According to HubSpot, 46 percent of all Google searches are in pursuit of local information. Many of Google’s users want to find a local business that will provide some product or service, and if your business can rank high on their page of search results, you could improve your conversion rate and enjoy higher profits.
This is the reasoning behind local SEO, which strives to connect local businesses with local web searchers through more effective ranking. If you want to harness the power of local SEO for your business success, you might need the following guide to local SEO basics.
How Local SEO Works
Not all searches are local searches. When a web user types a regular query into Google’s search bar, Google considers the keywords used in the search and generates a ranked list of webpages that are most relevant. Recently, after analyzing billions of searches, Google has developed a rather good sense of what kind of results users want with different types of searches. As a result, Google has learned how to tailor its search results based on user intent. When users type a location into the search query, or when users are looking for certain types of businesses, Google knows that they need help finding information that is relevant to their local area.
You can experiment with local search yourself by typing in queries such as “pizza delivery,” which will produce results that heavily favor pizza shops near your current location. Depending on where you are when you make the search, you could receive different local results. The rise of mobile search has led to a dramatic rise in the importance of local SEO, as people are constantly in need of information about their immediate surroundings and local rankings can shift more regularly than traditional search results.
Local SEO Tips and Tricks
Optimize for Google My Business
Google My Business is a web tool that collects key information about businesses, such as their phone numbers, hours, locations, offerings and more. You need to create or verify your Google My Business page and request reviews from customers. You can also share social media posts to Google My Business. High levels of engagement on Google My Business are likely to improve your business’s ranking in local search.
Ensure Your Name, Address and Phone Number Are Consistent
Local searchers are often looking for a business’s name, address and/or phone number, which SEO experts shorten to NAP. Your NAP needs to be consistent across every page it appears, to avoid confusing and frustrating web users or Google’s spiders. You want your NAP to be available as HTML text, so Google can display it more easily amidst location-based search results.
Add Location Pages to Your Website
If your business has more than one physical space, location pages can be helpful in directing web users to the most convenient location for them. Each location page might have discrete contact information, parking and transit information, promotions and testimonials. If your business has only one location, you can collect all that information on an About Us page.
Publish Local Content
Business blogs are as important than ever. Not only does blog content help engage customers with useful and interesting information, but it helps inform search engines about the relevancy of a business’s pages. You should write extensively about local concerns, such as local gatherings your business might host or attend or local weather patterns that might affect business operations.
More Advanced Local SEO Strategy
By using the tips and tricks listed above, you may be able to get your business onto the first page of some local search results — but if you want to increase the visibility of your business even further, you may need to deploy more advanced SEO tactics. It might be wise to partner with a local SEO agency, which is more likely to understand the habits and interests of your target audience better than an agency based in a far-flung location. For example, SEO services in Phoenix are likely to be more adept at understanding the needs and practices of dwellers of the Southwest than an SEO firm from Canada or Europe. Therefore, they can use their considerable SEO expertise to improve your search ranking and achieve your SEO goals faster.
Local SEO is not new, but it is a new concept to many business leaders. The sooner you recognize how your business can benefit from local rankings, the sooner you can build a stronger community of customers in your local area.