Local SEO is the talk of the town these days and for a good reason. For local businesses, it is a basic aspect of digital marketing that helps amplify their visibility in local search results. If you own a small business but are skeptical about investing in Local SEO, we are sure that you are losing out on some awesome traffic (both online and offline). After all, it’s no use having a fantastic business if no one can find you, right? Hence, we have decided to shed some light on the importance of Local SEO on your local business.
So What is Local SEO
Local SEO, in a nutshell, is a branch of search engine optimization (SEO) that hyper-focuses on optimizing a brand’s online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. Unlike general SEO, which focuses on improving your site’s visibility on a global scale, local SEO is all about attracting customers in your local area.
This is incredibly important because, according to Google, nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location. So, if your business isn’t showing up in local searches, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of potential customers.
Local SEO and Google Business Profile
It is not an exaggeration to say that Google Business Profile (formerly and widely known as Google My Business) is the cornerstone of Local SEO. The best part is that it is a free tool provided by Google that allows business owners to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps.
By verifying and optimizing your business listing, you can multiply your chances of showing up in local search results and attracting more customers. For example, if you are a Tustin-based restaurant, you can optimize your Google Business Profile listing by adding high-quality images, updating business hours, and responding to reviews. If you do everything right, you can definitely expect a significant increase in foot traffic and online reservations.
On-Page SEO for Local Businesses
On-page SEO is another important aspect of Local SEO. The task involves optimizing the content on your website, including the meta descriptions, title tags, and body content, to make it more relevant to local searches.
Let’s say you own a Newport Beach-based surf shop called ‘Newport Waves.’ You should include keywords such as ‘Newport Beach surf shop’ or ‘surfboards in Newport Beach’ in your website content, meta descriptions, and title tags. Doing so will help search engines understand the relevance of your website to local searches and increase your chances of ranking higher in local search results.
Local Link Building
For the uninitiated, link building is the process of acquiring backlinks from other relevant websites to your own. For Local SEO, it is important to acquire high-quality local backlinks; this means getting links from other local businesses, local news websites, or local directories.
Let’s take ‘Newport Waves’ as an example again. As a shop owner, you could partner with a local surf school to offer a discount to their students, and in return, the surf school could link to your website. This step would be a win-win situation for both businesses and would help improve their local SEO.
Managing Online Reviews
Online reviews are the bread and butter of Local SEO. They play a make-or-break role in a business’s online reputation and can significantly impact a customer’s decision to choose your business over a competitor. Therefore, it is important to encourage positive reviews and handle negative reviews with grace.
For example, if a customer leaves a negative review for your local business, you should respond to the review, apologize (if there is any inconvenience caused), and offer a solution to the problem. Doing so will show potential customers that the business cares about its customers and is committed to providing excellent service.
Today, mobile devices are users’ first choice for browsing. And there is no sign of this trend reversing. Hence, it is wise to optimize your website for mobile devices. The task includes making sure your website is responsive, meaning it adjusts to fit the screen size of the device being used (tablet, desktop, etc.), and that it loads quickly on mobile devices. You could use a website builder that offers responsive design templates and optimizes their images to reduce load times on mobile devices.
Local SEO Tracking and Monitoring
Last but not least, it is important to track and monitor your Local SEO efforts to see what is working and what needs tweaking. These metrics include organic traffic, local search rankings, and conversion rates. Tools such as Google Analytics come in handy to track these metrics.
Local SEO is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for one business may not work for another. At Tusk Creative Studios, we have seen this phenomenon frequently. However, by following the aforementioned strategies and tailoring them to your specific needs, you can increase your chances of standing out in your city and attracting a huge number of local customers. Remember, the early bird catches the worm, so start implementing these Local SEO strategies today and watch your local business thrive!