Many small business owners are showing interest in improving search rankings and conversion rates through SEO.
Many proven SEO strategies can help you improve rankings as well as conversion. One such strategy is local SEO.
Although each SEO strategy is essential, local SEO can be exceptionally beneficial to your company.
Local SEO involves optimising your company’s website so that you gain higher rankings in the search results when a user does a local search.
What is a local search?
A local search occurs when a person tries to find some information with local intent. For example, ‘SEO Consultants near me’, ‘SEO Company Melbourne’, etc.
Why is local SEO important?
Local SEO focuses on attracting customers in more focused areas, such as those in a particular town or city. It’s usually practised by local businesses that aim to reach this audience to drive traffic to their physical location or develop business within a service area.
Local SEO focuses on improving visibility everywhere online, but mainly on Google and Google Maps.
Here are a few more reasons why local is important:
- Majority of the customers use the search engine to obtain local data.
- One out of every two consumers will look for a local business while on the go.
- One out of two people who uses an electronic device to search for a local business visited the store the same day.
- One out of three people who used a desktop device to search for a local business visited the store the same day.
- More online users would visit your store if they knew your business existed.
The Google local algorithm relies on three key things:
- Relevance– is the business being surfaced appropriately relevant to the search query at hand?
- Prominence– is the business being surfaced trusted?
- Proximity– is the business nearby to the searcher?
Improve your Local SEO Strategies
In recognising all of the benefits you can obtain from using local SEO strategies, you may want to know how to get the process started.
Below are a few factors to consider:
- Relevant Content
- The prominence of your business
Relevancy is an essential component of SEO, be it global or local. No search engine would be surfacing irrelevant search results for any search query.
To ensure that search engines see your business as relevant enough, create locally relevant content. Make sure you’re targeting keywords or topics that potential customers would be searching for. It sends signals to search engines and improves your relevancy for local search queries containing your target keywords and the area name.
Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant keywords and search queries.
Pro tip: Monitor your keyword buckets and optimise your website as per the keywords your target audience searches for; use them on relevant pages, and then you will likely appear in search results for those keywords.
- Select the relevant category for your business while adding it in directories.
- Include your business’s keywords in descriptions and content.
- Create relevant content on your website related to your business expertise
- Use keywords in title tags and meta descriptions.
- Schema markup
- Get links from local and industry-relevant websites.
The prominence of your business
Prominence typically here means; how well-known a business is. You must stand out from your competition. Only then people will notice your presence. The point here is to prove that Google can trust your business. Trust that the information is accurate, that your business exists, and that your business is worth considering.
Prominence is based on information that the search engines have about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories).
The more search engines (including Google) can find and validate your business online, the better it is for your rankings.
Businesses that have a robust online prominence seem more credible and trustworthy to the Google local algorithm.
Search engines pull data from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). And if your business is out there, search engines will find this data and rank you based on prominence.
And if they can’t find you or there are not enough prominent signals, you won’t likely rank.
Essentially, the more link building, the more positive customer reviews, and the better overall organic ranking your business has, the better the local positioning your business will have.
- Create and share relevant content
- List your business in directories (online)
- Build local links (online)
- Develop a strong reviews profile
- Have active and verified social media platforms that suit your business profile.
When a user performs a local search, the proximity of a (relevant) business matters; there is no point in showing search results from another continent, right?
Proximity is one of the most significant factors for local rankings. There are three ways a user can perform a local search.
- Non-geo-modified search
- Geo-modified search
- ‘Near me’ searches
What are these?
Non-geo modified searches are when the location is not included in the search query or the keyword. An example of this is; Best SEO Consultants or SEO Company.
Near-me searches are when the user specifies the nearby results—for example; SEO Consultants near me or SEO Company near me.
Unfortunately, the proximity factor is not in your control. But what you can do is, show Google where your business is so that it surfaces you for nearby search queries and ‘geo-modified’ search queries.
Apart from these three local ranking factors, your overall SEO is also crucial for better search rankings.
Optimise your web content and analysing it time-to-time will help you improve rankings and conversion.
- Include your phone number and address on your website.
- Be consistent with the NAP (name, address, phone number) informationyou list in the online sphere.
- Update your content regularly.
Local SEO is an essential element of your SEO strategy, especially for local businesses. So if you, too, are a local business offering products and services in Melbourne, Webplanners can help your target audience find you when they search online.