You likely have heard the term SEO or Search Engine Optimization but have you heard of Local SEO? Local SEO is not new to the marketing world by any means, but is becoming a very hot topic for business owners and marketers alike. Local SEO is simply a segment of SEO that focuses on acquiring foot traffic to a physical location. Google has gotten very good at discerning the intent of searches and displaying results accordingly. Local SEO, done properly, ensures your business listing shows up when a search for your services is done within your geographical area. Searches that trigger the local pack (Google maps listings) are the result of Local SEO. Local SEO is so important because of how highly targeted it is. It brings in the customers who are seeking out your services the exact moment they need them leading to a very funneled, high quality lead.
Local SEO involves an array of efforts including but not limited to: claiming and verifying business listings, ensuring all business listings across search engines are accurate and consistent (citation management), managing & acquiring online reviews, local social media engagement, localized on page content, schema markup, and more.
Local SEO Strategy Tips
If you haven’t picked up on the importance of Local SEO by now, let me stress the matter once again with an example. If you wake up on a Saturday morning with a terrible toothache, you likely will turn to search engines for an “Emergency Dentist Near Me”. A dentist in your area who provides emergency and after hour services will not show up in the search results without help from Local SEO, removing them from the running of even becoming a potential candidate for your business. Local SEO can be a powerful digital tool that drives customers directly to your door ready to buy. Below we explore some strategic tips that every Local SEO campaign should incorporate.
Google My Business Listing
While all online listings are important, Google is still the leading search engine and obviously allows their listing platform to hold more weight than others. Your business should not only be listed but be claimed, verified, and as completed as possible. Having a profile that includes every bit of detail about your business: address, phone number, name, hours, photos, services, service areas, videos, etc. will play a very large factor in where you show up in the local pack.
Consistent Business Listings
Search Engines are in business to provide searchers with the information they are seeking as quickly and as accurately as possible. This means the accuracy and consistency of your business information across the web as a whole plays a factor in your local search rankings. If some of your listings have your name spelled differently, or an old address, or even call tracking phone numbers instead of your actual phone number, search engines are unsure about what information is correct and which is not thus they are more likely to skip over your listing completely and show another one that is more consistent in order to provide accurate information to their end user: searchers. Use our free local listing scan to see the health of your online listings.
Did you know that more than half of consumers won’t use a business if it has less than a 4 star rating on Google? The younger generation in particular places a very high weight on online reviews and even trust them as much as friends and family recommendations. As mentioned above, search engines want to provide the best results for their searchers. This means that as reviews become more important to consumers, they become more important to search engines as well. Having a large amount of positive reviews and responding to all reviews will get you a higher placement on the maps listings.
Location Specific Content
Your website should be properly optimized for your geographical location. Simple things like incorporating local indicators into your keywords, meta descriptions, and page titles, building out specific location pages and location centric content throughout your site will help your local seo strategy. Content is king in SEO and local SEO is no exception.
While this is not an exclusive list of what you should focus on in your Local SEO marketing efforts, these four elements are “must haves” that should be your starting point if hoping to gain any traction with local traffic. If your business is not currently showing up in local search results, you are missing out on great opportunities for business growth. Klout 9 supports local businesses and is passionate about helping them grow! Contact us to learn more about Local SEO and how it will benefit your business.