Local SEO is a marketing tactic that uses targeted keywords to help businesses rank higher in search engine results for searches made by people in their own geographic region. The increased visibility generated by local SEO can result in more phone calls, contact form submissions, store visits and sales. With 87.3 percent of Americans using the internet, it’s essential for local businesses to utilize local SEO to reach their target audience.
When someone performs a Google search, the algorithm looks through all of the websites and business listings to find the most relevant results. It then sorts the results to display the best ones first, often referred to as the “Map Pack.”
The map pack displays a list of three businesses with their address and map, in addition to organic blue link results. The map pack is a great way for local businesses to get seen by people searching for what they have to offer in their area.
To improve local search engine optimization, businesses should optimize their website content with targeted local keywords and make sure that all of their business information is consistent across all online platforms. This includes website, Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Instagram and Bing. Ensure that all listings are up to date and that they don’t contain any misspellings or incorrect information.
Optimize the Title Tags, Meta Description and Image Alt Tags on all pages of your website with locally-targeted keywords. Include the keyword in the page title, header and throughout the body text of each page and post to boost local visibility. However, be careful not to overdo it as search engines may penalize your site for keyword stuffing.
Local SEO also requires ensuring that your business’s NAP (name, address and phone number) is consistent across all of your online profiles and listings. Search engines will look for NAP consistency and veracity when assessing your site’s authority. Look for NAP consistency in your URLs, page titles, headers and meta descriptions as well as across all of your social media profiles and business directories.
Another important factor for a successful local SEO strategy is establishing and maintaining strong relationships with other businesses in your community. This could be through networking events, local chambers of commerce, or industry associations. Reach out to your peers and establish partnerships that will benefit both of you and your customers.
Lastly, it is crucial to understand that voice search is becoming increasingly popular and will continue to impact local SEO strategies. To capitalize on this trend, it’s important to focus on creating content that answers the questions a user would ask in a voice search, such as “who, what, when, where, why and how.”