Local SEO is defined as that online marketing activity that allows local businesses to promote their services to local customers at that exact point in time when they are searching for your type of business. It is said that four out of five people use the internet on their smartphones for local information. In order for Google and other search engines to serve the users with the relevant information from the vast amount of data they have, local based results will become more and more relevant and prevalent.
Directory listings are an important feature of local SEO. They could be niche or general listings. They serve as online telephone directories with NAP data along with a map sometimes and your URL. Some allow photographs too. Some are free, some are paid; some for life, some for eleven months only, the options are many. There are thousands of directory listings. It pays to be listed in at least a few of them. Yelp! Google My Business are a couple of popular ones in the USA.
Local SEO is a great tool for small businesses because there are only so many competitors. The better visibility you have on a SERP, the more likely that your target will find you! It is also a great way for search engines to serve the most relevant results to the search engine user, providing locations too.
In a Google search, local search results are served either in the new carousel format, which comes with a map, with an indented listing providing address telephone numbers, reviews etc.
Why is local SEO becoming more important?
- Local customers are using the internet to find local business
- Local search is becoming more popular with the passing years.
- Local search is highly targeted and timely
- It gives better results than the traditional advertising options
- Mobile usage is highly prevalent. Local SEO covers both laptop as well as mobile telephony
- Greatest return on investment. No wasted exposure
- If you claim your Google local listing, you will be way ahead of competition
- Local SEO is still free.Readership of Newspapers has declined by a huge percentage – 40% to 80%
- Customer reviews which are very popular are a big part of local SEO.
How do you improve your company’s local SEO?
- When creating your local page, pay special attention to how you categorize them in many subcategories provided.
- Make sure your NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) is consistent across the web, in your local pages, directory listings
- Use good quality directories. Use category and location searches to find out if there is an opportunity to be listed somewhere.
- Work to get more reviews about your site. Reviews are showcased on SERP
- Add lots of images to your local listing to make it look interesting. Make sure the key word appears often.
- Try to earn inbound links from bloggers, newspapers and through social sharing, content development etc.
- Hire a reputable local SEO company if you don’t have enough time, because this is an ongoing process with the search engine changes happening all the time.