(Answered) How to do SEO for a local business?
How to do SEO for local businesses? Most importantly, how to do it right? We’ve answered your question!
What do you do when you want to fix your recently broken laptop hinge? What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you want to be reassured about an auto repair shop someone just recommended?
You go to Google or any other search engines to conduct a local online research. In the first case, you may want to see if any laptop repair shops are available near to you (lists), in the second instance your goal is to make sure the nearby auto repair shop recommended is really worth it (review).
Just like that, your customers are also conducting local searches every day to find products and services similar to yours through search engines.
If they can spot you and see you’ve an impressive online presence, your chances of converting them as paying customers is high.
If they can’t find you, you are losing them to the competition.
The value and need of local SEO can’t be stressed enough. If you are following the search industry closely, you can very well understand that there is a high possibility of conversion for products and services that are essentially local.
Done well, it can be one of the most important deciders of a small business success.
In this article, we’ll talk about, obviously, local SEO and several other aspects associated with it. If you are wondering how local SEO can benefit your small business, and how to go about it, this is exactly what you need to read today.
Table of Contents
- What is SEO?
- What is Local SEO?
- How search engines show local search results? The growth of local SEO
- Examples of local search query
- Top local SEO trends for 2021 and beyond!
- Voice search in local SEO is changing the game
- Five Powerful local SEO statistics
- How local SEO benefits your small business: Core Points Why local searches convert so well?
- Today’s searcher. Tomorrow’s buyer
- Which types of businesses benefit from a local SEO strategy?
- Local SEO Do’s and Don’ts
- Opportunity with local SEO
- How to prepare a local SEO strategy?
- Local SEO FAQs?
What is SEO?
Short for search engine optimization, SEO is the process of optimizing a site so it appears more frequently in search engine results pages (SERP). When a site ranks higher on SERP, it gets more traffic. More traffic means an opportunity to fulfill marketing goals such as the completion of the sale of a product.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is another form of SEO with the exception that it is the process of optimizing a site for a specific local area. Here, the target audience is the local audience, target source of traffic is the platforms local people use, and target search queries are the queries entered by the local people, based on their specific needs.
If you are selling products and services targeting a specific area, you want your business to be found by people in that specific area, not elsewhere. Right? Local SEO is a process that those businesses can leverage to succeed locally.
How search engines show local search results?
Proximity factor: Google and other search engines include a proximity factor when deciding who to rank for a local-based search phrase. In other words, when you type in a search query with local intent, the search engine takes your location to show local-specific results from your immediate area.
Examples of local search query
- “Pizza delivery near me”
- “Laptop repair stores close to my home”
- “Closest car dealer”
- “Dentists near me open today”
- “Wine shops open on weekends near me”
- “Grocery stores near me home delivery”
- “Clubs near me tonight”
- “Stores open near me right now”
- “ïPhone repair close by”
Nearly all local search key phrases end with a strong local intent, covering proximity, location or time aspects.
The growth of local SEO
Local SEO is not new, it has been here for many years now, but because people were mainly using desktop computers, its scope for growth was limited. Now that mobile internet access has grown steadily, local SEO is the talk of the town.
Local SEO will only grow because search engines are heavily focusing on providing intent-based results searches will most likely benefit from. However, with opportunity comes competition.
The constantly increasing value of local SEO is prompting businesses to fight for the coveted top slot in local SERP.
What it means is businesses should closely watch the local SEO trends and tweak their SEO campaigns to address the changing dynamics of the search industry.
Top local SEO trends for 2021 and beyond!
Other than the rising competition, here are a few areas local SEO experts should keep their focus on –
- GMB (Google My Business) Optimization is becoming the norm: Being local alone won’t help you to outrank a competitor as long as they have a better optimized GMB profile, complete with consistent NAP information, reviews, posts etc.
- Hyperlocal marketing is narrowing down search results: Hyperlocal marketing targets a specific local area, rather than any neighborhood or city. If someone’s search for a nearby pizza shop should fetch two results, the first and the preferred one to appear before them is the one that’s most near to the searcher. For example, a shop that’s 1 km away is expected to gain prominence over the one at 1.1 km away.
- Mobile optimization is the key: The more a website is optimized for hand-held devices and the more it takes into account the user experience on a mobile device, the better are its chances of appearing favorably on local search results. Remember most local searches are conducted using a mobile phone.
Voice search in local SEO is changing the game
Another trend, in fact a very important one, is the rising number of voice searches performed every day. Since it’s quicker and requires less effort than a typed search, voice search is slowly but steadily becoming the new search norm. In order to improve local search performance, marketers should optimize their web content to address voice search intent, like adding longer titles for blog post content, inserting semantic keywords etc.
Now that we’ve covered the basic aspects of local SEO, let us relook at the entire thing. How local seo can benefit your business. Kowing this should help you decide if investing in the emerging SEO form makes any sense today?
Five Powerful local SEO statistics
Wondering if your small business needs local SEO services? Then here are a few numbers to convince it does.
- 46% of all searches are seeking targeted local information.
46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. This is a noticeable number and should convince you that building a powerful local SEO strategy can shoot up your chances of attracting highly targeted traffic to your physical store.
- 72% of consumers that performed a local search ended up visiting a store within five miles.
Local search has a strong buying intent. When people are looking for nearby information related to a business, there is a higher chance that they will make a decision based on information gathered. So, appearing at the top for the nearby search queries is going to gain business commercial success.
- “Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years.
There’s a steady rise in the number of searches with key phrases that indicate local intent. Near me, Close by, Close to me, Available Now, Home delivery, Near me today, Near me Now, and all other location-specific and proximity-based keywords are the first choices for searchers looking for nearby information.
- Local searches lead to a purchase 28% of the time
- Not having the right SEO local strategy means losing out on a significant amount of business to the competition. 28% conversion is not a small number, considering the return gathered from many other marketing channels.
- 92% of searchers will do business with those appearing on the first page of local search results.
If you can win the coveted first page slot, people are not just going to visit your site, but should buy from you. There’s a real reason your business should appear more frequently in the top SERP.
How local SEO benefits your small business: Core Points
- Receive relevant traffic to your website. Targeted traffic more likely to be your long-standing paying customers
- Build a strong community of local audiences.
- High ranking local site is a signal for your native customers from Google that you are a trusted business
- Local SEO strategies can help you reach quickly and efficiently to mobile users. And local mobile searches are likely to convert than a desktop search
Summed up, the ultimate benefit of local SEO for a small business is that it will help you drive very well targeted audiences who are far likely to make a purchase from you because they are looking for things you sell near to their present location.
Today’s searcher. Tomorrow’s buyer
Not all people are going to buy from you right away. If they find that your business has a convincing online presence and you enjoy the trust of people (good reviews), they’ll surely keep you in their minds, probably buying from you at a later date. Positive impressions created by local SEO will keep you on top of their choices.
Why local searches convert so well?
- The power of proximity can’t be stressed enough. Many people like buying things or making a purchase decision quickly. For that, they are likely to look at nearby options rather than the one that would potentially delay fulfilling their needs.
- Since they are planning to purchase from a nearby location, it is highly likely that they would eventually convert, if not today, then tomorrow. Otherwise, why would they bother about the location in the first place?
- Many people have an emotional connection with their local businesses. They want to do business with people who they can relate to, who understand their language and culture and part of a community they can call theirs.
- Supporting the local community and local economy has been a priority for many people. So, they would rather spend money to shop for a local product than buying it from a distant location and drive the money elsewhere.
Which types of businesses benefit from a local SEO strategy?
Simply put, if your products/services can appeal to people in the local population, a local SEO strategy can significantly improve your business’s chances of sustained growth.
Following are some of the most notable businesses that can succeed after implementing a local SEO strategy
- Law firms
- Medical practitioners
- Personal care
If you belong to any of these categories, it’s time you start optimizing for near me searches.
More Here: What is local SEO and why local search is important
Local SEO Do’s and Don’ts
Produce consistently high-quality content to be posted across all web properties used for promotional activities.
Do not employ cheap techniques to gain a temporary hike in traffic. Trying to manipulate search algorithms, employing black hat tricks, gaining easily available links for money are NOT going to help you.
Create a responsively designed site your local customers can access from their hand-held devices instantly
Do not produce thin content that is already populated on the Web. Do not produce content that is not going to solve genuine problems for your local customers.
Claim and update your Google My Business Page to increase your site’s chances of appearing more prominently in organic search results.
Do not waste time competing or following strategies a larger business employed to gain a foothold in your area. You can’t predict their future goals. You are here to stay. So, stick to your local USP, be local as you really are. Being small is not a challenge, it’s an opportunity to connect with real local people.
Strive to gain as many quality local citations as you can
Do not make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information inconsistent. Always check for clarity, objectivity and accuracy.
Build relevant local links (genuine, not spammy, localized links)
Overuse of local-specific keywords is a signal for search engines that you are over-optimizing. This may lead to penalties and site-wide loss of rankings achieved recently.
Make efforts to get positive reviews on all social media platforms your businesses has a presence. Of course, for that, your product/service needs to be good.
Do not resort to tricks that lead to quicker results. Like auto blog comments, instant links, auto traffic. Any type of SEO takes time to show results, but the results are worth the effort.
Opportunity with local SEO
Producing content – Being local, you can very well understand the challenges local people face, which means you are in a better position to write content that can address a searcher’s intent. For help, you can always hire a local writer who’s also familiar with the local ecosystem.
Building links – A tight sense of community exists locally. People in the business usually know each other. It is easy to ask for a link from a friend or a person near to your home than someone you have never met personally.
Competition – Local SEO is becoming highly competitive, but the chances of growth for a small business are more practical and obvious in the local area than nationally or internationally. Pick the right niche, spread a fitting business message, and solve a genuine client issue. You should succeed. However, you need to follow the right approach, which can be gained from the right local SEO strategy.
How to prepare a local SEO strategy?
Main points to consider
- Create high quality and relevant local content
- Optimize GMB Profile
- Improve user experience
- Optimize your site for speed and voice search
- Find opportunities for a healthy backlink profile
- Find out your unique selling points
- Create an audience persona
- Identify the issues your audiences are facing and how you are uniquely positioned to solve them
- Gather profitable keyword ideas, especially long-form keywords entered by your customers using voice search on hand-held devices
- Claim your Google My Business listings
- Update NAP (Name, address, and phone number) data
- Create high-quality location-based content, add locational keywords in the copy.
- Create content for every stage of a buyer’s journey
- Add schema markup
- Make sure your site is optimized for voice search
- Enhance usability and user experience across all pages.
- Regularly maintain all your profiles across all digital platforms including social media and engage in the resulting conversation
- Look for opportunities for quality local citation and link profile
- Earn positive reviews
- Track analytics to improve
Bonus: Operating from more than one local location? Create separate landing pages geared towards each area.
The above is a summary of the core activities involved in preparing a local SEO strategy. We’ll attempt to cover a separate article covering every single point. The process is simple: Identify opportunities, create great content, promote the content where your customers go, and then continuously improve.
We hope this article is successful in its attempt to provide you a clear answer to your question: How to do SEO for local business? To conclude, here are a few FAQs on this topic –
Local SEO FAQs
- What is local SEO vs. SEO?
Local SEO is yet another form of SEO, with the exception that the former is directed towards a specific local area, it exists to make a site appear more frequently in local search results, and drive targeted local traffic to a site, and make it gain a healthy we presence locally.
- How does local SEO work?
Local SEO works by signaling the search engines that your business deserves to be found by searchers in an area where it is located.
- What are the top local SEO tools?
Semrush, Moz Local, Whitespark, Local SEO checklist, Wordstream SEOPressor, BrightLocal, Yext, Schema Creator, Ahref, Ubersuggest, Copyscape, Grammarly are some of the tools that can help in local SEO efforts.
- How do you know if you need local SEO?
Generally speaking, if your business is targeting a local area, your site needs to be optimized for local search. Also, if you are getting high quality traffic from a speciffic location, it may be a good idea to optimize your site for that location, addressing that area’s local search intent.
- How do you rank locally?
Create a relevant local SEO strategy as briefed above. Keep your focus on maintaining a healthy GMB profile, creating high-quality local content, and earning relevant local backlinks, also make sure your site is optimized for mobile phone and voice search. Make sure you are serving value to your local customers.
- Why should I invest in local SEO and not SEO?
When you are investing in local SEO, you are investing in SEO, only the format is different. As far as the reason for investing goes, we’ve talked about it in detail. Please refer to “How local SEO benefits your small business”