How-To Use Local SEO to Obtain More Customers for Your Business in 2021
Local SEO is a term that many small business owners may have heard before, but they are probably unsure of what it is or why they need it for their business. If you own a business, your website is likely the first thing people will see when searching for information about your company.
Search engines are a powerful tool for getting your business in front of potential customers. If you want to be found by prospective customers in Google, Yahoo!, and Bing searches, then SEO planning can help.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which refers to techniques designed to increase visitors from various web-based searches through natural unpaid (organic) search results. It does not include any paid advertising on Internet sites such as banner ads or other forms of pay-per-click advertising (PPC).
Throughout this digital marketing blog, I’ll cover what Local SEO is, the benefits of this technique for your small business, how Local SEO will improve your site’s visibility in search engines, the benefits of hiring an agency, and more. Stay tuned!
What is Local SEO?
So, what is Local SEO? To break it down, Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engines for local keywords. Typically, local searches are done by people who want to find a local business close to their location. The goal of Local SEO is simple – to get more customers.
For example, if you run a restaurant downtown, you would want someone searching ‘restaurant’ to find you over other restaurants further away from them. However, several basic rules must be followed when practicing Local SEO:
- Make sure your NAP (name, address & phone number) are accurate online.
- Focus on Local SEO; this is the best practice for optimizing your website to rank higher in search engines for local keywords. Typically, local searches are done by people who want to find a local business close to their location.
There are many other ways to optimize your site for this type of search, including adding city and state names on your site, creating a Google My Business (GMB) page, and using geo-targeting tags.
Suppose you don’t have the time or budget for these types of optimizations. In that case, it’s still possible to rank well in the organic results with just some basic optimization steps like making sure that all pages include relevant text about the location of your business.
How Does Local SEO Work?
When someone does an online search for something near them, if they see your website at the top of the list, they may visit; however, if not, they will likely click “next” until they find what they are looking for online.
The best way to get started with optimizing for this type of keyword is by getting listed on popular directories like Google, Yelp, or Foursquare so that potential customers can easily find you when searching online.
For example, results of a local search have a few opportunities to be found online. These include:
- Organic search results
- The Local Pack
- Paid ads
— But what do these terms mean? Organic search results are results displayed on search engines featuring websites relevant to an online user’s search. You want to ensure that you have keywords and phrases throughout your website, which will help it rank higher in search engine results for specific words and phrases. Keywords and phrases change frequently, so your website must be updated continuously to stay relevant.
In the Local Pack or GMB for your business, you first need to be sure that you created a profile and verified it with Google. Continue updating the profile over time to avoid missing out on being found in local search results.
GMB offers so much more than just business details; online searchers can book appointments, request quotes, message a business directly, look over reviews, check on deals, learn about products and services, and even glance at frequently asked questions.
Think about how often you Google something yourself – whether it be a product or service or an address of a business, you must have your listing accurate and your Map pin in the correct location. Otherwise, people will not trust your business, much less invest their time and money into trying to find you if you don’t make it easy to do so.
This is because search engines like Google will try to determine the intent of what the user is searching for, rather than the specific location in which they are searching, so location-based search results that are correct are essential.
Additionally, not all Local Packs are created equally due to the combination of keywords and phrases that users search for in the search bar. Here again, understanding how to stay relevant is key.
Finally, you can be found with paid ads, but this is a more competitive advertising method. Search engine ads are above the Local Pack, but you have to bet on specific keywords and phrases to beat out your competition.
These ads, or pay-per-click (PPC), charge you each time a user clicks on your ad, so you want to choose your terms carefully. This aggressive tactic is used by many experienced marketers and small business owners, but it is often beneficial to start with a more organic approach first.
Who Needs Local SEO?
Local SEO is a must for any company that wants to take advantage of the Internet’s most powerful marketing tool. Local customers find businesses more easily, and they also have higher conversion rates than national clients because it’s easier for them to get into your store or office space if you’re not right on their street corner!
Local SEO can be the missing link to your company’s success. As an often overlooked but incredibly vital part of your digital marketing plan, i’s what helps people find you when they’re in the neighborhood, and it ensures that people know about all things related to the search!
What Does It Mean to Be Local? How Do I Know If I Need Local SEO?
The answer is simple: All small businesses need Local SEO. The internet is changing at an unprecedented rate; it seems like there are new online marketing strategies every day that you need for searchers to find out about what they do.
Local Search Engine Optimization (LSEO) goes beyond just optimizing a website for national rankings by focusing on getting higher ranking sites listed locally near where potential clients live or visit frequently; this means building links from other websites within proximity of these areas, too!
These types of local citations act as “votes,” saying ‘these individuals provide good quality services,” so when someone actually wants something related to their needs, they’ll click right through without having looked anywhere else first.
In this digital age where people can shop anywhere as long as there are two willing parties involved, some people may be asking themselves if there is even a need for physical stores anymore. That’s why small businesses need to up their game and ensure that they are being found online to be seen as relevant.
So, how can a small business do this? With the increasing popularity of online shopping, local businesses need to invest in Search Engine Optimization before those same pioneers fleece our customers by giving all access free through competitors like Amazon Prime subscription services.
Should I Hire a Digital Marketing Agency?
Now that you understand a little bit about Local SEO, you need to develop a Local SEO strategy in your digital marketing plan.
Local SEO is a technique studied for years and often changes frequently; it takes an experienced SEO specialist with expert digital marketing skills to keep up with digital marketing trends and best practices to ensure that small businesses are being found online and visible in local searches.
The best way to get started is to get in contact with a local marketing agency that will:
- Perform keyword research: As mentioned, keywords and phrases evolve at an astonishing rate. Though it takes time to rank for certain words and phrases, it is still essential to keep up with what online users are searching for to stay relevant.
- Optimize and update your website: After conducting keyword research, it is necessary to update your website with keyword and phrase optimization. Page headlines, text, and even the behind-the-scenes work in the metadata are important factors to being found online.
- Create and fix local citations: There are hundreds of local citations that need to be checked for accuracy beyond Google My Business. Tools such as BrightLocal can help to determine if your small business is listed correctly (remember, NAP! – name, address, phone number) and if your business is listed on the top directories as well.
- Make recommendations: A great SEO specialist will continuously make recommendations because they are always striving for their clients to be better and to be found in more relevant search results.
How Do I Find the Best Local SEO Company?
The search for the best local SEO company is no easy task. Before you begin the tedious task of researching and interviewing potential digital marketing agency candidates for hire, make sure that their rates are within your budget.
More than that, make sure that the agency is skilled at Local SEO and understands the benefits of incorporating it into a marketing plan.
Explain your goals and needs that you want to be met with Local SEO. Ask how the agency uses Local SEO to benefit other pieces of a marketing plan, and don’t be afraid to ask questions that you may not know the answers to either.
If you want to understand how Local SEO can bring leads to your business, ask! If you want to know how keyword research is conducted, find out from the experts! You are paying for digital marketing services, so don’t hold back and learn as much as you can.
How Do I Get Started with Local SEO?
If you’ve made it this far, I can tell that Local SEO is on your radar. Maybe you want to implement this marketing technique into your digital marketing plan but aren’t sure how or where to start, or maybe you need some more convincing about why an agency might be a good idea for implementing Local SEO.
If you’re interested in learning more about implementing Local SEO into your digital marketing plan, contact us today to set up your FREE 30-minute digital strategy session with us now.