A Beginner’s Guide to Local SEO

As search engine optimization specialists will freely tell you, it’s not enough to simply have a website for your business. Optimizing a website is essential to ensure that web users can actually find your website and see it as being useful or relevant to their needs.

If you run a small business that relies on local customers, you might believe that word of mouth is really all you need to survive. But you actually need a lot more than that to compete in our digitally driven world. For small and locally owned businesses to rise above the rest, an emphasis on local search engine optimization is key.

Haven’t heard of local SEO before? Our beginner’s guide will serve as a great introduction to this concept and why it’s so critical to your success.

What is Local SEO?

You might already know that search engine optimization, or SEO, involves a number of techniques that are meant to help your website appear more prominently in search results. The more attention you give to proper optimization, the more likely it is that your website will show up when a user searches for a product you carry or a service you offer. Since sites that show up earlier in search result pages tend to get more traffic, the goal is to improve your web ranking over time to eventually show up within the first 10 positions on page one of search results for a given term.

When we talk about local SEO, specifically, we’re referring to optimizing your site in order to appear more prominently in search geared towards finding local results. Instead of targeting customers on a national level, this type of optimization focuses on local customers. The goal here is to increase web traffic, conversions, and overall brand awareness for web users who are searching for businesses like yours within your area.

Why Does Local Search Engine Optimization Matter?

It’s easy to think that getting in front of as many eyes as possible is the way to go. But actually, that strategy could backfire if the majority of your customers are local.

If you have a physical storefront or you serve only certain areas, it makes more sense for you to get specific with your optimization. Otherwise, you’ll end up spending your marketing budget on ineffective tactics and you’ll be missing out on a huge opportunity to reach local consumers. Since 46% of all searches conducted on Google are for local businesses or services, you’ll want to appeal to those users who are generally more likely to buy a product or service than those who are in the early stages of the customer journey. In short, people who search for nearby results are ready to make a phone call or visit a business to get what they’re looking for. That translates to increased sales and overall awareness for your brand — all because you optimized for local search.

How Can My Site Appear in Local Search Results?

Local search engine optimization uses many of the same techniques found in national marketing campaigns. The main difference in something like keyword research is that it’s focused on specific service areas (like the city or town your business serves or where your physical offices are). There are also tactics that are unique to local search, such as claiming your Google My Business listing or having your NAP (name, address, and phone number) included in listing directories.

As with any other SEO strategy, your digital marketing team will develop a diverse strategy involving a number of different types of optimization. These different facets will all work together to achieve a shared goal of increasing your site’s traffic, conversions, sales, and overall web presence specifically among local users and search queries.

Because search engine optimization is an incredibly complex undertaking, one of the best ways to bolster your chances of appearing in search results is to work with a professional digital marketing team. For more information on how we can improve your local SEO and help your business thrive, contact All Phase Media today.