Local SEO is a form of search engine optimization (SEO) that focuses on optimizing a business’ online presence in order to attract and reach local customers. It involves incorporating local keywords, website content, and listing on Google My Business into an overall SEO strategy.
When done correctly, local SEO can bring in droves of new leads and web traffic from people searching for products or services within a geographic region. In fact, a study from Acquisio found that 78% of mobile searches that have local intent result in in-store visits within a day and 28% of those searches lead to a sale.
While local SEO is similar to traditional SEO in many ways, there are a few distinct differences. For one, local search factors take into account location-based information like a business’ NAP, citations, and reviews. This means that you must have a consistent, accurate NAP across all of your digital assets in order to rank well in local search results.
Another difference is that local SEO is not just about improving your ranking on Google, but also getting your business in front of the right people at the right time. That’s why it’s important to research what keywords are being searched by potential customers in your area and then incorporate those keywords into your website content and online listings. But be careful not to overdo it; search engines are on the lookout for keyword stuffing and will demote pages and listings that contain too many keywords.
As with regular SEO, a solid local SEO strategy requires consistent and ongoing effort. Keeping up with the latest search engine algorithm changes and best practices is vital to staying on top of your local rankings. Using a SEO software tool, you can monitor your rankings over time to see what’s working and what needs improvement.
While website content is important for all SEO, it’s especially critical for local SEO. Google’s algorithms look for specific, relevant content when determining search results, so creating and publishing helpful, informative articles is an excellent way to improve your local SEO. This includes blogs, infographics, and case studies that are related to your products or services.
Aside from your website, Google also looks at the quality and quantity of your link signals when determining local search results. As with traditional SEO, obtaining quality backlinks from authoritative websites is essential to improving your local SEO ranking. However, when it comes to local SEO, the type of links you obtain is more important than the number of backlinks. According to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors study, the first and second most important ranking factors for both local pack (or snack pack) results and for localized organic results are links from a variety of sources, including both topical and geographically diverse sites.
Another important factor in local SEO is prominence, which is based on the quality and number of customer reviews your business has. While it’s essential to collect and post positive reviews on your website and GMB listing, you should also focus on collecting reviews from consumer-oriented sites such as Yelp, Thumbtack, Angie’s List, and Foursquare.