Local Search Optimization
97% of consumers searched online to find a local business. Imagine this, 97% of your local business will now be impacted by how well you are able to maintain your digital presence on a regional or local level. This means one thing - Local SEO is imperative. So if you’re a local business without an optimized local presence you’re missing an opportunity every time searches for your services or products online.
These searchers are unlikely to find your business if your local SEO is poor. To optimize yourself for local SEO, it is important that you understand what is local SEO.
What Exactly is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the same as organic SEO, except that it adds the geographical component to SEO.
Essentially, local SEO aims to rank high in the search engine result pages (SERPS). So, if you want to improve your organic traffic, it is imperative that you optimize your site for local SEO.
Ranking on Local SEO
So now that you know what local SEO is, it is important to know how does one rank on local SEO and what are the elements of Local SEO.
Local SEO has three core elements:
How close is your business to the searcher?
The level of relevance of the search query and your products and services?
What do other consumers say about your products or services?
These factors impact how well your site is ranked organically once the geographical and local components are factored in.
Local SEO takes a lot of work and requires constant attention and takes a lot of effort and time to get it right. Hence, even agencies that do SEO specialize in local SEO rather than the broader umbrella of SEO.
But why should you focus so much of your attention on local SEO? What benefits can you reap from being prominent online in a local sense?
Local SEO can help you retain and attract a large number of customers. Customers are turning to the internet to find businesses and services - on desktop as well as mobile.
The age of yellow pages and printed phone books is over!
Benefits of Local SEO
Local SEO is highly targeted and timely
The top reason people perform local searches is to find a local business. The second common reason is to find a product or service that can assist in their urgent needs. Most local searchers are looking for a specific business’ name, but many who search don’t have a specific business name in their mind when they begin their hunt. By using local SEO tactics you can better position your business and its services to promote what you have to offer to local customers when they’re looking for a business like yours. There’s no better time to connect with a potential customer than when they really need you.
Mobile Internet is on the rise
With the rise of mobile consumers and cheaper data, the is a rise in the usage of mobile phones or tablets to find the best local businesses when they’re on the go. In fact, mobile digital media time in the US has increased to 51% when compared to desktop use at 42%. Local SEO covers both PC and mobile internet access, meaning you never miss out on a potential customer, regardless of whatever device they’re on. Read more about Mobile Internet here
Local Search has the highest conversion rate of all advertising channels
Online directories (like JustDial, Craigslist, Foursquare, etc.) display a business’ name, address, phone number and sometimes additional information (like a menu or business description). Local directories dominate the first page of many local search results. Local directory marketing (just one of many local SEO strategies) has a higher conversion rate than other more traditional advertising options – up to 50% conversion on some directories. That means that by getting your business accurately listed on as many quality online directory sites as you can, you’ll convert 1 in 2 leads into an actual customer. Read more about the same here
Local SEO gives high returns on investment
Unlike traditional forms of advertising (e.g.leaflets, local newspapers, direct mail, etc.), local SEO limits wasted exposure. You reach potential customers when they need you - not when they don’t. This makes Local SEO both efficient and cost-effective.
Stronger Local Community Outreach
Local SEO enables you to reach out to audiences that would be best suited to the services that your organization provides. For example, if you’re a lawyer, you can reach potential clients that are the closest to you and would find your services best suited to their needs. When local SEO is done right, your firm would be pushed to the top and the inbuilt CTA of ‘call us’ would be a prominent factor for giving you a high ROI.
Establishes Brand Credibility
Search results that are displayed on the first page of Google and those that also appear within the first few results, are more likely to be trusted by online visitors. When your website is displayed at the top, it shows that you sell products or offer services that are needed by customers that want to improve their lifestyle. The content and information on your site is not only relevant but also useful in terms of solving the problems of users. Hence, improved rankings establish brand awareness and credibility.
When you commence with paid ads, the results cease to show, the moment you stop with your campaigns for the adverts. However, this is not the case when it comes to organic search engine optimization. You might not see the results of your efforts overnight but your site’s ranking will improve gradually. In other words, the result is more consistent than paid ads. If you have the ability to create fresh, useful and customer-centric content, the ranking will automatically improve without having to invest heavily. Read more about the same here
Here are some key tips that can help one achieve good rankings with Local SEO:
The process of ‘localizing’ your website means that you must include the locations of your city, country or region throughout your website. If you’re a business that operates in various regions you can create separate pages or content hubs for specific regions.
Claim your Google My Business listing
Claiming your Google My Business (GMB) page is an imperative part for letting your business and its services display on Google platforms such as Maps and local search results. GMB should be the first step you take while localizing the digital presence of your business.
Manage reviews and ratings
Honest and genuine reviews are critical for showcasing the quality of your service as well as for signalling to search engines that your site and service are trusted and useful. The number of reviews you receive, their quality and the authority of the review are all crucial factors for local search rankings.
Getting relevant, quality backlinks
Backlinks that are obtained from websites that are well-regarded by search engines help recognize your site as a genuine source of information and boosts the ‘prominence’ aspect of the local search algorithm. Links from local influencers such as bloggers, bloggers and business associations can all help improve your search visibility in the local SEO context.
Citation building means to ensure your site features on citation sites and online business directories. This not only helps customers find your business but if you feature your company’s Phone, Address, Name and website URL (PANW) on citation sites and online directories improve your chances of ranking higher on a local search improve drastically.
It is imperative that you are optimized for the digital world in the local context.
Climbing to the top of the search engine rank can be a herculean task, especially if you’re a small business with a limited set of resources. However, local SEO is imperative for you to drive sales for your business. As more and more people rely on search engines to get genuine results to see what they need, you’ll need to be optimized in the local context to be found. By improving your local SERP you’ll drive more traffic, increase your leads and generate more sales for your business.
Local SEO isn’t a stand-alone solution for you to grow your business. You will have to align local SEO with your social media strategies to boost your SERP rankings. Online efforts tend to be a reflection of offline realities. If your business is not good, your reviews won’t be good either.
It is also imperative that you are able to create a holistic digital presence and that you are able to align various platforms and technologies to achieve your business goals.
Focus on building the best business you can.
EmQube has years of relevant experience with SEO and can help your organization reach the top of your customer's search queries and build a credible brand image in their mind.
If you wish to know what EmQube can do for you Get in touch