What is Local SEO?

SEO letters and laptop

When you create a website, you have the opportunity to target the entire world for your products and services. But, if you own a local business, targeting the entire world isn’t really necessary. 

Instead, you want to focus on bringing in customers from your local area. The best way to do this is through local SEO

Local SEO is all about optimizing your website for a specific area. This SEO practice works great for local restaurants, shops, and agencies who want their web page to rank for specific search queries that a local audience will likely type into Google. 

Keep reading this post to learn all about local SEO. 

Related: SEO Case Studies 

What is Local SEO? 

Tracking SEO results with phone and laptop

General SEO is all about optimizing your website so it ranks higher in the search engines. On the other hand, local SEO is all about optimizing your site so it ranks higher in the local search engines so you can extend visibility for the communities you serve face-to-face. 

These often include brick and mortar businesses with physical locations, such as dentist offices, grocery stores, and local banks. So, how does Google know how to help people find these local businesses?

For regular SEO, Google has a search algorithm that uses bots to crawl and index websites. The search algorithm looks for certain ranking factors that will make a website more credible and useful for users. If a site has these certain ranking factors, Google will rank it higher in the search engines

Google also uses a local search algorithm that includes a proximity factor that takes your location into account when you type in a local keyword (such as the name of a city or town). However, Google takes proximity into account even when you don’t type in a localized keyword. 

For example, let’s say you’re at work and you want a sandwich delivered for lunch. If you Google “sandwich delivery” you’ll get a bunch of results showing local sandwich shops in your area. Thanks to Google’s local search algorithm, you won’t get results from sandwich shops from across the country. 

If your home is 10 miles away from your office and you conduct the same search at home, you’ll get a different listing of sandwich shops. 

Related: SEO Content Writing Services 

Why is Local SEO Important? 

Man holding phone with local search results

If you’re a small-medium-sized business owner, you know how difficult it can be to compete with large corporations. While competing with the big giants may feel impossible at times, it’s important to remember that almost half of all Google queries are local searches. 

If you make local SEO a part of your marketing strategy, you’ll be able to compete with the big businesses. Here are a few of the reasons why local SEO is so important:

Local Keywords Rank Higher in Google 

One of the biggest reasons to invest in local SEO is because local keywords rank higher in Google. Consumers are more likely to search for services and products offered in their specific geographical area. 

This means that choosing keywords that will help your business rank locally are often more beneficial than keywords that will rank nationally. For example, if you own a real estate business in San Diego, it can be more beneficial to have your primary keyword be “real estate businesses in San Diego” instead of “real estate businesses.” 

Delivers Qualified Search Traffic 

Local SEO can help you weed out people who aren’t likely going to engage with your business. If you own a medical clinic, someone who lives 50 miles away likely isn’t going to use your services. 

Because local SEO helps target more users in a 5-10-mile radius, you’ll have more people coming to your website who who actually have interest in  your product or service. 

Convert Online Searches Into Offline Purchases 

A recent survey by Retail Dive found that 67% of consumers research a product online before going to buy it in the store. 

Local SEO gives you the opportunity to present products to customers before they head to your store to buy it. You can choose local keywords that fit your product description to bring more users to your page to get to know your brand. 

Related: Learn About Content Dog’s SEO Services 

How Do You Improve Local SEO Rankings? 

As you can see, local SEO can be very helpful for your business. But how do you improve local SEO rankings? Here are some things you can do:

Claim and Optimize Your Google My Business Listing 

Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business Listing (GMB) is one of the most important things you can do to improve local search. 

GMB is a directory that allows businesses to create free profiles. You can add important information such as your company address, store hours, photos, menu items, and more. You can optimize your page further by sharing business updates and fresh content from your website. 

Create Content Based On Local Keywords 

Creating blog content based on local keywords will also help boost your site’s ranking in the search results. For example, let’s say you own a local running shoe company in Austin, Texas. 

You could write a post about the best running trails in Austin, Texas. Chances are, a lot of locals will be searching for running trails, and by clicking on your blog post, people will be able to familiarize themselves with your brand. 

You could also create content around local events and stories to grab your customer’s attention. 

Do you need help creating blog articles? Check out our process here! 

Optimize for Mobile 

Optimizing your site for mobile will also help your brand rank higher in the search results. Sixty percent of all online searches are now conducted on a mobile device. 

To optimize your device for mobile, make sure that it loads quickly and that the fonts are easy to read. Also, make sure you only convey the necessary information, as you don’t have much room on a mobile screen. 

Are You Ready to Give Local SEO a Try? 

As you can see, incorporating local SEO into your overall SEO strategy offers many benefits. Of course, getting started on any sort of SEO strategy can be tough if you’re new to the game. 

That’s why we recommend working with an SEO agency that can help develop your content strategy. 

If you want to hire an SEO agency, get in touch with us today! 

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