Local SEO is a process that targets your business’s audience in a specific geographic area. It combines traditional search engine optimization tactics with the added focus of incorporating keywords that your target audience is searching for in your market. It also involves managing and updating your online business listings regularly. This ensures that customers can find you when they are searching for the products and services you offer.
Local consumers are becoming increasingly interested in supporting small, local, independent businesses over larger, brand name offerings and experiences. This shift in consumer behavior is creating a massive opportunity for businesses to drive more traffic, leads and sales through their websites, storefronts and mobile devices. The key is to understand how to leverage this shift in consumer preference and make the most of it with local SEO tactics that are proven to work.
When done correctly, local SEO can dramatically increase your organic rankings on Google Maps and within the Google carousel results. Moreover, it can help your business rank better in organic results on the search engine’s “blue link” pages. It can also boost your business’s visibility on Apple Maps and Google Assistant.
Unlike regular SEO, which focuses on optimizing your site’s content and structure, local SEO is much more dependent on location-specific keywords. As such, you should begin your local SEO efforts by conducting thorough keyword research to discover the terms people are using to find local businesses and what they’re looking for when using those search terms.
Once you have a solid grasp on the local keywords your audience is using to find your business, it’s time to optimize your website’s content and structure with those keywords in mind. This includes your title tags, meta descriptions, URLs, header tags and page content. You can also optimize your website’s content by leveraging local keyword phrases in your internal links, meta tags and image alt text.
Another great way to improve your local SEO is to build a strong, authoritative citation profile. This can be done by focusing on building citations from high-authority websites in your market. This could include government websites, chambers of commerce, and.edu sites, which are often viewed as more trustworthy and authoritative than other websites.
Finally, make sure your NAP (name, address and phone number) is consistent across all of your citations. According to Moz, NAP consistency is one of the top five factors for ranking in both local search and local pack results.
Local SEO is a critical piece of your marketing strategy that shouldn’t be ignored. It can drastically increase your organic rankings and help your business get in front of the right people at the right time. With 207.3 million people using the internet in the US, it’s important that you take the steps necessary to be seen and heard by the consumers who need your products and services.