You’ve probably heard some chatter about local SEO being one of the most important facets to ranking your business website at the top of the organic results.
However, we think that before we nod our heads in agreement with the popular opinion, we need to agree on what exactly local SEO is, its relevance in today’s world, and how it impacts all businesses with a website.
This article will attempt to break down that information for you, so you have a clear understanding of why local SEO continues to demand a dominant position in online marketing services, and how it could help grow your business by leaps and bounds.
So, What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimizing website content and links for the services you offer, in the city you’re based in. An example might be “tax attorney youngstown” or “electrician cleveland oh”.
JADE Local SEO services promote your business’ visibility on location-based search results. It’s merely a variation of your General SEO, and is aimed at making sure your business gets found online by people searching for similar services at that geographic location.
These will include searches with certain geo qualifiers such as city, state, zip code, etc., and “near me” searches as well, where Google picks up the geo-location of the person doing a search and provides search results from that same area.
Why is SEO Important?
Local SEO services are extremely important because of the constantly evolving landscape. You can’t run your business effectively if you’re busy doing SEO. Especially if you have a brick-and-mortar business that provides specific services in a certain locality.
According to a website study done by Forbes, 95% of all smartphone users have used their phones to perform local searches, out of which 62% called the business and 58% visited.
And SearchEngineWatch found that 71% of mobile users click to call a business directly from the search results using their mobile phones.
Now, these numbers tell us that leads from location-based searches are a major avenue of discovery for potential customers, and those numbers will only keep growing. Since these leads are from folks who are specifically searching for products or services that your business offers, it’s safe to assume that these are all qualified leads that will surely have a higher conversion rate as well. They are primed and ready to buy!
Getting Your Business On Google’s Local 3-Pack
Local SEO could also put your business in Google’s local 3-pack, which is one of the most coveted spots when it comes to search engine results. What is a local 3 pack, you ask? Well, glad you asked :)
Do I Really Need Local SEO Services?
Initially, Google’s SERP responded to local searches by showing the seven most popular businesses that are related to your search just under the top 3 ad spots. This was called Google’s local 7-pack, and it featured the addresses, phone numbers and directions to each of those businesses.
However, browsing trends have evolved to become dominated by smartphones, and Google reduced it’s 7-pack to include just 3 of the top local results, for a better user experience. As you may have guessed, it’s called the local 3-pack now and here’s why a spot here in Google’s search results is so highly coveted.
According to a recent Moz study, 43% of people who performed a local search clicked on a local 3-pack listing, while only 8% chose to load “more local results”. This goes to show that most people who search for local listings find what they are looking for, within the local 3-pack search results.
Hence, getting a 3 pack spot in the search results could drive a huge amount of traffic and revenue your way. And, Local SEO Services could help take your business there in as little as 3 months (depending on competition and budget).
Some Basics of Local SEO
Now that we’ve got an overview of what local SEO is, and why it’s critical to survival in the business world, let’s check out how you could improve your business’ local SEO.
The first thing to understand is that *LOCAL SEO* is SEO for location-based searches. This means Google needs a verified physical address, name, and telephone as well as a confirmed business category in order to show up in the local search results. If your business’ address is not “Verified” in Google My Business, it will not show up when a customer searches for a “near me” or “in *locality name*” search.
Next, you need to ensure that your business’ NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) is EXACTLY THE SAME across all the online directories you’ve signed up with. If there are ANY discrepancies here, Google will probably not award your business with a listing in the local 3-pack.
You could even choose to go with a SEO service like BrightLocal that will manage all your online NAP citations for you. A service like theirs lets you avoid the hassle of manually updating every directory listing for your business by hand.
A “citation” is when a third party website lists your business as a point of reference. This could (and should) contain your business’ name, address, and multiple forms of contact info (email or contact page + phones). It does not require a backlink to your business’ website but it’s a great place to add one if you can!
An example of a citation would be a food blog naming your restaurant as a good place to dine in your locality. This lets Google know that your business is trustworthy, and real. This social proof increases your chances of making the local 3-pack.
You can Google for a list of the most authoritative sites for local citations.
Some Final Thoughts On Local SEO
Finally, Google will consider the number of positive and negative reviews you have when ranking local businesses. It’s not as important whether they’re positive or negative as it is that people are interacting with your business, online.
And if you happen to receive a review, remember to thank the customer for their valuable time and for leaving a positive review. On the other hand, you could also reply to negative reviews faster but still professionally.
How Will Local SEO Impact My Business?
If you own a small business, optimizing your business’ local SEO could not only be an extremely rewarding ranking turn-around, but a huge financial gain as well. Let’s look at the benefits of using JADE local SEO Services:
- Local SEO will help potential customers discover your business.
- A lot of local searches originate from non-locals who are searching for a business like yours, and with local SEO done right, your business could capture that audience.
- Local SEO provides potential customers the information that they want, when they want it. For example, if your restaurant has free WiFi or is pet-friendly, displaying that information as part of your local SEO will attract customers who are looking for just that.
- Even if your business does not have a website, local SEO helps your business stand out in local searches, and helps drive more traffic through online leads.
- As mentioned earlier, 61% of people who performed a local search ended up calling the business.
- Local search optimization provides potential customers the power to take this action, and this in turn provides your business with a qualified lead that you could convert.
- Local SEO helps drive people’s decisions in favor of your business. The more data they have about your business, the more trustworthy you are in their eyes. This lays a strong foundation upon which you could build a mutually beneficial customer relationship.
Now that you’ve been shown how local SEO will help your business, you can better manage its local presence on the web and build up your client base. Adding JADE Local SEO company to your marketing strategy will not only boost your local SEO but also increase your organic search engine rankings for your website and overtake your competitors. Schedule a free no-pressure consultation with us that fits your calendar to see how JADE can help your business grow through local search engine optimization.