The amount of traffic you receive from your website’s Google search engine, It depends on their position on the search results pages. Websites that rank high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain keywords/phrases get most of the users.
According to Advanced Web Ranking’s click-through-rate study –
1st position ranking will bring your website 9% of all the clicks made by people searching for that keyword or phrase.
Creating a strong Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how websites can improve their Google rankings. However, business websites have another vital tool for improving their rankings and visibility in Google’s search results pages – local SEO.
WHAT IS LOCAL SEO?
Local SEO is a branch of organic SEO. A local SEO specialist will help a company target potential customers searching for specific keywords/phrases in their geographic area.
For example –
- If someone is looking for Home Builder in Los Angeles, they would likely search using the word “Los Angeles”
- A local SEO agency will help businesses to optimize their websites for searches like this.
- The best-optimized website for such local queries will receive the most traffic from relevant searches. Relevant searchers in this example are users actively looking for home building services.
If your site is optimized for local SEO, most “relevant searchers” will see your website on top of Google’s SERPs.
Why is Local SEO Important?
Competition among businesses is fierce, especially local businesses with small, limited target audience groups. Organic SEO isn’t enough to boost your business’s online presence. Businesses need strategic local SEO services to dominate the most relevant keywords/phrases in their domain.
Or else their competitors will outrank them, receive the majority of the traffic from Google, and steal their market share. On the other hand, a strong local SEO strategy will –
- Increase the chances of relevant searchers getting directed towards your website. This indirectly increases their chances of visiting your store.
- Optimizing your website for local search also means that you’re making your brand easier to discover for local community members.
- Company websites that rank high in Google’s search results earn target customers’ trust.
These are just some of the many benefits of building a strong local SEO strategy.
Why is Local SEO a Must For any Local Business?
Having a strong local SEO strategy will benefit your brand in countless ways. Not having one will ruin its chances of securing new customers organically from Google. Why?
These numbers make it clear that local SEO is critical for small, local businesses aiming to attract buyers.
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HOW DOES LOCAL SEO WORK?
From technical, on-page optimization of webpages to boosting your website’s Map Pack rankings – local SEO strategies consist of various components. Website leaders must adhere to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on the best practices for local SEO.Google also has a separate set of strategies and guidelines for representing local businesses on the website. Let’s explore these practices, strategies, and guidelines in-depth.
THE MAP PACK
Google’s “Map Pack” is a separate boxed area that appears on the first results page whenever users do local searches. It’s important because approximately 33% of all clicks go to these local “map pack” results.
When a Google user performs a local search, he/she is shown two organic sections on Google’s SERP –
The “Map Pack” search results are vital for local businesses because they’re located at the top of Google’s SERPs. These search results also stand out from typical search results as they’re displayed with the profiles of the local businesses.
Hence, businesses of all sizes have a chance to stand out from their competitors on local Google searches. That’s why “map packing” is a critical part of improving your website’s local search rankings.
Why is the Map Pack Important?
Google’s algorithms are designed to display the top 3 most relevant local business listings for specific search terms. Optimize your business website and business listings on Google and other websites for these relevant search inquiries. Then, your business will enjoy the following benefits –
Google summarizes the businesses listed on the map pack section. These summaries contain customer reviews and ratings. Customer-friendly brands that receive genuine, positive reviews will keep growing in reputation and local SEO rankings.
How to Rank in Google’s Map Pack?
If you aim to improve local SEO for your business, ranking in Google’s top three map packs should be your priority. Here’s how your business can achieve this coveted spot on Google’s SERPs –
- Create a Google My Business (GMB) profile for your business. Or claim a GMB listing that has already been created with data from other independent listings.
- Verify your ownership, register your company, and verify your company’s address by filling out a GMB application form.
- Wait for 3/5 days for Google to send a verification code (via post). Upon receipt, enter this verification code in your GMB account. Doing so will automatically verify your business address.
- Optimize your listings by filling in the key details about your business. Provide accurate, up-to-date business names, business categories, pictures, customer reviews, and business citations.
- Optimize your business website’s content to boost your organic local search rankings. Make sure your website’s technical conditions (mobile-friendliness, security, crawl-ability, loading speed, etc.) are perfect.
Here are tips to optimize your content perfectly to boost your ranking.
- Use ranking tools to track which businesses in your locality are dominating specific local searches and keywords.
Grid My Business Tool for Map Pack Rankings – How to Use This Tool
Grid My Business is a geogrid ranking tool. It displays how a business ranks for local searches and keywords across a fixed geographical area. This tool helps businesses optimize their online presence for the most relevant local-intent search terms.
Local-intent search terms are searches where users explicitly mention locational data. For example, search terms that contain phrases such as –
- The name of the city
- The phrase “near me.”
These search terms have implied local intent. Businesses that optimize their websites, social media profiles, and business listings for local-intent search terms receive more local traffic.
The Grid My Business tool helps businesses gain a complete picture of their local ranking performances across specific locations. Businesses can use this tool to dominate their local areas for relevant local-intent search terms.
Every leading local SEO company employs keyword research specialists. These experts ensure that local SEO strategies are designed around relevant search terms that target customers are actually using.
It’s the science of finding the most relevant search terms that apply to your business, products/services, and target customers. Keyword researchers determine which particular
keywords/phrases their target customers are searching for.
Then, integrate these keywords into the local SEO strategy. Adding these relevant, local-intent search terms to the website will make it rank higher on Google’s SERPs.
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How important is Keyword Research for Local Business?
Extremely important and more challenging to execute than traditional keyword research. When determining which keywords to use in an SEO strategy, we typically look at factors like –
- The search volume of relevant search terms and keywords
- The type of content of the target users consume
- What keywords and local search phrases the competitors are using on their sites
Determining the best local SEO keywords is a more specific version of traditional SEO research. These keywords and search terms need to resonate with specific locations –
- In traditional keyword research, you’ll focus on generic business keywords. For example, a plumbing company will use generic search terms like “plumbing services,” “plumber,” etc., in its SEO strategy.
- To perform efficient local business SEO, the same company will include location-related terms in the keywords/phrases. For example, the local SEO keywords for a plumbing company will be “plumber in Delhi” or “plumber near me.”
Keyword research is an indispensable part of creating strong local SEO strategies. Your website will not attract users performing local searches unless you conduct local keyword research.
How does a local SEO company discover relevant local keywords?
- They find relevant search terms and keywords specific to their niche or industry.
- They identify keyword modifiers that are relevant to these search terms. Here are some examples of keyword modifiers – “the best,” “buy,” “cheap,” “where,” and “how to.”
- Then, the keyword researchers add these KEYWORDS to the LOCATION of their business. These geographic locations are relevant to the business, the regions that it covers, and the target audiences.
- They use advanced tools to perform keyword research.
Tools for Keyword Research
Keyword researchers use Google Autocomplete and assess what local keywords their competitors are using. They also use keyword research tools like –
Keyword researchers use an assortment of tools to find the most relevant search terms.
LOCAL SEO – THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS
Now that we know the importance and the basics of local SEO solutions, let’s talk strategy. What are the most important components or factors of a strong local SEO strategy? There are 5 essential building blocks of every successful local SEO strategy. They are –
Want to Know How We can increase your business search ranking ?
Creating and optimizing a Google My Business listing is the most important part of kickstarting a local SEO campaign. GMB is the top local ranking factor for organic and “map pack” search results. We’ll discuss how to optimize your Google business profile later in this article.
Citations are online mentions of your company. Google isn’t the only platform people use to search for businesses.
They also search via Facebook, directories, etc. Having an accurate NAP listed on those sites will allow potential customers to find your business, resulting in more customers and revenue.
Your citations should feature accurate and up-to-date details about your business, especially its business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Having accurate NAP or Name, Address, Phone on multiple citations will boost your brand’s legitimacy.
Here is an example of structured citation.
On the other hand, incorrect NAP will confuse and misdirect Google’s algorithms and potential customers. Accurate, relevant, and high-quality citations are among the most important local SEO ranking factors.
Here is an example of unstructured citation.
Perform a citation audit. Make sure all existing business citations on the Internet are correct and up-to-date. Build more relevant citations on relevant platforms. For example, restaurants and hotels must create accurate citations on TripAdvisor.
Keeping track of the reviews you receive under your Google business profile is very important.
Target customers who find your business on Google will instantly check your company’s reviews. Correct the mistakes they point out. Do the same on other review websites or platforms that cite your business.
Apply traditional on-page SEO practices to your website with an added local element. Take steps like –
- Including local keywords in the headlines of your webpages
- Including local keywords in title tags and URLs
- Keep URLs short and simple.
- Create enticing, local keyword-optimized meta descriptions for your webpages
- Set up local landing pages for different business locations. Include unique location-based search terms on each of these landing pages.
- Add schema markup to your WebPages
This is an underrated local SEO factor. It basically refers to the behaviors of the website administrators and business leaders. Here are some behaviors that improve your local SEO strategies –
OPTIMIZING YOUR GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE
If your Google business profile is not optimized, it will never rank in Google’s top three “map pack” sections. Several local competitors are vying for this coveted spot. Here’s what an optimized, detailed, and up-to-date GMB listing will do for your business –
- You’ll receive more traffic and engagement from target users looking for products/services in your niche.
- The local rankings of your business website will improve.
- Your brand reputation will improve. A well-optimized GMB listing will consistently rank higher and draw more engagement. More engagement will lead to more (hopefully) positive customer reviews.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Profile?
A Google my business optimization service provider will perform some basic but vital steps to optimize your GMB listing. These steps include –
- Complete every section, whether you’re creating a new business or claiming an existing one.
- Share precise and up-to-date address and contact information. Brick-and-mortar businesses with storefronts should enter their shop addresses. Companies should share addresses of real physical offices.
Pro Tip: Ensuring accuracy is the hallmark of every GMB optimization service provider. These professionals achieve 100% accuracy by creating spreadsheets containing accurate details about the business listing in advance. Then, they copy-paste the information on Google’s GMB forms.
Also, details about the business’s opening/closing hours need to be up-to-date.
- Add a CTA to the Business Description section of your GMB profile. Activate Google’s “click-to-call” feature so that users can contact your business with just one click.
- Optimize your Google my business posts with relevant, local search phrases and keywords. Use GMB posts (the in-built microblogging platform) to post relevant keyword-optimized content. Inform target customers about business updates, news, offers, etc., via these posts.
- Always read and respond to the reviews (positive/negative) customers leave on your Google My Business profile.
- Answer business-related questions that target customers may leave under your GMB profile.
Most modern-day users rely on GMB listings to find specific products, services, and businesses. Most of these searchers have genuine purchase intent – that’s why they’re entering business and location-specific search terms into Google.
Obtaining a top Google my business ranking is critical for businesses that want to attract these audiences. That’s only possible if your GMB listing is accurate, up-to-date, and keyword-optimized.
ONSITE SEO FOR LOCAL BUSINESS
On-site or on-page SEO is the practice of optimizing all the website elements to rank higher on Google’s SERPs. Performing an SEO on-site analysis of your website will reveal whether it’s designed to earn relevant traffic from search engines.
Performing on-site SEO for local businesses involves the following steps –
- Adding relevant, local search terms and keywords in the headers, title tags, and URLs of the website.
- Creating enticing, keyword-heavy meta descriptions for each webpage.
- Displaying accurate, up-to-date NAP information on the “Contact Us” section of the website.
- Set up local SEO-optimized landing pages so that your website ranks in different locations. For instance, let’s say your business serves in multiple cities. You’ll need separate local landing pages for each city on your website. To rank in each of those locations, those landing pages need to be optimized with local, relevant keywords.
- Never create multiple landing pages for the exact location – Google doesn’t rank such websites.
- Optimize your website’s SEO on-site homepage. Your homepage must feature – NAP info, an embedded Google Map showing your location, and customer testimonials/reviews.
- Add Schema markup to your pages. These are additional codes that give Google extra data about your business website. An on-site SEO service provider can help you with this step.
- Create unique, SEO-optimized content that specifically serves the interests and needs of your niche target audiences.
- Partner with local businesses for citations on their business websites.
- Add your business to local directories.
Here is some websites local directories list for USA. This is just an example.
- Analyze your competitors’ websites to understand what they’re doing better/worse.
A strong, technically sound, and SEO-optimized website is the bedrock of every local SEO strategy. The best local SEO company will always kick start local SEO campaigns by performing detailed on-site SEO reviews and updates.
LOCAL LINK BUILDING
Link building for local businesses is an underrated yet highly efficient SEO tactic. However, this process is also challenging. You basically have to convince other businesses to include links to your website on their websites.
63% of local SEO experts claim putting in the effort to earn links is worth it.
It can boost your local business website’s rankings on Google’s SERPs. More importantly, SEO link building can lead to heavy increases in web traffic.
Converting this traffic into customers can be hugely beneficial for your business. But, how to build local links? More importantly – how to perform white hat link building? White hat link building is the practice of using legitimate techniques to partner with local businesses.
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Unlike “black hat link building,” which involves nefarious practices, legitimate, white hat link building techniques impress Google’s algorithms. Google ranks such websites higher. Here are some white hat local link building strategies that businesses should aim to employ –
Consider hiring a local link-building service provider to help with these steps. These experts typically have connections with various local businesses from different industries. Getting your website featured on their websites will elevate your brand’s profile and drive more local audiences to your business.
ADVANCED LOCAL SEO TIPS
Now that we’ve clarified all the fundamentals and basics of local SEO optimization, let’s look at some advanced techniques. These simple, additional techniques will help your business website outperform other companies and their local SEO strategies –
A professional local SEO expert will perform all these steps to create a robust online profile for your business. Their ultimate aim? Obtain a permanent spot in Google’s top three rankings for your business’s most relevant local search terms.
But, building and sustaining a strong local SEO strategy takes time, patience, research, and repetition. Still unsure about your business website’s local SEO strategy? Look up “local SEO expert near me” now and receive professional assistance!
Through our local SEO strategies, you can be found in the search results and turn local traffic into customers.
Through our local SEO strategies, you can be found in the search results and turn local traffic into customers.