What is a local SEO practice? You may have heard of search engine optimization, but you likely didn’t know there’s a locally-based option that can improve your business and exposure. Learn what is local SEO in our guide, as well as how to make such searches work to your advantage.
What Is Local SEO Marketing?
Local search engine optimization is a marketing strategy that improves the visibility of businesses in localized query results. If you have a company that serves a specific geographic area, but others appear before it in the query rankings, you need some locally-based optimization to make it work.
If you have a physical location, mapping out your office space and putting it high on the list of nearby businesses is a form of localized optimization. If you serve the Los Angeles area, you’ll want LA-based customers. But how will they know you’re there? That’s where local optimization comes into play.
By optimizing the query rankings to fit your company’s work description, you’ll get a Google Business window on the right side of the first page. That’s where all your contact and essential information are located, as well as customer reviews and images.
The Benefits of Local SEO
Locally-based optimization has numerous benefits for companies that want to be first in their area. These benefits include:
- Increased online visibility and social presence,
- Higher traffic to your physical locations,
- Allows customers to shop locally from small businesses,
- Increased locally-based presence also means increased website traffic and subscriptions,
- A Google Business card on the first page,
- Improved trust in your company,
- Increased competitive status,
- More sales.
The Benefits Are Nice, but Can I Improve Business Rankings After All This Time?
It’s not important how long you’ve had your company – improving your locally-based search engine optimization is never too late. In fact, if you’ve established popularity by word of mouth, it’ll make more people happy to see your company’s presence online.
The truth is, no matter how long you’ve been working, if you have a physical shop that serves a particular area, localized query optimization is the best thing for your online presence. Despite many shops focusing on their online presence and sales at the moment, if they have a brick-and-mortar location, they also need localized solutions to work in their favor.
Word of mouth is a fantastic organic advertisement for any company; in a sea of ads, you’ll have loyal customers that trust their friends’ and family’s recommendations. However, as a functioning company with the need for growing clientele, of course, you’d want more people to recognize your work and shop with you.
How Google Categorizes and Ranks Search Results
The first thing people do when they want to buy something is look for it online. Rather than window shopping, they look around for websites to determine where best to find what they need. But how does Google know which results to show?
Its algorithm is widely efficient and works with what may be countless data. It sifts through all that information to find what a customer is looking for, showing the most relevant rankings. The engine considers on-site and off-site factors when deciding which website has the most relevant information based on your query.
The algorithm has an index of websites, but the ones it shows as the most relevant to you are the results of organic research and reach. One of the factors that determine which website will come out on the first page is popularity; if you’ve managed to achieve a solid ranking locally and organically, you’ll be more relevant to someone searching for a company like yours.
Other factors that contribute to the success of your query include relevance and prominence. These are more established through an improved online presence over time or with the help of an SEO marketing agency and their digital ad pack.
What About Local Searches?
Google’s algorithm considers a company’s relevance, popularity, and prominence by analyzing previous users’ behaviors; this raises other questions and suggestions related to a query. For example, when you look up something, you can see the “People also ask” or PAA section after the first or second result.
This section helps the algorithm figure out what people look for when typing in such or a similar query. It can also learn how to rank that query according to relevance and popularity. Perhaps the best thing about it is that the program realized which searches entail people needing immediate or localized services.
Understanding a localized query leads to improved optimization. If you’ve done a great job with this, a potential customer will be able to find you without even typing the city name.
Google Takes Relevance Into Account
In terms of relevance, the engine looks at how closely a user’s query matches the available information about your company and work. The algorithm has access to some information, but none of it can redirect the user to you unless you have a Google Business listing.
This increases relevance and makes your company more accessible online. Putting more official information out there can only be helpful in your hunt for new customers and a targeted audience.
Distance Is Important for the Search
Obviously, if you’re at a specific address, you won’t be accessible to every single person searching for you online. Still, most people who look for a physical location or store always like to sort the ranking according to distance.
If you don’t have location information available, people won’t choose you. Don’t think of it as users choosing not to engage with your company because you’re far. Think of it as an opportunity to reach customers close to you that still aren’t aware of your work.
Prominence Is Good for Business
Your prominence in the query ranking equals popularity. The more well-known brands always come up first, mainly because of this. Say you sell faux leather bags. Even if someone isn’t aiming for one by Gucci specifically, Gucci will come up first if the localized query isn’t well-optimized.
You may not be bigger than them, but if you specialize in faux leather bags, you can become more popular online. Gucci is a luxury fashion brand, but your work provides a more accurate query ranking. With this information, localized optimization can take you to the top of the world.
Here’s How to Improve Your Searchability and Presence
As mentioned before, in this day and age, anyone’s online presence can be curated. Think of the most popular online personalities – they worked hard on making their image on brand for what they’re advertising, but they didn’t just get there with organic reach.
There was a lot of curation and optimization involved in it. Imagine this – you’re scrolling through Instagram, in desperate need of some cat videos. You won’t go around without guidance; you’ll head to the search bar and type in “cats” or “cat videos.”
If you specifically want to see black cats, you’ll type just that, narrowing down the results of searching for a phrase that likely came up with millions of results. Since we’re breaking the stereotype that black cats are bad luck, let’s say your company is one. How do you make it more relevant online?
Create Localized Site Content
Creating locally-based website content is likely the easiest thing to do, but it’s very easy to get wrong. What kind of content would that be?
Well, if you do sell faux leather bags in Hollywood, then adding the key phrase “Hollywood faux leather bags” to your blog content will drive up the traffic on your website. Try to include this phrase wherever possible on your site, but ensure it sounds natural enough and not forced.
While you should put the keyword in many places, don’t overdo it. If you oversaturate your content with identical phrases, you’ll encounter keyword cannibalization – which is also bad for a company (as bad as “cannibalization” sounds).
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
As part of localizing and putting a specific address to your site, you should work on your Google Business listing. It’s not complex at all – just head to google.com/business and go to “manage now.”
This can put you on the map almost instantly, but the information you provide needs to be realistic and correct. Don’t add your private phone number if you don’t intend to use it for work purposes, and don’t add an address that seems fake – this can put people off and make them think it’s a scam.
Put Reviews to the Front
Another factor that could easily deter people from your company is a lack of reviews. Now, if you’ve been around for a while and just established your online presence recently, you can ask steady customers to leave feedback to help you out.
If you have reviews online, ensure to include them all – bad or good. The quality of your work will speak for itself; if you have predominantly good reviews, that will make you more appealing to potential customers.
Research says that around 49% of nearby customers trust online reviews as much as in-person recommendations; businesses should know how to take advantage of this, but if you’re not too good at it, hiring an affordable SEO agency will shoot you to the stars.
Let a Professional SEO Agency Work on Your Image
This guide should help you establish that the best way to advertise your company and put your foot in the door is by improving your online presence. However, if you don’t know where to start or don’t think you have the right tools, hiring an SEO agency should do the trick.
Get Made is an example of an agency that can increase traffic to your website and, most importantly, improve your localized website ranking. With our services, you’ll be able to see progress quickly.
If you’re into working with us, we’ll implement any of the following tools to guide you:
- Search engine optimization,
- Local SEO,
- Content writing,
- Social media marketing,
- Web development,
- PPC (pay-per-click),
- Web design,
- YouTube SEO.
Start a New Chapter in Your Company With a Full Marketing Pack
You don’t have to fully understand search engine optimization, but it’s crucial to understand what it can do for your company. If you’re having trouble establishing a solid online presence, asking a professional agency to help you with it would be ideal.
Agencies can help businesses rise to the top of query results and become more relevant than the Pope himself. Well, maybe not to everyone, but you catch our drift. Higher online visibility can pack you popularity and more customers – as long as you believe in the quality of your company.
Starting a new chapter in your company begins with improving how customers perceive you based on your online presence. Better exposure often means more to love, and with the right tools, you’ll be adored.