9 out of 10 consumers will choose a business listed on the first page of local results:
This figure shows the opportunity you can seize if you manage to appear on the first page of Google when its users perform local searches.
This is why it is very important to take care of your positioning on search engines when you have a local business / establishment.
And even if you already have a good positioning, the principle remains the same: The ranking is dynamic. A competitor who uses the right strategies can quickly outrank you.
So what to do? It will be necessary to be interested in Local SEO or Local SEO.
Like natural referencing, Local SEO mainly aims to optimize the visibility of an establishment in local searches.
To do this, I have created this guide which will allow you to have an in-depth understanding of this aspect of SEO. I will address questions such as:
- What is Local SEO and why is it important?
- Who is Local SEO for?
- What is the Local Pack ?
- What are the different strategies to optimize local SEO?
Finally, we will see some good practices to adopt to take full advantage of the benefits that this pillar of SEO offers.
Chapter 1: What is Local SEO and who benefits from it?
It’s hard to master something you can’t master, isn’t it? That’s why in this chapter, we’re going to cover the basics of local SEO.
It’s about understanding what it is and its importance for a local business.
1.1. What is Local SEO?
Most businesses like Warren Digital today are hosted on the Internet. Whether through a website or a blog, businesses all try to make themselves known to the general public, which is what appeals to the concept of SEO.
By definition, SEO is about optimizing a website to increase traffic and brand awareness in search engine results.
Local SEO is one of the most important aspects of SEO that focuses on optimizing a business to improve its performance in local search.
When it is well executed, it allows to highlight the site in front and sometimes in the local Pack when the search words are relevant.
Local search considers all searches that contain terms like:
- Restaurant near me;
- Lawyers near me;
- Plumber near me;
- Gardener in [city name];
- Glazier in [city name];
This practice involves several tasks that distinguish it from the other pillars of SEO, which are:
- Optimization of a company’s Google My Business profile ;
- The creation of quotations;
- Management of reviews.
However, other local SEO efforts are targeted at content, on-page optimizations, and link building with localized intent.
In addition, it should be noted that local SEO works like natural SEO in general.
When someone searches, Google crawls its index to provide the best results for that person’s query.
But this time around, Google is using a different set of ranking factors to rank local search results.
These include, among others:
- The location from which the person is searching;
- The presence of the Google My Business listing;
- Keywords used in the Google My Business listing;
- Business quotes;
- Online assessments;
- Keywords used in online reviews;
- Actions on social media;
So, who is local search for?
1.2. Who benefits from local SEO and why?
Since this is a location-based search requiring a physical address, not everyone on the web will be able to benefit from it.
Here is a small list of the types of business that will be able to fully exploit the power of Local SEO.
1.2.1. The restaurants
Restaurants are arguably the businesses that benefit the most from SEO.
The first instinct when looking for a nearby restaurant today is the Internet. Above all, with all the information you can get directly from your phone, it becomes even more intoxicating.
Many leave comments and the location of the restaurant is automatically indicated. The best part is that there is also a ranking of the restaurants with the best service and the best dishes.
If you want to form your own opinion, they expose as much as they are full of images of their respective services.
1.2.2. Lawyers and law firms
Local SEO for lawyers is a real gold mine.
When you do local SEO for a law firm, the biggest benefit for them is that Google gives them a boost.
Indeed, Google displays a call button directly in the local search results on mobile phones.
Since after an accident or other things anyone would go directly to their phone to find a lawyer, this is a huge advantage.
SEO makes it possible to take advantage of these elements to increase the chances of firms by allowing them to occupy a good position.
1.2.3. Doctors and medical practices
The patients are people who are not necessarily in great physical shape. They would therefore not try to find a doctor miles away when they have the possibility of finding one near their home.
This allows them to make regular visits to ensure the state of their health.
To find a doctor most, most would go online and type in something like “doctor near me”.
The advantage when you have a firm listed in the area is that Google displays your name and a directing link to your location.
Plumbing breakdowns are problems that can become very annoying over time.
Why bother shopping when there’s the Internet and it’s super easy to find a professional nearby?
The majority opt directly for a search on Google:
In addition, we can directly read the opinions of other customers there and contact the plumber in the second in the event of an emergency.
These are the four types of professionals who will benefit the most from local searches. Of course, the list is much longer, but let’s stop there for now.
On the other hand, there are other types of people who will not benefit from local SEO.
For instance :
- Stores that only have an online location;
- Companies that do not want to share their local information;
- Local authors;
- Private online sellers who wish to keep their information private;
These types of people are probably not going to benefit 100% from local searches . Nevertheless, Internet service companies without an address can use local SEO.
An example of this would be an online retailer that optimizes pages and subsections for different delivery areas. Another example is creating blog posts that cover local topics and events that are relevant to local areas.
However, there remains one question that has yet to be answered:
1.3. Local SEO: A question of size?
It is generally believed that local SEO is ideal for small businesses or those that cover a given specific area.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that local SEO is only relevant for small businesses.
It also has implications for large multinationals and companies with multiple locations in different countries.
Large companies should consider SEO internationally, nationally and locally.
These three approaches require a different set of tactics and location.
It takes time to get it right, but it will be worth it since the results will speak for themselves.
Now let’s move on to the different reasons why you should consider Local SEO.
Chapter 2: The 11 undeniable reasons why Local SEO is so important
The question of why local SEO is essential is similar to the question of why SEO in general is critical.
You want customers to find you when they want to shop instead of spending lots of money chasing them with ads.
That’s why you need to create a strong local SEO marketing strategy in order to stay top of mind with customers at all times.
Here are some reasons why you should opt for this type of referencing:
2.1. Local consumers use the internet to find business information
Nowadays, people depend on the internet to find information on most products and services.
They use traditional search or, as is increasingly the case, local search to find local businesses.
Additionally, 71% of people believe they research the location of a business to confirm its existence before visiting it for the first time.
If your business isn’t found in local search results, you’ll be missing out on new customers.
Implementing various local SEO strategies for your business can help you appear in the local results that your future customers may see!
2.2. Local search is highly targeted
The number one reason people search local is to find a local business. The second most common reason is to find a product, service or business.
Many local searchers search for the name of a specific business. But at the same time, many of those who search don’t have a specific company in mind when they begin their search.
By learning how to do local SEO, you will better position your business to promote what you have to offer to local customers when they search for your type of business.
It is not enough to target customers who live in your surroundings. Local SEO goes further and allows you to direct your visibility to searches carried out on the go.
It will not be an understatement to mention that the advent of smartphones and mobile applications has reduced the gap between physical and virtual markets.
Search engines work with extremely precise search algorithms that filter search results precisely and only the most relevant and location-specific results are displayed for customers.
Know that there is no better time to get in touch with a potential client than when they really need you.
2.3. Mobile is growing
Each year, the percentage of online searches conducted on mobile devices increased significantly.
And as you can imagine, the majority of cell phone searches are done on the go.
In addition, portable devices such as the Apple Watch have encouraged on-the-go searches by Internet users. This, most of the time with even more immediate needs.
As a result, proximity searches have become popular, and local searches are based on hyperspecific locations, rather than on a regional or neighborhood basis.
Google has also estimated that searches for “….Near me now” have increased drastically in recent years:
Indeed, portable devices make it possible to manage much more geographically relevant information, especially when traveling.
It should also not be forgotten that there are more and more smartphones today that use voice search .
For their research, they no longer worry about typing on the keyboard. Just ask on the phone for example “find a doctor near me” and you have relevant results.
Know that by opting for Local SEO, you choose to satisfy the largest share of the global market: Mobile users
Local SEO covers both desktop and mobile internet access, meaning you never miss a potential customer.
2.4. Internet users tend to search online for better options
In the age of the Internet, people can search for all the information they want while staying at home.
If they need to buy something in their neighborhood, they’d rather do some pre-research to find the best options available in their area or city rather than going straight to the field and searching.
It is good for your business to be ranked in the top search results, it can help you get more local customers. This is another reason why local SEO is important.
2.5. Not all local businesses claimed their Google My Business listing
Only 44% of companies declared their registration in Google My Business:
Google My Business is a free listing that Google makes available to almost any business. By registering with Google My Business, you increase your chances of appearing prominently in local search results on Google.
At the Bing level, the proportion of companies that have not requested their listing is quite significant:
It should be noted that many local businesses have not yet understood the importance of online marketing. This allows you to get a head start before your competition notices and the competition escalates.
2.6. Local SEO helps optimize your brand image
The main reason to use local SEO is that it targets people in the area where your business is located.
Platforms like Google My Business allow you to provide several pieces of information on your business profile.
You can mention for example all the services you provide with their price. You can also put images there to enrich your information.
Not to mention that recent updates about your business are also displayed on mobile:
It gives your business more authenticity and helps you reach more customers and establish your brand.
2.7. Positive reviews make most consumers more likely to use a business
A strong review profile is a major factor in the success of many local businesses.
Increase the reputation of your online business by, for example, asking your trusted customers to leave positive reviews of your online business.
In this way, you will probably attract hundreds of new customers.
2.8. Local SEO can help with business expansion
Your website is the virtual office of your business. By using local SEO, you make it easier for your users to interact with your business.
You can ask users to give their opinion on your services or products. People prefer to check the reviews of other customers before buying anything.
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