The modern digital marketing age is all about engagement. Go social. Go local. These are practices that optimize ranking and reputation for small business websites. More than half the search engine users who conduct a local search are likely to visit a store that very same day.
According to an extensive study by Google, locally-relevant ads and other content are likely to gain more user attention. It all comes down to choosing the right set of keywords and using the right technology to get noticed by local consumers—all of which a local business SEO service offers.
Local SEO—What Is It All About?
First off, know that local SEO is not organic SEO. Local SEO can be organic SEO, a strategy for ranking high on a search engine using non-paid, legal, white-hat tactics.
Why do you need SEO? Local SEO strategies are based on analysis, development, and deployment of keywords that contains text from search queries with “local intention”. In other words, when a searcher wants to find a product or service within, say, a five-mile radius, yours is the website they get in their top results, provided it’s compliant with local SEO best practices.
The practice of targeting consumer using local SEO started out back in 2014 when Google introduced its fan-named “Pigeon” update. The new search algorithm provides users with more locally-relevant search results, minimizing the parameters of distance within the top search results to give users products and services readily available nearby.
The next time an individual is dealing with a broken kitchen faucet and needs an emergency plumbing repair service, they use the Google search app, or just ask Siri—and voila. The SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) list pages after pages of plumbing services in the areas, with the top results comprised of websites fulfilling all characteristics of local business SEO.
What Makes SEO “Local”?
It’s not just about keywords, although these matter of course. Algorithms are increasingly adapting to “near me” searches, which first started out after Google’s Local Business Center update in 2005. The feature was merged with Maps to present online users with an all-in-one source of local business information.
These are the elements that dedicated SEO professionals incorporate in a local SEO strategy:
· Natural-Speak Keywords
As specified before, search engines are more likely to pick up your website if it consists of keywords rife with “near me”, “nearby”, or similar text. The reason for the proliferation of “natural-speak” keywords is the increased use of voice in lieu of typing or tapping by local searchers.
Given the 50% chance that the purchase a local searcher intends to make is going to be an online purchase, and that mobile internet is more popular than desktop internet, a voice-search app is just convenient.
We’re talking about the 2–3 lines of text you see below the title and link of a search result. What most local businesses don’t realize is that these are an immensely important part of local SEO. These descriptions are essentially spaces for a small ad, where the business’s name, product/service, location, and keywords go in.
· NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
These are the primary elements of a “listing”. Currently, Google My Business is the website for local businesses to add in their information and “claim” their website. The NAP elements show up in Geo-targeted searches, or basically just on top of default Google searches.
Citations are an off-page form of local SEO. These are references to your business website, typically on relevant online directories or any regional or national associations’ websites in your industry.
· Local Link Building
Also known as “backlinking” local link building is imperative to SEO success. It works both ways; link building services involve getting links from other local business websites and high association websites. It also involves “getting links”, that is, other websites add links your website in their content.
· Local Reviews
Local reviews are the digital equivalent of real-world word-of-mouth advice and suggestions. There are a number of platforms for consumers looking for “reliable” opinions about businesses. Leading sites, such as Yelp, Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau (BBB) allow businesses to have specific pages where users can add feed-backs. These profiles do show up on search engine results.
Each element of local small business SEO consists of something to help the local searcher out with locating the business—name, address, contact details, map location, proof of relevant certification/affiliations, user experience, and so much more.
Needless to say, local businesses need local SEO to gain traction and any local SEO services pack should cover it all, from local keyword research to search engine optimization on external sites, to help businesses get—and stay—ahead of the competition.
Double Your Growth.
We curate the best of inbound marketing news and send over the top 10 we know will contribute to your growth - once a month.