When it comes to digital marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) is an essential component to boost visibility online. It involves multiple elements to make websites appear on search engines, allowing organic traffic convertible to leads.
Without an understanding of how SEO works can affect the success of the digital marketing campaign. This is where marketers enter in analyzing the significant components of websites and what makes SEO campaign effective.
Beyond building a brand and enhancing the website, SEO means positioning the website as authoritative and trustworthy to rank on search engines. Landing on the first page of Google and other search engines provide more opportunities to convert prospects into customers.
Read on to have a closer look at how local SEO helps your website rank on search engines.
What is Local SEO?
Sometimes referred to as Local Search Engine Marketing, Local SEO is a great way to market your local business online. This strategy helps to promote products and services in the local customers, the exact time users are looking for them online.
To understand local SEO better, distinguishing standard informational search and local search is important. If a web user types in specific keywords in Google, the search engine provides significant results on the first page. A good local SEO campaign allows a website to rank on search engines in a specific geographic location.
Products and services promoted in specific areas have higher chances of converting traffic to sales because the local area is targeted. Most users include a location or ‘near me’ to easily find what they are looking for. If you use specific local areas in your SEO campaign, you are targeting not just any other customers but people who are likely to get products and services within your service area.
Optimizing local SEO is crucial for businesses with physical locations. This will enable people to find information about the establishment online and visit the physical store at once. Since websites act as the front door for businesses, allowing this platform to rank on local search engines increases your chances of accumulating more customers.
Critical elements of Local SEO includes website localization, citation building, claiming Google My Business listing, managing reviews and ratings, quality backlinks, and optimizing website content.
Local SEO has a Different Pattern
Google analyzes the behavior of users and figures out a way to provide relevant information for every query. The search engine takes immediate areas into account when providing search results to target specific areas. This is the reason why the local search algorithm includes proximity factors to target locations relevant to a search query.
For instance, searching for a hotel in specific locations allows Google to show results based on the most relevant keywords. The results will be different if users type in another location or somewhere nearby.
Local search has been around for years but was limited because people used desktop computers back then. With the growth in mobile internet access, search engines include local Search Engine Optimization to target local products and services and provide accurate results for web users.
Considerations for Optimizing Local SEO
The first thing to review is whether a website is mobile-friendly or not. Most of the web users today use their mobile phones to search for information online. According to Bright Local, about 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a business if they have a mobile-friendly website. Therefore, implement changes in the website to allow more people to navigate through the platform.
Google developed a tool to check the mobile-friendliness of a website. Access this tool to check how the site looks from a mobile device and determine if the platform is mobile-friendly or not.
Here are other considerations for optimizing the local SEO.
The use of keywords and phrases with a targeted location is necessary to optimize local SEO. In this part, the service in location (SiL) plays an integral role in targeting a specific city, street, or town. Keywords to use and optimize shouldn’t be limited to traditional keywords. There are a bunch of words and phrases to use that match what people are looking for.
Start by doing a keyword research to explore the local keyword ideas entered by web users. You will be surprised by how some people use words to look for products and services. For instance, the words ‘experienced’, ’reliable’ or ‘affordable’ are often used to find plumbers, electricians, handyman, painters, and more.
It would also help to look at keywords used by competitors. A bunch of related terms can be found, which relatively increase organic traffic. The key here is putting yourself in the shoes of a web user looking for products or services on search engines.
Google My Business
Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is a significant part of the local SEO. This is a tool used by businesses to manage their online presence across Google Maps and Google Search. Setting this up is easy because you simply need to provide information about your business. This includes Business Name, Address, Contact Information, and Category.
For businesses with physical stores or establishments, the exact location can be pinned in Google Maps. This information allows users to find your location easier. For the category, Google only allows one category in Google My Business profile. Not sure what category to use? Use your competitor’s profile to get ideas.
After inputting information for the GMB listing, you need to verify the listing before it goes live. Google will verify the listing via phone or postcard; simply follow the instructions to verify. Once the listing is verified, you can now optimize GMB and upload some photos, list opening hours, list individual services offered, and more.
Citations are online mentions of your business, which include information such as business name, address, and contact number. Collectively, these bits of information are known as NAP or Name, Address, Phone.
NAP is important because search engines use the information to verify the data on GMB. Therefore, having consistent information directs customers to verified information. Google is particular about inconsistent NAP information because it misleads web users. Therefore, make sure that existing citations are correct and consistent at all times.
There are tools you can use to fix issues and clean up all citations. Incomplete data can be recovered and fixed using Whitespark local citation finder tool, Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, or Link Intersect Tool.
After fixing errors and incomplete citations, you can also build more citations. Move to geographically relevant citations through community hubs and local networking events. Industry-relevant citations can also be made through famous sites such as TripAdvisor, HealthGrades, HomeAdvisor, and more.
When we talk about on-page SEO, traditional elements such as H1, title tag, URL, and Meta descriptions come to mind. However, there’s also more to this like creating landing pages covering targeted areas or locations.
The content with targeted local areas helps make websites appear relevant. Homepage should also contain relevant keywords with local areas to optimize the page. Keep in mind that you don’t need to create multiple landing pages with the same location. Doing so will not help you rank on search engines.
Adding local modifiers to the content increases the chance to rank; however overdoing the work will not help you at all. The rule of thumb is simply optimizing the homepage around the primary location and creating landing pages with a similar use of geographical locations.
The most important ranking factor in search engines is linkbuilding. Publishing useful information can help you win over potential customers. Whatever you are trying to offer, make sure you become a relevant resource of significant information.
For tourism businesses, you can start publishing blogs related to specific locations like Finding the Best Cheap Hotels in New York, Sydney, or Paris. Aside from providing useful information, you can also use this method to create links to your pages like Services, Offers, and more.
Guest blogging is another way of building high-quality links. If not for links, you can use this technique to generate exposure for your business. Find blogs and publications that accept content from bloggers and other third-party content creators.
Sometimes, websites have rules for guest blogging. If you want your work to be published on their website, you need to follow the writing style and rules.
Digital marketing is ever expanding and for businesses to stay relevant, staying updated with new techniques matter. Local SEO helps your website rank on local markets, allowing you to get more potential customers within your service area.
The beauty of search engine optimization is, you simply follow what everyone else is doing and you can use the information to leverage on specific niches. Determine what your competitors are doing online and use this chance to improve your online footprint.
Finally, never stop exploring to discover more ideas in enhancing your online presence. Whatever industry you’re in, becoming visible to search engines is one way of reaching out to your customers.