Would you throw a party and not send invitations? Of course not, but that’s what you do when you ignore local SEO. If you use local SEO to invite your community to engage with your business, soon everyone will be having a good time.
When you’re an SEO professional, knowledge is power (and a necessity!) The search industry changes so fast, and if you’re going to be successful you need to keep up. That means using online resources like blogs to stay informed on what’s happening in the local SEO industry.
Local SEO is vital
In fact, 46% of all searches on Google are local.
Which means that, if you’re a local business and you don’t have your local SEO in order, you’re missing an opportunity every time someone searches for your products or services online.
Why do you think SEO is important?
SEO aids the search robots in understanding what you’re selling. The robots are stupid but hard-working, and they become better all the time. These robots try to figure out how useful humans find whatever you’re selling on the internet. The robots try to judge using many different metrics to determine if whatever you’re selling makes people looking for your stuff happy.
Sometimes, tricky humans invent methods to fool the robots into believing that a website is more helpful to humans than it really is. Robots are dumber than large numbers of humans, even when those humans are stupid as individuals and have low moral fiber.
With the importance of local SEO, there has been quite a lot of motive that came into the picture of the growing need for searches and getting people to your business websites.
Local vs organic:
Companies with high local SEO rankings are the ones presented to the user, which is why local SEO is so important.Organic SEO applies when the search is not geographic-specific; in that case, your site is ranked against all others of the same type across the country and, in some instances, the world. If you draw a significant portion of your revenue from local customers, you must invest in local SEO.
Local search engine optimization isn’t just about local mom-and-pop shops anymore. Any business can take advantage of local SEO’s benefits. Since Google’s fan-named “Pigeon” update in 2014, the importance of local SEO has grown, leading many entrepreneurs to focus on their strategy despite going years without considering a local tangent to their inbound marketing campaign. Others, who already practiced regular local optimization strategies, saw the update as an opportunity to increase their efforts even further.
Google my business
Experts recommend utilizing Google My Business as the base for a local SEO campaign. This is a free listing service, and how you use it will have a direct impact on your local SEO ranking.
Google My Business functions as a master information hub that manages all your Google needs, including Search, Maps or Google+. Begin the process by establishing an account and verify it, because an owner-verified account will rank higher than non-verified ones. Next, complete the profile and include your NAP – name, address, and telephone number.
Other information you will want to include:
- Hours of Operation
- Website address
- Images (with appropriate keywords)
- Business categories
Google loves towards Local businesses:
Over the years, Google has shown slight favoritism toward newer, smaller, more agile companies. While most of its ranking biases have to do with a brand’s history and authority. Google also wants to give the people what they want and that often means showcasing nimbler, more popular brands.
Social media and local SEO
Part of your local SEO ranking consists of reviews and shared links, and the proper use of social media can help boost those numbers. Your options should include at least some of the following:
Once you’ve created your profiles, engage your audience and personalize your company. Yes, you should share information about products, services, sales, and promotions, but also share stories about how the company was started or how it overcame a recent challenge. Sponsor a local school team or charity, and share information about that. Be sure to share links to your accounts.
How to show up in local search results
If you’re having trouble getting your local business’ website to show up in the Google local 3-pack or local search results in general, you’re not alone. The first page of Google’s search results seems to have gotten smaller over the years – the top and bottom of the page are often filled with ads, the local 7-pack was trimmed to a slim 3-pack, and online directories often take up the rest of page one. There is very little room for small local businesses to rank on the first page of Google.
To make matters worse, Google has a local “filter” that can strike a business, causing their listing to drop out of local search results for seemingly no reason often, literally, overnight. Google’s local filter has been around for a while, but it became more noticeable after the Possum algorithm update, which began filtering out even more businesses from local search results.
How to get started with a local SEO campaign
If you’re intimidated by the notion of starting a local SEO campaign, don’t be. It’s actually a pretty straightforward process, though it will take you some time and effort.
Local citation correction. The first thing you need to make sure is that your business is listed accurately and appropriately throughout the web. Claim your local business profile on local directory and review sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor, as well as any other directories that are relevant to your business.
We need to ensure that most important business information — especially your name, address and phone number are accurate and formatted consistently across all of these platforms. If Google notices even a small discrepancy between two different sources, your local authority could drop.
If you rely on local business to drive your revenues, you must have an active local SEO campaign. Start with Google My Business and build from there to make sure your company is visible to the people in your community.