Local SEO for Businesses: A Simple Guide
Have you ever been stuck in a new town, and needed to locate the nearest hotel? Or your car broke down and you needed to locate the nearest mechanic? What did you do? I am no wizard but I guess you probably searched for it online. You may not know it, but you are quite familiar with the concept of local search.
What is Local Search?
Our friends at Wikipedia say local search is the use of specialized internet search engines that allow users to submit geographically constrained searches against a structured database of local business listings.. Mobal.io said a local search is when a person is searching for a business, product, or service near them or in a specific location. Anytime you pick up your device to search for any product “near me”, that is indeed a local search.
What Is Local SEO?
Mailchimp refers to local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google. Yoast defines Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as the practice of optimizing your website for a specific area. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the optimization strategy or technique you adopt with the aim of it helping you rank higher on local searches. You could view local Search Engine Optimization as a sub-discipline of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), while the former is focused on helping you rank higher on local searches, Local SEO for businesses is the process of targeting unpaid traffic to improve the quantity and quality of traffic to a website.
Benefits of Local SEO for Businesses
As a business owner who serves a particular location, you should be involved in Local SEO to capture online customers in the area that you serve. Most people, nowadays actively use the “near me” feature to locate products or services, as a business owner you should be actively involved in reining in this set of customers. Local SEO for businesses has the following benefits.
- It helps boost sales and in-store traffic for your business: Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps you catch the set of customers you ordinarily would have missed if you were focusing on traditional marketing alone. Your business becomes visible to target customers in your area in need of your product, which ultimately leads to more leads, sales, and in-store traffic for your business.
- Better Conversion rates: According to our folks at Joel House Search Media, 28% of the local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) results in sales. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has better sales conversion rates than other systems.
- Less Advertising Costs- Businesses since time immemorial have recognized the importance of converting potential customers around them into actual customers, which has led them to advertise their business through traditional methods such as banners, pamphlets, T.V ads. A huge amount of money spent on these traditional tools can be saved just by doing local SEO.
- Bypass competition: Every business is weary of competitors, we do not want them to out-perform us, and we would always prefer to be a step ahead of them. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way of being ahead of your competitors. It allows you to make your business visible to people in the area in need of your product or service.
- Gain more local reviews: Reviews from customers go a long way in helping businesses in converting other potential customers into actual customers. Bright Local says 87% of users read online reviews before purchasing through local businesses. Local SEO allows users to see reviews from your previous customers which will boost their confidence in you.
How to do Local SEO by Yourself?
`We are pretty sure that after all of that, you know what Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, you have realized its benefits, and now, you are pretty psyched to dive headfirst into it. Take advantage of these steps, to utilize a local Search Engine Optimization (SE0).
- Get a Google business profile (formerly known as Google my Business) set up for your business. Google has been reported to hold 92% of the search engine market share, which necessarily means it is the most popular search engine in the world. Getting listed on the Google business profile helps a lot as it is this listing that appears when someone searches for your company name, information, location etc. The listing is free. It is best practice to include as much information about your business as possible, ranging from name, address, phone number, website opening hours, and reviews.
- Fill out online listings and directories. There are a lot of online listing sites and business directories on the internet. These directories are usually online lists of businesses focused on a particular niche, category, or location. These listings and directories are highly beneficial for connecting with customers. It is good practice to fill in as many listings and directories as possible. Examples of some popular listing sites are; Yelp, Bing places, Foursquare and Whitepages.
- Get localized website content. You can create content on your website that shows your location. While doing this, ensure that your name, phone number, and address are easily found. Most businesses place these at the header, or footer, as well as on the Contact Page.
- You should also ensure that you capitalize on customer reviews. Bright local states that 49% of local customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Having positive customer reviews about your business goes a long way as it in turn makes them feel positive about your business.
With all that has been said, we can see that although Local Search Engine Optimization is a sub-discipline of Search Engine Optimization, the core of the two concepts are quite similar yet different. Every business, ranging from small-sized businesses, mid-sized businesses, and large-scale ones ought to be actively involved in Search Engine Optimization, as it helps businesses convert people ready to be customers in the location that the business serves.
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