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Local SEO is a crucial component of any local business marketing plan. The importance of local SEO or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become a popular topic in digital marketing over the past several years. In fact, 80% of local searches turn into a customer conversion. SEO uses content marketing, online brand management, and user-focus to target customers and stand out against the competition. That is to say, implementing a comprehensive SEO plan can increase views, conversions, and awareness of a company’s brand.
Knowing the importance of local SEO is crucial for small businesses. It optimizes a business’s brand in a regional area by improving visibility, attracting customers, and managing its online reputation. Local SEO uses all of the same principles as traditional SEO. However, it focuses on improving a company’s position in search results for queries related to a specific area. This is especially true for those operating primarily as a small business. Local SEO allows a small business’s services and products to be offered beyond its physical location to the surrounding region. It does this by increasing online visibility and engaging in brand management. For example, a customer searching for products and services online can read reviews from other customers. They can then compare a business against similar ones. In today’s world, customers are looking for local businesses online. For example, 88% of customers visit or call a store within one day of finding the company online. What’s more: almost 46% of searches on Google are seeking local information. In other words: being searchable online is more important than ever. Knowing the importance of local SEO can help to increase customer count and profit on the internet.
How Do I Market My Small Business Locally?
When developing a local business marketing strategy for SEO, the importance of local SEO is essential to understand what factors will help a small business rank for searches in its area. Implementing a local SEO strategy for a small business can drastically expand its customer base. It does this by increasing awareness of the company’s brand, products, and services.
The top factors that contribute to a high local SEO ranking
A local SEO strategy is about more than being searchable. Above all, it’s about making sure that positive results are easy for customers to find. This strategy should include reviews, contact information, blogs, and other information sources. Let’s break down the importance of local SEO by top-ranking factors.
Are a company’s services or products aligned with what their potential customers or clients are looking for? Clear and direct content marketing and website copy can give an audience a sense of confidence and comfort. Consequently, this is where a carefully crafted blog can work wonders for building trust with a company’s audience. Creating content that shows a company is relevant to and knowledgeable about its potential consumer’s query creates a sense of authority amongst its target audience. Customers are looking for brands they can have confidence in. As a result, creating content geared toward potential customers sets a company apart from the competition.
Moreover, providing in-depth information on a company website that is geared toward SEO helps a company rank highly with its customer base and Google’s algorithm. Ranking high means a company’s site will display closer to the top in search results. The more relevant a website appears to Google, the higher it ranks in results. Achieving results on the coveted first page of Google can catapult a business’s exposure to potential customers. Did you know that 75% of users don’t scroll past the first page of results that Google populates? Therefore, establishing relevance to both users and search engines can go a long way in expanding a small business’s customer base.
Focusing on the location(s) in which a business wants to provide products and services can increase its local rankings. That is to say, the closer geographically a company is, the higher its chances of ranking in a user’s search results. The Internet is reshaping the commerce landscape. As a result, it’s essential to take steps to make sure a business is listed and searchable within the area it serves. Users looking for “near me” or “close by” in their searches for products and services increased by 900% over the past two years.
In simple terms, search engines like to share useful content. They want to make their readers happy. The more well known and trusted a business is, the higher the company will rank on Google. In other words: laying the foundation for this trust and awareness goes beyond customers. Search engines also need to view a company’s blog as a legitimate source of information. So, how can someone build their site authority? Many SEO factors work together to determine domain authority. Domain authority is a score indicating whether a site is trustworthy. This means trustworthy in both Google’s eyes and the eyes of a business’s target audience.
Having good content on a site does more than rank for keywords. Quality content shows Google that a website is worth sharing with others.
Are other people sharing your website’s content on social media or on their own sites through backlinking? In other words: Do other sites and people trust your site? This is something that Google definitely looks for! If other sites are referencing or featuring your site, Google’s algorithm will smile upon you.
SEO elements like title tags, image alt tags, meta tags, and content all play a role in Google’s determination of content’s usability. The better the experience Google sees a site is providing audience members, the higher the site ranks for this portion of the algorithm. Figuring out the importance of seo can help you do all types of seo work.
SEO tools to increase business’ ranking:
Several powerful tools make up local SEO by bringing the above factors together. All of these tools are imperative to use if one wants to optimize a small business’s online presence.
Google My Business
This tool is a staple for any local citation listing for a business. Google My Business verifies a company with Google. It is an opportunity for customers or clients to leave reviews of their experience. Positive reviews increase the legitimacy, keywords, and feedback for both Google and potential customers. This information allows them to make informed decisions about a company’s products and services. Consequently, the experience of other customers or clients is becoming increasingly important to potential customers shopping online for a product or service. That is to say, others’ experiences are so important that 97% of customers use reviews to inform their decisions.
Name, Address, and Phone Number should appear consistently across all online channels. These channels include Google My Business, social media, and local services pages.
Directories are great ways to list a business’s contact information, services, products available, reviews, and to answer common questions that their audience may have. An example of this would be menu listing sites for a restaurant.
This tool is another great avenue for a business to optimize its local online presence. This platform is an excellent opportunity to utilize keywords, connect with an audience, and encourage reviews on goods and services. Moreover, Google will consider reviews, activity, and keywords when ranking a website.
On Page SEO is useful when communicating about a local business. It can be a helpful tool to propel a business’s listing status on the world wide web. Essentially, the goal for well-done on-page SEO comes down to three factors: Expertise, Authority, and Trust. Using on-page SEO to establish these three elements of a website will help a small business’s standing with Google’s search results for organic (nonpaid) content. How can one demonstrate expertise, authority, and trust through their site’s on-page SEO? Using keywords like the city and state a company is located in helps customers and Google find one’s business. In addition, writing about an area from a local’s perspective can help tourists and people living in the area connect more with a company’s content, which builds trust and confidence in the goods or services it offers. The importance of SEO comes from the drive and will of the expert.
Why You Need Local SEO Presence Management Services
Did you know that 56% of local businesses have not claimed their Google My Business listing? A local presence management service will help optimize a company’s brand reputation, citations, and on-page SEO services. To ensure that a business selects the management service that’s right for their small business, make sure the company offers all of the tools needed for a comprehensive local business marketing strategy: Google My Business, NAP, local directories, social media, and on-page SEO.
What is a Local Citation Service?
A local citation mentions a business’s core information (name, address, phone number) in an online directory and will effectively manage any mention of a business online. Managing these mentions or citations is vital because Google looks at whether this information is the same across directories when determining where a site appears in search results. In addition, local citation services typically have tools to help with brand reputation management and SEO strategy. Now you know the importance of local seo, how will you use it?
What Do On-Page SEO Services Include?
We’ve talked a lot about on-page SEO services, but what exactly does this mean? On-page SEO is a central component of a content marketing plan. The importance of SEO focuses on a variety of factors that contribute to a site’s domain authority (as discussed above) as well as the searchability of a small business’s website. On-page SEO services will include a package of the following elements to optimize a business’s local SEO.
Entering alt text allows search engines to see what type of images (and topic relevance) a site offers. It’s also a bonus opportunity to add keywords.
Google determines the structure of website pages through the headers that one uses. A well-structured website page means information is organized and contains helpful keywords. H1 Tags are used as the title tag, while H2 Tags and H3 Tags are used as subheadings to organize information subcategories. Tags should always use keywords (both long-tail and short-tail) to rank well on search engines.
Both internal and external links are valuable for Google when dictating a site’s legitimacy. Internal links showcase a site’s navigability, while external links represent topic relevance.
Short, applicable URL’s should include a categorization of the site page’s information. An example of a concise URL is https://lightsoncreative.com/services/. It’s clear to Google (and users) what information the page will contain. A URL that is not helpful would look something like this:https://lightsoncreative.com/hlservoffered899j?x
Meta Descriptions are essentially the summary of the article someone wants Google (and users!) to find. They should contain keywords and be succinct, staying between 120-160 characters, including spaces. Otherwise, anything above that character count will not be displayed.
Content should be clear, well-written, and build trust with a target audience through a mix of personal connections and legitimate information. It’s also a great way to stand out from the competition and create a customer base that returns for content. In addition, content gives companies an extra opportunity to share a discount, promotion, or special.
Both long-tail and short-tail keywords are how search engines can match a website with the user’s query. How are keywords determined? A local SEO expert will research the industry, competition, and trends. The expert will then choose the most impactful keywords to use to entice both customers and search engines. Keywords can, and should, be used in the above elements (headings, body text, alt text, meta tags, and URLs). Keywords in the body text should be used within the first 100-150 words on the page to significantly impact a search engine’s “crawl” of the match on one’s site.
What is the importance of local SEO? Recap!
At Lights on Creative, we’re an agile team of researchers, designers, and writers with expertise in local SEO and social media management. How can we improve a company’s local SEO? In short, our team of experts checks every item on the list, creating a comprehensive brand management strategy for each client’s small business. We specialize in optimizing small business’ digital presence by researching industry trends and making sure our client’s small business ranks for them using tools like local citation management and on-page SEO. Let us flip the switch on your small business’ online presence today!