Just when you think that you have learned everything there is to know about SEO, something new comes around the corner. In this case, it’s local SEO. When you’re developing your marketing and content strategy, it’s very important to keep in mind that the internet is always in flux.
Consumer demand and interests change with trends, new inventions and even the economy. Local SEO is a way for you to develop content that withstands these search adjustments and establish brand awareness through your local community.
If you only format SEO to comply with transitory trends, you’ll miss out on building a solid consumer base in your regional area. Ideally, you should incorporate both types of SEO into your content for the best results.
What is Local SEO?
In short, local SEO helps to ensure that your business is coming up when a user searches for a term plus ‘near me.’ This is an important consideration, as ThinkwithGoogle has shown that searches that include ‘near me’ or ‘in my area’ or ‘where can I buy’ have experienced a 500 percent increase in the last two years alone, as of 2018.
This represents, as stated above, one of those shifts in consumer searches that can lead to your business being overlooked if you’re not ready for it. If you’re only formatted for standard SEO, the ‘near me’ search could very well eliminate your business from results.
It’s interesting to note that this trend is being recognized across all internet platforms, including mobile-based searches. In 2018, mobile-based ‘near me’ searches grew 136 percent.
The logical conclusion is that at least a portion of these mobile-based searches are conducted by consumers as they are actively out and shopping for your product. When you have a consumer actively searching for and ready to purchase a product you carry, it’s in your best interest to get them into your store.
Formatting your content for local SEO can, in this way, help increase your consumer base by being an active draw to purchasing consumers.
How do I Incorporate Local SEO?
Matthew Barby, of SearchEngineLand, had some tips for businesses just beginning to incorporate local SEO into their content.
The first thing a business has to do in order to start ranking on local SEO services is to establish a website. In addition to ensuring all of your business listing information is correct, incorporate local NAP citations and business reviews.
The key here is to ensure that your My Business page matches the information on your business site exactly. If there’s a discrepancy, it might affect how these search engines turn your business listing in results.
Next, clean up or generate reviews of your business. Business reviews can have a direct effect on our search engine rankings, according to this study conducted by Digital Marketing Works. While it doesn’t solely generate rankings based on positive or negative reviews, the amount, length and noted locations in the reviews were included in the ranking results.
Then, put your location on your page, outside of your address listing. There are a few ways in which you can achieve this:
- Embed a map of your location on your page.
- Code images that are embedded into your page with location keywords.
- Maximize your page for mobile-searches.
Location and keywords should be present on each of the four following places on your website:
- Your landing page title, H1 tag, landing page URL, and inside your content.
Lastly, work on your link building. Link building refers to the amount of other, local businesses that carry active links to your business page. The more that you have, the more citations search engines will grant your business and the higher your search rankings will be.
This doesn’t mean that you have to run out and partner with every other business in the area. Claim your space in local directories, and embed an active link. Social media and public review sites can also be helpful when you supply a link to your business on your page.
The good news is, once you have the preceding steps completed, Local SEO isn’t as fluctuating as standard SEO. So long as you remain in the same location with the same contact information, simply placing location keywords into your content regularly should be enough to keep your Local SEO current.
If, however, you change locations, emails or telephone numbers for your business, you’ll want to go back through and adjust each of your business pages and links as soon as possible. Just as having internet-verifiable ‘proof’ of your location helps to build citations, any discrepancy in published information regarding your location can lower your search engine rankings.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep a written record of every place you’ve posted your business listings.