazas and information panels, local industry experts, and door-to-door sales representatives. Local SEO is the act of getting your website or business found by local search engines. This can be done by promoting an existing business, creating an awesome local page, or simply working with a local professional.
For example, if your local business serves in your nearby local area, your website won’t be ranking in other cities. Search engines take the finder’s or user’s location to make suggestions related to the product or service that are within your local or certain range. And now what you as a user would do is pick the top results in search engines and make your decision. Precisely, local SEO tactics are what help businesses surface in Maps or search results when someone out and about on their phone types in ‘best pizza New York’ or ‘Pizza near me’.
Why do you need Local SEO?
The answer could be as simple as you want to hear i.e. to get on the top of search engines. As this is the most important benefit of why you need it but there are other benefits also that are equally important. Other benefits include:
- Gain loyal customers
- Makes you more visible
- Boost site traffic
- Get more leads
- No time wasting in competing with big size businesses.
Now you might be wondering that If local SEO is what every small business owner needs then what is SEO for?
There is a huge difference between local SEO and Organic SEO (or just ‘SEO’). Local SEO is the process of advertising your business on specific local websites similar to those used by television and radio stations. Local SEO is a very effective way for businesses to reach new customers, particularly in locations where there are few other options. For example, local SEO is what help businesses surface in Maps or search results when someone is out and about on their phone types in ‘best pizza New York’ or ‘Pizza near me’.
On the other hand, SEO refers to the effort to improve your website or blog through search engines. It encompasses all the activities that are used to attract leads or convert visitors into customers.
Local SEO is different from traditional SEO because, while it involves searching for keywords in the target area, it focuses more on the relationships you build with local businesses and local residents.
To put it simply, Local SEO helps customers to your near geographical area only while organic or traditional SEO (or just ‘SEO’) provides results or solves queries of anyone around the globe.
Read More: What is SEO and why is it important?
Strategies for Local SEO
The strategy of local SEO is very different for each type of business, but the goal is the same: drive traffic to your store from the right places — usually the local area network. Local SEO has become increasingly important as Internet users increasingly seek out local services, products and information. Targeting customers within a specific geographic area has proven to be more effective in driving business or traffic than simply sending traffic from one region to another.
Here are the Three Elements of a Strong Local SEO strategy for local businesses:
Create a Google my business page
Creating a business page is the first and most important step while thinking of setting strategies for your business. Creating a Google My Business page is easy and hassle free. You just have to include the following in your page to make it more presentable and user friendly:
- Business Name
- Opening Hours
- Services Provided
- Relevant Photos
Join Local Directories
Being a small business owner you must submit your business information to as many in your local area. Though it’s tough to believe, Many people still use local directories.
So, your business information must be submitted in your local area.
Backlinking Strategy is the other benefit this step can provide. Backlinking is where you try to get websites to link back to yours. This shows Google that your site is relevant and has useful information.
Thankfully, Many Local directories tick this box, so it can help boost you up the rankings.
Encourage Customers to Leave Reviews
There are very few things in this world that can directly affect your search engine ranking – but one thing you CAN do is encourage your customers to leave reviews. Reviews are a powerful tool for improving a business reputation – and it’s one you can use effectively in marketing to drive visitors away from competitors. There are many different reasons why customers leave reviews, but it’s important to remember that they add to the overall experience of using a business so make sure they help your business stand out from the competition.
Google local Rankings and Algorithm
Local SEO will be a hotly debated topic over the next few months as Google updates its algorithm for determining what sites rank highly. This update could have a huge impact on local businesses. The old way of ranking sites by traffic has become obsolete as new technologies and methods more effectively deliver results. Following Google algorithm is a must for any business to get more relevancy and top rankings in search engines.
Google’s local feature allows you to display a nearby address in the search results when someone types in a location specific to you. The idea behind this is to help users get interested in certain locations and also help Google find them easier.
Google local algorithm comprises of mainly three factors:
Relevance: Local relevance plays a central role in Google’s attempts to provide users with relevant information. There are two fundamental approaches taken in the search engine’s effort to respond to the user query, one aimed directly at removing irrelevant information and another aimed at rewarding users that bring up useful and relevant information. When local relevance is incorporated into an application algorithm it can improve both the ranking of local queries and the timeliness of responses.
Proximity: Proximity is an algorithm that helps Google understand your location, giving it a better chance to serve you search results more relevant to what you’re looking for. When you’re near a business open for business, for example, you’re more likely to see their information appear in search results because the computers spread out across the world have identified them as being nearby. And since they’re better able to respond to queries based on where you are, it’s a win-win situation all around.
Prominence: Local SEO for your business or website is one of the most important factors in building success. If you can’t make it clear to Google that your business exists in a specific location, and if the results of a local search are misleading or inaccurate, you could be losing precious sales. Prominence is an excellent tool for local SEO. Using it will help your website rank higher in the SERPs (search engine result pages) for that area, increasing traffic and making clients aware of your presence.
Now that we have covered Local SEO in depth you can use these strategies and tactics to make your business digitally worthy and earn more from it.