We’ve heard about search engine optimization as we browse the web in our day-to-day. Although it means nothing to us, average people, SEO is actually a big thing in the world of business. Entrepreneurs rely on effective SEO tools to grow and build their brand. And for good reason too. Google reported that keyword searches are increasing especially with mobile use. It means that more people now use the web for information and the majority of them do their searches using their smartphones or smart gadgets.
For small businesses with actual shops where they do business, the concept of local SEO shouldn’t be missed. However, it can leave entrepreneurs confused as to its difference from the existing SEO they now have in place. Back in the days, the Yellow Pages is everyone’s ultimate resource. However, as technology advances, looking up a particular shop through it seem like an ancient thing to do. Most people are now armed with a smart gadget in hand and it does everything for them, from serving as the main communication tool for doing basic searches on retail, work, school, or other web-related inquiries. The landscape has changed and entrepreneurs need to adjust to stay relevant amidst the changes.
Welcome to local SEO
Local SEO, or local search optimisation, helps small businesses attract local consumers online.
If you search for products or services online, search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo display not only traditional organic results, but also local results, which show businesses and maps in your area.
To do this, search engines will identify your current location via your IP Address and return the most relevant businesses within your immediate area.
Local Search Results
Local search results are probably already familiar to you. Google, Bing and Yahoo all return local results, and all have slight variations on the style and number of results featured. But for now, let’s look at Google:
Google searches have dramatically increased over the years. It is the reason why the company continually makes updates to adapt to all these changes. As of late, they even announced implementing paid results in local listings. It means businesses need to pay for their business to move forward and earn a spot in the “local finder page” even though the site lags on ranking.
If you’ve followed SEO strategies for any length of time, you know one thing: SEO changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business. Local competition is heating up, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, you can bet your competitors will be.
Here are five solid local SEO tactics you can use this year to help your business rank higher for local search terms.
Title and meta description tags still matter
Online directories and citations
Google My Business: Claim and optimize
Online reviews matter
Use local structured data markup
Three factors encompass local SEO. They are local listings and citations, on-site local SEO optimization, and online reviews. Take the time to list your business on various online listings like Yelp, CitySearch, and many others. Also, include on your list other local directories like the local newspaper’s website or other popular listings in the community to reach a wider audience.
Small businesses have a bigger chance of succeeding and being able to compete against bigger brands with the help of local SEO. Providing accurate business data and customer service will eventually encourage consumers to write a positive review about your business, which will hopefully attract more customers. Also, make it a point to keep your website updated, so consumers know what to expect when they visit your site or buy something that you sell. Taking your business online is simply unavoidable these days as it is the medium preferred by everyone. So if you own a small business and want it to be a profitable one, local SEO is something you shouldn’t take for granted at all.