Local SEO

Local SEO: The Complete Guide to Success

While half of the world is still navigating through the basics of successful SEO, the other half has already moved to a highly targeted approach – local SEO!

It is unarguably one of the best digital strategies for local businesses to bring in more customers. And statistics agree.

Reports show that “near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years.

Moreover, 87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022.

Consumers also mention that they prefer shopping from a store that has a physical as well as digital presence.

So, let’s quickly tell you how do you know if you need local SEO and share result-oriented local SEO tips and tools.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO refers to optimizing your website to increase visibility to local customers and bring in more local traffic. Applying adequate strategies helps you rank high in search queries and acquiring customers from nearby areas.

The three main factors in optimizing content for local consumers are:

  • Relevance
  • Proximity
  • Prominence

Businesses looking forward to improving their local customer base must be prominent (rank high) with results relevant to locations in proximity.

This type of search engine optimization comprises local content, links, reviews, and social media pages that represent their local presence. It allows businesses to position their products and services to potential customers around them.

The basics of Local SEO include:

  • Searching for local keywords to rank
  • Optimizing content for local keywords and other metrics
  • Creating and optimizing Google Business Profile
  • Adding reviews and event posts to encourage more local purchases

Why Local SEO is Important for Your Business?

Recent studies show that 46% of Google searches are local, and 80% of local mobile searches convert.

However, 58% of companies still don’t optimize for local search; it means business optimizing their content for local consumers have an edge over others.

Times are gone when you go out and see a billboard telling you about a new business in the neighborhood. Now, people shop online, making it essential for all businesses to have a highly optimized web presence.

Optimizing your website, managing reviews, and creating local business listings boost visibility.

How do You Know if you Need Local SEO?

Local SEO has become a popular terminology recently, but it has always been the need for businesses with a physical location. Businesses often wonder, “Do we need to invest in local optimization?” The answer is yes!

Did you know 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device call or visit the store within 24 hours?

In this digital era, a large number of buyers check the products online first to save time in-store. Having an online familiarizes your potential customers with the store, encouraging them to visit you.

Elements of Local SEO

Local organic rankings and Map Pack results are the two basic components of local SEO, followed by events and local PR. If you want to beat others to reach the top spots, it is crucial to focus on all aspects. While specific elements impact each element of optimization, some, like reviews and events, influence both local optimization and the Map Pack. So, let’s tell you everything about them.

Local Organic Rankings

Local organic rankings are critical to all kinds of businesses, making them critical to local optimization. They push your content to the top, ensuring it reaches the target audience.

Local organic rankings include:

Keyword Research

Local rankings on search engines require researching for keywords to rank high on SERPs. They typically include service and location-based keywords. You can get keywords from:

  • Google Suggest
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Competitors

However, you must also try to rank for keywords including ‘near me’ and ‘nearby’ with your store type. E.g. Bakery near me, saloons nearby, etc.

Backlinks

Backlinks are as important for local businesses as they are for e-commerce. If you do not have relationships with other local businesses, use outreach emails to build contacts.

Meanwhile, you can also connect to your neighboring businesses, suppliers, wholesalers, distributors, and contractors, asking for backlinks. Search for the right spot on their website to add your links.

The Map Pack

The second part of local SEO is the Map Pack that you do not hear much about in the standard, usual SEO.

When Google identifies a local query, it brings you results in a listicle with a map identifying the businesses’ locations. This is known as the Map Pack. It makes it easy for people to pick a location close to them whether they want a haircut, have dinner, or any other search.

You might be surprised that the Google Maps Pack gets around 44% of the total clicks on search engine results pages.

Ranking on the Map Pack allows you to be highlighted among search results, increasing your chances of conversion. Also, businesses might not always only rank for ‘store + city’ or ‘query + location.’

To rank on The Map Pack, you must focus on the following:

Google My Business Profile

While your website plays a major role in bringing people to your store or encouraging online purchases, your Google My Business Profile ensures fast action. It contributes significantly to bringing your business to the top.

The main elements of Google My Business Profile include:

  • Category
  • Business address
  • Business hours
  • Reviews

NAPs

NAPs (Name, Address, and Phone number) are another critical part of proving your business’s credibility and authenticity. Optimizing your business’s NAPs to show up in search results impacts how Google sees your business overall. Appearing in different search results signals Google that this information is true.

At the same time, you must update your NAPs immediately when you change your store’s location or phone number. The details should be consistent everywhere, including:

  • The website
  • Google My Business Profile
  • Local listing sites
  • Business directories

Sometimes, it might also require sending outreach emails to local resource pages mentioning your previous/ incorrect NAPs.

Reviews

Google takes reviews very seriously and has a sweet spot for businesses with positive reviews. So, if you also want to beat the competition, you must have plentiful positive reviews on your business profile. You can do so by mentioning ‘please leave a review’ on your website’s checkout page or add a card to their order, requesting a review on your GMB page.

While you cannot hide negative reviews, you can manage them and exhibit good customer service.

Local PR and Events

Besides organic SEO and the Map Pack, local PR and events familiarize more people with your business. The best way is to arrange or sponsor local events. It will give you a place on their website or event page. You can also give a heads-up to local newspapers or news channels for event coverage to reach more people locally.

Local SEO Tips

Now that you know why local SEO is important for your business and all the important elements of local SEO, we have compiled a few tips for you to make the best out of your optimization strategy.

  • When optimizing for local SEO, mention your main keyword in a heading at the top of your main page.
  • Embed your business’s physical location on your website using the embed code from Google Maps.
  • Optimize your meta tags for local searches by mentioning locations and using your NAPs for better ranking.
  • Modify your page structure by using headers, content, and images adequately.
  • Focus on organic SEO ranking factors to push your website to the top in SERPs.
  • Search engines optimize citations and online directories to improve the overall online presence of your business.
  • Engage on social media to get content for your GMB profile and engage potential customers.
  • Create content on your website and socials considering your target audience, i.e., local customers.
  • Always do a local SEO audit to see if your web pages rank on the intended keywords. You might also find other relevant keywords to add to your SEO strategy.
  • Improve the overall functionality of your website for desktop and mobile for better optimization.

Local SEO Tools

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is an important tool for keyword research besides Google Suggest. It details the keyword’s volume and difficulty when searching for new ones. You can use it for general as well as local optimization keywords.

Google Business Manager

Google Business Manager allows you to create and manage your Google Business Profile. It is critical to local SEO as it lets you add all the details to your profile, like category, NAPs, etc.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an SEO analysis tool by Google that gives you insights into your website’s ranking and performance. It shows page views, clicks, bounce rates, and more.

Google Search Console

This wonderful tool by Google gives you details about keyword performance and search traffic. It also tells you popular pages among visitors coming on a particular keyword.

Ahref’s Rank Tracker

Ahref’s Rank Tracker makes it easy for businesses to track their ranking on keywords on SERPs. You can track as many as 10,000 keywords by country, city, and ZIP code.

Yext

As we mentioned, the importance of sharing the same details across all channels online, Yext is an amazing help. It lets you sync and manage business information to keep citations consistent to save time on manual fixing.

Ready to Rank High in Local Queries?

This article told you everything from why local SEO is important for your business, how do you know if you need local SEO, and local SEO tips to essential components and tools. Implementing these strategies will enable you to rank in organic results as well as the Map Pack.

If you need help reaching the top of search results, SEO experts at Kubico are always happy to help!

Contact us today.

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