Local SEO: What You Need to Know About It

Local SEO: What You Need to Know About It

Every year, things become more digitized and automated. This means that if you’re still relying on snail mail, print media, or word-of-mouth marketing to drive business, your business is missing out on a big opportunity to thrive in its community. In fact, the majority of customers in today’s world use search engines like Google to find products and services. This means that optimizing a business’s online presence is more critical than ever. This is where local SEO (search engine optimization) comes into play: local SEO can be a powerful tool that helps businesses like yours improve their visibility and attract local customers. Consider the following basics about local SEO and how your business can take steps to leverage the benefits of local SEO most effectively—

Local SEO: What’s That? 

Let’s start with building an understanding of what search engine optimization actually is. SEO is the process of optimizing a business’s online presence so that search engines can more easily identify it as relevant to a user’s search query. This is important because users tend to click on the first one or two results at the top of the search engine’s results page—if a website isn’t listed there, it’s unlikely that the user will visit it. 

Local SEO expounds on the basic tenets of SEO in that it enables businesses to enhance their visibility in local search results and attract more customers in a specific geographic area. This can be critical for smaller businesses that may be competing with larger competitors. 

What Goes Into Local SEO?

Local SEO takes more than just adding a location keyword into the content and hoping that the search engine picks up on it. As outlined in insights from Forbes Advisor’s comprehensive guide, key elements of local SEO include: 

  • Setting up (and optimizing!) a Google My Business page. Google My Business is a completely free online tool provided by Google. The tool allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google’s various platforms, like Google Maps and Google Search. Not only should you set up a Google My Business account, but you should also make sure that your Google My Business listing is optimized with images and reviews, as well as up-to-date, accurate information. 
  • Consistent naming and local citations. It’s important that other businesses and users share information about your business with their local network; this will help to boost your SEO. In order to ensure that this is as optimized as possible, it’s key that the information about your business is consistent across platforms/hosting areas. This means that you need to make sure your business name, address, contact information, etc. is consistent everywhere you put it. 
  • Online reviews. Having online reviews from local users is one of the best ways to build your brand, period—the local SEO boost is just another added benefit. You can encourage users to leave reviews by emailing them directly, using social media, or otherwise incentivizing reviews. 
  • Local link building. Just as you want other local businesses to share information about your business, so too should you be sharing information about theirs. By linking to other local businesses, places, people, etc., Google’s algorithms will be better able to recognize your business’s credibility in local search. 
  • Localized content. Of course, posting content that has a local flair can help with your local SEO efforts. Use your website and social media accounts to sponsor local events, talk about community issues, and mention local events and news. 

What Should I Do Next? Actionable Tips for Business Owners

Boosting your local SEO can seem easier said than done. In truth, it requires a concentrated and consistent effort and, in many cases, an expert knowledge of online marketing and search engine optimization best practices. That being said, there are a few things that you can do now, even if you’re not a local SEO professional, that align with the key elements of local SEO discussed above. These include:

  1. Claim and verify your Google My Business listing. Check to make sure all information listed is accurate. Add a business description and high-quality photos, and tag relevant categories. 
  2. Do a quick audit to identify your business in local directories and its social media profile. Is the name, address, phone number or/and email address consistent across all? If not, update. 
  3. Start thinking about ways to encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews. Sometimes, a direct ask is the best way! A marketing specialist can help you to design creative campaigns to drive reviews. 

Developing localized content and engaging in local link-building are action items that are often better left to a professional. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start to generate some ideas of the type of content you’d like your website and social media accounts to feature. 

Start Optimizing for Local SEO Today

There’s no doubt that local SEO can be a powerful tool for improving businesses’ online visibility, attracting more local customers, and ultimately improving their bottom line. For help understanding the power of local SEO and how you can optimize for local, reach out to Too Darn Loud Marketing directly. Our marketing professionals are here to help you with all of your digital marketing needs. 

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