What Is Local SEO?

Posted inSearch Engine Optimization

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website to showcase your companies services or products in the area you reside in. Through a variety of processes, your website can appear in Google’s search engine results page, increasing your brand’s visibility. Local SEO is done with a number of resources, Google My Business, Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and much more. 

It doesn’t matter if you sell flowers, pastries, life insurance, or new Volvo cars—a robust local SEO strategy ensures you’re more visible to customers that live within driving distance of your business. In an increasingly crowded (and noisy) marketplace, being visible for the right people at the right time can mean the difference between a constant stream of new customers and a bare trickle. 

That’s a big claim, so let’s take a closer look. 

Let’s Start With the Benefits of a Local SEO Strategy

The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Simply put, this is a series of decisions you can make for your online presence that makes it easier for search engines like Google to both find your business and list the services/products the user is looking for. The easier it is for Google to learn about your business, the more it will be able to recommend it to people who are looking for your products or services. 

For example, if you find yourself suddenly craving croissants but don’t know where to get any, then you might very well find yourself joining the tens of millions of people who ask Google for local recommendations every day. Search queries like “french cafe near me” or “croissants in denver colorado” represent some of the most direct ways of finding the best possible place to satisfy your cravings for buttery, carby goodness. 

Having a local SEO strategy could be beneficial for: 

  • Ranking higher than competitors in your area 
  • Increase brand exposure
  • Increase of online presence
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Build trust and authority 
  • Increased sales and revenue

Local search queries factor in a user’s location to the results they provide. If you’ve ever found yourself Googling for takeout food while at work, you’ve likely noticed you’re getting a different set of results than you do at home. Given that more than 60% of all online searches are now being carried out on mobile devices, being able to consistently get in front of local internet traffic can translate to a significant increase in new customers for businesses. 

How Do Search Engines Use Local SEO?

At the end of the day, search engines like Google exist to help people find answers. Google often updates its search engine with Algorithm updates helping to make the search process more efficient for the user based on a number of factors. 

As a result, Google looks at a wide variety of different factors to determine if something is a good fit for users—especially if a search result is attached to a business or product! This means Google isn’t just going to be looking for matching keywords, but it will also account for factors like online reviews, user experience, page speed and an optimized Google My Business profile, along with geographic factors like the business’ address and the physical location of the person searching. 

Don’t be daunted by the volume of factors that can affect how visible your business is to Google. Instead, think of this as an opportunity to tap into Google’s power more effectively, by optimizing your website with information that will help the best possible prospective customers find your website. 

The Local SEO Toolbox: GMB, Trustworthy Copy & Content

The first thing that any company should do when fine-tuning their website for local searches is to optimize theirGMB listings. GMB (or Google my Business) is a free profile that businesses can register with Google in order to list important information, such as hours, address, and contact information, which is crucial for local SEO best practices. After all, if your customer discovers your GMB profile on a search but can’t find any useful information on it, they’re just going to move on to the next place.

Additionally, Google checks the contents of your GMB listing against your website to ensure they match. This is especially important for businesses that want to take advantage of local SEO, as Google’s algorithms want to point users to actual businesses—and it will be more likely to show websites with a consistent address and contact info. 

Finally, maintaining effective, authoritative, and trustworthy (E.A.T) content is vital for making the most of your local SEO visibility.  The benefit that content serves is twofold. First, it allows you to specifically target keywords on Google to increase your visibility for top and middle of the funnel users. 

Additionally, good content gives audiences a way of engaging with your business, increasing both the odds that they’ll visit the site and become a conversion. For example, if you’re an auto dealership looking to increase the visibility of your service center, then articles like How to Check Your Tire Pressure (and When to Bring Your Car In) or Does Your Car NEED Synthetic Oil? can be uniquely useful in finding customers. 

Finding the Right SEO Help

Local SEO is a powerful campaign to help increase your organic traffic to your website. Without one, you are missing out on an additional channel your competitors may be utilizing, giving them the long-term advantage. Thinking about adding a local SEO strategy to your business, reach out to PIN Business Network to get started and see what your website is missing.

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