Nathan Gaidai
Nathan Gaidai
Table of Contents

What is Local SEO?

Table of Contents

Local SEO is an often discussed topic, especially among those who are just starting their business and that try to boost their presence and customer flow. It is a great tool if you want to be discovered by a local audience, especially if you have a small business or you specialize inc certain services.

Before diving into the details of local SEO, it is important to emphasize that SEO and local SEO differ. We will describe the main differences between these two further in the blog. Lastly, if you wonder why you would need local SEO and if it is an option worth exploring, note that 46% of all Google searches are made with local intent therefore, you will need to keep an eye on boosting your local – online presence.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a marketing technique relying on search engine optimization to increase your online presence and visibility within certain search results. It is increasing your visibility locally for those who intend to find products or services in the local area. In this sense, a local area is understood as a geographical location – town, city, or community which is often targeted in search results by using “near me” next to the keyword or as an addition to an explicitly named area.

Approximately 8.5 billion Google searches are made every day, and almost half of these searches are targeting the local sphere, which makes local SEO extremely important for small businesses or those companies that target a specific area.

To apply local SEO correctly, small businesses usually hire SEO experts that use several functions that impact search engines. Some of the most effective tactics that are applied to boost your local SEO include:

  • Google My Business, about which we talk further in the blog
  • Reviews on local review sites respond to them in a timely and professional manner
  • Optimizing a website for the local search algorithm is important for boosting your business in a certain area
  • Social media helps you develop a reputation and visibility
  • Monitoring the competitive search landscape
  • Location-specific website copy

Optimizing your website requires certain actions that help boost your website traffic. It can include a variety of tools and actions which are related to the content you are displaying on your website, regardless of the product and service you provide.

Creating high-quality, relevant content can include any form starting from blog posts, videos, podcasts, animations, and more. The content should be followed by appropriate images and optimized content metadata. Using images makes a website visually attractive to users, especially if choosing high-quality images, while content metadata helps to explain content to search engines.

Moving on, many experts that deal with local SEO and SEO, in general, think that the key to making content valuable for your audience is to have keyword research first. Image optimization also involves using keywords in the file name, alt text, and description.

Great content also includes built-in internal links that are important for the Google algorithm and serve to generate visits to your site, which is fundamental to your SEO efforts. External links are also very important, and to have an idea of where to find them, it’s a good idea to check where your competitors are getting theirs from. Lastly, ensure they always point to relevant parts of your site and that the anchor text (clickable text with links) is understandable.

As further steps to optimize content, you can ensure the site is fully responsive on mobile devices and provide a positive user experience. Mobile Responsiveness includes the adjustability of your website to look good and work across all screen sizes appropriately.

Another step is providing a positive user experience with a consistent color scheme and simple layout. Additionally, ensure all displayed information is easy to understand and provides genuine value to the user.

Talking further about building local reputation, often referred to as local link building. This means owners should include local citations with mentions of their business and their website on other local sites besides theirs. When Google sees that the same information exists across a wide range of authoritative websites, this trust can be passed on to your business website.

Difference Between SEO and Local SEO

As we mentioned in the beginning, SEO and local SEO are different, and one should be familiar with several important differences between them. Learning the difference between traditional SEO and local SEO is crucial if you wish to apply both effectively, especially when implementing a local-specific strategy in place.

Traditional SEO focuses on improving your site’s visibility and boosting traffic towards your site, which targets a national or global scale. Unlike traditional SEO, the focus of local SEO allows you to capture local search territory. If we compare tactics used to conduct traditional SEO with local SEO, they are completely different.

Traditional SEO tools are:

  • Conduct keyword research and target relevant keywords on your website
  • Create quality, in-depth content about your industry, products, and services
  • Speed up your website’s load time
  • Streamline your code and navigation
  • Earn backlinks from reputable websites to improve your domain authority

As visible, even though these tactics are not identical, it is impossible to draw a line between traditional vs. local SEO. They visibly overlap between the two strategies, traditional SEO will help local SEO and vice versa if done correctly.

Tools of local SEO

Some of the best tools and platforms that one can use to apply this type of SEO include the Local Pack, the Local Finder, Google My Business, localized organic results, and Google Maps.

The Google Local Pack

The Local Pack helps you rank at the top of the search engine results page (SERP), focusing on a local search. The three most relevant results that Local Pack includes, determined by Google’s search algorithm, are distinctly separate from the remaining organic search results.

Being featured in three top-ranking results on Google’s Local Pack is one of the most impactful tactics for any local business since they enjoy the most clicks, which impacts higher sales and profits.

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The Google Local Finder

The Google Local Finder is an extended listing of local businesses by clicking on the ‘More Places’ link at the bottom of Google’s Local Pack.

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The Google My Business

Google My Business is a free web tool that helps local businesses achieve higher visibility on Google Search.

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This way, using GMB and optimizing your listing and pages can help businesses rank higher and attract more customers, as it is one of the most efficient local SEO tools. If your business, or the business you’re working with, doesn’t have GBP, it’ll be impossible to feature in the Local Pack, Local Finder, or Google Maps. Once you set up the profile on GMB, you need to make certain optimization steps, such as adding photos and writing a keyword-optimized business description.

Some of the other information and tactics that need to be implemented to make your GMB work better must include: keeping the information up to date, adding new photos and videos, creating new Google Posts, interacting with your audience through GBP Q&A, and requesting Google reviews. In this way, the GBP will appear on the right of the SERPs when someone specifically searches for the business.

The Google Maps

Google Maps uses information and results in data from GMB for Maps results in the same way as it does for the Local Pack and Finder. Google Maps displays a long list of results, increasing the chances of your business being featured in results from a broader area and boosting your business revenues.

Localized Organic Results Google Search

Localized organic results are created using a local search algorithm determined by on-page optimization, links, and behavioral signals.

Who needs local SEO?

It has been widely discussed that local SEO only benefits a certain small circle of businesses targeting the local context and does not have wider aspirations. This is not entirely in line with the possibilities of local SEO which can bring benefits to many different business types, such as:

  • local businesses;
  • SEO agencies working with local clients;
  • multi-location brands and franchises; and
  • service-area businesses (SABs).

Local businesses that benefit most from this optimization include medical, legal, hospitality, real estate, pet, and fitness venues. Similarly, service area businesses that can benefit from local SEO are plumbers, electricians, builders, cleaners, pest controllers, and locksmiths.

What are the Benefits of Local SEO?

There are numerous benefits to implementing a local SEO strategy. They include being able to reach more people, drive more conversions, and build your reputation. When you successfully achieve these outcomes, it’s natural to expect your business to grow.

Better visibility in the local search results will lead to more people discovering your brand. From here, the searcher might visit your GMB, click through your website, or decide to visit your business in person.

Appearing in the Local Pack is one of the best ways to reach potential local customers, and successfully ranking here should be an SEO priority. However, it’s not just the Local Pack that you should pay attention to.

Increased visibility in map apps can also increase footfall for your business. Google Maps results are not confined to a specific geographical area. On the other hand— as the name suggests—Google Local Finder only delivers search results from the local area. It’s important to note that Google Maps differs from Google Local Finder, and you’ll need to consider both separately.

Regardless of what type of business you’re in, your reputation is imperative to your long-term success. Reputation building is a key component of a strong local SEO strategy. Certain local SEO actions will build your reputation and establish you as a leader within your industry. Reviews are one of the most important aspects of your online reputation because it allows insight into how you deal with unhappy customers and get a perception of your brand. When it comes to earning reviews, it must include excellent customer service!

The 2022 Local Consumer Review Survey revealed that 89% of consumers would be ‘fairly’ or ‘highly’ likely to use a business that responds to all reviews—regardless of whether the reviews are positive or negative. On the other hand, 57% of consumers stated they would be ‘not very’ or ‘not at all likely to use a business that doesn’t respond to reviews at all.

Final remarks

We hope our blog was helpful and that it shed light on possible ways to improve your local SEO stats or maybe consider hiring an expert to help you achieve the best results on a local level. If you have questions or want to consult, contact us at SEO Jokers and grow your dream!

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