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Local SEO: What It Is and 4 Best Practices


    Using word-of-mouth and local advertisements can be effective for attracting customers in your area, but online search is just as important, if not more so. According to Social Media Today, 97% of people who use search engines have turned to the Internet to find local businesses, and 46% of all Google searches are for local information.

    Local SEO

    If your business doesn't show up in local search results, you could be missing out on valuable traffic and potential customers. In simpler terms, focusing on local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) could be the key to staying relevant and growing your business.

    If you're new to the world of local SEO, you probably have many questions and may not know where to start. This guide will provide you with essential solutions for improving your local SEO and give you a better understanding of the landscape. So, let's get started right away.

    What is local SEO, and why is it important?

    To grasp the concept of local SEO, let's begin by understanding what local search entails. Local search occurs when someone looks for businesses, products, services, or information related to a specific location. For instance, they might search for "dentists near me" to find a dentist in their city or "best plumbing service in [location]" to locate a nearby plumbing service.

    According to Impressive Digital E-commerce SEO Services, local search is more location-specific compared to general Google searches. Local SEO, then, is the process of optimizing your online presence to appear in these local search results.

    Local SEO is crucial because it helps you achieve the following:

    ● Increase your online visibility.

    ● Attract more customers to your physical store.

    ● Draw in targeted traffic, improving your chances of converting visitors into customers.

    ● Enhance your credibility and establish trust within your local community.

    4 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Local SEO Strategy

    Now, let's delve into the most crucial aspect: improving your local SEO strategy and boosting your local search ranking. This involves several key elements, but we'll focus on the most essential ones:

    → 1. Take Ownership of and Enhance Your Google My Business (GMB) Listing

    Google My Business (GMB) plays a pivotal role in your local SEO strategy. This Google tool allows you to create free business listings, and according to Moz, it ranks among the top factors considered by Google when evaluating businesses for organic local search results and snack pack rankings.

    To get started, visit the Google My Business website to either claim or create your listing.

    To set up your GMB (Google My Business) listing effectively, make sure to include the following information:

    ● Your complete and accurate business name.

    ● The physical address of your store or office.

    ● Precise location pinpointed on a map.

    ● Your business category.

    ● Your phone number and website (if applicable).

    Once your listing is live, you'll need to verify it, typically through a phone call or by receiving a postcard. After verification, follow these steps to optimize your Google My Business listing:

    ● Upload photos showcasing your business, including images of the interior of your store or office and the surrounding premises.

    ● Specify your business hours.

    ● Add any additional relevant categories that apply to your business.

    ● Include extra phone numbers if they are available.

    → 2. Prioritize Mobile Optimization

    Given the ubiquitous presence of smartphones in our daily lives, it's only natural that many people rely on their mobile devices to search for local information and businesses. A study commissioned by Uberall revealed that 82% of respondents had used their mobile devices for "near me" searches, highlighting the prevalence of mobile-based local searches.

    To effectively reach these mobile searchers, it's crucial to optimize your website for mobile screens. Create a website that is mobile-friendly to ensure that mobile visitors can easily navigate and access the information they need.

    Additionally, don't overlook the importance of including click-to-call buttons on your website and Google My Business (GMB) listing. This simple addition can make a significant impact, as 60% of mobile users have directly contacted a business from their search results.

    → 3. Gather Customer Reviews

    As mentioned in the earlier Moz study, customer reviews are a crucial factor influencing your local search and snack pack rankings. Therefore, having a substantial number of genuine reviews, especially positive ones, can significantly enhance your visibility in local search results and bolster your reputation. This underscores the importance of actively gathering more authentic customer reviews for your business.

    Concentrate your efforts on platforms where Google expects businesses to have reviews. In addition to your website and your Google My Business (GMB) listing, you should seek reviews on consumer directories and social media platforms. This entails focusing on collecting reviews on platforms such as Facebook, Yelp, Thumbtack, Foursquare, Angie's List, and others that are pertinent to your specific business.

    → 4. Prioritize Local Link Building

    Impressive Digital E-commerce SEO Services

    In local SEO, link signals, such as the authority and quantity of linking domains, hold significant sway over your rankings in local searches and snack pack results, according to Moz. Similar to standard SEO practices, local SEO also requires an emphasis on building quality backlinks to enhance your overall link profile. However, there's a specific twist: the linking domains should be closely related to your target location.

    This entails targeting authoritative websites within your target region. These could include licensing bureaus, trade associations, the Chamber of Commerce, or even local educational (.edu) sites.

    To acquire valuable backlinks from local sources, consider strategies like forming partnerships, offering scholarships, and engaging in guest posting. For instance, you can observe how the Connecticut College website links to various local establishments from its "Attractions" page as a notable example of effective local link building.

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