Importance Of Local SEO To Your Small Business And How To Implement It
You may have been working hard for quite a while already, trying to bring in more customers to your storefront through your digital marketing efforts. You may have spent numerous hours in front of your computer, trying to create the possible best content. You may have spent some dollars on your paid advertisement, and you may have worked countless hours trying to build your brand and have people talk about you.
However, upon checking with your closest competitors, they have gone far in terms of online presence and customer traffic. So what might they have been doing for their business that you do not?
The answer might be with you all along. You might be exerting all your efforts and resources to build your brand with your digital marketing strategies; however, it seems that you do not optimize all of it enough. What you may lack that your competitors do, which can also be your strongest asset to bring local traffic to your business is Local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
In general terms, Local SEO is the process to increase business visibility on a specific locality. It is an effective way to market your business online and helps promote your products and services to customers, who are within your location and searching for their online needs.
Customers’ behavior towards online search is dramatically changing overtime. There is a possibility that you would never meet a person who hasn’t done a “near me” search on Google. Whether looking for a local coffee shop, the best barber in town, or the nearest gasoline station, many online users are relying on these searches.
If you try searching for the best barbershop near you right now, you’ll notice two distinct sets of search results. These two include the “snack pack” results and regular organic results.
These “snack pack” in google appears on the first result page when online searches are done. It displays the top three local business listings relevant to the search inquiry. According to experts, businesses included in snack pack results have seen higher website clicks and traffic than those without on this list. This reason is why working on your local SEO is essential in your business.
Importance of Local SEO To Your Business
Working on your local SEO can help bring in traffic to your business website and can also attract more leads to your business itself. As you work your way to be included in the snack pack, your online visibility also improves.
Local SEO also allows you to generate a considerable amount of awareness as people in your locality search for words related to your business. This marketing strategy also allows you to be on par with competitors, even with those large and established companies.
Other importance of local SEO to your business includes:
- Attract more customers even to your physical store without spending a large amount of money
- Reach more people even those in other platforms like Yellow Pages, Waze, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Apple Maps
- Build your business authority
- Gain a local following through local searches, and
- Bring in positive numbers to your sales.
How To Implement Local SEO To Your Business
Local SEO can be a powerful tool to draw traffic to your website and brick and mortar store as well as turn your business into a household name.
1. Claim Your Google My Business listing
This task is probably the primary step and the most important thing you have to do for your Local SEO. Google My Business is a free tool available for businesses that can help with your online presence.
This tool will ask for your business name, exact location, and other information necessary to determine if your business is authentic. Once you have proven to Google that your business exists and is real, it can reward you of being the most coveted spot in the snack pack.
2. Place Location On Your Website
While your website acts as your online brochure, adding a locally descriptive About Us page can go a long way. Additionally, placing a Google Map to your site can make a great deal in your local SEO efforts.
3. Work on Local Content
Content will always be an essential factor in building your online presence. It is the heart and soul of all your SEO efforts.
As you work on your content creation, trying to focus and streamline your topics to those happening around you. Build your content on events in your place, local gathering, newest information relevant to your locality, and other informative articles featuring what goes on near you.
Doing these will help Google identify your location and understand that what you write is for your audience rather than for your ranking.
4. Make Sure Your Information Online Are Consistent
Working on your local SEO can be a little tricky if you will not be mindful of small details. To achieve success in this strategy, you need to make sure your online information is consistent. It will make it easier for online users and search engines to find or locate you.
Ensure that you can set up your NAP or your name, address, and phone number which includes your area code on your website. You can do this by making it a crawlable HTML text in your website page. Common locations for NAP in any website is at the header or at the footer where your site visitor can quickly notice.
5. Optimize Your Online Directory
Another major factor in your local SEO is a citation or your online business directory. Citation refers to a group of individual business listing found in different sites. When you put your business to legit and trusted online directories, this lets Google know that your business exists.
In doing a citation strategy, remember that consistency is the key. It means that all your NAP should showcase the same information, or otherwise, Google will have a hard determining which of your information is correct and will not include you in any search engine results.
As much as possible, avoid discrepancies like misspelled words, wrong abbreviations, and lacking phone numbers.
6. Your Site Should Be Mobile Friendly
Over the years, the use of mobile devices has already taken ahead of the use of laptops and computers. Some have even ditched their personal computers to rely on their mobile devices entirely. Mobile search is a significant factor in local SEO search as experts found out that nine out of ten smartphone users use their mobile devices to conduct a local search.
When you have a storefront, traffic is crucial. While it is essential to have an online presence these days, working on your local SEO can bring significant benefits in increasing traffic to your physical store.
Your goal in doing your local SEO is not just to become visible online but also to be in the top three business listings in search engine result pages. Though it will be challenging at times, do not get overwhelmed. Instead, focus on how you can optimize your efforts to have the best local SEO strategy your business needs.
Maricar Morga worked as a marketing professional for almost a decade. She became part of the biggest real estate company/mall operator in the Philippines and handled concerts, events and community service-related activities. One of her activities became a nominee in the ICSC Asia-Pacific Shopping Center Awards 2018. Leaving her corporate job for good to pursue her dreams, she has now ventured in the path of content writing and currently writes for Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand. A Harry Potter fan, she loves to watch animated series and movies during her spare time.