A survey by Local SEO firm BrightLocal found that 97% of consumers used the Internet to find a local business in 2017. It also found that 12% of consumers are looking for a business online every day. These statistics clearly illustrate the importance of having your business rank well in local search results.
The best way to improve your local search rank is via local search optimization (SEO). It uses a variety of SEO techniques to push your websites and social media pages to the top of search results for local key phrases — ensuring that consumers find your business easily when searching locally.
This guide will take a closer look at local search optimization and the benefits of having it performed on your website.
The primary goal of local search optimization is to dominate search engine results for the key phrases consumers use when looking for local businesses. For example, if you are a dentist located in Calgary, local SEO would help you dominate the search engine rankings for terms like “Calgary Dentist” or “Best Dentist in Calgary”.
Local search optimization also promotes your website on secondary search sites, review sites, and business listing websites. This include websites and social media platforms like Google My Business, Google+ Local, Yelp!, Bing Places, Apple Maps, Facebook, LinkedIn, Localeze, Infogroup, Acxiom, and Factual.
Some of the techniques used for local SEO include:
There are some very compelling reasons for having local SEO performed including:
Google, Bing and other search engines have shown a preference for listing local businesses at the top of search results that mention geographic locations. When a person searches for “Barber in Calgary” search engines will often show a map displaying barbers in the local area. The data in this map is drawn from sources like Google My Business and Bing Places.
Most consumers will use this map to find a local business and will not scroll down to see other search results. If you haven’t perform local SEO, your business may not be included in the top local search engine results.
The BrightLocal survey mentioned earlier also found that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This indicates how important it is for your business to have positive reviews published on Google My Business, Yelp! Facebook and other sites.
In the case of Google, reviews of your business are listed directly under a map that often appears first in search engine results (see image below). If you have a low star rating in this ratings box, your chances of attracting a new customer are extremely low. Local SEO uses a variety of techniques to boost your reviews, helping you to attract more customers.
The popularity of mobile devices including smart phones, tablets, and smart watches continues to grow at a rapid pace. When people search on these devices, they are often given results based on their current location.
Unfortunately, if your business is not promoted using local SEO it may not even appear on the user’s device. Running a local SEO campaign will ensure that someone searching for Barber in Calgary will see your business appear near the top of the results page.
Search engines like Google are learning more about their customers and their search preferences. Many search engines are starting to use information like a person’s geographical location to build individualized search engine results. Local SEO is essential if you want your business to appear for people receiving these individualized results.
There is much more competition online today, with millions of new businesses creating websites each year. That means ranking well for a term like “barber” is becoming extremely difficult. The importance of ranking for key phrases like “Best barber in Calgary” or “local barber near me” is becoming much more important.
Business review sites like Yelp! rank well on search engines and attract millions of visitors each year. Using local SEO helps your business rank well on these sites and encourage positive reviews — allowing you to capture additional customers from these third party sites.
Thanks for reading What Is Local Search Optimization and Why You Should Have It Done. For more information on local search engine optimization, contact us today.