As a small business owner, you take pride in local connections. Marketing on the Internet, in comparison, might feel like a shot in the dark. You’re putting your information out there for anyone, anywhere to see. But are you really?
In recent years, Google’s search algorithms have become more attuned to where users search, in addition to what they search. This is excellent news for small businesses. You can now tailor your digital platforms to reach the loyal, local customers you want to attract!
How? Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Here, we’re sharing what local SEO is, why it’s important, and how to implement strategies that can boost your digital marketing game.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a sub-category of Search Engine Optimization, the wide range of strategies used to improve the type and amount of traffic a website receives. Local SEO differs from the more well-known “organic SEO” in a fundamental way: geographic focus.
- Organic SEO = Strategies to improve global search visibility, such as:
- Building in-depth content on website pages
- Adding keywords related to industry, products, or services
- Linking to related content on trusted websites
- Local SEO = Strategies to improve local search visibility, such as:
- Building in-depth profiles on web directories
- Gaining and managing local customer reviews
- Adding keywords related to location
- Linking to related content on trusted localwebsites
Though their application often differs, organic SEO and local SEO support one another. Websites with high levels of organic traffic usually perform well at the local level and vice versa.
Why is local SEO important?
It’s not just search engines that consider geographic location; more and more consumers are specifically looking for local goods and services online. Eighty-six percentof consumers find local businesses via the internet, and 76 percent of customers who search nearby visit a business within a day. Investing in local SEO can increase your physical as well as digital customer platform.
What does local SEO look like?
1. Improving Google 3-Pack visibility
The Google 3-Pack is the critical area of focus for local SEO. You see the 3-Pack almost every time you search for a good or service—it’s a map, followed by the top three businesses most topically AND geographically relevant to your search terms. Since it’s the first result you see, many people use it to make their decisions, so you want your business to rank highly when people in your area search your industry. Your Google My Business ranking most influences your standing on the 3-Pack. Typically, more robust profiles get ranked higher.
To build up your GMB profile:
- “Verify” your business and ensure your address, hours, phone number, URL, and other relevant information are up-to-date.
- Respond to customer reviews and encourage more; reviews build trust and give your 3-Pack ranking a major boost.
- Create GMB “posts” and answer questions asked through the Q and A feature to raise your ranking and drive customer engagement and conversion.
- Evaluate your organic SEO strategies. Higher organic rankings for your website can elevate your position on the 3-Pack.
2. Optimizing local directory listings
Well-maintained pages on directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Bing, and Facebook can strengthen your local search ranking and make a great first impression on the audience you’re trying to reach. “Claim” your profiles on the directories people use in your area, maintain consistent listing information, and don’t forget to manage reviews there, too.
3. Tailoring web content to appear in local searches
Since search algorithms match users to websites based on geographic proximity, make sure your location is prominent throughout your site. Mention it in your About, Contact, blog, and other relevant pages, both by sharing your full address and by integrating your city and state of business within your content. Incorporating links to other reliable, localbusinesses can also help strengthen both your site and 3-Pack rankings.
Navigating SEO can be complicated. J2 Technology Solutions can help! We focus on local SEO and believe it is the best way to support small businesses’ digital reach. Call 856-288-9200 or send us an email today.