The rise of the mobile internet and the smartphone in every hand has changed things in a lot of ways. This means that anyone with a phone can instantly go online and check anything, and I mean anything they need. What this has done is changed the way people do business and the way they think and do about advertising.
In this article, I take a closer look at local SEO and explain how it can be used to help any small business advance, improve their business and get closer to the customers. Stay tuned and learn how this can have your business grow.
SEO optimization – the basics
When someone types in something in the search bar of a search engine, it is SEO that is engaged to display the results in the search engine. This is essential when looking to improve the quality and quantity of the website traffic to a particular site. (Source: Wikipedia).
That said, SEO is important for the increase in organic results. This pertains to the unpaid results, as these are very important when displaying the search engine result pages (SERP), and it is usually the unpaid links that are clicked by the users. This is driving traffic directly to your website, provided it is properly SEO optimized.
To be SEO optimized, a site needs to have properly edited content, adequately managed HTML and codes. Also, it needs to contain specific keywords that are relevant to the search and these will be used by the search engine crawler algorithms to judge if the site is relevant to the search and displayed in the SERPs.
I’ll not go explaining more about SEO, but provide you with a link that contains more in-depth knowledge and advice about this.
As I said above, all of us use mobile internet on our smartphones. Accordingly, the rise in mobile internet searches has surpassed the desktop search way back in 2015, meaning that even as you stroll down the street, you can (and most likely do) look up something online, add a new item to your online cart at an online shop, and even book a dinner at a restaurant.
If you wonder why the word local is important in this context, wonder no more: a generalized SEO means that the SERPs will contain results from all over the country/world. A more localized search is needed to display SERPs on a localized level, meaning your immediate surrounding area.
Look at it this way: a generalized SEO displays SERPs with the strongest SEO optimized pages and most relevant keywords to the search in question. That is all good when you need to search a generalized topic, or look for something on Amazon, for example. But if you need information about a company nearby, then general SEO will not do your page any good, as people get lazy and omit words in the search bar, but still, expect proper results. That is why you should go local and include proper local SEO to your page.
Benefits of Local SEO
Today 80% of all mobile searches are looking for local information, the important thing to do for your webpage is to make sure it is properly optimized for local searches. The local SEO is helpful to smaller businesses that provide local services and offer their products on a local level, as this type of SEO helps them come closer to their prospective clients.
For example: If you are a contractor, cleaning or another type of local service, it really does not matter if your business gets discovered by a customer that likes your services but they live halfway across the country and can’t hire you. That is why you need local SEO.
This part of SEO has been developing along with mobile searches and has influenced the way smaller local businesses make online advertisements. The national (or global) SEO does not take in consideration the proximity of the searcher to the SERPs, only the relevance of the keywords; the local SEO contains results that are relevant to the search in both keywords and distance of searchers.
Local SERP & Google My Business
The local SERPs usually display the local organic results based on the entered keywords, by they also include links to web pages that have local relevance, such as Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages, local Chamber of Commerce and the like. Of course, this includes the businesses that have a Google My Business (GMB) listing.
Google My Business listing is the best thing you can do for your business. Since Google reigns the web with over 92% of searches, the GMB listing is a feature that no business should overlook. Plus, it is completely free. The business will need to create a page on GMB, preferably linked to all the important profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like. Then optimize all the information on that profile, keeping accurate information about working hours, email and phone number, address and the like.
It is really simple to make a GMB listing for your business, but if you have issues, you can ask one of our experts for advice or help with this.
Keep your site up to date
Another thing to do in order to improve your local SEO is to keep your site regularly updated. Actually, this is important for the proper operation of your site, but the added plus is that it will be easily discoverable by search engines.
Internal link structure – this is important for several reasons, and it helps boost SEO ranking. The internal linking supports website navigation; helps with information architecture and helps the page authority and ranking power.
Optimize, optimize, optimize – to be easily discoverable and to be displayed among the higher-ranked SERPs, your page needs to have URLs, title tags, headers, Meta descriptions and content optimized to the max. This includes each new blog post, as well as every new piece of content, photo or post you put on your page.
Locations and local content – if your business has more than one location, you should create locations pages with every relevant info like store hours, descriptions, promotions and the like. Do not forget a Google Map that shows your exact location. The local content is helpful to the visitors of your page and helps keep your page in the loop.
Mobile-friendliness – yes, to be ranked among the top of the SERPs, your page needs to be very, very mobile-friendly, as it is more likely that it will be searched and opened on a smartphone. You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, as this is a free tool and is very helpful in showing what can be done to make your page more mobile-friendly.
Citations and NAP – to be displayed in a local search, the web page needs to have proper citations – mentions in other relevant websites. Make sure there are no spelling errors across these, or duplicates, as all of these are inbound links to your business that can increase your ranking. NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone number and this is considered the digital print of your business. It is also used by Google when a search is performed, as a way of confirming the authenticity of your business, and by extension, the accuracy of the SERPs.
What we’ve learned
To give a chance to your web page to be displayed among the top of the SERPs, you will need to make sure the page is seriously optimized and contains a wide array of keywords, Meta descriptions, adequate functioning links and more.
But if your business depends on more local customers, then you will have to go the extra mile and make sure you have a propped Local SEO in place. This way, your business will be more easily discovered by interested parties, and you can increase your chances of attracting a visitor by about 80%, instead of just sitting on your hands and hoping for a visit from a customer.
I hope you can take something from this article, and if you have any questions or want to improve your website’s local SEO, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll be glad to help you.