What is Local SEO and Why Do You Need It?

The world of online marketing is constantly evolving.

First, it was enough simply to have a website. Then, you had to learn how to optimize your website.

Now, people have taken it a step further and are talking about local search engine optimization, also known as local SEO and ranking in the local map pack.

Have you found yourself scratching your head and wondering “what is local SEO?

Are you confused about why it’s important for your business? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading to learn more about local SEO, why it matters, and the steps you should be taking to enhance your local search engine rankings.

What is Local SEO?

First things first, let’s clarify what local SEO actually is.

Local SEO is all about optimizing your website so that it shows up in search engine results when people are looking for a business in a specific location.

For example, if you run a bakery in Ontario and someone near you is looking for the best bakery in Ontario, you would want your bakery to show up in their search engine results for those keywords.

How do you get your bakery to show up in those results? By utilizing local SEO strategies.

Benefits of Local SEO

Okay, you understand what local SEO is. But, why is it so important?

There are a lot of benefits that come with implementing local SEO strategies into your digital marketing plan, including the following:

Reach More Customers

Perhaps the greatest benefit of utilizing local SEO strategies is the fact that you can reach more people and significantly increase your customer base.

Local SEO is especially important now that just about everyone (77 percent of cell phone users, in fact) has a smartphone.

Many mobile searches have local intent, meaning that the user is looking for a particular product or service in their specific area.

If your website is optimized to show up in these people’s search results, you’ll be able to bring in a lot of new customers.

Make More Sales

There’s more good news, though. A whopping 80 percent of those mobile searches end in an actual sale! With those numbers in mind, why wouldn’t you want to make local SEO a priority?

Set Yourself Apart

Utilizing local SEO strategies also helps you set yourself apart from other local businesses that offer products or services that are similar to yours.

If they’re not taking advantage of local SEO tools and strategies, you can fine-tune your approach to gain a competitive edge.

This means you will show up more often for more searches, where your competitors are no where to be found online.

Essential Local SEO Strategies

At this point, you’re probably convinced that your business can benefit from implementing some local SEO strategies. But, what kinds of local SEO strategies and tools should you be using?

Some of the best, most effective approaches are listed below:

Claim Your Google Places for Business Page

The first step you should take is to claim your Google Places for Business page or (Google My Business) now. Every business is able to use this tool for a free listing.

Once you’ve claimed the page, be sure to fill it out completely. Include as much information as you can about your hours of operation, address, and contact details.

The more information you provide, the more likely your business is to show up in people’s search engine results.

Link to all your Social Media Accounts

Once you’ve set up your Google My Business Listing up and running, you’ll need to link your website to powerful social networks like:

Facebook Business Page
Twitter Business Account
LinkedIn Business Profile
Instagram Business Profile
Pinterest Business Profile

These sites focuses on social interaction with current and potential customers. It allows you to feature more reviews of your business, but be careful on social media, they are personal accounts and business profiles! Always make sure you are using the right account type for your business online. You want to provide more information about your services, and share images and videos. These accounts can be a key factor in increasing your brand’s exposure on Facebook and other social platforms.

Use the Right Keywords

It’s also important to use the right keywords, especially for page titles and in blog content.

For example, if you run a plumbing business in Toronto, you might want to use a keyword like “plumber in Toronto.”

By the way, if you are a plumbing company, you can check out this Ultimate Guide to Plumber SEO here.

While using locally optimized keywords is helpful, remember to still use them in a natural way.

Avoid overusing these keywords, too. Search engines will penalize your site if it seems like you’re just stuffing in keywords for the sake of improving your ranking.

Create a Listing for Each Location

If your business has multiple locations, be sure to create a listing for each one. This provides people with the correct details for the location nearest them. It also gives your business more opportunities to improve search engine rankings.

Keep NAP & Citation Information Consistent

When you’re creating NAP citations (name, address, and phone number), it’s important to list them in the same format each time.

Consistency is key when it comes to all forms of search engine optimization, and using consistent NAP citations will help boost your business’s overall visibility.

You can use a local SEO tool like Bright Local to measure your success, The best local SEO tools. Free trial, no card needed.

Ask for Reviews

Reviews can significantly boost your search engine rankings and make it easier for local customers to find your business.

Don’t be afraid to ask your current customers for reviews. You might even want to create an incentive or referral program to encourage reviews and keep new ones coming in.

Create Local Content

When you’re writing content for your website, make sure it’s geared toward your local audience. When you establish yourself as a local authority in a particular field, you’ll boost your credibility and attract a larger local audience.

In addition to focusing on what your business sells, use your website to promote local events, share local news, or teach local customers about a specific topic.

Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

Finally, make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Remember, most local searches occur from a smartphone or tablet. If people can’t access your site from these devices, they’re going to look elsewhere for a particular product or service.

Looking for More Local SEO Help?

You’ve now got a definitive answer to the question, “What is local SEO?”. But, you might still need some help in putting your knowledge into practice.

If you’re not sure how to implement these local SEO strategies or just want someone to guide you through the process, contact us at SEOBANK today.

We offer a variety of local SEO services, as well as other services that will help you optimize your website and grow your business.

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