Local search has a lot of benefits for small businesses. Around 46% of Google searches are looking for information about local businesses, so if your business isn’t optimized for local search, you could miss out on a ton of potential customers.
Local SEO is essential to keeping your business relevant. With these key components, you can optimize your business to reach potential customers looking for local information about businesses.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of improving search engine ranking and visibility for businesses in a geographic area, especially ones with brick-and-mortar locations. The intent behind local SEO is to improve organic traffic to the website from local searches by customers in the geographic area.
When users search for information in a local search, search engines like Google use information like local content, links, sources, and social media pages to provide the most targeted results. Local SEO seeks to increase the visibility of a business and its products or services to local customers.
Claim Google My Business
Google My Business is the pinnacle of local search. Because the search engine is most likely to prioritize the content it can verify, Google My Business ensures that your business meets Google’s requirements.
You can optimize your Google My Business information by:
- Creating and verifying a Google My Business Page
- Using Google posts in your account
- Encouraging customers to leave reviews on Google
- Responding to reviews and feedback
- Ensuring all the local information is correct, such as the address and phone number
All of this information shows Google that your business is authentic, which may grant you a coveted position in the sidebar for a local search on the search engine results page.
There’s more to this than SEO, of course. Reviews, up-to-date contact information, addresses, and operating hours improve the experience for customers and make your business easier to find.
Keep Your Business Name and Information Consistent on All Platforms
You want people to be able to find your business using local search. When you set up your name, address, and phone number on your Google My Business page, as well as in HTML on your site that bots can crawl, you increase your visibility and ensure customers can find you easily.
Remember, your name, address, and phone number need to be able to be read by more than humans – if you have them in an image, the search engine bot can’t crawl it. Put your name, address, and phone number on the header or footer.
Finally, ensure that this information is available and consistent across platforms. Simple issues, such as a typo or an abbreviation on one site and a full word on another, can create problems.
Think about it – if a user searched for your business and found one address and phone number on Google My Business, another on Yelp, and yet another on your site, they’re going to feel confused and unsure if you’re legitimate or if they should take the trip to visit your location in person.
Google also sees this and can’t determine which information is correct, so it may not show your business in the results page at all.
Optimize the Technical Aspects
New content creates a new indexed page for your site where you can target a geographic location and corresponding search phrase. This increases your chances of getting seen in the search engine results pages.
Each time you add new content, make sure it’s optimized for search engines by using high-volume keywords in the meta description, header, title, URL, and body.
Create Local Content
Google is constantly evolving and improving, which means that content can be created with the needs of your customers in mind, rather than Google. General topics are great for attracting a wide audience, but you may need to narrow your focus to location-specific content to attract local customers.
You can use this to your advantage to become a local authority. Promote content like industry events, news, educational content, and employee or customer success stories.
Perform a Local SEO Audit
SEO and B2B SEO is an ongoing process, so it’s not enough to stop at your business pages. You should perform regular audits to determine your site’s current ranking and areas for improvement.
Your local SEO audit may include:
- A Google My Business audit
- A Google Search Console audit
- An on-page SEO audit
- Competitor analysis
- A citation audit
- A website audit
Attract Local Customers with Local SEO
Local SEO is a vital part of your overall SEO strategy. If you operate in a service area of have a brick-and-mortar store, local SEO can go a long way in ensuring your customers can find you. Need a hand with SEO for your business? Contact us today to learn how the marketing experts at Fisher Green Creative can help.
Jason Khoo started SEO freelancing in college, sold his first agency, and now is the founder of Zupo, an Orange County-based SEO consulting agency that helps clients construct powerful long-term SEO strategies. Jason enjoys multiple cups of tea daily, hiding away on weekends, catching up on reading, and watching The Simpsons for the 20th time.