Local SEO is one of the best tools you have to reach local customers. When used properly, local SEO allows you to market your products and services to people who live in your geographical region. Local SEO provides quick and efficient results, which is helpful when running a sale, launching a new product or starting a new business.
Let’s break down what local SEO is, why it’s important and tips for helping you develop a strong local SEO strategy that includes Google’s local 3-pack.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO promotes your business’ visibility on local-based searches. It is a type of SEO that has the goal of getting your business found based on specific geographical locations. Geographical regions can be identified by city, state, zip code or ‘near me’ searches.
If you have a local business, or an office that people visit frequently, local SEO is a great way to get your business noticed. By showing up in the local searches, you can get more phone calls, more appointments and more sales, helping you grow your business to a new level.
Why is Local SEO Important?
Trillions of searches are done each year on Google. Google’s algorithm is strict and precise, and it makes it a priority to show the best, most accurate results first. By utilizing local SEO, you can cut through the noise and get your business found by a local, niche audience.
Here are the main reasons why local SEO is vital to your business.
- Rank higher in the local search results. Local SEO helps you rank higher in the local search listings. When a local customer searches for products and services related to yours, they will see your business first. Consider that 64% of local customers use Google and other search engines to find local businesses.
- Create good first impressions. For many customers, the first interaction they have with a business starts on Google. People don’t want to work any harder than they have to, so help customers out by making your business easy to find.
- Advertise your business for free. Like regular SEO, local SEO is free advertising for your business. Start by searching for keywords related to your business and optimizing your content with them. Also, to be relevant, consider your audience and how they might search for your products and services.
- Don’t miss out to your competitors. Local mobile searches often end with a purchase, either in-store or online. You don’t want to miss out on these sales. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a local SEO strategy, you could be handing these sales to your competitors. Not only can you capture sales from local customers but also visitors, tourists and other people passing through.
Local SEO and Google’s Local 3-Pack
Local SEO can help your business make it onto Google’s local 3-pack – a spot you definitely want to be on. The local 3-pack features the top three search results to provide users with the best experience. In the past, Google displayed the top seven results, but with the rise in smartphones, the search giant reduced the number to three.
The local 3-pack feature three business listings, along with their addresses, phone numbers and direction links. This is why the local 3-pack is coveted territory. Not only is your business more likely to be found, but also it’s easy to be contacted through phone or a physical visit.
Furthermore, this Moz study reported that 44% of people who performed a local search clicked on one of the local 3-pack listings. Only 8% clicked on “more local results.” This confirms that users usually find what they’re looking for in the first three results.
Tips for Improving Local SEO
As you can see, local SEO is an important asset for your business. Fortunately, you can take control of your local SEO strategy and start seeing improved results right away. Here are our best tips for local SEO.
- Create a compelling title and description. Your title and description are the first things that your audience will see when searching online. Make a good first impression by telling consumers about your business.
- Make your NAP consistent. Your NAP (name, address, phone number) should be consistent on all directory sites. That includes the smallest details, such as using “avenue” instead of “ave.”
- Get on Google My Business. GMB is a directory like other sites, but it’s one of the most important. To get on GMB, you have to go through a snail mail verification process. Once you prove that you are the business owner, you can set up your GMB page.
- Get online reviews. Social proof is important because it shows people that you are a credible and trustworthy business. Ask customers to share their experiences in a review so that other people can read them.
- Create local content. Content can help you reach a local audience. Remember, people are searching for answers related to your business, so consider some of frustrations your local audience may be experiencing.
To answer our original question – how important is local SEO for your business? – it’s very important. With a local SEO strategy, you can reach more customers and successfully grow your business.