What Is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization (sometimes referred to as local search engine marketing) is a powerful tool for local businesses to promote their products and services to customers in the area.
No matter what product or service you’re searching for online, Google will almost always provide you with a local map pack suggestion box — just beneath the Google ads at the very top of the page. Within this map pack, there are a few suggestions for providers in your area. Local SEO is all about putting your business in that featured map pack — ideally at the very top.
Local searches are extremely popular, with four out of five consumers looking online for products or services in their own backyard. Google recognizes this, and has made changes over the years to encourage local businesses to get in on the game.
As a result, Google gives its users more of what they want, and local businesses have a way to get in front of their target audience despite big-name competition.
How Local SEO Can Beat the Big Guys
You may have noticed that when you use Google Maps, you have options to explore nearby restaurants, coffee, hotels, etc. before you even start your search. And when you do enter an address or the name of an establishment, Maps still shows you results close to wherever you currently are. The businesses that appear in this prime online real estate didn’t earn their position through standard SEO; That placement comes from local SEO.
SEO for local companies gives you the chance to cash in on a competitive advantage, no matter the size of your business.
Benefits of Local SEO
Some of the specific benefits of local SEO include:
- Helping your business stand out in local searches, which can drive more foot traffic
- Helping potential customers, both local and non-locals in the area, discover your company
- Giving potential customers valuable information about your business, products, or services
- Providing an easy way for people to call your business or access your website directly from search results
- Building brand familiarity
6 Tips for Improving Your Local SEO
By creating a reliable local SEO strategy, you can finally fight the big guys on even ground and gain a fair advantage in a competitive industry. Use these 6 expert tips to lay a solid foundation and strengthen your local SEO.
Tip 1: Claim Your Google My Business Account
Google My Business is the gateway to managing your online presence in Google’s local search results, and it’s completely free. If you haven’t already, claim or create your My Business listing. Then optimize it by filling out your business profile completely, linking up your website, and adding professional images.
Tip 2: Gather Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are so powerful — not just for your SEO, but for your audience as well. Don’t neglect this part of local SEO. There are so many different ways you can ask your customers for a good review, so find out what works and start raking in those gold stars!
Tip 3: Use Local Keywords
Use any keyword tool to compile a list of high-volume keywords relevant to your location and sprinkle those keywords in your My Business listing, your website content, and your current SEO strategy. Don’t forget popular local destinations or region-specific landmarks (i.e. restaurants near SLC airport).