Improving Your Local Search Ranking - Semalt Advice
We factor in many variables when we attempt to rank in SEO and grow our businesses once we've set up shop. We found out not long after us that local SEO is probably one important and highly neglected aspect of SEO. Why is this so? Local SEO matters because customers are searching for the best products and services nearest to them. They want to be able to get answers as soon as possible.
To help us help with your website, we are fond of asking questions such as "will your business show up when your local customers are searching for the products or services you provide?" do you think your customers will pick your business over all your local competition?
In this post, we will be tackling what you need to know and ways to optimize your website and business for local search. To get this right, you will need a strategic and targeted approach that slightly deviates from your general SEO practices.
Businesses that hope to win against their competitors should first make sure all their local signals across Google's search landscape are consistent and correct. We hope that when you're done reading this article, you will have a better understanding of today's local search landscape and how we can help you implement these strategies to improve the local SEO performance of your website.
Before we begin, let's find out what local SEO is and why it's so important.
What is local SEO and why does it matter?
Local search engine optimization is another branch of SEO that optimizes a website to be found by local users in local search results. To help you understand better if you were to search for:
- Lawyers near me
- Doctors near me
- Restaurants in (city name)
Google will take this search query and locally relevant display results. That way, you could get in touch with a doctor, restaurant, and lawyer without having to travel a great distance.
Local SEO is an SEO strategy that focuses on emphasizing the optimization efforts of local businesses. This includes optimization, content, on-page optimization, and link building with a focused and localized intent.
Why is local search important?
- About 50% of people who do a local search on their mobile phone end up visiting the physical store in a day.
- 34% of users who do a local search on a computer or tablet also visit the physical store.
- 18% of local mobile searches lead to sales within a day.
- 60% of American adults conduct searches for local products or services on their mobile devices and tablets.
- 50% of local-based searches on mobile devices are looking for things like a local business address.
- 78% of local-based searches end up converting to offline purchases.
- 71% of store visitors say they search the internet to review a store before visiting.
Local SEO is essential for small and medium scale businesses that still operate on a regional scale. This means that this SEO is targeted specifically to rank for local searches based on location. This strategy relies on marketing your services and products to local leads around your business, therefore helping you sell to your direct surroundings, and this will help you build a brand.
Optimizing your local SEO means more website traffic, leads, and conversions to your store and website because this strategy is more relevant to your local based customers.
What are the important areas of Local SEO?
In its true form, local SEO and everyday SEO aren't all that different. Both types of SEO include keyword research, content, links, and on-page technical SEO. The most significant variation is that instead of casting a big net to get traffic, local SEO focuses your SEO efforts like a fishing line to a local area. These elements are important to get it right for your website and the industry as a whole, especially when you hope to outperform your competition in SERP.
However, when optimizing for your local search, the parts we mentioned earlier have a local focus. They aren't used to be optimized globally but rather for a specific group of individuals. This element focuses on optimizing your website to meet the needs of users and potential clients that are close in proximity to your business.
To have your local SEO function properly, we need to do more than just mention these elements. You need to understand just how important each one is and understand how you can implement them.
In local SEO, keyword research hasn't undergone any significant changes. Although there are areas where certain adjustments need to be made, if you're great with regular keyword research, local SEO keyword research won't be something alien.
From statistics collected, we know that in our contemporary age, there is an increasing amount of smart devices owned by individuals. Today, almost everyone has one or a combination of smartphones, Google Home, or Amazon Echo. These devices have revolutionized search convenience as they are enabled for voice-activated searches, which pave the way for local stores. With clear distinction, we believe that it is easier and more convenient to say "find a local store near me" for most internet users than to type the same phrase. Thus, having these devices in the home has led to a rise in local queries based on conversational voice searches.
For service-oriented businesses, keyword research should include several keyword variations that you should expect in the conversational search input. By using several tools such as Keyword.io or AnswerThePublic, you can find out the questions people who need the services you provide ask. That helps you design more appropriate answers as well as optimized headings for your webpages.
As a local brick-and-mortar business or a service-related business, you might be shocked by just how much difference in the amount of traffic coming to your site, thanks to the conversational tone and focus of the keywords you use. This is only possible after you do your keyword research the right way.
After getting your keywords in place, it is now time to create content that describes your business and answers the questions users ask. Keywords are a great tool in getting ranked, but it is only one step. The next step is to get amazing content that convinces your readers that you're the best available solution. It is thanks to your content that you can connect to your audience on a local level. By designing your content in the local language, with the local phrases, and having a local address, viewers know that they can count on you to deliver. Most importantly, you provide worthy content. When searching for a great resort locally, ensure your content is good enough to answer your viewer's questions.
Writing Wikipedia type of content is probably the worst thing you could do for your local SEO efforts. By Wikipedia type of content, we refer to contents that quote national highway traffic safety administration or contents that are universal.
Local SEO links
This is probably one of the areas with the most obvious difference between local SEO and regular SEO. First of all, before you get to any link, make sure you consider Google's webmaster guidelines. This is important so that you don't suffer any penalty from Google after adding links to your webpages.
In local SEO, various link categories come together to make up a quality local SEO link profile. They include:
- Citation/NAP sites: you pay these sites to increase your local search presence, and they are usually NAP focused. NAP means, address, and phone number.
- Local directory websites: building links on local directories will help you increase your website's link authority for local searches.
- Industry-related local sites: think of any local website willing to offer local link building opportunities such as newspapers, schools, universities, and government associations.
- Local partner sites: these typically include local partners of your business. Google frowns at excessive link exchange but having a few on your website isn't a bad thing.
The future of Local SEO
Current statistics, data, and trends show us that local SEO is headed to a paradigm shift in significantly improved context and understanding. With the evolution of smart devices, there is a tendency that searches become more conversation-like and directed to local solutions. It could even be suggested that these devices serve to benefit local stores with great SEO efforts already in place.
With Google constantly adjusting and updating its algorithms, the future is largely unknown. However, we hope that it improves the efficiency and significance of local searches. As a medium scale or small business, this presents a unique opportunity where you do not have to compete with other big sites, and your chances for success are far improved. By optimizing your website to do well both locally and globally, your website ranks better, and you will see obvious increases in traffic and sales.
Semalt is dedicated to helping your business grow. With your go-ahead, we can optimize your website for local searches allowing you to do better and grow. Get in touch with us today and begin to enjoy the benefits of local SEO.