What is SEO?
Generally speaking, Search Engine Optimization is the practice of making your website more visible to search engines by focusing content, ensuring smooth interaction, and establishing external links with other sites. Steve Joiner of Searchography wrote a Layperson’s Guide to SEO for us, which gives a short overview and tips and tricks for today’s marketers in this ever-changing field. In a nutshell, SEO helps potential customers find you by searching for your products/services. Organic SEO, also known as organic search, is based around a website and is focused on relevant content. The primary goal of organic SEO is to rank your website as high as possible using select keywords. Local SEO shares this goal, but has one major component that organic SEO does not.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is built around a physical location. This added geographical component provides a whole new goal: consistency. The information listed on your company’s different web pages, whether it’s Facebook, Yelp, or Bing, needs to be EXACTLY the same. There cannot be any discrepancies, even when it comes to minute things such as substituting “Dr.” for “Drive” at the end of your address on one of your listings. Google wants to direct users to the most relevant and reliable businesses, and if there are inconsistencies with your company’s information across multiple sites, your ranking will suffer. Local SEO ensures that local searches (“search term + location”) will show your business. Even without the location specifically added into the search, Google will use the location of the computer/mobile device you are using to show you the most relevant results. This is key, especially now that these searches are submitted roughly half the time via a mobile device.
Why Local SEO is Vital for your Business
When it comes to driving potential customers to your business, local SEO cannot be undervalued. Each month more than 2.6 billion searches are conducted with more than half of the searches being submitted through Google. Organic SEO is extremely valuable, but local SEO gives you the chance to reach the customers in your surrounding area more effectively. Even better, claiming your Google My Business page is currently FREE and is a great step towards an effective local SEO strategy. Online reviews not only weigh heavily into how Google ranks your company but 88% Of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Online reviews are an incredibly important resource for your company’s web presence for SEO purposes, but also to show your business’ credibility.( make consumers lower case) A business that does not have an established local SEO strategy is at an extreme disadvantage.
How to Ensure your Local SEO is Effective
If you want to rank for your respective trade or product, you need to ensure that your local SEO is accurate and up to date. A Google My Business page is an invaluable resource, along with a Bing page. Your Google My Business page needs to be kept as up to date as possible, but at the same time, it needs to match the information on your Facebook page, Yelp page, and vice-versa. Speaking of Yelp, your business needs to be represented on as many online directories as possible. Online reviews (via Yelp, Facebook, Google, etc.) are extremely important, as Google weighs positive and negative reviews into their algorithm when ranking businesses. Optimizing your website effectively using your select keywords is important. Even if the person searching for your business does not specifically add in the city or area your business is in, the location of your computer or phone determines the relevant results.
We know creating and maintaining a local SEO strategy can be time-consuming, but it is a necessary tool to effectively reach the potential customers in your area. Hopefully, this blog proves to be a helpful resource that further explains what local SEO is and why it is important. If you are interested in having someone help improve your local SEO, we are always available to chat!