According to Google, 46% of all Google searches are local, yet 56% of local businesses can’t answer the question “What is Local SEO?”. So today, we will be looking at what local SEO is, why it is vital if you’re a local business, and what to do about it. If you want to learn more about how to get yourself ranking on those Google Maps, stay tuned.
What Is Local SEO?
What is Local SEO? Well, it basically is a local SEO for small businesses. You might want to check our relevant article if you are wondering what is SEO.
Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimization) is an essential and useful way to promote your local business. It helps companies advertise their products and services to local customers as soon as they search for them online.
You can do this through a variety of methods, some of which differ significantly from what’s practiced in standard SEO, and some of which are far easier to manage using local SEO tools and can require specific local SEO services. It is designed to get you listed on that all-important Google Map Pack.
So why do you need to bother? If you’re a local business or appear for local searches, the map will be at the top. That’s why if you’re relying on organic visibility and not targeting that local visibility, you are missing clicks and traffic. So it’s an excellent idea to get visibility in any local searches.
Maybe you’re targeting a phrase like “local accountant Istanbul” or “local SEO services near me.”. By the way, you don’t need a digital marketing agency near you. Being able to touch someone face-to-face has absolutely no bearing on the quality of digital marketing work. But you can imagine that when someone is searching for an emergency locksmith, they are looking for a trusted local company near them, not someone a hundred fifty kilometers away. It would take hours to reach them.
What Are the Ranking Factors of Local SEO?
Let’s mention what the ranking factors of local SEO are and how you can manipulate them so that your website ranks top when people search for local terms.
The number one ranking factor is location. Location is a crucial factor. Obviously, if somebody is searching for an emergency locksmith near me, they don’t want to see a business a hundred kilometers away. And if they do see a company that’s outside of their location, it will be because that business is solid in other ranking factors. The proximity of your business or your registered address to the searcher’s location is one of the primary ranking factors for local SEO.
The number two is citations. Citations are instances of your business’s name, address, and phone number, or N-A-P’s in short. Google is looking to see registry info about a business’s listing on the maps. This means that Google is looking for lots of citations of your business’s name, address, and phone number around the internet. Those are kind of votes of confidence in your industry. A business that is discussed and mentioned in many different places is a reliable choice.
Reviews are also a critical factor with local SEO. We used to see back in the day that you get an average star rating on Google once you got more than five reviews. Now, we bet that you’re one of those unique people that look at reviews before you make a purchase, and your customers are exactly the same. People want to see that your business has good reviews.
Studies show that your reviews don’t always have to be a hundred percent positive. On the contrary, people are looking for negative reviews in order to believe the average review score for a business. But it is still essential that you do have a good number of reviews.
And the final ranking factor is links. Backlinks to your site are crucial to increase the visibility of your website in search generally, but they also help with local SEO as well.
How Local SEO Works?
In addition to Google’s ranking factors, the local search algorithm uses three basic search factors. These are:
- Relevance (relevance of the searched result to the words used in the query)
- Distance (The distance between the user and the business they searched for)
- Importance (how vital a business is to other competing businesses)
On Google, you can see two types of search results. Local results are the ones you see as Google Maps locations, and organic results are the typical blue-linked results.
Tips for Local SEO
Don’t forget the check these tips for your local SEO progress.
- Optimize your business for Google My Business.
- Engage on social media and post on Google My Business.
- Make sure your name, address, and phone number are listed correctly online.
- Optimize online directories and citations.
- Perform a local SEO audit.
- Optimize your URL, titles, meta description, and content.
- Add location pages to your website.
- Create local content.
- Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
Google My Business
Now that you know all of the ranking factors, how do you take this information and improve your company’s visibility? Well, the first thing to do is to go to google.com/business and register your Google My Business page if you haven’t already.
Your Google My Business page is the first place that Google will look for details about your business and its location. It is also a great place to get reviews as well because they are the first reviews that people will see.
The next thing to do is to increase the number of reviews that you have. Now, this isn’t always easy because it’s not the easiest thing in the world to get reviews on Google My Business.
It’s a consistent complaint people have sent out a hundred emails asking for a review, and they had only one review. Well, then you’ve just got to spend another hundred. We are afraid there’s no easy way to get around it. But the good news is that your competitors are having exactly the same problem.
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The next thing that you can do is increase the number of citations that your business has. So get listed in lots of good quality business directories.
You can find good quality ones by typing into Google Business directories. If they’re good quality, they’re going to show up in the search results typically. But if they’re spam or trash, they’re not going to rank, so don’t bother with them.
The following thing to do is optimize your website with the sort of location information that’s important to you. Optimize your site for the localized keywords you are trying to rank for. Mention where your business is located on your website, and also mention the areas that you serve. For example, if you’re based in London, but you also serve the southeast of England, then what you might want to do is include some mentions of the different towns and cities that you’ve worked in before.
All of this is going to help Google to understand where your business is located and where you serve. You could also have an “areas we serve page,” which lists all of the different areas that you work on because this is important for Google, but it’s also really important for people as well. Particularly if you’re a business that goes out to your customers, they need to know that you come out to them before they’re going to get in contact. What they’re not going to do is spend time going through your sales process if they don’t even know if you serve them. So make sure that information is showing on every single page of your website.
And the final thing you can do is use schema. Schema is a kind of hidden text on your site, which basically gives Google information about your business. If you’re on WordPress, there are loads of plugins that you can use to implement schema on your site. And if you’re a local business, just go to Google and type in the local business schema plugin. You will find a whole bunch of different stuff there. Most of it is pretty much the same, so go for the one which seems the easiest to install.
Ranking factors for local SEO include location. It is really difficult to get ranked in a location that you’re not based in, so don’t forget these little steps. The most important things that you can do to improve your local SEO are:
- Make sure that you registered your Google My Business page.
- Make certain that you get lots of reviews on Google My Business.
- Confirm that you’ve got a follow-up process in place to get more reviews.
- Ensure that you’ve got as many citations as possible in good-quality directories.
- Make sure that you’ve got links coming through to your site as well.
- Lastly, confirm that you mention your target locations on your website copy as well.
To recap, local SEO is the search engine optimization for local businesses specified to rank in the map pack. All local businesses should be targeting local search engine optimization. Even if you’re not a business that is reliant on location, people searching for a service near them are going to see local results. So it makes sense to optimize your business to appear in those local results because it’s just extra visibility for local traffic.
We hope you found this article useful and that you can smash your local organic rankings. If you want some help with your local visibility, you can check out our local SEO services and contact us.