More and more small businesses are opting to hone their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts in their local areas. Local SEO is one of the fastest-growing digital marketing sectors, and for good reasons – it works. In this article, we take a look at some of the reasons local SEO is so effective and popular and why small businesses should invest in its strategy.
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What Exactly Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a type of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that focuses on optimizing a business’s online presence for geographically related searches. Its main goal is to increase the visibility and prominence of a company or brand in local search results, making it easier for potential customers in the same geographical area to find them. This is achieved by optimizing various elements of a business’s online presence, such as its website, Google My Business listing, and other directories.
Local SEO differs from other types of SEO in that it focuses specifically on local search results rather than organic or nationwide search results. For example, if a user searches for “pizza near me”, the search engine will display a map with local pizza restaurants rather than a list of the most popular pizza restaurants nationwide. In this case, the search engine uses the user’s location to provide the most relevant results.
Another difference between local and other types of SEO is the elements that are optimized as a priority. In local SEO, it is crucial to have accurate and consistent NAP – Name, Address, Phone- information, as well as high-quality photos and customer reviews.
Additionally, local SEO agencies such as Avita digital marketing Calabasas optimize their research in order to find specific local keywords, which can then be used within a local SEO strategy to boost a brand’s relevancy and visibility in local search results. Image and video metadata also need to be edited so as to ‘catch’ local searching parties that are specifically interested in finding services near them. High-quality backlinking – using blogs, news articles, and other prose media – is also tailored to include geographically specific keywords.
Increased Local Visibility
Businesses with largely local target audiences typically want to increase their visibility within their local area because they know that this is where their customers will almost always come from. Local SEO tactics are designed to craft a business’s online presence into the ‘go to’ top search result when a local person searches for goods and services.
Driving Foot Traffic
Unlike traditional SEO – which is designed to increase web traffic from a very broad area – local SEO strategies aim to draw in traffic from people that might one day be able to step foot inside a business. Foot traffic is heavily dependent upon search engine success.
According to data collated by Statista, vast quantities of people conduct locality-specific searches for businesses – often before finding a place to actually lend their custom. Local searches conducted on mobile devices are increasing in number every year. In 2019 there were an estimated 141.9 billion local business searches conducted on mobile devices in the United States. People frequently use their phones to search for local businesses when they are on the move, looking for a place to stop, shop, or eat.
Reaching The People that Actually Matter
Search Engine Optimization is all about efficiency. SEO professionals look to try and figure out what the target audience of a business is before trying to tailor online content to that audience. To this end, they make use of local keyword research, as mentioned earlier.
Local keyword research is a technique used in SEO to identify keywords and phrases that are specific to a particular geographical location. It is important for businesses that serve a specific geographic area, such as a city, region, or country, to perform local keyword research in order to optimize their website for local search results.
By using local keywords in website content, meta tags, and alt tags, businesses can improve their visibility in local search results and attract more customers who are searching for products and services in their area. For example, if a company operates a restaurant in New York, it would be advantageous to include local keywords such as “New York restaurant” or “NYC dining” in its website content, as these terms are likely to be used by people searching for restaurants in that area.
Good local keyword research generally involves finding terms that are much more specific than ‘NYC dining’. It typically involves in-depth research into the kinds of things that local people might look for in a business. Local people might, for instance, be after organic dining in the area in large numbers. An SEO professional would develop keywords that directly target local people with an interest in organic food – such as ‘non GMO New York’.
Local keyword research helps businesses to understand their target audience and optimize their online presence for maximum exposure and impact. It helps businesses efficiently target the people who might actually want to use them and aims to reduce the amount of time and effort spent targeting audiences that may never step foot in the local area.
Enhanced Trust Levels
Trust plays a huge part in the success a business has within its local area. When a business is visible in local search results, it increases its credibility and trust levels among potential customers. People tend to trust companies that are easily accessible and visible in their area. When a business appears in local search results, it gives them a sense of legitimacy and credibility, making it more likely for them to attract customers.
When a business has a well-optimized Google My Business listing, complete with accurate information, photos, and customer reviews, it further increases trust levels. Online reviews play a crucial role in local SEO, as they provide potential customers with a glimpse into the experiences of past customers. The more positive reviews a business has, the more likely potential customers are to trust them.
Local SEO strategies prioritize tactics that increase the trust that a local community has in a business. The use of reviews, data included in mapping applications, and blogs posted in local media sources all help to build geographically located trust in a company. The more trust a local community has in a business, the more positive word-of-mouth publicity will be generated.
Unlike businesses aiming at national and international communities, small businesses rely heavily upon the willingness of local people to recommend them to their neighbors, friends, and workmates. Organic word-of-mouth publicity is extremely hard to generate without the trust of community members.