Before we dive into exploring how to improve local SEO, let’s make sure we understand what local SEO is. Anyone with a business or website has probably heard about Search Engine Optimisation or ‘SEO’. SEO is essentially the practice of targeting certain keywords, metadata, and other information in an effort to improve your ranking on search engines such as Google.
‘ Local SEO ‘ is SEO that is specific to locality and is based on promoting your business for location-based searches. This includes searches with geographical terms such as city, state or ‘near me’ style searches where google picks up the location of the searcher and provides results from within that area.
Local SEO is important for all businesses, but especially for those that provide services in certain locations or in multiple locations.
According to research by Forbes, 95% of smartphone users have used their phone to perform local searches. Another study by Google showed that 70% of mobile searchers called a business directly from search results.
Improving your local SEO will help improve your business’s rankings and increase your chances of appearing in Google’s local 3-pack list. If you’re not familiar with the 3-pack, search for anything with a location. You’ll see the section that appears with a map and a list of 3 local businesses that most accurately match your search. This list of 3 is the coveted ‘local 3-pack’ that businesses strive to get listed on. This is because the local 3-pack is seen to be a list of the best choices. According to a Moz study, 44% of people who performed a local search chose to click on a listing in that ‘3-pack’ over other listings.
Increasing your local SEO ranking can help you to:
- increase leads
- attract more customers
- get your business ‘out there’
- increase revenue and returns
- increase business growth
One of the first steps to improving your local SEO is increasing your online presence in directories. This can be done using websites such as the Yellowpages, Yelp and any other industry-specific directories.
You not only need to have an online presence, but you need to make sure your business’ NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) and other details, are consistent across all online directories and websites. If there are any discrepancies or inaccuracies, Google may avoid listing your business in the ‘local 3-pack’.
One of the best ways to engage with your customers is through content such as blog posts, video or articles. The content you produce should be consistent and tailored to your intended audience. It also helps to use keywords throughout your content that relate to what your audience may be searching for. Keyword optimisation through content creation is another way that you can increase your rank in google search results.
Along with getting your business listed on local directories, you should also make sure to claim your ‘ Google My Business Profile ‘. This profile is where Google will get a lot of your information to use in search results. With the My Business profile, you can post not only your business’s information but news, events, photos and respond to customer reviews. A company with good reviews is more likely to get business than those with poor or no reviews.
In conclusion, there are many other strategies that you can use to help optimise and improve local SEO. These three that we have talked about today are the essential first steps towards increasing your business’s ranking, customer base and in turn, your revenue.
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