Open Google and take out your smartphone. What will you find? The top results aren’t always the best Italian restaurants in America and are likely not part of any large chain. These are often local restaurants that are located near you. This is the power of local SEO. How can small businesses use local SEO to stay ahead of the online competition?
What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization, also known as SEO, is a component of search engine optimization that focuses on improving the visibility of local businesses in search engine results. Local search results often answer an “near me” question. This means that the searcher is looking for something in [CITY ]”–] or the engine has detected that geographic restrictions may have been applied to their search.
Local search optimization strategies can help businesses increase their visibility in local search results for terms that are related to their products and services.
Why is local SEO important for small businesses?
Nearly half of all Google queries are local. Google still shows local businesses when someone searches for something every day.
This is important for small businesses. Well, from 2017 to 2019, Google reported a 900% increase in searches that involved the phrase “near me today/tonight.” In an attempt to best meet the needs of its searchers, Google started providing more results for geographically-related searches based on:
This means that potential customers will be more likely to find you online if your business is located near where they are searching.
What are the benefits of local SEO?
Local SEO can help small businesses gain visibility on Google search engine result pages (SERPS).
The Cost-Effective Solution to Marketing
Although it takes time and effort to manage your company information in online directories you can usually set up local business listings on the internet for free using tools like Google My Business or Facebook. This makes local SEO an easier option for online advertising.
Local customers help you find them
72% of local consumers search for businesses within five miles. Your chances of getting new leads are higher if your business is found in Google Maps or local search results.
Reach Customers who are Ready to Buy
A staggering 80% of local searches made on mobile devices result in sales. Local SEO places you in front the customer right at the moment they are searching for a product/service, increasing their likelihood to buy or inquire about more information.
Gets more qualified search traffic
Local search can be used to help you weed out those searchers who may not be likely to reach your business. Search engines don’t make a concerted effort not to protect businesses from customers. Instead, they want local results that are relevant based on intent and proximity. A search for your HVAC company will not bring up a listing for someone 50 miles away. But, it might be seen by someone five miles away.
What can small businesses do to use local SEO?
Your small business can make simple steps to increase visibility in local search engine results pages (SERPs). These are the top ways to increase your local SEO efforts.
Make consistent, accurate local citations
Local citations refer to any instances in which your business name, address and phone number are mentioned online, such as a local business listing. No matter how many local citations you create online, ensure that all information is accurate and consistent. This will help search engines trust your data.
Register Your Business in Local Online Directories
Search engines make it easier to find your business by listing it in local directories and search engines like Google My Business, Yelp and Yext. Again, ensure that your data is consistent and accurate!
Create & maintain a Google My Business profile
You can create a Google My Business profile to represent your small business and feed it directly into Google Search or Google Maps. You can also monitor reviews of your business in Google and make quick updates to hours. And you can even keep in touch with customers via features such as Google Posts.
Respond to reviews (both good and bad) regularly
Responding to online reviews shows customers you care. This can help boost your local search ranking. Although it may take some effort to get more reviews for your business, once you begin receiving them, you should be prepared to respond, regardless of whether they are positive or not.
Hyperlocal Content can be added to your website
Local keywords can make a huge impact on your website copy. Search engines can be helped to understand your business by including local keywords in your website content, such as “dentists in [CITY], ST].” This will make you more visible to people searching for “dentist near me” in their area.
Need assistance getting started in local SEO? Hurrdat will help you manage and optimize your local SEO presence. Flying V Group is available to help you learn more about local search optimization.
Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.