Getting people to find your business amidst the billions of online websites can be a real challenge for most. There is definitely an art to posting something in the World Wide Web in a way that draws the viewer’s attention and focusing it in your direction. Some savvy business owners have been successful in figuring out the many twists and turns that come with search engine optimization (SEO) but the vast majority of website owners have found it necessary to enlist the services of an SEO expert to help them to improve their rankings online.
Still, hiring an SEO expert can be another complicated task. There are different types of experts, each with a unique perspective on how to navigate the many intricacies of the Internet. Depending on the type of business you have many have chosen to hire a local SEO expert to help improve their position in the search engines.
What Is Local SEO?
The overall purpose of SEO is to improve a site’s search engine ranking online for a particular keyword. Experts in this area use a variety of strategies to get a business’ site or blog noticed by their target audience. A business that cannot be found online will not be successful in the Internet marketplace.
Local SEO, however, works in a more fine-tuned way. It focuses on increasing your visibility online but only in areas related to a specific location. So, if someone chooses to look for a fine dining restaurant in the Google search engine, the results will automatically provide you with results closest to your present location. This is the result of local SEO strategies. If you’re in Portland, the search engine will give you results for restaurants in Portland, and not San Francisco.
Getting ranked in the search engines is a priority for most businesses but getting ranked locally is essential. Unless you’re a nationally recognized business, local search engine optimization is essential.
Local Searches Are Valuable
It will boost your business online. According to a 2011 study on mobile Internet searches, 40% of these Internet searches were performed with local intent. This means that the searcher was looking for a business that they could find in their immediate area. Another study conducted in 2013 showed that four out of five people who use their mobile devices to look up information online wanted to find local businesses near them and two out of three were expected to take immediate action to visit that business, and one out of three will make a purchase.
Google’s reports are similar showing that 87% of people with mobile devices often search for local industries when they’re out and about. They also report that 95% of people who conduct an online search from a mobile device have already decided to call or visit the local business.
These facts make it clear that those businesses that take advantage of local SEO to improve their rankings are more in line with the growing trends in online searches. For the search engines to provide people with the most applicable results to their queries and for businesses in their immediate area to be found, local SEO is essential.
How to Make Your Site Local Friendly
Search engines look for specifics in the billions of website pages that are floating around the Internet so the content on your site needs to be location specific. Make sure that your address, phone number, and contact information are included so that the web crawlers can pinpoint exactly where you are in the world.
Next, you need to provide category-specific information so that the crawlers will know exactly what type of business you’re conducting. There are many businesses in your immediate area so if you’re a plumber you don’t want to be found on a results page listing optometrists. Targeting your specific industry and making it clear can make sure that the people looking for the services you offer can find you.
The Google+ Local Link
It is also beneficial to add a link to your Google+ Local page. This is the area where searchers will find reviews about businesses in the area, images, and even videos that will feature local businesses. These listings often come up first before any other businesses so making sure that your business is on this page will likely put you high up in the Google rankings for your area. In fact, these listings are so prominent you may have to scroll through a few pages of search results to find those that are not linked to a Google+ page.
To connect with Google+ you need to include the brand name in the title along with the targeted keywords and the location. You also need to ensure that you have the right category listed. Instead of saying that you are a dentist use words like “North Valley Dentist” so that your specific location is clear.
Another great way to move up in the Local SEO rankings is to encourage your customers to give your business reviews. When it comes to local rankings, reviews are probably the biggest trust factor used and if you can get more positive reviews you’ll move up the rankings even faster.
Finally, there should be a separate listing for each physical location. While it may be the same business, each of your sites should be listed separately to ensure that they will be found by the searchers in the immediate area.
Let Those in Your Area Find You with Local SEO
There is only one reason why businesses and services have an online presence, so that more people will be able to find them. When you use local SEO practices, you ensure that not only those who need your services will be able to find you but, that those in your immediate area and are ready to make a decision will find their way to your door.
Managing SEO requires looking under the surface in order to yield the best results. Those that take the time to figure things out or take advantage of the SEO company experts in the field tend to get the higher rankings in the search engines and as a result give their businesses a major boost.