More and more businesses tap into local SEO’s power to grow their audience and connect better with the people within their service areas. But what’s all the fuss about it? Why is local SEO so integral to a successful digital marketing strategy? More importantly, how does it differ from regular SEO?
Let’s get into it!
What is Local SEO, and Why is it Important?
In simplest terms, local SEO is an SEO strategy designed to improve your business’s visibility and relevance in local searches. A local search is one in which geographical location is an important parameter. These local searches have grown in popularity, especially with the rise of “near me” searches.
If you own a smartphone (who doesn’t nowadays, right?), chances are you’ve conducted a “near me” search yourself. Perhaps you asked SIRI to find a restaurant or laundromat or substance abuse treatment “near me.” If not, try it now.
Did you notice that the search results are somewhat different compared to a regular Google search? The listings, maps, and maybe even the physical building images where the business is located look different. This is how the results turn up for a local search. Therefore, the role of local SEO is to optimize your business to show up in these local search results.
Why is it important?
Local SEO is a proven way to improve foot traffic to your business. Additionally, it can help you dominate local search results, which in turn gives you a massive competitive edge in your service area. Your business consistently showing up in local searches also builds trust and credibility.
Let’s say you own an addiction treatment center in Long Beach. Your approach to SEO would be to rank for searches about addiction treatment centers in Long Beach, CA. Targeting that market means a smaller audience, more targeted keywords relevant to your geographical location, optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing, and so on.
In doing so, you’re leveraging local SEO and positioning your restaurant as the go-to place for anyone looking for food services in that particular area.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO starts with you. What makes your business shine in the local scene? You then take those unique selling points and use them to craft your regional SEO strategy.
First, you need to claim and verify your GMB listing. Those special results (map, address, reviews, images, etc.) that you’ll see from a local search are information pulled directly from a GMB listing. If you truly want to harness local SEO, you need a fully-optimized GMB profile.
Next, you need to start working on your keywords. In local SEO, you must optimize keywords to suit Google’s proximity factor algorithm. Keywords must come with a local area that you want to target.
For example, Tech Co. sells laptops in Orlando. Ranking on keywords like “laptops for sale” or “brand new laptops” is challenging since there’s a lot of competition. However, if you localize the words by adding geographical markers, you can narrow down the area and decrease your competition. So, you can try ranking on keywords appearing on a local search like “laptops near me” or “nearest laptop store in Orlando.”
Now, it’s time to use these keywords on localized content. Your content must focus that adds value to the people near you. In the previous example, Tech Co.’s content should focus on why they’re the most affordable laptop seller in Orlando or why Tech Co. is the most trusted electronics seller in Orlando.
What Is the Difference Between SEO and Local SEO?
In terms of strategies, the two share similar approaches. Where they mainly differ is in their end goals. Traditional SEO aims to increase your website’s visibility and searchability. So if you want more website visitors and engagements, traditional SEO is the way to go. You can also say that traditional SEO is global SEO since it doesn’t focus on specific locations or places.
On the other hand, local SEO aims to increase your visibility locally. It seeks to capture the people within your geographical area. So if your business operates in Orange County, California, local SEO can help you gain visitors and engagements from people living in Orange County.
Unlike traditional SEO, you probably get views from people all around the US. However, that would be inefficient since customers who are far from you may not buy from you anyway. So, that’s where local SEO plays an important role. Instead of increasing visibility in general, local SEO can help you become more visible to the people who’ll most likely buy from you.
How Do You Know if You Need Local SEO?
There are two questions to answer if you want to know if you need local SEO?
- Do you have a physical store?
- If you don’t have a physical store, does your business serve a geographical area?
If you answer yes to either of the questions above, you need local SEO. First of all, SEO fits all kinds of niches. So don’t think that your business is way too complicated or simple for SEO. Local SEO can help you get more store visits to your physical store. If you’re an online business, local SEO can help your online store get more views, visitors, and engagements.
Is there any other criterion to consider? Well, there’s one. Do you want to get ahead of your competitors? If yes, you definitely need local SEO, especially if your competitors are already ranking high on the SERP for related keywords.
Why Do We Need Local SEO?
The real game here is the game of proximity. If you’re close to your customers, they can easily reach out to you. However, how can you make them come to you? That’s where local SEO comes into play. Remember that the consumers closest to you have more buying potential than those far from you. Through local SEO content and your GMB listing, you can reach out to consumers within your serviceable area.
If you don’t have local SEO, you’ll be relying on traditional ways to promote your business. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this approach. But why use sticks and kindling to light a fire when you can use a lighter?
With the help of local SEO, your business will be visible on the map—literally and figuratively. So whenever people use Google Maps, they might even see your business appearing in nearby recommendations.
Get started with local SEO today!
At RxMedia, we’re all about helping your business rank higher on local searches and attract more local traffic to your location. We have been doing this for quite some time now and have recorded massive success across the board (check out our case studies).
Let us work with you today to tap the power of local SEO for your business. Call us at 503-974-3297 to get started or reach us through our contact form.