Local search engine optimization (SEO) becomes more and more important. If you have a website for your business, it is essential to ensure that it is properly optimized for local search.
The benefits of local SEO.
Nearly 80% of consumers use the Internet to find products and services they need. And, if you’re not visible online, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new customers.
Local SEO is a process of optimizing your website and online presence to rank higher in search results for people searching for products or services in your area.
Why is local SEO so important for small businesses?
There are a few key reasons:
Get found by new customers.
One of the best things about local SEO is that it can help you get found by new customers who are searching for businesses like yours.
For example, let’s say you own a small Italian restaurant in Seattle. If someone searches for “Italian restaurants in Seattle,” your restaurant could appear in the search results.
And if you’re appearing in the search results, that means you have a good chance of getting new customers.
Local SEO is extremely effective.
If you’re not using local SEO, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to reach new customers.
A recent study by BrightLocal found that 97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses. And, of those, 61% say they are more likely to buy from a business that appears in local search results.
What’s more, searchers are not just looking for businesses; they’re looking for specific information. In fact, 78% of local mobile searches result in a purchase.
Local SEO is affordable.
Compared to other marketing channels, local SEO packages can be extremely affordable. In fact, you can get started with a very small budget.
When your small business appears in the local search results, it helps to build credibility with potential customers. After all, if you’re appearing in the search results, that means you must be doing something right!
An edge over your competition.
If your competition is not doing local SEO, you have a big opportunity to get ahead. Even if they are doing local SEO, if you do it better, you can still win.
Easy to track and measure.
Unlike other marketing channels, local SEO is very easy to track and measure. You can use tools like Google Analytics to track your website traffic and see how many of your visitors are coming from search engines.
Long-term and sustainable.
Unlike some other marketing tactics, local SEO is a long-term marketing strategy. Once you’ve optimized your website, you will continue to reap the benefits for years to come.
Investing in local SEO is a smart move for any small business. By doing so, you can enjoy all of the benefits that come with being a top-ranked business in the local search results.
How to rank locally.
Here are a few simple steps you can take to improve your chances of ranking higher in your local search results.
Claim and complete your business listings.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your local search ranking is to claim and complete your business listings. This includes listings on directories like Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yelp. When you create or claim your listing, be sure to include accurate and up-to-date information about your business, including your name, address, and phone number.
Optimize your website for local keywords.
In addition to claiming and completing your business listings, you also need to optimize your website for local keywords. This means including relevant keywords in your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and body copy. For example, if you’re a plumber in Los Angeles, you’ll want to include keywords like “plumber Los Angeles” and “Los Angeles plumbing” on your website.
Optimize your website for mobile.
More and more people are using their mobile devices to search the web, so it’s important to optimize your website for mobile. This means making sure your website is responsive and accessible on all devices. You can also improve your mobile search ranking by creating a mobile app for your business.
Build local citations.
Another important factor in local search ranking is citation. Citations are mentions of your business name and address on other websites. The more citations you have, the higher you’ll rank in local search results. You can build citations by listing your business on directories, listing sites, and review sites.
Encourage customer reviews.
In addition to citations, customer reviews are also important for local search ranking. Reviews help to build trust and credibility, both of which are essential for ranking high in search results. Encourage customers to leave reviews by asking them to leave a review on your Google My Business listing, Yelp page, or other review site.
By following these simple steps, you can improve your website’s local ranking and ensure that it is seen by the people who are looking for it. Local SEO is an essential part of any successful online marketing strategy, so make sure that you take the time to do it right.