Did you know that 80% of the local searches convert?
Usually, when users perform local searches, they are ready to find a business that fits their needs and converts almost immediately. But if you don’t have a local Search Engine Optimization ( SEO) plan in place, you ‘re going to miss out on these valuable leads for your business.
What’s local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimising a website in order to increase local search traffic, leads and brand awareness. It’s all about increasing the visibility of businesses that serve their communities face-to -face. They may be brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations, such as a grocery store or dentist’s office, or service-area businesses that operate across a certain geographical area, such as an electrician or house cleaning company.
This includes everything from claiming a Google My Business listing to ensuring a franchise location appears in a local Google search (a process known as location data or citation management). It also covers the management of online ratings and reviews, local engagement on social media, and beyond.
It can be difficult to figure out how to implement a successful local SEO strategy, and you may not know how to do it properly.
A search engine like Google has its own proprietary index of local business listings from which local search results are generated.
If you are performing local SEO work for a business that has a physical location that customers can visit (e.g. a dentist) or for a business that travels to visit their customers (e.g. a plumber), make sure you claim, verify and optimise a free Google My Business Listing.
When it comes to localised search results, Google uses three key factors to determine ranking:
Relevance is how well the local business matches what the search engine is looking for. To ensure that the business does everything it can to be relevant to the searcher, make sure that the business information is fully and precisely filled out.
Google uses your geo-location to better serve your local results. Local search results are extremely sensitive to proximity, which refers to the location of the searcher and/or the location specified in the query (if one was included by the searcher).
Organic search results are sensitive to the location of the searcher, although rarely as pronounced as the results of the local package.
With prominence as a factor, Google is looking to reward companies that are well-known in the real world. In addition to the business’ offline prominence, Google is also looking at some of the online factors that determine local rankings, such as:
Here are 4 steps you can take immediately to boost your local SEO efforts:
1. Claim for your Google My Business listing
The first step in local SEO optimisation is to apply for your Google My Business listing. Your Google My Business listing is a section of your business information that appears when someone searches “in [city]” or “close to me.” It appears at the top of the search results in a known box.
First, you need to go to the Google My Business page and ask for your listing. After you’ve asked for your listing, you’ll want to start filling out your profile. The completion of your profile will require you to fill out important information, such as your:
- Name of the company
- Phone Numbers
You can add additional items to your listing once you check this information. You ‘re going to want to add information like:
- Hours of operation
- Link to your site
- Link to the menu if you serve food
- Pictures of your location, products, services and staff
- Description of business
Google My Business photo listings have 42 percent more requests for directions and 35 percent more clicks on their website. Filling out your profile will help your directors to feel more informed about your business, so they will be more likely to choose you.
2. Optimise your site for relevant keywords
The next step in local SEO optimisation is to optimise keywords. You need to add relevant keywords to your page if you want to appear in the related search results.
This step is crucial since the results of your keywords are triggered. When your target audience searches for terms related to your business, you’ll want your business to appear in the relevant search results.
To rank in local searches, you want to focus on local keywords. Focus on long-tail keywords that contain three or more words. These keywords will help you reach people who are most interested in your local business because they are specific, which means that the searcher is more likely to be interested in your business if they search for those terms.
When choosing local keywords, you can focus on keywords that include a geographic location to specifically target potential customers in your community. Keywords like “Los Angeles plumber” or “Los Angeles plumber” can help people who want to find a local professional or business.
Integrating your keywords in these areas will allow your business to rank in the local search results.
3. Make sure that your page is mobile-friendly
To make your site SEO-friendly, your site needs to work great on a mobile device. At least 30% of all mobile searches are related to locations or local businesses. You need to make sure your page looks good on your mobile phone, so people have a positive experience on your site.
In addition, since Google moved to mobile first indexing, your mobile site plays a key role in your ranking.
If your site is not mobile-friendly, the best thing you can do is to integrate responsive design into your site. Responsive design ensures that your site is adapted to any device the user uses. It will help your site to adjust to mobile screens, so users have a perfect browsing experience.
4. Earn and respond to the review
Reviews are a critical component of local SEO.
While reviews don’t have a direct impact on your ranking, they have an impact on whether someone chooses your local business. In fact, 80 percent of people say that online reviews have changed their minds about buying.
Online reviews can potentially make or break a person’s decision to choose your business, so it’s crucial that you keep tabs on your online reviews to ensure that you engage with customers and resolve issues that arise.
You ‘re going to get positive and negative reviews, and it’s good to have both of them on your profile. Users may become suspicious of profiles that have all 5-star reviews because they wonder about the authenticity of those reviews.
Your audience expects to see negative reviews, so don’t worry if you get a few bad reviews. The important part is that you get to grips with the bad reviews and try to solve any problems. It is extremely important on the review platforms, as these reviews are public. Other potential customers want to know that you’re interested in fixing customer issues — so you should always respond kindly. If the issue escalates, please feel free to suggest that the customer contact you through a direct message.