Question: when searching for a well-reviewed restaurant or someone who can fix that weird sound coming out of your car, what do you do?
If you answered something along the lines of “I Google it and go with the best-rated, most visible place near me,” then you’re among the reported 46% of all searches on Google with local intent.
It used to be that folks would stroll along and find their favourite businesses by the visibility of their shopfronts. Oh how times have changed. Your shopfront is now your Google My Business profile and your website.
A global pandemic, the ever-expanding urban sprawl and the increase in cost-of-living means that people need to virtually find places worth travelling before actually making the trip. Consumers decide what’s relevant to them based on the information a business makes readily available, so it’s more important than ever for businesses with physical locations to ensure that potential customers can find them first.
So, how can you accomplish this? Introducing the game-changer: local SEO. In this blog, we will delve into the realm of local SEO and unravel the power it holds in helping businesses establish their online presence. Moreover, we will explore the vital role of Google My Business setup, ensuring your brand stands out in local searches and connects with eager customers.
With our focus on local SEO expertise and Google My Business setup, get ready to unlock the potential that lies within these essential strategies, driving more foot traffic to your business than ever before.
The Significance of Local SEO: Unveiling its Impact on Business Growth
Local search engine optimisation (SEO) in its simplest terms means the optimisation of your online business presence to rank higher for a specific location. When local users or visitors to the area search for relevant offerings in your area, search engines (namely Google) display results by relevance to that user’s search.
Using local SEO tactics ensures that your business is visible in local search results; the better utilised it is, the better your position in local search rankings.
Google My Business and Local Search
The most straightforward and effective way of achieving this is via Google My Business. It allows you to manage your business’ online presence across Search and Maps to provide consistent and accurate information to potential customers. More on this later.
Why Local SEO Is Important For Your Business
Now that you know what local SEO is, you’re probably wondering how (or if) it applies to your business. Below are a few points that might drive home just how important local SEO is for your digital marketing strategy.
Targeting your audience
Local SEO is the bridge between you and potential customers who are specifically looking for businesses (like yours) in their local area. Connecting you with local customers hungry for your offerings is a no-brainer; they are the most likely to make enquiries, enter your physical store and convert into paying customers. This is where your Google My Business setup comes into plat. It’s crucial that you set up your GMB profile correctly.
No more invisibility
You’ve got to be in it to win it and if you’re in local search results, there’s more potential for customers to discover your business and choose you over competitors. Bonus points for being higher up. In fact, 46% of all Google searches include local intent – so don’t take local SEO for granted.
While traffic sources may vary depending on the business, generally, a higher percentage of your potential customers will be searching for products or services via their smartphone. Local SEO optimises your business for mobile, allowing you to capture not just local users, but on-the-go customers who happen to be in the area.
Credibility and trust-building
Local SEO includes customer reviews and displaying accurate business information, establishing your credibility in the domain and building trust with your target audience. A business with genuine, positive reviews and consistent information available is more likely to attract customers than competitors with fewer details on display. The more reviews you have, the better your Google My Business profile will perform.
Top Tips for Taking Advantage of Local SEO
Well, that all sounds great and you’re ready to take advantage of what local SEO can do for your business. Follow these 5 steps to harness the power of local search and get a boost to your local search rankings.
1. Correct the directories: Make sure that your business information is correct and up-to-date across Yelp, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, and any industry specific directories. This helps improve your local search rankings.
2. Manage that reputation: Encourage your customers to review your business on Google, Facebook or other directories. If they’re positive, fantastic – they’ll attract potential customers and boost your local search rankings. Make sure you respond to positive and negative reviews to demonstrate that you’re committed to improving the customer experience.
3. Use local keywords: Location-specific keywords can be used in website content, meta tags, heading and more to bump up local search rankings. There’s a reason so many websites include city names so prominently. Keyword research isn’t as daunting as it sounds, but it is advised that you seek the guidance of local SEO experts.
4. Landing page and location: If your business has multiple locations, create separate landing pages for each. They will need to be customised for relevant local information and the pages, optimised for local keywords.
5. Get local with your content: Your content should always provide value to your audience and establish your authority, but localising your website content via blogs that use local keywords is a great way to increase your search ranking for your location. SIDE NOTE: be careful to avoid keyword stuffing as search engines view this as spam and will penalise you for it.
The Power Of a Google My Business Profile
Google accounts for 78% of all online search behaviour, with 43.2% of internet users claiming their primary reasons for using the search engine being product and brand research. If there was a free way to capitalise off of this information, wouldn’t you use it?
It’s a good thing, then, that Google My Business is free!
More than just a tool for updating your business information (address, contact details, website, hours of operation), Google My Business increases your visibility, gives potential customers a better user experience, boosts traffic to your website (and physical store) and improves your search ranking.
Think with Google cites that, of smartphone users who search for something nearby, a whopping 76% of them end up visiting a business in the search results within a day.
Setting Up Your Google My Business Profile For local SEO
If you can’t afford to be missing out on that kind of conversion, then you’d best get that Google My Business profile set up. To get started:
- Claim and verify your profile
- Add your local business info
- Select the right categories for your business
- Add high quality images and video of your business and products
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews and respond to them
- Find and use your local keywords
- Create localised content – blogs, social media updates, anything else you can think of that your local audience would find valuable or relevant
Perhaps you’ve done all this but aren’t getting the rankings you’d like. Sometimes these things require a studied eye to fix. In these cases…
Leave It To The Local SEO Experts
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of local SEO, Google My Business and theirimportance to business owners than you did before coming across this blog. But there are always going to be little tips and tricks that the internet can’t provide you or fully explain where local search engine optimisation is concerned.
If you need help optimising your online presence, improving your search rankings or attracting new leads online, apply to work with us!