As a local SEO agency, we get a lot of clients who are confused about what local SEO means. Is it the same as SEO? Can I do it myself? Is this just a one-time set and forget task?
No, no, and no.
Local SEO is similar to SEO, but with a narrower focus. So instead of ranking websites for keywords like “organic chocolate chip cookies,” local SEO uses terms like, “best organic chocolate chip cookie bakery in Long Beach.”
It’s not just another fad that will pass by quickly, but a powerful marketing tool to help your business grow and develop into an established brand name.
And finally, unless you plan on being a full-time local SEO specialist (and let go of your actual business), you’re better off hiring a local SEO agency to handle the work for you.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is all about your business showing up when someone is looking for a service in your area.
It’s like traditional SEO, but instead of trying to rank for broad keywords like “auto repair shop” you’re focusing on much more targeted keywords like “auto repair shop in midtown Manhattan.”
The key to local SEO is to be as specific and geo-targetted as possible.
After all, customers looking for your services are often looking for the closest provider.
They want to know if they can get their car towed right away or whether they should go down to that place on the main street because it’s closer.
The job of local SEO is to make sure you rank first for those keywords so that when people are looking for a service in your location, you pop up first.
What Type of Businesses Need Local SEO Services?
Any business that wants to make money, get new clients, ring up more sales, and beat their competitors needs local SEO.
This literally means any product or service offering, such as:
- Bars and restaurants
- Garage door repair
- Maid services
- Pies and cookies
- Carpet cleaning
- HVAC installation
- Wine shops
- Massage therapists
- Running shoes
In other words, local SEO can be done for virtually any type of business, from the mom-and-pop shop down the block to a franchise with hundreds of locations across several states.
7 Critical Benefits of Local SEO Services
Now that we understand what local SEO is and who needs it, let’s talk about how it will help your business grow:
1. Use local search to attract customers who live, play, and work near you.
When you do local SEO, you’re attracting people who are in your area and may be looking for a provider.
You want to make sure they can’t miss your business when they search online— which is why it’s so important that the first result on Google (or at least the first page) is yours!
When people search online to buy stuff or get services done near them, if they don’t see you first on the results page, their next move is to go down the list of organic results until they reach something that looks like a business.
So if your competitors show up first, they may get the sale and you’ll never even know about it—which is why local SEO can be such an important part of your marketing budget!
2. Make your contact information instantly accessible through local SEO.
One of the major benefits of local SEO is that it makes your contact information easy to find.
When someone searches for you online, they can go straight to your Google Business profile with your phone number and address—which means less time spent trying to track down how people get in touch with you!
And once they’ve found this info, all they need is to call you or visit your website and they’ll be on their way.
When people are looking for a provider, the last thing they want to do is spend time searching around online—they just want an easy answer so that they can get back on with what they’re doing!
If you’ve got it at the top of the first page of results, then you’re good to go!
3. Local SEO can make you stand out from direct competitors in the same service area.
When you do local SEO, it’s not just about ranking for the keywords that your customers are searching—it’s also about getting higher on those pages than any of your competitors.
This means showing up in more places and having a wider reach than anyone else who provides similar services to you.
When someone needs your service, there are only a few places that come to mind: Google, Yelp, and maybe some local directories like SuperPages or CitySearch.
If you’re not showing up on these sites—and especially if your competitors are!—then why would anyone choose you instead of them?
This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re doing local SEO right since this puts your business in front of the people who are looking for what you offer.
People trust these sites because they don’t want to waste their time or money on a company that won’t give them excellent results—so being on these sites makes you look more trustworthy than your competitors.
This means that people are much more likely to choose you over someone who’s not showing up in the same places. Without local SEO, you may be relegated to the latter.
5. Keep a watchful eye on your online reputation with local SEO.
When you do local SEO, it’s not just about ranking—it’s also about being able to respond if someone starts writing negative things online.
If someone starts complaining about your business online, you want to make sure that they can see your response right away.
Otherwise, it looks like you don’t care and the people looking for a provider may choose another company instead.
Having a strong local SEO strategy means being able to respond quickly—and not getting caught off guard when something happens.
6. Keep your ads relevant with local SEO services.
Got a flash sale coming up? Want people to know about your upcoming holiday discounts? You can announce the offers through your Google Business profile.
If you’re doing local SEO for your business, then it’s easy to make sure that these ads are showing up in front of the right people, aka people who live near you and are looking on Google for the kinds of services that your business provides.
When people see these local ads, they’re much more likely to remember them than something they saw online somewhere else—which means it’s so important to make sure those ads show up everywhere!
For instance, if someone is searching “plumber near me,” then you want to make sure that a new client sees an ad for your services before they even start searching.
Local SEO means being able to get in front of people who are ready and willing—so it’s important not to miss out on the chance.
7. Help your local community with useful information.
We mentioned earlier how important it is for your local SEO to show up in local directories and respond when someone leaves a negative review—but that’s not all you can do.
Part of local SEO services is making your online presence as helpful as possible to your target audience.
And we’re talking about sharing very specific information—like what the weather is like, where you are, or local events happening in your area.
This way, if someone is looking for information about moving to your town or visiting it on holiday, they’ll be able to find all the answers that they need!
And because this helps people directly—and also makes them see how well-informed your business is about the community—it’s a great way to get people interested in what you have to offer.
After all, who wouldn’t want their local plumber or dentist to know everything there is to know about living in town?
This means that when they do need something from you, it’s much easier for them to trust that you’ll give them the best possible service and advice.
That’s another one of those benefits that we were talking about earlier: people trust local businesses more than they do big companies because these companies tend to be less involved in their community as a whole.
So by making sure people can see that you’re a part of it—you can help people to trust your business even more when they look for you on local search.
9 Best Local SEO Strategies for ANY Business in 2021
Now that we’ve established what the best local SEO strategies are, let’s talk about how what local SEO services include:
1. Create and optimize your Google Business Profile account.
Google My Business (GMB) is your online hub for your business information. It’s the most important local SEO tool to use since it tells Google all of your pertinent company data that is used in search results about your business.
GMB allows you to input critical company info like hours, website URL, phone number, and address. It’s extremely important to keep this information up-to-date since it directly affects your search engine optimization efforts.
You also need to make sure it’s optimized with the right keywords. Again, this allows Google to better understand your business and how it’s relevant in searches for potential customers looking for what you offer.
2. Optimize your website with NAP.
NAP stands for NAME, ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER of a business. This is what’s used to verify ownership of local businesses in Google My Business listings.
It needs to be consistent across all platforms, including Facebook, Yelp, and anywhere else you’re found online so there isn’t any confusion between sites about who you are.
This is one of those things that may seem like a small thing, but it’s actually very important for local SEO services and ranking well in search results.
3. Find and use local search keywords.
This is another fundamental tactic of local SEO services. Before you start optimizing your website or Google My Business, it’s important to understand what people in the area are searching for related to your business.
This allows you to better optimize content on your site and build out local landing pages that target specific keywords within geographic areas where you do business.
It also helps with developing local campaigns in AdWords, which is a good way to build local awareness since you can target these keywords with PPC ads.
It’s important that the keyword phrases are used within your content and have relevant page titles for local SEO purposes.
4. Create content based on local events and topics.
One of the best ways to keep your Google Business profile and website relevant and provide value for users is by creating posts related to local events or topics.
For example, what is your area known for? What kind of unique food, drinks, charity events, celebrations, or festivities is it home to? What topics are trending in your area right now?
Keeping a finger on the pulse of your community will help you brainstorm topics you can create content around. Just make sure you pick ones that are relevant to your business so that it directly supports your local SEO and marketing efforts (just make sure not to be overly salesy!)
There’s no better way to establish your business as a local authority than creating helpful, engaging blog posts about the things people in your area are searching for on Google.
Also, remember to keep your audience updated with your business’s events, offers, new products, or services through your Google Business profile.
5. Optimize your website for mobile.
Studies and even your Google Analytics confirm that more than half of all local searches are performed on a mobile device. This means if your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on most potential leads from people in the area who are searching online.
Make sure to optimize images and videos so they don’t take forever to load (or not display at all). Also, make sure your site is responsive so that it automatically adjusts to the screen size of any device being used.
Remember not everyone in your area has high-speed internet access, especially if they are lower-income or live in an older neighborhood where homes don’t have broadband connections.
Mobile optimization can help give businesses a leg up on their competition and better serve local customers.
6. Post happy reviews and manage negative ones.
As we discussed earlier, consumer reviews are extremely important for local businesses.
People read and trust reviews, and you need a local SEO agency to monitor online reviews and respond accordingly.
This is why online reputation management is such a huge part of digital marketing and local SEO.
You need to not only ask your happy customers for reviews but encourage them by asking how they’d feel about posting a positive review on one or more of the major local business directories. You can also request their permission to post their reviews on your website.
Posting positive reviews on sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Business is both good for your brand as well as great marketing strategy since it boosts credibility around keywords related to your business.
Also remember that negative online reviews need to be handled in a professional way. This means responding to the review in a timely fashion, offering solutions if you can, and letting them know that their feedback was taken seriously by making changes where necessary.
It’s important to remember not all negative reviews are truthful or accurate. However, it is still critical for your business that they be managed properly because of the potential impact to your business.
Don’t let negative reviews go unanswered or you could be doing more harm than good for your brand, which can lead to loss of potential customers looking for a reliable local business like yours.
7. Take advantage of online business directories.
Think of online business directories as the Yellow Pages of the internet.
They are a place for customers to find business listings, phone numbers, and other information about local businesses.
In addition to being easy-to-use self-serve platforms that anyone can use, they’re also great ways of boosting your SEO. In fact, directories like Yelp allow users to search by keyword or category which means you can be found when people are searching for your type of business.
Some of the top online business directories you need to be in are Yelp, FourSquare, EZLocal, Bing Places for Business, and Apple Maps.
You can also find online business directories by doing a simple Google search for “online business directory” or something similar.
Make sure all of the information about your company is accurate—including hours of operation, physical address, phone number, and website link.
Also, remember to claim your business listing so that you have more control over the information being displayed about your company on these sites. You can request changes or updates as well if necessary.
It’s helpful to keep track of which directories your competitors are in (and not just the main ones like Yelp), then make sure you’re there too!
8. Create a unique web page for each service or product you offer.
Instead of lumping all your offerings in one location, create a dedicated webpage for each service or product you offer. Then, optimize each of them through local SEO.
This is yet another great way of showing up in local searches and giving your business a competitive advantage over others.
Not only should your product and service pages be optimized for search engines, but they also need to include thorough descriptions of the services you offer.
Remember that it’s important these pages are user-friendly so people can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily with no fuss or hassle.
Don’t forget to add keywords to these pages as well to help your business show up in local searches.
Having a dedicated webpage for each of the services and products you offer is not only good local SEO practice, but it will also give people looking for those specific things more information about them right away instead of having to hunt around on one page that contains many types of content.
You can also include a link on your homepage, which will direct visitors to specific product and service pages as well. This helps keep navigation on your page more organized, leading people directly to where they want to go with ease instead of making them search for what they’re looking for first.
9. Perform a local SEO audit.
A local SEO audit will tell you what’s working and what isn’t in your local search presence.
It will also help you identify potential problems with the page titles, descriptions, and content of each ranking webpage for a specific location—allowing you to make changes accordingly before it negatively affects your business’s online reputation and local SEO strategy.
A local SEO audit is an extremely useful tool that helps businesses not only identify what’s going well and where to direct their attention, but it also helps them save time in the long run.
How do I find local SEO services?
Before you look for a local SEO company, think about what you need in the first place. What problem would you like their local SEO services to solve for you?
The more you understand what you need, the more you’ll be able to find the right company for you.
What is a local SEO company?
A local SEO agency is a business that specializes in search engine optimization for local businesses. They use tactics like optimizing your website for local search, creating links to it, and acquiring reviews.
How much does an SEO agency charge?
The prices for an SEO agency are different per company. The best local SEO agencies will ask you about what you need first before they give you a custom quote that fits your marketing budget.
What is SEO vs. local search engine optimization?
SEO is search engine optimization and refers to all the different methods that help your website rank higher on Google.
Local SEO is a branch of this process—and it’s tailored towards local businesses that want to rank highly in search engines for keywords that apply to their location.
Why is it important to rank higher with local SEO?
Ranking in your local area is crucial because 46% of searches are local and the buyer intent is high, meaning anyone who searches for your product and/or services is most likely to hire you for your services, walk into your store, or buy your product.
When you have a high ranking on Google, you’ll be seen as more trustworthy—as well as being easily found by those who don’t know about your business yet.
In this way, online rankings can have a huge impact on whether or not your business is successful.
If you don’t show up high in the rankings, then most people will never find out about what you have to offer—and that means fewer clients!
For example: do I need them to increase local search traffic? Do I have difficulty ranking my website on Google? Do I have too few reviews online?
Ready to Put Your Business on the Map with Local SEO? Let’s chat!
Finally, getting noticed on search engines is just the beginning of local SEO. It’s about using all avenues to your advantage, including social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, email marketing, creative branding, and more.
Managing local SEO has many moving parts. There is regular posting on your Google Business profile, adding your business, and managing your listing in business directories. Local SEO services also involve and managing your reviews. This is where we can come in and help you.
Whether your business operates locally or serves customers across several states, Digital Delane has the team, tools, and expertise to get your name out there.