What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the art of optimizing your website so it will be found through search within your specific geographic area (local community). For example: a dentist located in Tampa Florida wants to be found by everyone in the Tampa area searching for a dentist. Without good local SEO tactics you stand to lose out on gaining traffic in your area.
Why is Local SEO important?
According to Hubspot, 46% of all searches are local. People are often looking for something near them they need right away. Example: “Italian restaurant near me”. Web searchers know that Google tracks their location and will serve up results for a specific geographic location. How do you get in on that local action? Make sure your local SEO is set up correctly!
Also, although Google owns the lion’s share of the search market, this goes beyond Google. Websites such as Yelp, Bing, Apple maps and other geo-oriented web services are scanning the web to find information about where you are, how to reach you, what your operating hours are and what products or services you offer in your community.
How does local SEO work?
Local SEO is a mix of on page and off page SEO (mostly off page). First, you have to make sure the information on your website is accurate and matches all the external citations related to your business. For example: do you have several phone numbers? If your website lists one phone number and a local business directory lists a completely different number, this can be confusing and you may not get as much respect from Google. Remember, Google is just a big robot and all it can do is a comparative analysis of the information it finds on the web about your business. It is essential that all data related to your business is consistent across all local citations.
For example: does your website clearly indicate where you are? Do you have multiple locations? Are these clearly indicated both on your website and in all external citations (such as Yelp or local business directories)?
One of the most important first steps in gaining a good local search result is claiming your “Google my Business” listing and ensuring that your website takes advantage of the “local business” schema markup where possible.
Do I need local SEO?
If your business earns a significant percentage of income from walk-in traffic you should definitely consider local SEO. Local SEO is essential to most service oriented businesses such as doctors, lawyers, plumbers, restaurants, cleaning companies, home repair services etc. The kinds of businesses we used to find in the yellow pages are now being served up by Google – so it is very important to make sure Google has accurate information about your company.
How can I get started with local SEO?
The first thing to do is get a full health checkup for your website. Local SEO, while important for many businesses, is only one piece of the SEO puzzle. Contact us right away to get started on the way to better and more relevant traffic for your business!