Your website search engine rankings are a major factor, if not the most important, when it comes to building a strong digital marketing strategy.
In today's digital age, the internet has become the go-to source for everything from shopping to information gathering. Therefore, it is crucial for businesses to ensure their online presence is strong and easily discoverable. This is where local SEO solutions come in.
Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business's online presence to appear more prominently in local search results. In this blog, we'll explore eight essential things you need to know about local SEO solutions. But first, let's answer some questions about some of the features and benefits of local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a subset of SEO that focuses on optimizing a business's online presence to rank better in local search results. Local SEO solutions help businesses get discovered by customers searching for products or services in their local area. For example, if someone in San Francisco is searching for "pizza delivery near me," local SEO solutions can help a local pizza restaurant appear at the top of the search results.
What is the Importance of Local SEO?
Local SEO is essential for small businesses looking to compete with larger companies in their area. By optimizing their online presence for local search, businesses can reach a broader audience and attract more customers.
According to Google,
, meaning that users are looking for products or services nearby. This highlights the importance of local SEO solutions for businesses looking to increase their online visibility and attract more customers.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO solutions work by optimizing a business's online presence to appear more prominently in local search results. This includes optimizing a business's website, creating and managing Google Business listings, and building local citations.
Google Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps. Local citations refer to online directories and platforms that list a business's name, address, and phone number.
Local SEO solutions help businesses manage and optimize their online presence across these platforms to improve their search engine rankings.
What Are The Benefits of Local SEO?
Local SEO solutions offer a variety of benefits for businesses looking to improve their online presence and attract more customers. Some of the benefits of local SEO solutions include:
Increased online visibility: Local SEO solutions help businesses appear more prominently in local search results, increasing their online visibility.
Improved search engine rankings: By optimizing their online presence for local search, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and attract more customers.
Increased website traffic: Local SEO solutions can help businesses drive more traffic to their website, resulting in more leads and sales.
Increased customer engagement: By actively managing their online presence, businesses can engage with customers and respond to their reviews and comments, building stronger relationships with their customers.
Can I Use Local SEO for My Small Businesses?
Local SEO solutions are especially important for small businesses looking to compete with larger companies in their area. Small businesses can benefit greatly from local SEO solutions by improving their online visibility and attracting more customers. Local SEO solutions for
small businesses may include:
Creating and optimizing a Google Business listing
Building local citations
Encouraging customers to leave positive reviews
Optimizing their website for local search
Building high-quality local links
Engaging with customers on social media
How Long Does Local SEO Take?
Local SEO is an ongoing process that takes time to show results. The timeline for local SEO solutions depends on various factors, including the level of competition, the quality of the website and online listings, and the consistency of local citations.
Typically, businesses can expect to see results within three to six months of implementing local SEO solutions. However, it's important to note that local SEO is an ongoing process, and businesses need to continue optimizing their online presence to maintain their rankings.
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8 things you should know about local SEO
As a savvy business owner, what can you do to rank high and stand out from the rest of the blue links on Google? To help you strengthen your SEO strategy, we’ve put together eight things you need to know about local SEO solutions!
1. LOCAL SEO IS NOT THE SAME AS TRADITIONAL SEO
Local SEO focuses on helping your website rank higher for location-based searches. Many local searches are queries searching for businesses or services, such as “pizza near me,” “denver marketing firms” or “McDonalds.” Google recognizes that users are looking for a business and provides results with a larger focus on location. Most often, these results will show businesses that Google believes are relevant to the search and are within a short distance from the user.
Traditional SEO, on the other hand, helps your website rank higher by optimizing its performance and the strategic placement of keywords within your website’s content. Many times, these searches are for terms that are not location-based, but rather are for phrases such as “inbound marketing tips,” “SEO best practices” or “growing social audience.” These types of searches don’t necessarily need results from businesses that are nearby, which is why Google focuses more on the content itself when it comes to these rankings.
2. LISTING CONSISTENCY IS KEY
One of the most important factors of local SEO solutions is consistency of information. This means that each of your listings on business directories (e.g., Google, Yelp, etc.) should contain identical, accurate information, specifically your NAP information, or Name, Address and Phone number.
Inconsistent listings is one of the most popular local SEO issues. Not only can an incorrect listing give consumers inaccurate information about your business (aka lost sales), but it also hurts your ranking because the various listings are competing against one another.
3. LOCAL SEO SOLUTIONS DRIVE TRAFFIC
A major benefit of ranking well for local SEO is that high ranking businesses drive traffic to both your website and physical location by providing all of your contact information in one place, including:
A direct link to your website
A link to call your directly from the search results
A link to get directions in the maps app
, this is because most local searches (50%) are looking for a business address. In fact, HubSpot also found that 50 percent of people who completed a local search on their desktop or mobile device visited a physical store within a day.
4. YOUR ONLINE RATINGS AND REVIEWS MATTER
First and foremost, reviews matter when it comes to knowing if your current customers are satisfied, but it also matters for your local search rankings. In a survey,
found that 90 percent of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online ratings and reviews.
When it comes to your search rankings, Google also takes ratings into account. Your ranking score, according to Moz, is made up of several factors, and reviews account for approximately ten percent. Like web searchers, Google looks at the average of your ratings and total number of reviews. Are you getting more four- and five-star ratings? You’ll probably rank higher. Do you have more total reviews than your competitors? You’ll probably rank higher for that too.
5. GOOGLE CRAWLS MENUS AND PRODUCT/SERVICE LISTS FOR KEYWORDS
If you’re a restaurant owner, chances are you have your menu on your website. If not, you may have a list of your products and services. Menus associated with your Google Business account can also affect your rankings in local search results. Over recent years, Google has begun crawling business menus and products/services lists for keywords, and when optimized, they can help your business rank higher.
With your menu or list of products and services displaying on Google search results, not only can customers view your business offerings, but you will also boost your SEO by ranking for specific key terms within your menu and lists.
6. THE GOOGLE SNACK PACK GETS THE MOST TRAFFIC
Google search results have changed over the past decade. In fact, the goal has moved far beyond simply showing up on the
. Many years ago, Google displayed search results as the top ten blue links. It then updated to show the top seven (aka lucky seven). In 2014, Google reduced this number to the top 3 results, or Google Snack Pack.
, the top three results are generally those that Google deems most relevant to the search and most useful to the searcher, but there are many factors that affect Google’s choice.
7. GOOGLE CRAVES FRESH CONTENT
If there’s one thing search engines loves, it’s fresh content to crawl for SEO. Many SEO experts, including
, believe that consistently posting new content to your website not only helps you attract an audience, but it also improves your search rankings. This applies not only to blogs and website content, but also your social media and Google Business listing.
Google’s tendency to favor websites that are consistently adding fresh content is evident in its
, allowing Google Business users to post social messages to their Google Business page.
8. IT’S MORE THAN JUST GOOGLE, FACEBOOK, AND YELP
There are more than 100 online business directories on the web, and each and every single one of them affects your local rankings, regardless of how popular or frequently used the directory is. However, this isn’t always an easy task. The biggest challenge is ensuring your listing information is consistent across all of them.
Not only can it be hard to track down all of the business directories, but it’s also a time consuming process. Plus, once you get a listing’s information corrected, there is no guarantee that the listing can’t be changed to display incorrect information (read more on that
So how can you ensure that all of your content is consistent across all online business directories and can’t be changed? As a certified Yext partner, we can help your business reap the benefits of local SEO solutions and ensure your listings can’t be changed to display inaccurate information.
Local SEO solutions are essential for businesses looking to improve their online presence and attract more customers. Local SEO solutions help businesses optimize their online presence to appear more prominently in local search results.
Local SEO solutions may include optimizing a business's website, creating and managing Google Business listings, building local citations, and encouraging customers to leave reviews. By implementing local SEO solutions, businesses can improve their search engine rankings, drive more traffic to their website, and increase customer engagement.
Ready to learn more? Schedule a call with our expert team today!