Has the global pull of the internet got you thinking local SEO isn’t important? I sure hope not. If you are, you definitely need a basic guide to SEO for beginners to get more up to speed on things. Everyone in business needs to understand and appreciate local SEO. 

Local SEO involves taking deliberate steps to optimize your content so that search engine web-crawlers generating local search results relevant to your products include your content as noticeably as possible. It goes above basic SEO practices to include GBP compliance, localized content, NAP consistency on local directories, etc. Your business needs to be more than just online; it must be present and accessible in the local community.

Let’s discuss local SEO for small businesses and how to do it. I’ll use some of my professional experiences in the discussions so you understand why local SEO is important.

What Exactly Is Local SEO?

I’ve come across many definitions, and most of them read something like this: 

“Local SEO is a process of tweaking your website, social media, and all online publications to increase the odds of dominating local search results.”

It aims to dominate local search results for products and services in a particular city or town. It increases the odds of showing up in a potential customer’s search results, making it easier for them to find and contact you. 

If you do local SEO right, you won’t attract just attention. Given the local nature of things, that attention enjoys the benefit of trust. This trustworthiness is crucial for small businesses trying to carve out a chunk of the competitive local market.

How Local SEO Differs from Traditional SEO

Traditional SEO optimizes a website for broader, more general search terms. For example, cosmetics suppliers’ keywords would likely be “best skincare” or “genuine beauty products.” 

Local SEO still considers all these broad factors but adds a location-based element. 

It’s about optimizing for local search intent, not just general online searches. It’s about targeting customers in a specific geographic area and making your business more visible to them.

Therefore, local SEO demands extra attention to certain elements, which we shall discuss later. But first, let’s get rid of any SEO doubts you might have by reading this post – is SEO really necessary for a websites success?

Why Local SEO Is Important

Let’s use some imagination to make this message as vivid as possible. Since you’re presumably in business, imagine yourself in an office, store, or workshop. Dozens of customers come to purchase from you daily because they know and trust you. 

Now, imagine you had to move your business to a different location. Suddenly, you’re in an unfamiliar area and have to start from scratch. Your existing clients won’t likely follow you, and the new people around you likely don’t know your business exists. 

Will you continue using the same marketing strategies you used in your old location? Of course not! Instead, you’ll focus on attracting customers closer to your new location. 

All the SEO you had done earlier may continue bringing in traffic, but the bulk of this traffic won’t turn into customers because it’s not targeted at your new location. 

Enter: Local SEO! Local SEO is critical for brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses that serve a specific area. Optimizing their local online presence helps them attract customers from their specific geographic area.

With local SEO, you can reach many potential customers in your area. Furthermore, mobile search is rising, so local SEO is becoming more critical than ever.

To summarize, local SEO for small businesses is important because it helps with:

  • Enhancing visibility in local searches.
  • Connecting with a targeted audience.
  • Building trust and credibility.
  • Driving foot traffic to physical locations.

Most people are likely to trust a business that appears at the top of local searches. Businesses must jump through many hoops to appear at the top of local search results; a fishy enterprise can’t overcome them. 

How to Do Local SEO for Business

I’m always keen to compile all the best practices for local SEO, so let’s dive right in:

1. Claim Your Google Business Profile

The first and foremost step to local SEO is getting your business listed on Google’s Business platform. It’s free, easy, and inarguably the most influential online marketing tool for businesses targeting a specific area.

Your GBP listing appears on Google Maps when people search for directions, making it easier for potential customers to find you. 

Your GBP listing is also linked to your website; it’s easier for internet users in the area to land on your site. Additionally, when customers leave reviews on your GBP page, it can help boost your local SEO rankings.

2. Get Listed in Local Directories

Online directories such as Yelp and Yellow Pages are essential for local businesses. These directories allow people to find businesses based on their location and services offered. Claiming your listing in these directories helps boost your online visibility.

Also, keep your information consistent across all directories, including your business name, address, and phone number. Inconsistent information can confuse search engines and negatively impact your local SEO efforts.

3. Utilize Social Media

Social media is a very rich source for all the local SEO juices you need, as most folks connect with fellow locals on social media. It’s on platforms like Facebook where locals also form niche communities to solve problems collectively. 

I always advise businesses to create a social media presence and regularly post about their products or services.

Have a page, post regularly, and engage with your followers. You can also run location-based ads on social media to target potential customers in a specific area.

4. Optimize Your Website for Local Keywords

Folks search for products near them all the time, and you want to rank high in those searches. The keywords a user enters into a search engine are crucial for local SEO. 

For example, if you run a bakery in Seattle, you want to optimize your website for keywords such as “Seattle bakery,” “bakery near me,” or “best bakery in Seattle.”

Embed such keywords in your web copywriting, title tags, image alt tags, and meta descriptions. It indicates to search engines that your business is relevant to those specific locations, boosting your visibility for local searches.

Moreover, you can also blog about ongoing events in your local area and publish different location pages for each of your business locations, if applicable. 

5. Collaborate with Local Influencers

Local influencers have a strong social media presence and a large following in your area. Collaborating with them can help increase your brand’s visibility and reach more potential customers.

You can partner with local influencers and convince them to post your products via giveaways or reviews. Their audience trusts their recommendations, so getting them to endorse your business can be highly effective.

Moreover, collaborating with local influencers allows you to tap into their network of followers, many of whom may not have heard about your business before. It can help you expand your reach and attract new customers in the local community.

Local SEO Services vs. DIY Approach

Most business owners are busy people running businesses that touch on their passions. Most of the clients I’ve worked with knew they needed to do SEO, but they didn’t have the time nor the expertise to learn and execute it themselves.

Moreover, there’s a reason people and businesses specialize in different areas. SEO is complex, and search algorithms and the game keeps changing. It demands constant learning and adaptation; it’s not something you can learn overnight, let alone master.

That’s why hiring a local SEO service can greatly benefit your business. These professionals have experience and knowledge in optimizing websites for local searches. They can also help you create a personalized digital marketing plan. 

Apart from expertise, local SEO also demands that you have access to the right tools and social networks. It’s easier for established local SEO services in your area to connect with other businesses, influencers, and media outlets. 

But if you’re up for the challenge, you can take a DIY approach to local SEO. Start by reading this post, “SEO for Small Businesses: What You Need to Know.”

Final Thoughts on Local SEO

Whether to hire a local SEO service or take a DIY approach depends on your business’s needs and resources. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s essential to carefully consider which one will be the best fit for you.

What’s for sure is that you need to have a strong online presence in today’s market. With more people turning to the internet for their purchasing decisions, having a well-optimized website and digital marketing strategy is crucial for success.

Whether you choose to work with a local SEO service or tackle it yourself, always remember that SEO is an ongoing process. You’ll need wits and grit to keep up as search algorithms evolve and consumer behavior changes.

Ultimately, local SEO aims to make it easier for potential customers in your area to find and choose your business. 

To find out more about our local search engine optimization package, click here.

Jarod Thornton

Author Jarod Thornton

I love working on WordPress development!

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