What images spring to mind when you think about SEO?
Most people will answer “yes” to both keywords and content marketing.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this is a narrow perspective of SEO, especially in 2022.
Although traditional SEO is still important, businesses need to focus on another aspect that can bring in more customers.
It has very little to do either with how many blogs you are writing or how much content you create to target featured snippets in the results page.
This requires a hyperlocal focus. Customers should be within walking distance of your business.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the optimizations that you make to your site in order to increase traffic to your business and build brand awareness. This is done in order to target specific customers within a particular area, city, or region.
This is a way to rank high in local search results that include Map Pack/Local Pack by Google.
Local SEO is so important
Google’s ranking of websites in response to queries has changed significantly. It is not about keywords that users type in their queries. Google’s algorithm is much more accurate in determining the intent behind the query.
Ranking factors include user intent. This is a great opportunity for businesses to capitalize and ensure their business appears before people searching in their area for their products or services.
Take into account that 46% of all Google searches include local intent. This means that the vast majority of Google searches are for information that is relevant to their area.
Even more remarkable are the conversion metrics. A staggering 80% of local searches result in a conversion. The number of queries that include “near me”, a keyword that includes the word “near me”, has increased by more than 500% over the past few years. This highlights the fact that people are searching for information about their local area more than ever.
Here are some best practices for improving your local SEO
Make your Google My Business profile
An important part of any local SEO strategy is a Google My Business profile. Google trusts information it can verify and shares it only when it has verified it. Each profile is individually verified by the company.
Begin by creating and verifying a Google My Business profile.
Google Posts can be used within your account to encourage customers and others to leave reviews online. You can also provide Google with exact information about your business including contact details and a description of your services.
Use the Google Map Pack
The Map Pack, also known as the Google 3-Pack is displayed at the top of search results pages for queries with a local intent. The pack includes three businesses Google considers the best match for the query.
These businesses get lots of visibility because they are placed above the first search results.
Every business should strive to be in the 3-Pack. You will need to optimize your efforts.
Google can help you understand the purpose of your business so it can show it prominently when it responds to local searches. Keywords that are relevant to your business should include phrases and words.
It’s a bit like backlinking, but for local businesses. Although SEO has seen a lot of changes, backlinking remains a solid strategy. Google will likely begin to rank your content higher if you have high-quality backlinks.
It uses a similar approach for local businesses.
Google considers local citations to be a ranking factor. Local citations are any place your business’ name, address, phone number, and contact information appears online. These listings are usually found on local directories like Yelp and Bing Places.
Google will rank you higher in the 3-Pack if there are more citations.
Local audience in mind when creating content
Content marketing should be part of your digital marketing strategy. Make sure you are creating content that has a local focus. Content marketing is about writing in a broad sense to reach as many people as possible.
Although you should still do that, local content will improve your website’s ranking when someone searches for it in Google.
This will allow you to be the authority in your area on the topic. Educational content can help you bring more people to your website.
They are more likely to convert if they find helpful content and they are actively searching for a service.
Local SEO should be a cornerstone of your online marketing strategy
It’s not easy to market online these days. There are many online marketing platforms, each with its own advantages. It can quickly become overwhelming to try and reach audiences on all these platforms.
Local SEO is unique because it doesn’t require any active maintenance but can produce tangible and long-lasting results when done correctly.
People are already searching for the solution. Make it easy for them!
It takes only a little bit of focus with local SEO to make sure that Google recommends your business.