Local SEO is one of the powerful tools for your small businesses to improve visibility and gain more customers in your locality.
Statistics show us that four out of five consumers in the USA use “near me” searches to find local information. It could translate to missing out on 80% of potential customers if your offline business isn’t optimized for local search online.
That is to say, a consumer searching online for “gardening tools store near me” will most likely make a physical visit to the stores that appear on the results page. Optimizing your business for local search online is a convenient way to attract new customers.
So What Has the Internet Been Telling you About SEO?
Any search on the internet starts with a search engine, Google, or Bing! Businesses looking to ascend to the throne of the online market ought to be familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques. However, most businesses are not fully aware of how SEO can improve their presence online.
Let’s simplify it for you!
SEO is responsible for the popularity of your site among your competitors online. It determines how well your website is ranked on the results page so that a user using the keyword related to your business sees your site on the top positions of Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
For example, if you are into the air conditioning repair services business and a customer enters the keyword “air conditioning repairs”, Local SEO would kick-in and show your business on the results page.
But did you know that there is more to improving SEO techniques other than just content optimization?
Let us discuss what a Local SEO and Organic SEO does!
Normal SEO vs. Local SEO
|Search Engine Algorithm focuses on-site content||Search Engine Algorithm looks for Location, Name, Address, Phone Number
|Works on enhancing the visibility of your site on a national or a global scale||Works on capturing the local territory by procuring the searchers in your locale.|
Uses various On and Off-page strategies to bring value to the business
An offshoot of organic SEO meant to centralize regional businesses
Traditional SEO strategies like keywords, backlinks, indexing, and more are used to increase the site ranking
Additional to traditional SEO strategies, Google reviews, local listings, adding business information, etc are used to improve the site ranking
While organic SEO caters to the site performance on a global scale, local SEO takes responsibility to improve the performance and behavior of the site in a particular locality of the business and the users accessing the business. The aspects of local SEO are quite disparate from organic SEO.
In our blog, we are going to discuss in detail the local SEO and what change it will bring to any online business.
Here’s a video which can help you get more insights on this.
As the name implies, Local SEO is for local businesses like shops, restaurants, any commercial places, or small business offices with frequent customer visits. Local SEO helps in people finding you (if you’re the business owner) easily in real life and locating to your place.
Local SEO is performed on all the search engines, let’s consider the two as popular (as they are), Google and Bing (while Google is primary and Bing is secondary). Basically, Local SEO is oriented with a ‘Near Me’ search tag.
For example, a restaurant near me. In that case, your site has to be optimized in a way that, as soon as the user uses this search tag, your restaurant should be in one of the top suggestions.
Capitalize on “near me” searches: local SEO with Google vs Bing
|Website Content||Google predicts the context of each page and assesses accordingly.|
Google regularly evaluates sites on engaging content. Also, Google ranks mobile websites before the desktop version.
|Bing is easier to optimize as it requires only specific keywords in page titles, page content and meta tags.
Bing tends to favor old, reputable pages.
|Listings & Reviews||Social media reviews, listings don't integrate well with Google search results.||Bing fully integrates social media into their results.
|Backlinks||Google prefers high authority backlinks and counts each one as its favorable “vote of confidence” from that link.||Bing focuses only on the quality of the backlink site and not the number.|
|Title Tags||Title tags to be used wisely so that Google does not suspect keyword stuffing.||Title tags with keywords will rank very well on Bing.|
While Google may be the undisputed market leader, Bing has a decent market share, at 21.3%, in the USA (including Yahoo that is also powered by Bing). This also means that optimizing for search engines like Bing has lower competition. There is even an exclusive audience in most verticals on the Yahoo-Bing network.
So, we shall see some of the strategies of improving local SEO in Bing as well as Google.
Use ‘Google My Business’ for online listing
The search monster’s favorite online listing directory is GMB (Google My Business). Crazy isn’t it. But yes. Google prioritizes internal searches for local search results. So, business listing in Google My Business is for sure going to help in a greater way.
List your business by specifying proper keywords, relevant description, name, address, and phone number. Upload photos and videos of the business to attract customers. Media-rich contents increase traffic.
List your business in as many directories as you can. It’s a smarter move!
A local touch optimization is required
Use geo-specific keywords and phrases added to the title, meta description and body. For example, using the title “John’s Burgers in Kansas city” instead of “John’s Burgers” will significantly improve the product/service local visibility.
Create landing pages to drive more users
If there is more than one branch, create location pages for all the branches with definite location-based elements.
Alternatively, provide engaging blog posts and articles which are excellent ways to get local content.
Synchronize social media to the local SEO strategy
Google may not factor in social media presence as it factors in backlinks or contents. Yet having a formidable social presence and involvement can win more traffic to the site and backlinks too. It contributes to gaining higher search results. Here is an article from Moz about using other social media channel to boost your local presence.
When there are interaction with individuals (your customers) and brands (your business) from a particular region, Google factors it into their local rankings.
Authentic backlinks increase the legitimacy of the site
Backlinks by trusted sites with high domain authority is an upvote for the ranking. No one is going to place an irrelevant backlink on their site. Find the industries suited to your niche and with the same business value. It helps. Immensely! Here’s an article that digs deep into this content. Do have a read.
Reviews are saviors
Akin to the people, Google trusts online reviews too. The five-star rating and positive reviews are pivotal in terms of getting a decent search ranking. Excellent reviews not only gain higher rankings but also a better click-through rate. So, go for it!
Get the reviews and ratings by providing the best products and services.
- Ask for reviews and feedbacks
- Direct the users to the review page
- Share the positive reviews
Make it mobile-friendly
Is there anyone without a mobile and not performing a local search in this era? Not at all. Local searches or “near me” searches are performed mostly on mobile and it becomes an important criteria to optimize the site. Making the online site mobile friendly not only improves user experience but indirectly affects the Google search rankings.
Do take inspirations and tips from Google’s own article about making your website mobile friendly here.
Next comes, Bing…
Go for Business Listing With Bing Places
Claim your business to Bing places which is the Microsoft version of GMB. Specify the correct data like NAP, working hours, category, and other basics. uploading photos and video adds value to the business. There are other business directories too, where you can list the business which helps to rank well.
The backlink profile is important
The number backlinks by a proper profile built with anchor text will add value to the site. Unlike Google, it’s not just getting backlinks from authoritative domains, but it is required to build a worthy backlink profile in the context of the business.
Take up conventional on-page SEO techniques
As of the tech experts, Bing’s algorithm is less sophisticated when compared to Google and it depends more on keyword marching and queries. Use old school on-page SEO techniques like H1 tags for heading and H2 for subheadings which will drive the page in the Bing SERP.
Social media is powerful
Bing page rankings are highly influenced by social signals which are used to implicate the content quality. Find the right social media platforms that work for you and stay engaged with your audience through regular posts, interactions, etc. It helps to perform better.
Reviews are important
People tend to assess the quality of a product or a service through peer reviews and ratings. But it does not mean that businesses should always expect 5-star ratings as they are a bit suspicious. Even if the ratings and reviews are less than expected, it still helps to improve credibility. In the hindsight, it is important for businesses to respond to the user and address their concerns promptly.
Your Trusted Small Business Local SEO Partner
A survey revealed that about 76% of people in the USA who frequently used location, “near me” searches visit the offline store within the same day.
This effectively means that if the visibility of your business is optimized for local SEO, you may be able to attract more online traffic to your offline store.
If you are an offline business and looking to attract more online traffic, getting professional help will save a lot of your time and effort. At ColorWhistle, we expertise in Digital Marketing, Web Design, and Web Development Services. We offer complete SEO operations (Organic and Local) for various business needs impeccably.
Our Local SEO-related service includes,
- Website Audit
- Keyword Research
- On-page Optimization
- Social Media Optimization
- Local Search Optimization
- Content marketing and Link Acquisition
You can drop a message or call us at +1 (919) 234-5140 at any time. We are happy to work with you.
What Local SEO techniques have you used for your website and which of them have worked best for you? Let us know in the comments section below.