Your small business serves the local community. Customers searching for local businesses are looking to find you and your business. How did that happen? Through a local SEO campaign.
A local seo campaign is a digital marketing strategy that helps businesses rank higher in Google when customers search for your goods or services, or similar brands. We get it – this is technology and it can seem like a lot. But don’t worry. We’re pros at this stuff. We’re going to explain how local SEO can benefit your business and about Google Business Profile so searchers can find you online.
What is Local SEO?
For the more mature readers, remember the yellow pages in the phone book? You’d look through the business directory if you needed local listings for a service area.The local keyword would have been what you were looking for by category, which then led you to the business listings. Local SEO is the digital format of that.
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is a strategy that helps businesses rank higher in Google results pages or local search engines when customers search for your goods or services.
However, local SEO is more than just ranking on the first page of Google results for keywords like “electrician” or “plumber.” It’s about a ranking for keywords that are relevant to your business and its location. Nearly half of users on Google are people looking for local search results. If you’re an electrician located in Youngstown, then you want potential customers searching for “Youngstown electrician” to find your website first.
Local businesses can use local SEO techniques to:
- Get found quickly by people searching online for local businesses near them.
- Increase their online visibility in Google Maps and Google search results when someone searches for their business name or address (called local citations).
- Get more traffic from search engines.
Why Does My Business Need Local SEO?
We’ve got the answer.
Local SEO offers several benefits for small businesses like yours.
- Increased visibility: When a local customer searches Google for “best mechanic Boardman,” they’ll see your site or business name on the first page of results instead of having to click through dozens of other sites hoping one of them has what they’re looking for. Having your website appear at the top of these results increases its visibility — which leads to more prospects.
- Stronger conversion rates: the percentage of users who have completed an action they wanted to. Did they make a purchase or fill out a form for you to gather more information about them?
If you’re a small business with a physical location, then local SEO is essential for getting new customers in the door. They’ll see your brand online, so it’s crucial to perform an SEO audit on your website. This ensures your local SEO strategy is current. Things to check include:
- Are you incorporating link building? (This is when another website links to your content. It builds your credibility).
- Go through content. Build areas that are weak and thin out wordy content.
- How long does your site take to load?
There are some SEO tools your digital marketing team will use throughout the local SEO campaign. These are digital devices (think Moz or Google Search Console) that gather information about your website, like what are weaknesses or what is working well.
Using Google to Boost Local SEO Strategies
There are some Google search engine results pages (SERPs) features to review. We won’t quiz you. Just read through. You’ve got this.
Google Map Pack rankings are broad location-based results that populate on a search results page. To rank in the Google Map Pack, you first need to create a Google Business Profile page and go through the verification process. Encourage positive reviews and interact with both established and potential customers. Benefits of having a Google profile include increasing your standing in organic results and potential customers visiting your location.
More narrow results are Google Local Pack, and you already have experience with what that is. When a user types in a place they are looking for, whether through mobile searches or on a desktop, ‘top three’ businesses pop up.
To help ranking factors, keep the following in mind when working on local SEO campaigns:
- Local intent – When a user intends to find search results that are relevant to their geographic area.
- Plan out content – Dedicate keywords to certain pages of your site to keep your content and backlinks organized.
- Meta description – A short, catchy tag that summarizes a specific page. In SEO rankings, it’s the blue link of search results.
Pro-tip: To help give your content a kick, do some keyword research. This is when your content is hyper-focused on a topic that has just a couple of keywords. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, and this is one way keywords have evolved through the years.
What is a Google Business Profile (Formerly G+)?
Google Business Profile (formerly Google+ Local or Google My Business/GMB) is a free, public profile that helps you attract and connect with customers. A Google Business Profile can help you:
- Get found online. With over 90% of searches on Google, your business can get discovered more easily.
- Build reputation. Customers will see online reviews, photos and videos on Google Maps and search results pages. For example, a Yelp listing with positive reviews will help add credibility and traffic to your brand.
- Communicate with customers. Use the messaging feature to connect with customers directly from your profile or website.
When you create a Google Business Profile, you’ll publish information about your business that helps customers find you. This includes things like your address, phone number and hours of operation.
How Do You Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing?
When people search for businesses in their area, they will see your Google Business Profile listing at the top of their search results along with other local businesses. This gives you an opportunity to stand out from your competitors and establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
You’re probably asking, how do I make sure my business appears at the top of Google Maps? The answer is: Consistency.
Use the same name and contact information across your website, listing and social media. Your name, address and phone number (NAP) should match everywhere your information is. When someone searches for your business on GMB, they should see the same information. If there is any discrepancy between platforms, users might think your business is fake or someone else is impersonating you online. Make sure that all these platforms carry a similar tone, too.
Starting Your Local SEO Journey
Like we said earlier: We’re pros with the whole digital marketing thing. Lift Marketing is your local SEO agency, specializing in SEO services. Let us help grow your business by implementing different strategies within your local SEO campaign. Give us a call today!