What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is all about optimizing your website and online presence so you can be easily found by customers searching for businesses in your geographic area. The goal is to appear prominently in local search engine results and maps to drive foot traffic and phone calls to your brick-and-mortar location.

Why is Local SEO Important?

These days, more and more consumers are going online to find local businesses to patronize. In fact, according to Google, more than 50% of mobile searches have local intent. So if you run a local business, local SEO is incredibly important for connecting with potential customers at the critical moment when they’re looking for exactly what you offer.

Optimizing for local search helps your business stand out from competitors in your area. It builds visibility and generates new leads and sales from local searchers who are actively looking to make a purchase or hire a local service provider.

How Does Local SEO Work?

Your website – This includes things like optimizing pages with relevant keywords and location-based terms that users search for, creating location-specific landing pages, and ensuring your business info (name, address, phone number) is easy to find on site.

Local listings – Listing your business on directories like Google My Business, Apple Maps, and Bing Places helps you show up in local map packs and searches. Complete and optimize these listings consistently.

Local signals – There are various signals search engines use to understand your local relevance, like having a local address, phone number, and physical location associated with your site. The more local signals the better.

Local SEO Best Practices

Here are some key best practices for optimizing local SEO:

  • Optimize Google My Business – Completely fill out and optimize your GMB listing with photos, descriptions, services, hours, etc. Engage with users that post reviews.
  • Get listed on other directories – Moz, Yelp, YellowPages, Bing, Apple Maps etc. Keep listings consistent.
  • Include your business name, address and phone number on your website. Make it easy to find.
  • Use local keywords – Include keywords with your city/town when optimizing pages.
  • Create unique local landing pages – Like “Seattle plumber” or “Best pizza in Cleveland”.
  • Encourage customer reviews – Reviews help build local trust signals. Make it easy for happy customers to leave them.
  • Optimize technical SEO elements – Site speed, mobile optimization, schema markup etc. still apply.

Why Invest in Local SEO?

Optimizing for local search visibility provides tremendous value for brick-and-mortar businesses. Not only does it drive foot traffic from web searches, but it builds brand awareness and trust in your area. This leads to more repeat business and referrals over time.

Given how influential local SEO is in purchase decisions, it provides one of the highest ROIs from any online marketing channel. In competitive markets, strong local SEO can be the difference between leading the pack or getting left behind. For any local business, investing in local SEO as an ongoing strategy is critical for growth and success.

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