It’s no secret that the Internet has evolved into the most useful traffic tool that business owners can take advantage of. In fact, having a strong online presence is necessary if you want to keep your revenue as high as possible. Local optimization or local SEO is needed if your business is local
But, there’s a difference between organic SEO and local SEO, and not everyone knows how to handle them appropriately.
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about local optimization.
So… What Is Local Search?
As the name implies, the user’s geographical location (and that of the business) is taken into consideration. For example, searching a query like ‘movers in San Francisco’ will let Google know that you’re looking for businesses in your area.
These results appear directly
Additionally, Google will occasionally assume that you’re looking for a nearby product or service when you search. Food, for example, is often assumed to be local.
A query like ‘birthday cake’ would likely result in multiple nearby bakeries showing up on the search results.
So, local SEO is the process of increasing the likelihood that your business will show up at the top of Google’s results if someone is either:
- In the area looking for a product or service
- Looking for a product or service in a specific location
Unlike Google’s regular search results, Google only lists three businesses underneath the search bar (you’ll need to click on a drop-down icon to see the rest of them). As you may expect, it can be difficult for businesses that aren’t listed a the top to get traffic to their website.
What About Organic Search?
Queries that don’t take a geographical location into consideration are known as ‘organic’ searches. These are listed throughout Google’s search results pages (where you would typically expect to find them).
As such, organic searches could be thought of as ‘regular’ searches that people make. But, it plays a role in local search, too.
For example, let’s use the aforementioned ‘birthday cake’ term. Although searching ‘birthday cake will display local SEO search results in your area, it may also include local businesses in the organic search results.
Even though you may not place highly on Google’s ‘local search’ segment of their results, local SEO will help your site rank higher for organic searches.
How to Optimize Local SEO
Although organic and local SEO are relatively similar, they require different strategies when it comes to fine-tuning them. In fact, focusing too much on organic search as a local business could prove to waste both your time and money.
Let’s explore how to ensure your local SEO tactics are up to par.
This section of your company’s site should immediately answer your audience’s basic questions. Where your business is located and what you provide are the two most important.
Your page’s header tag, title tag, and meta description should include this information in order for Google’s algorithm to better understand your website.
It’s also a good idea to include relevant keywords on this page, as well. This will help your organic ranking (even if someone is making a local search).
Your ‘Google My Business’ Page
One of the most significant ways you can boost your local SEO is to claim your Google My Business page. In fact, it’s essential if you want your company to be displayed in the local search segment of Google’s results.
If your company happens to have multiple locations, you’ll need to claim all of their business pages. While this extra effort may give you a headache at first, you can manage all locations from a single account.
So, if you need to update information in the future, you likely won’t have an issue.
Prioritize Social Media
A Facebook Business Page for your company won’t always significantly increase your local search traffic, but it’s objectively better than not having one.
Other platforms are useful, too, if you have a social media strategy in place. Instagram, for example, is a great place for a food-based business or restaurant to post pictures of their food, recipes, etc.
You’ll also find that many of your local customers will first learn about your brand through social media, prompting them to visit your location. First impressions are still important when they’re online, though, so make sure you have a clearly-defined voice and message for your brand and content.
Handle Reviews Carefully (And Encourage Them)
Many people check Google Reviews before visiting a business for the first time. If they’re predominantly positive, there’s little to worry about.
However, if your business is new and has few reviews (or none at all), customers will lack trust. So, encourage your current customers to leave a review on Google and give a brief summary of their experience.
The way to do this is to offer a coupon for a future purchase in exchange for an online review.
If you happen to receive negative reviews, respond to them politely and give that individual a way to contact you so that you can work things out. This level of self-accountability is something many potential customers will appreciate and will make them feel more confident in their decision.
Local Optimization for SEO Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
By implementing these local optimization strategies, you’ll be well on your way strengthening your online presence and increasing revenues.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.