Over 30 percent of all searches in 2014 were local searches while 50 percent of all searches triggered local results. This means that more consumers than ever are looking for local businesses to meet their needs, and the only way to capitalize on this monumental shift is to begin the process of local search engine optimization. All business owners should not only understand the importance of SEO, but they might also want to look at some of the steps that they and their marketing team can take to bypass international corporations and start attracting high-quality traffic.
The Basics of Local SEO
Local SEO is a term that is used to describe any tools or tactics that will improve a site’s rankings for geo-targeted keywords. This means that local consumers looking for a specific service or product will bypass companies that have optimized for generic keywords and find businesses in their very own town or community. This trend towards local SEO has been developing for years, and businesses of every size and within every industry are now benefiting from this modern optimization tactic. Here is a closer look at some of the services that local SEO specialists now offer and the long-term benefits of this SEO strategy.
Where to Start
Those that would like to optimize their website and begin ranking in the local pack listings are most likely going to have quite a bit of preliminary work to do on their website. This includes claiming your spot on all local directories as well as your Google My Business page. Without applying for these pages, you are not going to get high-quality incoming links and there is a chance that another party will claim your name. The Google My Business page will also bring your company up on all Google Maps searches.
Common Local SEO Services
A local SEO firm will most likely begin their services with a website audit to get an idea about where your current traffic is coming from and how they are finding your site. They will then start the process of unifying your contact information across all pages and accounts including social media accounts. Having different contact information across multiple pages will skew the search engine results when anyone is looking for your company.
The next step is to take a look at local reviews and attempt to push positive reviews to the top of the search engine results pages. It is also a good idea to offer any current clients an easy way to post reviews with links directly through your website. Once all of this has been accomplished, a local SEO specialist will take a look at geo-targeted keywords and come up with a plan to rank high for those keywords and phrases. Another important component of local SEO is seeking out local events and business partners to begin building a reputation within the community.
The Benefits of Focusing on Geo-Targeted Keywords and Phrases
It is often difficult for local businesses to notice the benefits of SEO, and many feel as if it is a lost cause when they begin competing with international companies that have large sums of money to throw at their digital marketing campaigns. Local SEO will allow smaller brick-and-mortar companies to compete with larger businesses for specific keywords and phrases. With the rise in local searches, this tactic is more effective than ever when it comes to one’s cost per conversion.
Anyone that is looking to make the most out of their advertising budget should consider professional local SEO services to find and convert high-quality internet traffic at just a fraction of the cost.