What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google(optimizing a business, product, or service for a search query that is location-specific).
Search engines uses a user’s location based on IP address (for desktop) and geolocation (for mobile) to determine what results to show the user. So when someone performs a local search, the search engine will display local businesses relevant to their location.
Local search results:
A local search result is a combination of two main parts.
- Organic Search Results – The website
- Local Pack – Google My Business (GMB)
Users can also search for results in a different location by adding in a local area qualifier, like “restaurants in Nairobi, Kenya”.
Local SEO includes optimizing the business’s website for local search queries, as well as optimizing the business’s Google My Business page.
Why is local SEO important to your business?
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of local SEO:
- Local keywords rank higher in Google: Consumers are more likely to search for information or services offered in their specific geographical area. This means keywords that help a business rank locally are often more beneficial than those that help businesses rank nationally.
- Local SEO can increase site’s traffic from users in your area: Local website traffic can optimize your website’s visibility, directly boost your sales and make your brand name more recognizable to a local audience.
- Can convert to sales: 67 percent of consumers say that they research most products online before shopping for them in brick-and-mortar stores. With local SEO, you can ensure that your brand appears in front of the eyes of almost every customer who searches for local products specific to your business-niche, converting online searches into offline purchases.
Who will benefit from local SEO?
- Traditional brick and mortar businesses, such as restaurants
- Professionals (e.g., lawyers) or those offering services (e.g., barbers)
How can you use local SEO for your business?
Here are tips that will help you promote your company.
1. Get listed on Google my business & any other online directories
Google my business is the best way to secure higher rankings in Google’s local search results as well as visibility on Google Maps.
- Create your GMB account and verify your business ownership.
- Make sure the information you provide is accurate and up to date.
- Your listing should include your product and service offers, business logo, operational hours, payment methods, and images.
- Respond immediately to customer reviews and queries.
- Publish posts, such as announcements for new products, events, or special offers.
If you are going to use several directories, make sure you include:
- Your business name, address, and contact details
- Backlinks to your site
- A complete and accurate description of your business
2. Urge satisfied clients to leave reviews
Positive feedback from customers plays a personal recommendation role for your business, products, and services.
Things to consider when encouraging clients to leave reviews:
- Request a review in person after successfully closing a transaction.
- Send an email or text asking customers to write a review( avoid reaching out to disgruntled customers).
- Maintain a professional tone when responding to the reviews(Thank the customer for their feedback and address any complaints straightaway)
3. Create blogs, videos on local news, concerns & events
Writing about local issues is an effective way to capture the attention of your customers.
If you writing blogs, they need to have specific characteristics to make them engaging.
- Long and comprehensive – If the content is over 3,000 words, it will attract more traffic and backlinks than shorter articles. However, the blog’s length will also depend on your customers’ search intentions and the content type.
- Long headlines – Headlines of 14 words or more are likely to generate more traffic, social shares, and backlinks than shorter ones. Titles that include the phrase “how to” often attract the most traffic.
- Subheadings and lists – Subheadings and listings will make your blog readable and user-friendly. This will encourage your audience to read the content and share it on social media platforms.
4. Research for local keywords
It is critical that you identify keywords used by local customers in their searches.
Read keyword research tools that can help you look for local keywords. You can then create a list of these relevant local keywords and add them to your site content and URLs. Furthermore, you should include local landmarks and hotspots in your web pages
You can add them to your location pages and provide information such as:
- Name, address and contact details
- Operating hours and parking availability
- Promotions and testimonials
- Google Maps for each location
- Customized descriptions
5. Create services & products page
Now that you have a better understanding of SEO basics and how Google ranks local search results, you can start to concentrate on signals that will optimize your site’s digital footprint in the local SEO. This way your business can show up higher on the results page, which can lead to more potential customers finding your business.