Nearly 100% of consumers search online for local services. Studies show that basically four in five search for local businesses through a search engine. Local search engine optimization is a powerful tool for connecting to those potential customers and clients. There are multiple ways that a focus on Local SEO can help.
Who Can Benefit from Local SEO
Often, we’re asked by clients and prospective clients if focusing on local SEO would be right for them. It absolutely is if your company relies on customers in your neighborhood, city, area, town, etc. Businesses that can’t operate solely online can be greatly helped by local SEO, such as dry cleaners, restaurants, auto shops, attorneys, rehab centers, plastic surgeons, and so forth.
Other reasons that you should utilize local SEO: your company is big enough to operate in more than one city, more than one area. However, it does not operate across the nation or overseas.
Plenty of companies come to us because they want more leads, traffic, and ultimate sales within market areas of their choice. Speaking of “areas of their choice,” we’ve also had local SEO clients because they wanted to appear on Google’s local pack, as well in navigation apps and on maps. If you’re a franchisee or franchisor, you definitely want to utilize local SEO to dominate your region.
Starting With an Eye on Your Local Competition
One of the earliest steps in local SEO is to do a thorough, comprehensive analysis of your local competitors. To get the most out of this, you want it to be objective and “clear-eyed.” That means really digging deep into the local competitors who outrank you online for the products and services that you offer.
This audit should include looking into monthly search volumes, as well as analyzing search terms. With this information, you have the best opportunity to find ways to connect to customers in your area that they haven’t, by focusing on what they’ve missed. This analysis (as well as keyword research for your own company, and so much more) can build a real foundation for a local search engine optimization strategy.
Making it Easier for Your Potential Customers/Clients to Find You
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of auditing your citations on any online directories. They need to have the right “NAP,” meaning “name/address/phone number.” If you’re like many business owners (particularly clients we’ve worked with) you’d be amazed at how many inaccurate citations your company has online. Phone numbers from old offices, out of date work hours, and much more – those are just some of the reasons that your citations need to be updated (and maintained).
Of course, when it comes to local citations, you need to optimize and manage the granddaddy of them all, your Google My Business account. That means making sure that your NAP is correct there, yes, but it also means optimizing your Google My Business, too. The backlinks, the business hours, services, and more – you’re going to want to get reviews there as well. If you haven’t claimed your Google Maps listing already, finish reading this article after you’ve done so.
Your Website, Your Foundation
It’s important to note that keyword research isn’t something that you’re ever really “done with,” just like the rest of SEO. Really, you (or your local SEO partner) should be performing continual keyword research. That way, you can best find out both what your customers are searching for in regards to your services and how they’re doing so.
This brings us to your website. Your website (as well as all of your landing pages, blogs, and more) should be fully optimized. Beyond that, your content should be locally-targeted, thus improving your local search rankings. It’s more than just putting up the content, you want your website to be well-structured and responsive, too. All of this matters to Google but it also matters to your users.
The Continuing Work of Local SEO
If you do everything listed above, you have the beginnings of a great local SEO strategy. But, again, SEO doesn’t stop. Everything needs to be monitored so that it can be maintained or even improved. Your organic traffic, calls, leads, keyword rankings, the keyword rankings of your competitors (at least three of your top local competitors) – you need to keep a close watch on all of it.
A great way to track what’s going on with your local SEO: Google Analytics. Install and monitor that as well, so that you can see exactly how everything is performing. Indeed, one of the many ways we help our clients is through looking at their Google Analytics and interpreting the data to find their best way forward.
A Partner in Local Search Engine Optimization CTA
As you can see, a lot goes into local SEO. Many local companies, even the most successful ones, don’t have the time to do a fraction of the tasks listed above, much less do them continually and at a professional level.
That’s how we can help. Here at Website Depot, we’re a local business, just like yours. We know what it takes to stand out in a crowded field. Now, we can put that expertise to work for your business. To schedule a free consultation with our Search Engine Optimization experts, just call (888) 477-9540.