Local SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for visibility in local search results. This includes optimizing website content, directory listings, and social media profiles to improve organic search engine rankings and traffic. It also involves implementing marketing technology to monitor and track ranking changes.
As the name suggests, local SEO targets searches made by people who are located near a business or service provider. This is a subset of all searches conducted on Google, and it makes up a huge chunk of all online traffic. Local SEO can be a very profitable strategy for businesses, especially for brick and mortar shops. It can help drive traffic, new customers, and sales.
The first step in successful local SEO is conducting keyword research. This can be done using tools like the Google AdWords Keyword Tool or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. It’s also a good idea to ask your audience what they are searching for when it comes to your products or services. This will give you a great list of keywords to target in your content.
Another essential element of local SEO is ensuring that your business information is accurate and consistent. This includes your NAP (name, address, phone number). The NAP should be included as crawlable HTML text on all pages of your site. In addition, your NAP should be consistently listed on all the major citation sites. Ideally, these will have high domain authority. In the case of a local business, this could include sites like Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Facebook.
Next, you should create and optimize your listing on Google Maps. Optimizing a Google Maps listing is an important part of local SEO because it ensures that search engines are picking up the right information about your business. It will also help your business rank higher in the Map Pack and on Google’s main search results page.
Lastly, you should make sure that your business information is updated on all of the major citation sites. This can be a time-consuming task, but it is crucial for boosting your local SEO. It’s best to use a tool that will audit your NAP consistency and can automatically update all the major citation sites.
A 2017 study from Acquisio found that four out of five local searches with real-world intent resulted in a visit to a physical store within 24 hours. That’s why local SEO is so important for small businesses.
The key is to focus on the low-hanging fruit, such as optimizing your business’s GMB page and optimizing your content. Once those elements are taken care of, you can move on to more advanced strategies, such as building backlinks and enhancing your site’s technical SEO. But, if you want to see results, you have to be patient and continue putting in the work. It can take a few months before you start to see traction in your rankings. In the meantime, you can use marketing technology to track your performance so that you can identify any issues or opportunities.