Even business owners who are relatively new to the online landscape have most likely heard about search engine optimization. However, many businesses are not aware of how to differentiate local SEO practices from their standard SEO strategies. Though SEO practices have general similarities between subtypes, there are a few key pieces of information to take note of when working with local SEO.
Let’s cover what local SEO is, how it differs from other SEO practices, and which features make for great SEO improvements.
What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization focuses on increasing traffic to a certain website by enhancing its visibility for individuals in a specific area. This may involve using local keywords in the site’s content or creating a thorough Google My Business profile. It may also include using the business’s company name, street address, and local phone number.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO works in similar ways as any other type of search engine optimization, just in a more refined way. Google searches work by taking keywords and/or perceived user intent and trying to populate results that best satisfy the query. The best results are typically websites and pieces of content that include relevant keywords. These are hosted on mobile-friendly sites and have high levels of visitor engagement.
Local SEO does the same thing, but several unique elements play a role in the effectiveness of a high ranking for specific geographic areas.
For starters, the user’s location is a critical part of what enables search engines to provide information that meets that user’s need. If the user is looking for “doctors near me” and the user resides in Trenton, New Jersey, search engines are going to present a list of New Jersey doctors in the search results. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to promote doctors across the country.
For local organizations to achieve high search engine rankings, the business in question should also have:
- An updated Google My Business listing
- The name of the business, the street address, and the phone number listed on the website (also known as NAP citations)
- Location-specific high-ranking keywords included in the website’s content, as well as in the company’s Google My Business Listing
- A social media presence
- Reviews, Google Maps star ratings, and check-ins at the business location
Let’s look at another example. If the user is searching for doctors in and around Trenton, a high-ranking office will have contact information on its website that matches Trenton area codes and zip codes. It may also have a Google My Business profile that display’s the office’s location, purpose, and area-related keywords that present the business as a solution for the query. A decent local SEO keyword phrase in this situation might be, “emergency doctor in Trenton, NJ” or “Trenton, NJ general practitioner.”
Tips for Local SEO Success
To improve your company’s visibility online, especially when it comes to attracting locals, try the following tips.
- Keep a reliable social media engagement schedule.
- Check that your company name, address, and phone number are updated regularly on all of your pages and accounts.
- Provide your contact information in relevant online directories.
- Optimize your Google My Business profile by linking social media posts, keeping information up to date, and including local SEO keywords.
- Don’t forget to optimize your website’s headers, subheadings, content, meta descriptions, and title tags.
- Create and post location-specific content.
- Use online tools to perform audits on your local SEO efforts.
- Set up link networks with inbound and backlinks coming from and going to reputable sites in your industry.
- Have a user-friendly website that works well on mobile devices.
- Get involved with your community and extend your name and company name at local events.
On paper, local SEO sounds relatively easy to work with. However, if you find that you’re having trouble ranking higher in search engine results, you’re not alone. There are a lot of fine details included in SEO strategizing. Also, because Google is constantly updating its search algorithms, it’s no wonder that business owners are struggling.
That’s why we’re here to help. Bauertech is an experienced team of SEO experts providing catered SEO services to our clients. We understand the ins and outs of SEO and optimizing your business’s online presence is our specialty. Contact us for a free strategy session today!