Local search engine optimization, or local SEO, is essential for the success of local businesses. If you serve patrons or clients in a specific area, you need to be sure that your potential customers are aware of your presence. Local SEO improves your online visibility so that people in your area can find your website.
Search engine optimization involves a broad collection of techniques. While a layperson may put specific local SEO strategies in place on their own, only a professional can put together a comprehensive SEO plan. As a business owner, you may wonder what local SEO is, why it matters, and how you can implement it within your marketing strategy. Understanding the basics will help you take the first steps toward a perfectly optimized website.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is an online marketing practice that helps your business appear in Google search results to customers in a particular location. If you operate a brick-and-mortar store or work with clients within a specific service area, your website should be optimized for searchers in that region.
Local searches include geographic keywords, such as cities, counties, or “near me.” When potential customers are looking for a local business, they’ll search for the product or service as well as the location. To appear in the results for local search queries, your website needs to target those location-based keywords. SEO experts accomplish this by incorporating the keywords into your website content and tags.
Local SEO involves more than your website, though. Another major factor in local search is your Google My Business listing. At the top of a location-based search results page, Google shows the local pack. This is a set of local business listings that includes their locations on a map, phone numbers, star ratings, and other relevant information. Not only does local SEO improve your website’s visibility, but it also increases your chances of appearing in the local pack.
Why Local SEO Matters
Any business that has a physical location or service area should have a local SEO strategy. Even small towns can have a lot of competition, and it’s virtually impossible to rank well on Google without trying. Local SEO is the best way to become visible to potential customers in your area.
Most people never scroll past the first handful of results on their Google search. There’s a big difference between being the third result on the page and being the ninth, especially when it comes to local searches. Only the top three businesses appear in the local pack, and earning your spot in the pack can make a dramatic difference in your sales.
Local SEO has been critical in the last few years because of the rise in mobile phone usage. People search for businesses “near me” while they’re on the go, and they’re highly likely to visit a store shortly after searching for it. Mobile phones allow Google to pinpoint the searcher’s precise location, so location-based searches are more effective than ever.
Consumers tend to have more trust in businesses that appear near the top of the results page, too. Although most people aren’t SEO experts, they understand that search rankings are highly competitive. When they see your business in the local pack, they’ll know that you’re doing something right.
Best Local SEO Strategies
An effective SEO campaign involves several factors. Most importantly, your website should utilize location-based keywords. The phrases should always be used naturally, as Google can tell when sites try to inflate their keyword count artificially. The words and phrases can appear in page titles, URLs, headers, and within the body of the content. Blog posts and location pages are beneficial for increasing your keyword mentions.
Another element of local SEO is your brand’s NAP mentions. Your NAP, or name, address, and phone number, should always be written in the same way so that Google recognizes each mention as yours. You can include NAP mentions on your website, but it also helps to get NAP mentions on other sites. Online directories and local business listings are excellent sources of NAP mentions.
Optimizing your Google My Business listing is critical as well. Your Google My Business profile is what searchers will see if your business is included in the local pack. You should fill in as much information as possible so that Google’s algorithm has more to work with when determining your ranking. This is also where many searchers will learn about your business, so the information should be complete and accurate.
If you don’t already have local SEO strategies in place, now is the time to optimize your website and your Google listing. Local SEO leads to a better online presence, a more extensive customer base, and more sales. You can take some steps on your own to improve your site’s performance, but working with a professional will provide the best results.
SEO experts know precisely how to revitalize a website to appeal to search engines. They begin by conducting an audit of how your site currently performs, which helps them create an individualized strategy. Best practice for local SEO changes over time, so SEO is a long-term, ongoing process. Professionals stay up-to-date on the latest industry news, so they can continue to adjust and improve your website over time. If you are looking for an affordable SEO company, you have come to the right place.
Krush is a digital marketing agency that offers local SEO and several other marketing services. Our team is prepared to take the lead on your SEO campaign so that you can focus on growing your business. Reach out to us today to learn more about our solutions.
Krush is a full-service advertising agency in Oklahoma City. We specialize in brand development, graphic design, media planning, performance tracking, print services, SEO, social media, video services, as well as website design and development. Our focus is to grow your brand and your bottom line–we are your strategic marketing partner! Check out our portfolio of work and contact Krush today!