So, what is SEO for local business, and why is it important? First, SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the process of a local business with a physical location optimizing its website and other web pages. Because by optimizing web pages, potential customers can see the business when searching the internet for the products or services that they offer. Local business for SEO can include:
- Optimizing a website for specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to the organization.
- Creating and submitting location-specific information to Google.
- Building links from high-quality local sources.
- Establishing a trusted reputation.
- 1 The Difference Between SEO And Local SEO?
- 2 The Ranking Factors of Local SEO
- 3 Google Business Profile
- 4 Local SEO Gets Your GBP Found in Maps and Local Search Results
- 5 Why Use Local SEO For Local Business
- 6 Where To Begin
- 7 Don’t Forget Your Website and Its Content
- 8 Conclusion
- 9 FAQ
The Difference Between SEO And Local SEO?
Maybe you have heard of SEO, but not local SEO. So what’s the difference? The main difference between SEO and SEO for local business is that local SEO focuses on optimizing for the local search results known as the local pack and Google Maps, which we will discuss in a minute. In contrast, SEO focuses on optimizing an organization for organic (non-local) search results.
SEO, also known as organic SEO, helps a website rank for the remaining listings that come after the map and the local pack once a searcher queries a keyword or phrase. Organic results are only important for a business that, along with being visible in the local area, wants to be seen out of the local area as well.
Fortunately, not only is climbing to the top spot in the local results often easier, but it also assures being seen by local traffic. Whereas being found in the organic search results doesn’t assure a business of local customers. If your goal is to attract customers in your specific area, then local SEO and appearing in the local pack and Google maps should be your primary focus.
The Ranking Factors of Local SEO
Keywords – One of the most important elements of SEO for local business is that along with focusing on product-specific keywords, local companies also need to focus on search rankings for keywords that are relevant to their specific geographic location. Although this may sound more difficult, it’s actually much simpler than trying to rank for general keywords that might be used by customers anywhere in the world.
Citations – Another key difference is that local SEO relies heavily on citations. A citation simply is a mention of your business name, business address, and phone number (NAP) within online business directories. These days, potential customers are frequently turning to the internet to find local solutions, so your NAP must be accurate and up-to-date across the web.
Citations are found within business directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, Manta, and others, just to name a few. They can also be found on industry-related websites, such as chamber of commerce pages and industry association pages.
Reviews – Another factor that comes into play with local SEO includes reviews. They are essential because they show Google (and potential customers) that your organization is trustworthy and provides a good product or service.
Although there are many factors, keywords, citations, and reviews are some of the most important. These items demonstrate to Google that your company should rank above others, being it is established, trustworthy, and worthy of having not only its website but its Google Business Profile shown to a searcher.
Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile, also known as a GBP, is a type of citation that appears when customers search for solutions on Google. When appropriate, Google Business Profiles appear before the organic listings and include essential information such as your company name, address, phone number, hours of operation, website, directions, customer reviews, and more.
Along with boosting your rankings in the organic results, optimizing your local SEO will also increase the ranking of your Google Business Profile, a significant factor in potential customers finding your local business.
Local SEO Gets Your GBP Found in Maps and Local Search Results
Local SEO strategies help your Google Business Profile get found in Google Maps and in the local search pack. This means that when someone searches for an answer to a problem, Google will direct the searcher to Google Maps and highlight the businesses that match their search query.
But along with being visible on Google maps, a local business will appear in the local search results. Also known as the local pack, located right next to Google Maps, there is a listing of the top competitors for a search query in a given area. Although these listings also appear on the map, they appear here with additional information.
The essential thing to understand is that even though Google will list all of the relevant businesses that will answer the searcher’s query, only the top three listings will appear on the page within the local pack without the searcher having to click a second time. So here searchers will be able to see all of the business’s GBP information without having to click further.
This is one of the main goals of local SEO – getting your organization to appear in these top three results, as 88% of searchers will not look further. And this is why you want to optimize your local SEO, you want to be seen within the local pack!
Why Use Local SEO For Local Business
There are many reasons why SEO for local search is very common among small business owners, and we’ll talk about them in a minute, but the main reason is that local SEO is cost-effective. Advertising is expensive, and it can be difficult to reach your target market if you’re not using the proper channels.
On the other hand, local SEO is a more cost-effective way to reach your target market because it allows you to appear in front of motivated customers who are located right in your neighborhood. This means that you’re more likely to attract customers searching for exactly what you have to offer when they need it ready to buy.
For example, if someone searches for “pizza delivery near me” on Google, they are likely looking for a pizza place that delivers to their specific location. Therefore, if your business appears in the search results for this query, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to convert that searcher into a customer.
Build Trust and Credibility
Local SEO is also often used because it helps small companies build trust and credibility with their target market. When searchers see a company appear at the top of the local search results, they will associate that business with being a leader in their industry.
Local SEO is Targeted
Finally, local SEO targets specific locations. You can target exact keywords and phrases that will help not only your GBP but your organic rankings as well. For example, if you’re a plumber in Los Angeles, you can target keywords and phrases like “plumbing services in Los Angeles” or “Los Angeles plumbing services,” which will also help organic rankings.
Where To Begin
Set Up Your Google Business Profile
As previously mentioned, setting up a Google Business Profile and optimizing your SEO for local business is the most important thing that you can do to begin to get Google to rank your company in the local search results. However, it’s not enough to just have a profile, you’ll also need to continuously ensure that it’s complete and up-to-date.
Begin by searching “Google Business Profile” and set up your profile if you haven’t done so already. Then make sure that the following information is completed and correct:
– Business Name
– Location (address)
– Phone number
– Hours of operation
Although there is much more information that you can add, these are the basics that will begin to let Google know who you are and what your company offers.
One additional thing that I have found that boosts your GBP listing is periodically creating updates known as posts. Such posts include events, products, and special offers that your business may be running. So make sure to update on a regular basis!
Build Local Citations
When it comes to your citations, make sure that they are accurate and consistent. This means that the information (NAP) must exactly match what is on your Google Business Profile. Any variation can hurt your ranking.
Also, know that some citation websites have more authority with Google than others. Begin with citations from the most essential and authoritative websites in your industry and then branch out to others. A quick Google search of “industry + directory” should provide you with a good starting point.
Here are some examples of the types of websites where you can create citations:
– Online directories (Yelp, Foursquare, etc.)
– Industry-specific directories
– Local industry listings (Chamber of Commerce, etc.)
– Local news websites
Ask For and Respond Regularly to Reviews
Make sure to get plenty of online reviews. In fact, the more, the better! But, of course, you also want to provide quality service or a quality product to ensure that your customers’ reviews are positive.
Before pushing your organization higher in the local results, Google wants to be sure of your reputation. Google wants to see that you care about your customers and are willing to resolve any issues that they may have. If a customer leaves a review and you respond in a timely manner, this will send a strong signal to Google that you are the type of business they want to showcase in the local search results.
However, if you receive a negative review, you should still respond in a timely manner. Take the opportunity to show Google and potential customers how you handle unhappy customers. No business is perfect, and Google understands this!
Don’t Forget Your Website and Its Content
While having a strong Google Business Profile is important, you also need to make sure that your website is up to par. This means having a quality content strategy that provides value and contains keywords. For example, a local business website should be an extension of their GBP that offers additional content and further develops their relationship with their customers.
Another thing that helps SEO for local business is having a blog. Blog posts will allow you to show your expertise, further enhance what your business is about and add fresh content to your website – something Google loves!
And always make sure that your website is mobile-friendly and ready for mobile search as more and more people are searching on their smartphones. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you will be penalized in the search results.
Finally, connect with other companies! Not only will you be helping customers find other products and services that they are looking for, but you will also be offering potential customers a way to find you as well. So once you have connected with other organizations, make sure that their website links to yours and yours links back to them. Also, make sure that the websites that you connect with have some type of relevancy to your products or services.
Building backlinks will also show Google that you are credible, which by now, you know is very important for SEO for local business. Therefore, having a well-crafted website and link building strategy will not only help your website rank higher but your GBP as well.
SEO for local business should be essential to any local online presence. By increasing trust and credibility, you’re helping your local business establish a solid relationship with its customers.
Begin with a Google Business Profile. Then continue by optimizing how Google views your online presence by working on your reputation and visibility. Use keywords that are location as well as product specific. You’ll also want to add citations as well as positive reviews. Doing so will optimize the way that Google, as well as potential customers, view your business, thus raising your ranking in the local search results.
Also, make sure that your organization has a well-written website and blog with quality content. Doing so will further enhance your reputation along with your rankings. Finally, connect with other businesses to help build links and enhance your credibility further.
By following these simple steps, you will be well on your way to a successful SEO for local business campaign!FAQ
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed this post and learned something. If you have any questions or would like further explanation, please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact me. Thank you for reading – I specialize in building websites for local businesses and promoting those websites using local business SEO.
Finally, If you enjoyed reading this article, may we suggest reading our previous post:
How to Promote Your Business Locally, we think that you will enjoy it!
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to rank higher in local search results.
What does NAP stand for, and why is it important?
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. It is important because it is how Google determines your location and contact information.