How does local SEO work
When you are a business owner in this day and time who wants to succeed, you have no choice than to keep up with most of the developments in the business sphere. One of such is the need to have an online presence and get familiar with terms like local SEO.
Local SEO which is local search engine optimization is currently among the top mentions on the list of things online business owners need to be seen, heard, and to make profits. To put this to effective use and leap ahead with other business owners, you must first understand what local SEO is.
Read on as we explain local search engine optimization.
What is local SEO?
Let’s put it this way, if you own a physical store, it can be described as a local business. Now, you need people to visit your physical store to be able to make profits. Hence, with a website, you can maximize your reach by targeting as many people located in that geographical area as you can. This targeting is what is aptly described as local SEO.
Local SEO helps you promote your services or products online at the exact time potential customers are searching for them. For example, if someone searched for ‘cleaning service near me’ which is your business, you would show up in search results if you are optimized for local SEO.
The primary purpose of local SEO is to boost your business’ visibility via location-based searches. So, Google looks out for geo qualifiers that show local intent and picks up the person’s geo-location, then the search engine ranks businesses or search results based on the information. These geo qualifiers include ‘near me’ searches, zip code, city, state, and more.
Importance of local SEO
The importance of local SEO for your business all comes down to the stats. The stats don’t lie and can clearly show what you might be missing out on without local SEO in your online game.
- 45% of searches on search engines precisely Google have local intent
- 95% of smartphone users use their smartphones to perform local searches and out of this number, 61% of users have called the business that came up on their search results, 59% have visited the physical location.
- 50% of customers who performed a local search via a mobile device and 34% of customers who performed a local search via tablet or desktop, went to the physical store within a day.
- 18% of local searches lead to at least one sale within one day.
- 78% of location-based searches end in offline purchases.
- 71% of people who make local searches said they performed the search to confirm the existence of the business before visiting the physical location.
In a nutshell, local SEO plays a major role in foot traffic and business revenue. You can’t depend on your limited popularity in your area to reel in more customers and sales. An online presence gives business owners the chance to reach out to customers nearby who may not know of their existence. But this does not happen by creating a website alone. You must optimize for local SEO to get the necessary results.
Local SEO provides your potential clients with the information they need about your business. Usually this depends on how much detail you put out there but if you update details on things like opening and closing hours, pet-friendliness, family-friendliness, free Wifi, and more, your prospects can see accurate information that might be important to them.
Local SEO also helps to drive trust for your business. The more data prospects see, the more trustworthy you seem and the greater the chance of a beneficial business relationship.
Who can benefit from local SEO?
Business owners with a physical store, a website or live page, accurate address or contact information listing their location, and reviews from clients who have used their services or purchased their products are the major groups of people and businesses who can benefit from local SEO.
A business without a website can still use local SEO by having listings and this can contribute to driving leads to the business.
Who can’t benefit from local SEO?
While everyone would love to use local SEO, not everyone can. Some businesses may intentionally refuse to engage in any location-based optimization. These businesses include e-commerce shops, private online sellers, and local authors.
Local SEO basics
Understanding how vital local SEO is a big step. Now, you need to take action with this information and dig into the benefits of local SEO for your business. To improve your local SEO, you must start by updating your business address and other details on Google My Business (GMB). If you haven’t claimed your listing on this platform, it’s a good time to do so. Claim your listing across different directories and update info such as name, address, and phone number – also known as NAP.
Avoid any confusion or discrepancies in these details across listings. Be consistent and accurate with all of them.
Reviews will become a big part of your online business and can impact your local SEO. Respond promptly to reviews in a professional yet engaging manner. Salvage negative reviews as soon as you can and strive to protect your business reputation. There will also be questions or inquiries about your business. It’s important to answer them as clearly as you can and promptly too.
Unsafe or bad local SEO practices
The benefits of local SEO sounds juicy to anyone. Sometimes this motivates business owners to engage in bad or unsafe practices. It’s best to avoid doing any of such to preserve your reputation and truly enjoy local SEO benefits. Here are the bad practices to go avoid as you improve your business’ local SEO:
- Creating GMB listings in ineligible addresses like P.O BOX addresses.
- Sharing phone numbers for different services; thereby confusing clients and Google.
- Trying to stuff keywords in your Google My Business listing names.
- Creating over one page for each location of your business.