Local SEO is important for any business that has a brick-and-mortar location or serves a specific geographic area. It is a subset of organic search engine optimization that focuses on optimizing websites and other online content to rank higher in local SERPs when people in the relevant area conduct searches. As the digital world continues to evolve, it’s essential that businesses stay up-to-date on local SEO trends and practices so they can compete effectively for local search traffic.
In addition to focusing on website content, local SEO also includes activities that target your external online presence, including business listings and reviews. Having a well-optimized Google My Business profile, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and other review sites is an effective way to increase visibility and attract more customers. In fact, according to a 2017 study by Acquisio, 78% of mobile searches with local intent result in in-store visits within 24 hours.
Unlike the standard organic search algorithm that dictates how Google surfaces most of its search results, local search is based on a different set of factors. Among them, relevance, meaning that your content answers the question being asked, is one of the most crucial. In addition to relevance, the location of the person conducting the search is another major factor.
In order to make sure your content is relevant to the people searching for it, you’ll want to target local keywords that answer the questions that prospective customers have when looking for your products or services. Keyword research tools such as Rank Math, SEMRush, Spyfu, and Ahrefs are great tools to help you identify the most relevant keywords for your niche and service area.
Your content should be unique and compelling in order to rank highly in local search. This means that it should include a unique title tag, meta description, and URL. It should also contain local keywords in the body of the content. Adding them to each page will show Google that your website is a good fit for those searching for the type of information they need.
It’s also important to avoid shady SEO tactics like spamming forums and blogs with links that point to your site. Google looks at these as spammy, and may penalize your site accordingly.
To avoid this, focus on creating content that adds value to the community. This could include articles that highlight local industry gatherings, events, and news. It can also be helpful to create a resource that helps new businesses that are opening up in your city. For example, a guide to finding the best security providers in your area could be useful for many of your potential clients.
In addition to having a strong social media strategy, it’s crucial that you connect with your audience on a personal level. This will allow them to trust you as an authority and be more likely to visit your store or contact you for business.