Have you ever entered the phrase “near me” when searching on Google? Almost every user on Google has at one time or another. This type of search is becoming increasingly popular for users as it helps them find what they are looking for in their immediate surroundings. To be included in the results for searches that contain “near me”, businesses need to incorporate tactics for local search engine optimization (SEO) into their digital marketing strategy. Let’s dive deeper into what Local SEO is and some ways your business can optimize its online presence to reach its target audience using this platform.
Local SEO focuses on increasing search visibility for businesses that serve their customers in person. Unlike general SEO which focuses on getting as many visitors to your business’s website as possible no matter their location, Local SEO only targets customers within a certain area of your business. An effective Local SEO strategy includes content, on-page optimization and link building. Businesses that usually benefit from utilizing Local SEO have brick and mortar stores and are trying to increase the amount of foot traffic as well as businesses that serve a specific target geographical area such as electricians.
So why is optimizing for Local SEO important? Search Engine Journal sites that 50% of people who perform a local search on their mobile device visit a business within one day and 1 in 3 of local searches that were conducted on a smartphone occurred just before arriving at a store. A big factor of Local SEO relates to your business’s Google My Business account.
Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google that makes it easier for businesses to manage their online presence as it appears in search results. Utilizing Google My Business listings as part of your business’s Local SEO is beneficial because they include pertinent information about your business, such as physical address, which ensures it gets included in the appropriate search results. Once your business’s GMB profile is created, a listing on Google Maps will be created also, allowing users to easily get directions to your location.
Besides featuring the address of your business, GMB listings include your business’s contact information such as location address, phone number, hours of operation and business’s website. It can also show the customer reviews. Asking your customers for Google reviews a best practice your business should partake in as it can help promote your business and affect the decision making process for new potential customers. Reviews also help build brand awareness and brand trust as users can see firsthand the experience other customers had with your company. If your business should receive a negative review, your business should respond respectfully and work to improve the customer’s experience. In addition, your business can make posts and other updates as a way to engage with your customers and give them more information about the products and services you offer. It is best to wait at least 24 hours after your Google My Business account is verified before making your first post or Google may suspend your account. Now that you know the value of creating a GMB account for your Local SEO strategy, let’s discuss the benefits of link building.
Link building is known as creating a network of links to and from your business’s website that help improve your site’s authority in relation to a specific topic or industry and in turn your SEO ranking. While this tactic for SEO is not new, link building usually focuses on links related to industry instead of geographical area. For Local SEO, the emphasis is actually the opposite. When looking for links to your website to build your Local SEO, it is best to start by doing some searches of your own For example, search your location “+ blogs” as a way to find local blogs to be featured on. Once you find a reputable source, building links will help build awareness of your business in your area and increase the likelihood it shows up for relative searches.
With many users searching for businesses near them on Google, utilizing Local SEO tactics can help you increase the amount of foot traffic to your business’s location. Both creating and maintaining a Google My Business listing and increasing link building with local links are methods your business can implement to improve your Local SEO listing. Not sure how to utilize Local SEO because your business has multiple locations? Check out this blog from TechArk for some pointers. The team at TechArk Solutions, located in Norfolk VA, are experts in all aspects of search engine optimization. Let them help improve your business’s digital presence. Contact Team TechArk today.