What is Local SEO Anyway?

Local SEO is a highly effective form of local online marketing. It allows local businesses to promote their services to local customers at exactly the time they’re looking for your type of business. Local SEO has become one of the most important and effective strategies for businesses to gain an edge against their local competitors.

More and more potential customers are looking to the internet to find local businesses. Bright Local, a company dedicated to helping customers grow their businesses using local search strategies, has compiled some statistics on this topic:

  • 64% of local customers use online search engines and directories as their main way to find local business; only 28% of people use old paper directories as their preferred source of local information.
  • The number of online searches for local businesses is up 58%.
  • Local directory marketing has up to 50% conversion on some directories.
  • Local newspaper readership is in massive decline, down 40-80%.
  • Only 10% of businesses have claimed their Google Places local listings.
  • 70% of local consumers trust online business reviews.

Global vs. Local SEO

Global SEO is intended for finding products or services worldwide. This tactic works well for companies who have many locations throughout the country or even worldwide or who ship their products globally. Global SEO is also great for e-businesses or digital products with no specific location or multiple locations.

Local SEO is better for small, locally-owned and operated businesses. Local SEO is a lot different from your average SEO campaign, and the local search results are changing more rapidly than any other.

Tips to Increase Local SEO

There are steps you can take yourself to improve your local SEO.

1. Claim your Google My Business page, if you haven’t already. Perhaps one of the top starting points of your local SEO strategy is getting your business on the map—literally.
It’s easy to do—just sign up for an account, then claim your business. This typically involves having a postcard sent your business that includes a PIN number, and you’ll enter this PIN into the backend of your Google My Business account once it’s received. Make sure to include the following in your listing:

  • A long, unique description that’s formatted correctly and includes links
  • The correct categories for your business
  • As many photos as possible
  • A local phone number to your listing
  • Your business address consistent with that on your website and local directories
  • A high-resolution profile image and cover photo
  • Business hours
  • Payment options

2. Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) MUST be consistent across your website and local citation websites. We cannot stress the importance of this as it pertains to local SEO.

3. If you don’t have a social media presence, set one up. This helps you stay relevant and establishes trust with current and potential customers. You can inform followers about specials and promotions. It also sends important social signals about your business to the search engines!

4. Optimize content on your website for local SEO. Start by knowing where your website stands currently in terms of SEO ranking. Having content about your community, neighborhoods, events and local happenings, the services you provide and the areas you service is very important to help your website rank for local searches.

5. Acquire local reviews. This means more than just Google reviews; for example Yelp, Angie’s List and other review sites have a direct impact on local SEO. Actively solicit and monitor reviews from customers.

6. Link building within local SEO campaigns is incredibly important and it’s also something that’s often overlooked. Local SEO relies much more on links from other local websites that are really relevant to your business. There are several tools out there for building links.

7. Build local links by publishing press releases, signing up with local organizations, sponsoring local events or organizations, etc.

Contact us today!

If you need help building a strategy for local SEO for your business, contact St. Louis SEO for Growth. With our Search For Growth System, we can help your business:

  • Transform your website into a lead-generation machine
  • Help you succeed on social media
  • Manage your online reviews and get more positive reviews in all the right places
  • Solve all of your blogging and content marketing challenges
  • Integrate all of your marketing efforts so you get a better ROI for your marketing dollars

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