Importance of Local SEO

If you want to buy flowers for your friend’s birthday, if you are looking for a pizza place that is open at midnight or if you want to know the work hours of the nearest vet, the first thing you do is to look up the information online. By doing that, you perform a local search and the results you get are optimized specifically for your area, using local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Search engine optimization, in general, is a tool websites use to get more traffic from targeted audience and get higher ranks on search engines. It relies on using the right keywords in the right place. Local SEO on the other hand is a little more specific. According to the local SEO guide by Miromind experts, “Local SEO is a branch of SEO which has the focus on geo-specific search. A local SEO campaign entails usage of geo-specific keywords and utilization of local ranking factors to get a website to the top of organic local search results.” Millions of people use it daily to find local businesses or check their contact information and reviews. So, it is a cheap and effective way to promote and advertise your business online to the people who live in your area.

Why is it important?

First, let’s talk numbers. According to a local search study conducted by comScore, Neustar Localeze and agency 15 Miles, 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases and 50% of local customers who make a local search end up visiting the store on the exact same day. The data speaks for itself. If you want more customers and more sales, employ local SEO properly, as we will show you later, and cash the benefits.

Another great importance of local SEO is getting your business’ website ranked high. Google and other search engines now deliver results based on the user’s IP address to make the UX (user experience) even better. Local SEO will boost your ranking on the engines and might even get you on the first page of search results. Being on the first page will help your business reach even more targeted traffic because 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.

Furthermore, using local SEO is cost-effective. You do not have to publish advertisements here and there to reach customers. The customers will find YOU when they need you. You just provide your information and they will come for you. Using local SEO is free and claiming your business on online business directories is free, unless you hire a professional to manage it for you.

How to utilize it?

Google cares a lot about its UX, it is always working on and updating its features, which plays greatly in your favor. One of the tools it offers is Google My Business. A way for you to register your business, add pictures, publish posts and, most importantly, add your address and contact information. It also makes it easy for you to communicate with your visitors by commenting on their reviews and answering their messages. Plus, you get added to Google Maps and you get to know how customers find you. All of that is free so if you are not registered there yet, go do it now. Next, you have to verify your listing on Google by post, phone or email.

Do not stop there, add your business to all the online business directories but make sure your NAP (name, address and phone number) remain consistently across them all.

Now, as we mentioned before, local SEO is a branch of SEO, so all of the SEO strategies also apply here. You need to optimize all of your landing pages with local keywords and make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Another tip to improve your local SEO is citation. It is when a third-party cites your business or website as a reference by containing your name or contact information. It is great to spread the knowledge about your business even further.

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