Think traditional SEO is all you need? Keep reading.
Here you’ll find:
- What defines local SEO
- Which businesses benefit from local SEO
- Positive impacts of this SEO type
- Steps to implement local SEO properly
Trying to increase traffic and conversion rates without local SEO is like trying to sell parkas during the summer in Florida. Not only is it very unlikely to be effective, but it displays a deep misunderstanding about the audience involved.
Local SEO is often undervalued. People frequently believe that it serves the same purpose as traditional SEO, or they mistakenly believe that it’s irrelevant for their business.
The truth is that local SEO can do wonders for your brand’s overall SEO health. Let’s discuss basics, debunk some common myths, and determine how to make it work for you.
What is local SEO?
Basically, local SEO optimizes content to accurately answer locally relevant or location-based searches. For example, a California-based store appearing in results for someone searching “groceries” in Europe isn’t very helpful. This type of SEO uses area factors to rank higher in search results to target local audiences.
Which businesses should use local SEO?
All of them! While many businesses may benefit from global traffic, they’re almost always more relevant in specific areas. Many stores mistakenly try to reach the largest audiences instead of those most likely to convert. You could have a million website visitors in a single day, but if they’re overseas and you don’t process international payments, they’re not the right fit.
While service providers like plumbers and painters often don’t have physical locations, they typically operate within a set service area. Their potential customers will likely use local keywords when searching for them. Other service providers, like accountants and writers, may have virtual businesses. However, they may not be looking to take on international clients due to things like time zones, language barriers, and currency differences.
Pro tip: Despite the widespread belief that only physical businesses profit from local SEO, there are usually areas and local keywords that apply for all company types. Think about things like what you sell, where or to whom it’s most useful, who your ideal audience is, and what location has the most of that demographic.
Local SEO facts and benefits
Many businesses ignore localized SEO because they’re unaware of its advantages. Let’s break down some key stats, findings, and benefits.
- Almost half of all searches are local
- Google favors local results
- It’s often easier to rank locally
- Almost 90% of local searches lead to same-day contact
- Three out of four local mobile searches resulted in a 28% same-day conversion rate
- Nearly two-thirds of restaurant searches convert immediately
- Improved overall SEO
- Higher Google’s results rankings
- Increased traffic
- Targets bottom-of-funnel consumers
- Can result in more in-store sales
How to implement a successful local SEO strategy
A winning organic localized SEO strategy has two important components: Google My Business and organic search results. Let’s examine both and cover the best practices for each.
Google My Business listing
Google My Business (GMB) is a free service that allows you to create and manage a profile that Google displays in search results. This powerful tool provides detailed, easily accessible information, and conveniently facilitates contact right from Google.
When building your profile, use accurate and detailed information to create a comprehensive listing without information gaps. Proofread carefully and confirm that all info is error-free and displaying properly on Google. Don’t forget to update as needed if things like your hours or location change.
Pro tip: Virtual businesses don’t qualify for a Google My Business listing at this time.
Organic search results
Local SEO is just like traditional SEO with the addition of local keywords. Examples include things like:
- Local landmarks
- Local lexicon (pop vs. soda or inspector vs. detective)
- “Near me”
While website content is obviously important, blogs aren’t your only option. Use whatever format feels most relevant to your business, website, and SEO goals. Content marketing alternatives include:
- Local news and updates
- Case studies
- How-to guides
Advanced local SEO insights
Some of our most advanced insights for using localized SEO include:
- Reinforce with repetition: Include your location and keywords metadata and geotag local images
- Use citations to improve rank, visibility, trust, and prominence
- Include content targeting rich snippet placement
- Leverage Google tools like Analytics, Search Console, and Keyword Planner to evaluate effectiveness, understand audience behavior, and identify high-traffic keywords
- Create detailed listings similar to GMB on directory sites like Angie’s List and Thumbtack
- Get relevant local sites, area blogs, and news outlets to link to your site
- Have an FAQ section on your site with info about your address, locations, or service areas, and include your full address in your site-wide footer
Pro tip: Optimize your localized SEO by maintaining exact address consistency across the web.
Google has made local SEO a powerful tool. Particularly if you have a physical business location, this can be an essential component of your well-rounded search optimization strategy overall.
Not only will leveraging these tips and tactics help improve your SEO profile, but it can do wonders when it comes to beating your local competition as well.
Need more SEO help or insights? We’d love to help.