Let's say you're on a business trip and you want to get a cup of coffee on your way to a meeting in the morning. Yet, you don't know where to go because you aren't familiar with the area yet. What would you do?
Most will probably say they'd start by pulling out their phone or laptop to run a search for a local coffee shop.
If you have done this before, then you have experience with running a local search. Local search is the foundation of local SEO. Here's how it works.
Hubspot defines local SEO as a type of search that happens when "customers in a particular area [sic] use online search engines to find a business in that area."
Local searches are beneficial to you and your business because they're run by the people who are perfectly staged to become new customers. Why? Because these are the people who are most likely to land on your website, stay there, and then reach out to you for your services.
Benefits of Local SEO
Thanks to websites and search engines, you have the potential to reach billions of people. Yet, if you're a local business, reaching billions of people around the world probably isn't your goal right now. Instead, you are most likely focused on gaining the business of those in your area.
For those businesses who are targeting local audiences, local SEO is one of the best ways to reach them!
Here is how focusing on local SEO can help your business:
You'll be able to focus on a target audience. Rather than using generalized keywords for your site content and meta information, a more localized effort will help ensure that you reach those in your area who are actively searching for your services.
Localized SEO efforts are easier to rank for. That is because they have less competition based on local search.
You can tailor your marketing messages to a local audience.
You can appear more personable by including local knowledge in your social messages and online content.
How Local SEO Works
I can name three instances of running local searches within the past month that have led to someone earning my business. Here is just an example of the some search terms I used:
- "Dog sitters in Beaverton, OR""
- "Eye doctors near 97006"
- "Hillsboro shoe stores"
You'll notice that all of these search queries include a location. That's because even though I know Google is smart enough to know my location and send me results that are relevant to that location, I also know that I don't want to waste time on seeing some big brand names that are too far away from me. Instead, I want to get immediate results that are near to me and will help me solve my problems.
The results I received from these search queries were perfect too! They helped me find a businesses that would be convenient to get to and would help me accomplish tasks that I really needed to get done. So these were the businesses that ultimately won me over as a customer.
Local SEO can help you do the same thing too. Basically, it will help improve your rankings on search engines in specific, geo-targeted locations.
According to Google's own research, "50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smart phone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer or tablet did the same." Now doesn't that sound great?
How to improve your local SEO
If you want this same 35%-50% conversion rate, here are some strategies you can start implementing for your business website.
Include your name, address, and phone number (referred to as your NAP) somewhere in the HTML of your site. Typically, you can include these on your contact page and footer.
Include your geotarget in your titles, meta descriptions, and headers.
Create location pages if you have multiple locations for your business. That way, you can target different location based audience segments using a correlating location page. Just make sure the page also includes it's own NAP.
Publish locally relevant content.
Have a mobile-optimized site. Local search and mobile search go together. That's because people are searching on their phones more and more as they are on the go or heading out the door.
Publish messages on social media channels, especially G+ businesses pages that are now showing up local search results.
Create a local Google+ page for your business. If you have multiple locations, create multiple accounts for each of them.
Implementing strong on-Page SEO strategies for your business website.
These are just a few good first steps toward creating a solid local search for your business. If you need help implementing any of these SEO strategies, reach out to us at Velocity Marketing Partners and see how our team can help you today.