Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. This includes optimizing your website, social media profiles, and online directories for local search terms and phrases. For example, if you own a small bakery in Los Angeles, you would want to optimize your online presence for local search terms such as "bakery in Los Angeles" or "best bakery in LA." This would help to increase the likelihood that your bakery appears as a top search result when someone in your local area is searching for a bakery. There are a number of techniques that can be used to optimize your website and online presence for local search, including optimizing your website for relevant keywords, getting listed in online directories, and encouraging customer reviews. The goal of local SEO is to make it easier for people in your local area to find and learn about your business online, and to drive more traffic and sales as a result.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
Local SEO is important for a number of reasons:
It helps to increase the online visibility of your business: by optimizing your online presence for local search, you can increase the likelihood that your business appears as a top search result when someone in your local area is searching for a business like yours.
Drives local traffic and sales: local SEO can help to drive more traffic and sales to your business by making it easier for people in your local area to find and learn about your business online.
Establishes your business as a credible and reputable local business: by getting listed in online directories and encouraging customer reviews, you can help to establish your business as a credible and reputable local business in the eyes of potential customers.
It helps to compete with larger businesses: local SEO can level the playing field between small, local businesses and larger, national businesses by helping local businesses to more effectively compete for local search traffic.
Local SEO is an important part of any business's online marketing strategy, as it helps to increase the online visibility and credibility of the business, and drive more traffic and sales as a result.
What Can You Do To Improve Local SEO?
There are a number of things you can do to improve your local SEO and increase the visibility of your business online:
Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile listing: this is a free listing that appears in Google's local search results. By claiming and optimizing your listing, you can provide important information about your business, such as your hours of operation, address, and phone number. You can also add photos and post updates to your listing to engage with potential customers.
Optimize your website for local keywords: use local keywords and phrases in the content on your website, as well as in the page titles and descriptions. This will help search engines understand what your website is about and how it is relevant to local search queries.
Get listed in online directories: in addition to your Google My Business listing, consider getting listed in other online directories, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Bing Places. These listings help to establish your business as a credible and reputable local business.
Encourage customer reviews: positive customer reviews can help to improve your local SEO, as well as the perceived credibility of your business. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, as well as on other review sites.
Use local structured data: structured data is code that you can add to your website to help search engines understand the content on your pages. By using local structured data, you can help search engines understand the location of your business and the products or services you offer.
By following these strategies, you can improve your local SEO and increase the online visibility of your business to potential customers in your local area.
Reviews and Local SEO Impact
When it comes to local businesses, user-generated content (UGC) is written by customers and posted on websites for brands or on third-party review platforms. Google, Yelp, and Facebook are just a few platforms that host reviews; there are countless others. Although every platform is different, reviews could contain:
Star ratings, bubble ratings, or other icon ratings
Examine qualities like "responsiveness" or "professionalism"
It is important to respond to all reviews. The majority of review sites let businesses reply to the feedback they get. These three straightforward approaches encourage success with owner responses:
React as soon as you can with gratitude to any positive evaluations, and even quicker to bad reviews.
It's important to keep in mind that reviews are a two-way dialogue that offer the opportunity to turn a negative customer experience into a great one that wins the customer back and perhaps even motivates them to modify their review to reflect a positive, second experience with a brand.
Reviews are meant to be viewed by everyone who is interested in reading them, not just the company and one particular consumer. The way a company handles complaints from customers demonstrates to all customers how it will handle them should they have a problem.
Business reviews can have a significant impact on local SEO ranking. Here's why:
Reviews can help to establish the credibility and reputation of your business: positive reviews from customers can help to establish the credibility and reputation of your business, which can in turn improve your local SEO ranking.
Reviews can help to improve your local search visibility: Google and other search engines may use customer reviews as a ranking factor in local search results. This means that businesses with more positive reviews may have a better chance of ranking higher in local search results.
Reviews can help to improve the user experience: positive reviews can also help to improve the user experience for visitors to your website and your Google Business Profile listing. This can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates, which can also help to improve your local SEO ranking.
Encouraging customers to leave reviews, and responding to both positive and negative reviews in a timely and professional manner, can help to improve your local SEO ranking and drive more traffic and sales to your business. Do you own a business and want help with improving your website's page speed? At Belden Digital, we’ve helped a variety of clients from every industry reach their marketing goals. Contact us today to get information on local SEO services that will help your website rank higher in search engines.