Modern businesses in the digital age have several tools at their disposal to help them grow and reach more audiences; for example, search engine optimization (SEO) is a tool to help you land on the coveted first page of search engines when users search for contents, services, or products similar to yours. And since 46% of searches on Google are for local information, it’s a good idea for businesses to boost local digital presence and focus on local SEO tactics.
Local SEO is especially useful for smaller brands operating on regional or provincial levels. SEOs for brands that run nationally are more concerned about ranking in searches in a much wider area and targeting a more diverse audience. Local SEO focuses on marketing geared towards people near a business’ geographical location—in short, its neighbors within a certain radius.
Local SEO Overview
Local SEO is the method of improving your brand’s chances of appearing among the top search results for location-specific queries. To give users relevant results for queries with geographical qualifiers, search engines like Google take into account users’ geographical location based on their geolocation or IP address.
For example, if you’re in London and you entered a search for ‘curry place Camden,’ the search engine will show you restaurants that offer curry dishes in Camden, London, and other nearby areas. Indian or Thai restaurants in that area can use local SEO strategies to get to be among the top suggestions for these kinds of queries. Agencies based in London, like The Brains Marketing SEO services, would be a great help in improving local SEO ranking.
Local SEO is all about gearing your marketing strategy towards local leads. Instead of optimizing for a broader audience, you’d be targeting a market ready to engage. You’ll be making your brand visible to users in your area who are actively looking for products or services that you can provide. And since this approach is geared towards those local clients, this means more leads and conversions, not to mention site traffic increase.
But how does local SEO helps boost business growth?
How Local SEO Improves Business
Due to the pandemic, more and more people are turning to the internet for their various needs. This, in turn, made many companies increase their online presence, making digital marketing post-Covid crucial for any business. A digital marketing tool like local SEO plays a large part in giving small businesses a fighting chance to compete with bigger brands. Below is a list of how local SEO can help your business achieve this:
1) By Setting Up A Google My Business Account
One of the most effective ways to get a decent ranking on Google Maps is to optimize your Business Profile. Doing so will also let you increase your visibility on local SERPs (search engine results pages). But before you can use your Business Profile for any optimization, you have to link that profile with your Google My Business account.
You need to provide the required information in your account dashboard, which will be added to the Business Profile. It will then appear in Google Maps, local Google Search results, and the Google Search Knowledge Panel.
It would also help if you include your accepted payment methods, products or services, hours of operation, logo, and a few images. You can also use the Google My Business dashboard to post notices on your Business Profile such as product announcements, special offers, and events.
2) By Getting Satisfied Customers To Post Reviews
Online reviews can be very persuasive. They can make or break a business. Almost 75% of consumers state that positive reviews can elicit trust in a local business. So, you’d have to encourage satisfied clients to post reviews and to rate their experience with your brand. You can do this by sending them emails, through personal customer interactions, setting up profiles on several review sites, and generally making it easier for clients to leave a review.
However, it’s essential to monitor your customer reviews so you can respond promptly to them. If there’s a negative review, resolve the issues as diplomatically as you can, and try to ascertain the veracity of the review. Remember, others can read your replies, so don’t make the situation worse.
If you think the negative review is unwarranted, contact the client in private and try to resolve the issue. If the mistake is on your part, apologize and work the issue out with the client. Respond to the positive reviews by thanking them promptly. One side note: Yelp’s policies are against soliciting customers for reviews, while Google is fine with it.
3) By Creating Content Based On Local Events And News Stories
Publishing original and relevant content and using optimized keywords can help boost your local SEO immensely. Your business will be more visible to users, thus increasing your ranking. Helpful content, especially if it directly concerns your community, can generate interest among your local clients.
For example, you can create blog posts on news stories relevant to your area, or about pertinent events and other activities. You can also make videos about the causes or charities your company supports. If your business serves different regions, you can create multiple pages that would fit each location. This approach would help your site to rank for each particular location.
4) By Cultivating A Social Media Presence
There are opportunities galore on social media, and if you’re not taking advantage of that, you should remedy that grievous oversight pronto. Having a functioning social media presence can take a lot of work, but with almost 60% of the world’s population being active on social media, no conventional businesses could afford to ignore them.
And since Facebook is still king of social media with users numbering in billions, it’s a good idea to start there. Moreover, Facebook has a feature that people use to ‘geolocalize’ their posts, enabling them to ‘check-in’ when they visit a brick-and-mortar establishment. This feature can make businesses gain extra exposure to that person’s friends and followers.
Facebook also has a ‘virtual window,’ a feature that allows a brick-and-mortar store to post pictures and images, customize its page, promote its products, and advertise for upcoming events. Other social media platforms that you can use are Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and others.
5) By Using Local Keywords
To find local keywords, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner to identify popular and trending search terms for a given geographical area or region. After getting the list, you can use them on the copy and meta content of your website. Keep in mind also that you don’t have to limit yourself to your location. You can include nearby locations.
Additionally, include landmarks and hotspots that are specific to your location. Include them in your content or make references to them. For example, if your business establishment is in Camden, London, mention references to Camden Market or Regent Park.
Local SEO gives smaller businesses a chance to compete with much bigger competitors, at least in their own turf. It’s a way of getting a business known locally, especially since almost all users have at one point searched for a local business. If your business doesn’t appear in local searches, you could potentially miss out on conversions and revenues.
Knowing how local SEO helps improve your business can be the one ingredient you need to get your business to take off.