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The future of SEO is here: understanding and marketing to specific and defined audiences through search engines.”Adam Audette
Remember the last time you wanted to buy a product and searched for a nearby store/company? Yes, when you search, Google scans through local SEO ranks to find the best result for you.
Local SEO is a process of improving visibility for local businesses, creating awareness for the brand, and also ranking them high on Google LOCAL SERPs (search results pages).
Optimizing local SEO is the best SEO strategy for local businesses that want to be easily found on search engines by online searchers or nearby consumers.
A survey conducted by BrightLocal found that in 2020, about 90% of online consumers search for businesses near them. Local SEO helps you generate traffic and increase sales by targeting consumers in your local area. Local businesses, multi-location brands, SEO agencies, and SABs (Service Area Businesses) need local SEO marketing.
What are the benefits of Local SEO?
1. It helps to generate traffic
2. It helps to boost sales
3. It Increases the profitability of the business i.e ROI (return on investment)
4. It is a long-term strategy
5. It builds trust and credibility
6. It increases brand awareness
7. It influences purchasing decisions, et.c
Local SEO tips for business owners
The main reason for local SEO is to let Google know that you have a business in a certain area and you want nearby customers to be able to find it online and locate it. With the right strategies like optimizing your Google My Business profile, your business listing, building local links, etc., you can rank high in local rankings like Google Maps, Local Finder, Local Pack, and localized organic search.
There are several ways to optimize for local SEO, but the first step is;
- Getting listed on Google Maps
Google Maps listing is the most important marketing tool for your business and also the most popular navigation app, about 67% of customers use it, and about 87% use navigation maps for driving directions, so it is important for your business to rank high on Google Maps.
Optimizing your business profile is the first step to take if you want to show up on Google Maps and in the SERPS.
To get listed on Google Maps, you need to create a Google my business (GMB) account. GMB is a very important tool for business owners to get listed and get a high ranking on Google Maps.
With GMB you can create your business profile and optimize it for the best results.
5 tips for smart business owners
1. Create a good business profile: GMB allows you to create your business profile which includes your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Adding pictures of your business to your profile will help you gain credibility and trust among your customers. You can also add a logo to your profile.
Opening a GMB account is easy, you just need to follow the instructions, and Google will offer help in case of any confusion.
2. Optimize relevant keywords for your business: Google allows your business profile to appear when customers search for specific keywords related to your business, this increases your visibility to visitors and potential customers and also gives you an edge over your competitors. You can include the keyword in your title tags, text, header tags, etc.
3. Create an ABOUT US page: The “About Us” page provides more information about your business and informs your customers about your business and the services you offer. It should provide information like address, contact, working hours, parking availability, Google maps, etc. Creating a good “About Us” page provides insight into what your business is all about.
4. Promote engagement by posting regularly and giving information on how people can book you online: Posting regularly and keeping your customers up to date on the latest information about your business will help keep them engaged. Adding images and illustrations will grab their attention and keep them glued to your website. Also, another google my business feature includes booking options, if your business is the type that needs reservations and bookings, this feature can help you and your customers in scheduling an appointment.
5. Include customer reviews, questions, and answers section: About 92% of consumers read online reviews to learn about a business. Before a customer buys a product or uses a service, they sometimes search for reviews online to make a decision. Online reviews, especially good ones, can determine a person’s decision when it comes to patronizing your business. A Q&A section can also be very helpful, especially if your business is a little hard to understand or can easily confuse people. When customers ask questions, you can always answer and clarify them.
Note:- Google Maps prefers businesses with verified GMB, and if you fully optimize your GMB, Google’s algorithm will rank you highly.
The importance of backlinks for your website
Backlinks are also known as link building or inbound links. This is the process of adding links from relevant local businesses to your website and this helps in boosting traffic and increasing visibility. To rank high on SERPs, google considers the number of backlinks on your website. You can get quality backlinks by writing excellent content that makes other websites want to link to yours, you can also get local influencers to link their content back to you.
Understanding and optimizing local SEO gives you an edge over your competitors but this requires patience and dedication to get positive results.