It’s common knowledge how important search engine optimization is to digital marketing campaigns. SEO helps you direct traffic to your site in an organic way, and with such a huge amount of traffic out there coming from search engine results traffic — more than 6.5 billion daily web searches, to be exact — using SEO to help search engine users find your content is standard practice.
But there are different subsets of SEO. One that has become increasingly important is local search optimization. A large proportion of your site traffic can originate from local SEO, especially with major search providers like Google concentrating on serving geographically relevant search results. It’s for this, and many other reasons, that local SEO has become such a driving force in the search engine optimization industry.
The Google Machine
Nobody disputes Google’s top-of-the-heap status when it comes to search engine results. Google dominates both mobile and desktop searches, and that means your first stop when it comes to SEO is always to follow Google’s lead as much as you can. There are, of course, other search engines out there, but none have as much of an impact as Google will have on your SEO.
As a result, when Google introduces a new algorithm or pursues a new trend, everyone needs to follow their lead. The company has already pushed through search parameters that place a high preference for local searches. To support these parameters, integration efforts have been pushed forward as well. Ensuring your site meets these new preferences mean better Google search rankings — it’s as simple as that.
The Effectiveness of Local Search
Local SEO adoption is important, and not just because Google tells you it is. In all honesty, local SEO leads to high levels of growth for businesses that participate. Any online directory that provides local business lookup support is a high-priority target for search engine web crawlers, and this means that companies that list their contact details (name, address, phone number, and website URL) often rank higher on searches than companies that don’t.
In fact, local SEO marketing through these online directories has shown to contribute to up to 50% when it comes to conversion rates. This easily outperforms other marketing efforts while also increasing your site traffic. The high affordability of this type of local SEO means high ROI, especially since the majority of directory listings require nothing but time and effort on your part.
Tools for Local SEO are Easily Accessible
One of the best aspects of local SEO is that accessing tools to support local search results is exceedingly easy. In addition to free online directories, Google itself provides a number of opportunities to ensure your company’s contact details are listed correctly in its own systems. Ensuring your business entry on Google Maps is accurate is one way; another is checking the Google My Business listing for your company and ensure those details are correct as well. It doesn’t get much easier than using the tools provided by your preferred search engine to support your local SEO efforts.
Yet despite how much market dominance Google demonstrates every day, many businesses don’t know about these built-in tools. You can capitalize on this lack of knowledge by ensuring you avail yourself of every one at your disposal. Combining both Google’s tools with correct online business listing entries can lead to major advantages when it comes to serving search results to local customers that feature your business prominently.
Content-Based Local SEO
Ensuring your business details are entered into as many online directories as possible is an excellent step, but it’s also just the first step. Even ensuring that other non-Google services like Apple Maps, Bing Places, and social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn have you listed correctly is just one facet of a local SEO marketing strategy, albeit an important one. It’s also important to ensure your content-based marketing efforts include local SEO as well.
It’s crucial to partner with a content provider that understands local SEO methods and has a strong grasp of what your company’s marketing goals are. Ensure that the content you use includes both primary and long-tail keywords that are local SEO specific. You’ll also need to be sure that your content’s meta tags support local search as well, as this also aids in building authority with web crawlers. You will also need to produce content that focuses on local topics, as this builds authority with readers. Combining local SEO with content marketing, especially in a social media environment, is ultimately a recipe for strong results.
Local SEO Requires Constant Adjustment
Your local SEO efforts are likely to require some adjustment in order to drive the optimal amount of traffic to your business site. Feedback is an excellent tool to ensure your local search optimization is hitting the right targets, and that means seeking out feedback from user reviews. The more feedback from users you have, the better you can gauge not just your local SEO campaigns but also your overall success as a business.
In fact, even having a high number of positive and neutral reviews is better than having no reviews at all. A company with little to no consumer feedback means that prospective customers don’t have anything to evaluate your business with. In the face of a lack of data, most customers will simply avoid your company. Even bad feedback is an opportunity for growth, as you can resolve customer problems publicly on social media, thus demonstrating your attention to detail and customer service goals to prospects.
The Final Word
Being a successful business is all about differentiating yourself from your rivals. Using local SEO is an excellent method for doing so, as you can use local search tools to make your company stand out. This leads to higher traffic and, along with it, a greater likelihood of conversions. Provided you use the tools that are available to you and focus your efforts carefully, local SEO can help you accomplish all that and more.