For every business small or big, knowing “What is local SEO” is essential for improving their bottom line.
Local SEO is the strategy that helps a business gain visibility across the web in their targeted regions. In other words, local SEO helps increase awareness, traffic, and leads in the local and narrowed-down targeted region where the business is located and serving.
The good thing about local SEO is that it also increases the awareness for brick-and-mortar stores located nearby. According to HubSpot Marketing Statistics, 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles.
A local SEO strategy focuses on targeting the right keywords, optimizing Google’s “My Business” profile, and working on “NAP” citations.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Google has introduced an algorithm for local search that focuses on the “proximity factor.” Whenever a user searches for anything online, Google considers their local location as a primary factor for displaying results. The surprising factor is that the users do not even have to type “near me” as part of the search keyword for receiving local results.
For instance, you enter “flower shops” on Google. It will show two types of results:
Map Pack Results
These are the first three results that appear within a box at the top of the search results page. These are the top three local Business Listings along with a map to help with the directions.
The regular results are displayed below the “map-pack” results. These results match the keyword intent for the search made.
Why is Local SEO Important?
According to Search Engine Roundtable, 46% of all searches in Google have “local intent.” Local SEO is important for businesses that want to increase their online visibility, awareness, and thus overall revenues.
The noteworthy benefits of investing in a local SEO strategy include:
- Helps increase local business Google search results ranking for brick-and-mortar stores
- Helps a small business gain early customers and increase awareness
- Increases traffic, leads, and thus conversions for a B2B business
- Local searches are very likely to receive positive responses in context with receiving new customers. According to Google, customers that conduct an online local search on their phones, visit the store the same day itself.
- People are always running short on time. Local SEO helps them locate the required store near them, which, in turn, increases businesses’ sales and eliminates customer pain points
- At least, one in three locally-based searches are conducted on a smartphone just before arriving at the store.
- Consumers are likely to visit a local store listed at the Google top results, i.e., the map-pack. If a business misses out on local SEO, they are likely to lose out to their competitors.
Local SEO helps in enhancing the search results for all types of businesses located nearby to the searchers’ location and search intent. Every business needs to invest in a local SEO strategy if they wish to target local customers and outshine their competition.
The first step forward is to follow the best local SEO practices such as — Optimize for Google My Business, social media engagement, ensure that the contact information and working hours are accurate and updated daily, enhance internal linking structures, create local content, ensure offering a mobile-friendly experience, build inbound links, and perform a local SEO audit.