What Is Local SEO?
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a specialized branch of SEO that focuses on optimizing your online presence to increase local traffic, visibility, and brand awareness. It is particularly important for businesses with physical locations or those serving specific geographic areas.
Local SEO involves tasks such as optimizing your Google Business Profile, finding local keywords, creating locally relevant content, and obtaining local citations (mentions of your business name, address, and phone number online).
Why Is Local SEO Important?
Local SEO is crucial because a significant portion of consumers uses search engines like Google to find local businesses. Over 75% of consumers in the United States, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom rely on Google when looking for business information.
Google Maps searches for “shopping near me” have grown globally by more than 100% year over year. Mobile searches for “store open near me” and “where to buy + near me” keywords have also surged, indicating the importance of local searches.
How Local SEO Works
Google’s local search algorithms consider three main factors to find the best match: relevance (how closely related a Google Business Profile is to the search query), distance (how far the user is from the business), and prominence (how important Google thinks the business is to potential customers).
Google displays two types of search results for local queries: the “local pack” results, which include Google Maps and Business Profiles, and organic results, which are the traditional blue link search results.
How to Do Local SEO
To improve your local rankings and boost traffic, you can follow these steps:
- Local Keyword Research: Find keywords people use when searching for local products and services. Research your competitors and use tools like Google Autocomplete and Google Keyword Planner to discover valuable keywords.
- Optimize Your Google Business Profile: Provide detailed information, set business hours, select attributes, and regularly upload photos and videos to engage potential customers.
- Get Local Citations: Ensure consistent mentions of your business name, address, and phone number across online directories and social media profiles. Tools like Semrush’s Listing Management can help you manage and distribute your business information.
- Encourage Online Reviews: Reviews build customer trust and provide social proof. Respond to reviews, verify your Business Profile, and remind satisfied customers to leave positive feedback.
- Refine On-Page SEO: Include locally targeted keywords in page titles and meta descriptions, add specific location pages, and internally link relevant pages.
- Build Backlinks: Reach out to local businesses for links, collaborate with local newspapers and event websites, and support local events to gain backlinks.
- Monitor Local Listings: Use tools like Semrush’s Listing Management to search for your business, fix any inconsistencies, and track your online presence.
- Monitor and Keep Optimizing: Regularly track your local keyword rankings using tools like Semrush’s Position Tracking and keep optimizing your strategy based on the results.
In today’s environment, where consumers rely heavily on search engines to find products and services, mastering SEO and local SEO techniques is crucial. By following these best practices, your business can enhance its online visibility, engage with local customers, and ultimately, boost your revenue and growth.
Contact Starkmedia to learn more!