Does your business have a commercial location that users can visit? If yes, you can benefit from local SEO services or local search engine optimization immensely. Local SEO, if done right, can help your business or startup grow tremendously. Let’s take a closer look at what local SEO is, how it works and what it can do for your business.
Local SEO, as opposed to traditional global SEO, targets a specific area surrounding your business location. It helps optimize your brand presence and search engine rankings to attract more customers from local searches. These searches don’t just revolve around Google (although Google is the largest search engine used); they also use Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, etc.
How Does Local SEO Exactly Work?
To understand how local SEO works, we first need to understand SEO itself. Search engine optimization is a set of processes to increase your visibility in search engines by ranking you higher in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). These processes include
- Optimizing your content for search engines
- Improving your website functionality/UI
- Using backlinks
- Employing PPC ads
- And using targeted keywords in your website content copy.
When a user searches, they use specific keywords. Search engines use these keywords to bring up a list of results, ranking them according to what it deems more authentic, credible, and fit. If your website is optimized for all, Google’s algorithm will rank you higher!
Over time, Google realized that some queries were “location-specific. So, the present-day algorithm takes this into account and tailors users’ results according to their location proximity.
For example, if a user searches “pizza places around me,” Google automatically includes the top pizza places serving food around their location. These are Google’s “local” SERPs, something you too can rank on if you use local SEO.
Notice that users don’t even have to specify their location; Google tends to take it into account on its own. But local SEO is more than just using the same traditional SEO tactics to target one location. A vital part of it is the Google 3-Pack.
Google uses something called the Google 3-pack to display local SERPs. In the previous example, if a user searched up pizza joints in their area, Google would show up 3 top spots around them, including their business information (opening time, contact information, location, reviews & ratings, photos, etc.).
The remaining organic results are shown under the 3-Pack section, which is why you need to target this area. Users are far more likely to click on results in the 3-pack than scroll below.
To do so, you need to set up a “Google My Business Account.” This account helps you verify your local business, add contact information, opening/closing times, link to your website, etc., so your business can be ranked in pack results and displayed in Google Maps results.
GMB is considered one of the cornerstones of local SEO. It will have the most impact on your local SERP ranking. To give you some more insight, 86% of users actively use the Google Maps platform to search for local businesses near them.
What can Local SEO Do for Your Business?
Your business can benefit incredibly well from local SEO – if done right. Your target audience is actively searching up keywords specific to your industry. You can build a local SEO strategy that improves your search engine visibility, especially in local SERPs, targeting these users by directing them to your website. This is something a local SEO company can help you to increase awareness in your community.
Keep in mind that around 30% of mobile Google’s search queries are location-specific; this is precisely why you need to start employing local SEO in your marketing strategies today! The more traffic inflow to your website through local searches, the more conversions and sales you will get and, in turn, a higher ROI. All of these factors help your business grow and establish your brand presence – both offline and online!