Your Guide to Local SEO
Understanding SEO isn’t always easy, especially when it seems like new changes are happening almost daily. But as a business owner in an increasingly online world, it’s never been more important to understand SEO and use it to your advantage.
If you’re a local business – in other words, a business that serves mostly locally-based customers in a brick-and-mortar location – it’s crucial to prioritize local SEO. Here is your ultimate guide to local SEO, with tips on how you can easily implement it for your own business.
What is local SEO?
When someone searches for local products or services, Google shows them a map of local listings. As a local business, you want to make sure you’re on that list. Local SEO involves setting up your online presence so that Google favors you as an option and puts your website in front of people searching for your services.
For example, local SEO might help your business listing appear for people searching for “travel agency Dublin”, “best pizza Barcelona”, or “dog groomer Cork”. It doesn’t replace traditional SEO but is simply a more specific kind of SEO that benefits local business.
Why should I prioritize local SEO?
Local SEO is important because it helps you target and expose your business and website to people who are already looking for exactly what you have to offer. The people doing local business searches are much closer to making a purchase (or visiting your location) than the average lead.
According to a 2014 study by Google, 50% of people who did a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, with 18% making a purchase within a day. With numbers like that, you’d be silly to ignore local SEO.
What can I do today to improve my local SEO?
Like all SEO efforts, establishing good local SEO practices takes time. But, there are some things you can do today to get you started.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already, create a page within Google My Business, a free tool created by Google to help local businesses build greater visibility online (especially in Google Search and Google Maps).
The more information you fill out when creating your profile, the better chance you have of being ranked favorably by Google. Be sure to use keywords for your product or service in your page title (i.e. the terms your customers are going to be searching), and choose the correct category associations for your business.
Other things you can do
In addition to setting up your Google My Business page, you can:
- Make sure your business name and address are clearly listed on your website (and that they’re up-to-date and consistent across all your online platforms)
- Focus on getting some quality inbound links by building references to your website on channels like LinkedIn, Yellow Pages, Yelp, TripAdvisor or a Facebook business page
- Ask your customers to access these channels and leave quality reviews
- Populate those channels with photos and video (Google loves dynamic content), either on your own or by asking customers to upload their content
- Build your website’s domain authority (Neil Patel has some great tips for doing this)
Need some help?
Boosting your local SEO is an absolute must for attracting local customers who are already ready to buy what you’re selling. If you still need some help figuring out how to target local SEO, get in touch – we’re here to help.