What is Local SEO

Local SEO is fast becoming an essential aspect in most online business. It has also become crucial for brands that want success across the leading search engines, for the long term. Simply put, Local SEO is a smart way to market any brand’s local business digitally. It allows companies to promote their services and products amongst the local customers, exactly when users are searching for it online. Local SEO includes several processes that are separate from mainstream SEO tactics.

Understanding a local search 

It is essential to understand what separates a local search from a standard data search. You will find it interesting to know that Google states that 46% of all the searches come with “local intent.” Any website today equipped with decent SEO tactics has the search to rank for any query if it comes with a buying intent. Search query such as “Yoga trainers near me” always carry the element of a local search.

Generally, this kind of query includes the phrase “near me” or “location” in it. And if you are resorting to Google Maps, you don’t even need to be this specific. However, the search engine understands the demand of the searcher. As an outcome, the search engine lists down the local search options in their result pages.

Things you can do to optimize your local search 

Do you want more viewers to visit your website? If yes, then you need to ensure that your website gets optimized for local search. It will make your site more local friendly. Here are two ways to go about it:

  1. Google places for your business

Simply put, this is relevant and evident that you must do. You can go ahead and have access to Google Places for your Business Page. Also, you need to ensure that your opening and closing hours, contact details, location, and email address are all added to the web page. Your profile should appear complete. Additionally, offering category data concerning your website helps Google to have a better idea and understanding of your business concept. Furthermore, it develops a signal that you associated with localized searches concerning your business type and nature.

  1. Google + Local

Once you are through with the first tip, you have something else to do as well. Go ahead and smoothly link your Google Places page with the Google + Local Page. You will know that this page got dedicated to all the social communications. And here you have the scope to feature data on a specific restaurant or cafeteria, reviews about the same and the like. Additionally, you can also add posts and pictures. Your users will have complete access to videos, images as well as comments.

Local SEO guidelines for SMB’s 

Do you have a small business or did invest in a start-up venture? If yes, then you know that you must have a website of your own. Sometimes, start-ups and small businesses have their website, but their clients can’t locate it online. It’s not an ideal situation at all. As when your business doesn’t show up on the local search results, you are missing out on the potential business opportunities, in the form of query calls from local users about your business and products/services, sales opportunities, local store visits and ultimately the revenue. Probably some people have proposed a local SEO plan to you, via a phone call or email. There’s nothing better than getting to see that your website is at a favourable position in the local search results for a chosen set of phrases and keywords, tagged with the local address.

However, the situation might have one crucial problem. And that is this – What if your business yet doesn’t have the capital to pay to an SEO company for the local SEO initiatives? It’s a part of many SEO companies or freelance SEO professionals to get in touch with start-ups and small business, enquiring them about their local SEO requirements or sometimes pitching one, to get started with a monthly local SEO initiative. But when you don’t have enough capital to spend on it, that doesn’t mean you can’t reap the benefits of local SEO. Here are five easy steps discussed below that can help you to enhance your local search and also increase your visibility to your local customers.

  1. Always ensure that your brand name, location address and contact number stay intact

It is highly crucial that any occurrence of a NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) must remain constant on your website or social media profile. The contact details should precisely the way it has been written on your social media profile. It means, if you have the word “Avenue” or “Road” in your website written exactly that way, you shouldn’t shorten it to “Ave” or “Rd” ever. Search engines aim to offer their end users with apt data. Also, if search engines sense that a particular business has changed location or is presently closed for a temporary basis, they can highlight all these details to the end user in a crisp and correct manner. Hence, if there’s a difference in the contact details and address in the website, you don’t cut a good impression with your target audience.

  1. Try and seek significant business listings

When your business gets listed on leading and high authority directories, it plays an instrumental part in enhancing your online presence in the local search. Few indexes that you might want to use for your business listings include the following:

  • Bing Places for Business
  • Better Business Bureau
  • City Search
  • Super Pages
  • LinkedIn
  • Yellow Pages
  • Yahoo Local
  • Facebook
  • Google My Business

One of the best tools to use if you want to manage and recognize with the local directory listings is Moz Local. It is one the best tools which are useful in identifying scopes, check for the duplicate listings and also assists you in managing your listings. It is also one of the best tools to help small businesses and start-ups to audit and control the NAP.

  1. Manage the physical business address

There are many several start-ups and small business websites that add a submission or email address form in their contact page. But they miss out on their physical business address. It doesn’t help to add to your online search visibility. It is essential to carry the complete NAP listed in your contact details page. You also have the chance to add the same in the website footer, ensuring that it gets showcased on every page in your site.

  1. Welcome more online feedbacks and consumer reviews

There is a huge difference between asking the end users for consumer feedback and motivating, encouraging the same. The moment you end up asking for a customer review, at times, it might appear as if you want to manipulate ratings. And that attitude might look against listing site ethics, for instance, Yelp. On the other hand, if you tell your users that you would love them to share their views about your views and appreciate the same, your end users will be more than eager and happy to give feedback. People love to feel counted. And if as a small-business and start-up you can use this to gain a review, it will help to increase your brand awareness. You can also send customer service emails or comment cards to the end users with links to your page on Google and Yelp and other local sites to welcome a review.

This approach is useful in enhancing your local SEO initiatives. Since end users today can spot the difference between a “paid” and “forced” review, it is essential that you get careful about what is written about your brand.

  1. Add the “buyer” keywords to your site copy

It is important to make use of the keywords that your prospect will use in his/her online search to locate your business. For instance, if you are into the landscaping business in Toronto, then you might find it useful to add in phrases and keywords like “Lawn care service in Toronto” or “Toronto law mowing service” on your site. It is not a smart option to add an excess number of keywords. Instead, it’s an intelligent call to ensure that it occurs organically.

Correct and in-depth keyword research is essential. It will help you to get the correct right audience through local organic search. You would want to attract those people as your potential customers who are searching for your products and services that your brand provides. It is essential to think like a prospective customer. It is essential to know what a customer would type on the search bar for a service or product they are enquiring. Equipped with that perspective, you can develop a successful Local SEO strategy for your start-up and small business.

Local SEO today is fast becoming the order of the day for most business houses. Also, Google Local search outcomes have a domino effect to a great extent. You might have to scroll for a long time to come across essential brands and their services showcased. Whenever a customer calls directly search using maps., they considerably add to the Local listings.

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