Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website and its content to rank well in local search results (often referred to as The Map Pack). In general, it’s a subset of traditional SEO practices, but with additional focus on location-based signals. Local SEO is essential for any business that serves customers in a specific geographic area, as most people who conduct local searches are looking to visit or buy from businesses nearby.
A successful local SEO strategy starts with a thorough keyword research process. Identifying long-tail keywords that are relevant to your target market and geographically accurate can help you rank highly in local search results and drive more customers to your business.
Once you’ve identified your target local keywords, you can incorporate them into your website content and other marketing materials. Be sure to include your name, phone number, and address on your website, as this is an important ranking factor for both local SEO and organic search. You can also use your local keywords in content that promotes your products or services, such as blogs and newsletters.
It’s important to have your business’ name, phone number, and address listed consistently across all of the major local search engines and directories. A tool like Moz Local can help you manage your listings and ensure that all of your information is consistent, up-to-date, and accurate.
While the factors that influence local search engine optimization are different from those that influence organic search, many of the same best practices apply. For example, a strong link building campaign can help you rank higher in organic search and local search, but it’s especially important to build links from reputable sources that are related to your industry.
Another important factor that influences local SEO is the amount of reviews your business has. According to the local SEO experts at Moz, “reviews are one of the most impactful signals for both local search and Google’s snack pack results.”
In addition to collecting reviews on your GMB listing and your website, you can also collect reviews on consumer-facing websites and review platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Thumbtack. Reviews not only help your business to rank in local search, but they can also help potential customers decide whether or not to give you their business.
A great way to encourage more reviews is by offering a discount or special offer for those who leave one. However, you should be careful not to over-indulge in incentives or ask for reviews in bulk. As a best practice, you should always be prepared to respond to any negative or positive reviews in a professional manner. This will show that your business cares about its reputation and is committed to providing quality products or services. This will increase customer trust and improve your chances of converting them into repeat customers.