What is local SEO? SEO, and more specifically local SEO, are business buzzwords you’ve probably heard in some context before. But what do these terms really mean, and what impact do they have on your business?
These are questions many business owners want to ask but often don’t. And it’s their loss, really, because understanding these concepts and harnessing their power to fuel their business could be a game-changing step to help them achieve long-term success.
But you’re here because you’re ready to become a local SEO expert and transform your business. So let’s do it!
The acronym “SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is used to determine where your website’s pages appear in search results. When you’re engaging SEO properly, your website will appear higher on a Google (or other search engines) results page when users query specific search terms.
For example, if you’re a restaurant owner and a user within 10 miles of your business searches “restaurants near me,” your business will appear in the search results. But simply appearing in the search results isn’t enough. Your objective with SEO is to be the first or top search result listed on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
The quality of your SEO and your position on the SERP are closely correlated. The more you optimize your website and other digital assets for SEO, the higher your rank on the SERP.
And this is important because the first search result gets almost 50% of the clicks. Even if you aren’t the first entry on the first page, at least showing up in the top ten search results is helpful. The first page of results displays ten links, so that’s where you want to be. Only 0.78% of users will ever venture to the second page of results.
We’ve established the importance of SEO, but how does it affect local businesses? What is local search engine optimization? Local SEO is the process of optimizing local companies to get high rankings on the SERP.
Getting a high rank on the SERP should be just as crucial to local businesses as it is to large corporations. You could easily make the argument that local SEO has an even more significant impact on the bottom lines of neighborhood businesses than regular SEO does on that of national or international companies.
You may be surprised to learn that 46% of all Google searches have local intent. Search terms like “where to buy” and “near me” increased by more than 200% from 2017 to 2019. Similarly, searching for “stores near me” increased by 250% during the same period.
When someone searches for a local company online, 78% of people will visit the business they found within a day. And 28% of local searches lead directly to a purchase at a local company.
People are definitely looking for your business online. And when they find you, they’re often ready to buy. Implementing local SEO helps companies capture and convert consumers.
There are many schools of thought on how to execute a high-impact local SEO strategy. Basically, it all boils down to ranking factors—the components of your website that Google and other search engines evaluate to determine page rank.
Google is extremely protective of the particulars of their ranking factors and algorithm. But there are a few SEO strategies that are usually successful.
Claim your Google My Business listing. Make it as complete and comprehensive as possible. Including hours, keywords and other important information makes a positive impact on local SEO.
Google reviews are another significant driver of SEO. Encourage your customers to write reviews and include a star rating on your Google Maps listing. Both of these increase local SEO.
Every business should have a social media presence. These pages can positively impact SEO if you regularly post on your pages, encourage check-ins and get as many shares as possible.
If the prospect of an SEO strategy intimidates you, don’t worry! There are local SEO experts available to help you create and execute a plan to promote your internet presence. Find a local SEO company in your area to help you incorporate local SEO solutions into your digital strategy.
SEO isn’t going anywhere. Whether you DIY or enlist the help of a local SEO specialist, now’s the time to implement effective local SEO solutions!