Is Local SEO Important?

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Information and Tips for optimizing your business for Local SEO

It may be obvious to some, but for other businesses that are just starting out or have been around awhile and possibly even started before this technology was available, it’s hard to differentiate between all the different internet marketing tools and strategies available. First, you want to optimize everything online for search engines, now there’s something about local SEO; is it the same thing? Do I need it for my business? What can I do to optimize for local SEO?

Those are just a few of the questions you might have. Lucky for you, you’ve come across a blog that will that will provide an explanation of each of your concerns! By the time you’re finished reading this, you’ll be knowledgeable in how local SEO is affecting your business and a few of the items you can take care of in order to excel your local SEO and grow your business!

First off, why is local SEO different?  

Maybe you have already implemented an SEO campaign in your business’ marketing strategy, but local SEO has a couple differing features that a normal SEO campaign wouldn’t necessarily take care of. The important factors in an SEO and local SEO campaign are pretty similar, except local SEO also takes into account external location signals, review signals, and the links on page, my business signals and behavioral signals differ slightly.

What should I be doing to optimize my business for local searches?

Think about the times when you would want to be optimized for local searches. There is someone driving in a car, walking around or planning a trip, and they want to find a restaurant to eat at or service to take advantage of. External location signals are basically directory listings and NAP citations. What is NAP? Sometimes with an added W, NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone number and some add website. For local SEO, you’re going to want to be in all the directory listings available, YP, Yelp, Google+ and so so much more, so that wherever people are searching they’re able to find you. Not only will you want to be in them though, but you definitely want your NAP(W) to be the exact same in all of them.

Maybe your business’ name is Chico’s Bananas. It is critical to be Chico’s Bananas in every single directory that you can list your business in. Not Chicos Bananas, not Chico Banana’s, but across the board, consistently your business’ name. Your address and phone number are the same story. If you’ve ever moved locations or changed to an 800 number or something, it is incredibly important to go through your listings and update all your information to be completely consistent. It was reported that the number two negative local ranking factor was “listing detected at false business location.” And the third was mismatched NAP. Which makes sense. It is logical to think that consumers would be a little peeved if they used a search engine to find a local business, drove over only to find out that the business actually wasn’t there.

Review signals are the quantity, diversity and quality of local reviews. We have already reported that 88% of consumers trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation and local SEO takes this into account. Not only can consumers search by ratings, but a lot of search engines also show the highest rated restaurants first in a local search. It might be frustrating, as a business, to have to worry about getting reviews, but if you think about it from a search engine and consumer’s perspective, you want to go eat at the best restaurant, and one way to determine what is the best restaurant if to look at the online reviews! It’s search engines delivering the most relevant and beneficial content to its consumer in order to retain that consumer as a user.

Are online reviews important for Local SEO?

My business factors mentioned earlier refers to business category, keywords in the business title and proximity, among other factors. The number one negative ranking for local SEO was reported to be incorrect business category, which all goes back to delivering the most relevant and informative content. These business factors are all in the directory listings as fillable fields, and filling them out to their entirety and with correct will help boost your local SEO.

Behavioral signals refer to mobile click to call, check in, offer redemptions- factors that would indicate to search engine the popularity of a business and how interested consumers are in the business. The check ins to the locations give your local SEO a great boost because it is literally telling the search engines that “yes, your business is there and people are frequenting it.” It will confirm the relevance and information of your business.

Is Local SEO really important?

Now that you see the differences between a regular SEO campaign in relation to a local campaign, the question of importance may come up. Is it worth it for your business to invest its efforts in optimizing for local searches?

Well, 59% of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable, local business. Maybe you’re in the business of dry cleaning. Maybe you are number one for eco-friendly dry cleaning key words, but what if the consumer does a mobile search for dry cleaners near me? And then looks for the customer ratings to pick the best dry cleaner? 61% of local searches result in a purchase, will they buy your service after what they see online?

50% of mobile users visit a store within a day after conducting a local search and 61% of mobile searches result in a qualified lead calling your business. People are taking actions after conducting local searches, so it’s not a question if local SEO is important or not- of course it is! The question you should be asking is, do I want more qualified leads calling my business and more store visits? If the answer is yes, a local SEO campaign is medicine the doctor ordered!

So what can I do to improve my local SEO?

Based on all the information presented in this blog, the items you will particularly want to take care of immediately would be your directory listings, social media accounts, and online reviews. There are other factors you can implement to improve your local SEO as well; on page signals, etc. To start off though, the following factors would be incredibly beneficial to start off your campaign.

First, make sure you are in all the directory listings and while you’re doing that, make sure you’re in them correctly. You want consistency in your NAP(W) across the board because as you have read from the statistics presented in this blog, this is very important. There are hundreds of directories you can list your business in, and the more, the merrier! Want to know where your business is listed? We have the tool for you! You can input your business information and do an online scan of your business’ directory listings right here!

Your business’ social media accounts are going to aid in a couple of the factors by allowing your business to be rated easier and checked into easier. The social media accounts also help to create a platform to connect with your consumers via offers and coupons. This will improve several of those factors we were discussing before!

Lastly, you’re going to want to get online reviews. Check and see where your business stands now, in regard to online ratings, and then go on an online review campaign! Ask your customers to rate you online, provide easy access throughout your website, social media accounts and physical location, via QR codes, to places where your consumers can share their experience. You can also offer incentives for reviewing your business, a coupon or discount of some sort.

Your local SEO is an incredibly important component of your internet marketing strategy. It should be implemented in any campaign you are currently doing or would like to start. If you need any help or need more information on how to effectively optimize your business for local searches you can give Digital Resource a call at 561-429-2585 or visit our internet marketing agency online today! We can help you grow your business to new levels!

With a business degree from Florida Atlantic University, Julie has years of experience advertising and marketing for several businesses including real estate brokerages and photography companies. She brings her background in writing, graphic design and communications, as well as her experience in the field, when assisting clients with their internet marketing needs. She treats every client with the upmost level of professionalism and care, ensuring everyone who works with Digital Resource has a smile throughout the process!

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