Local SEO is a way to make your business more visible to potential customers in your area. But what is local SEO exactly? This article will reveal what it is, how it works, why it is vital, and how to do it effectively in 2023.
By the end of this article, you will clearly understand this term and how to use it to grow your business.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing a site and its online presence for a specific geographic area. It involves strategies and tactics to make a business stand out and rank higher when people search for things nearby.
This process differs from regular SEO because it needs different ranking factors and signals. Regular SEO improves the authority and relevance of a website for various keywords. Meanwhile, local SEO aims to make a business more noticeable and significant to help people nearby easily find it.
Compared to global SEO, which aims to reach a large audience worldwide, this specifc strategy attracts a smaller, targeted audience within a specific regional area.
How Does Local SEO Strategy Improve Business’s Presence?
Local SEO is crucial for any business that has a physical location or that serves a fixed geographic area. For example, when you type “best restaurant in Michigan” into a search engine, you’re doing a local search.
When someone types this into a search engine, they’re looking for the top-rated or highly recommended restaurants, specifically in Michigan. Local SEO strategies help restaurants in this state boost their online presence to appear when someone searches using this keyword.
By doing local SEO, you can:
- Increase your visibility and traffic: Local SEO helps you rank higher in local search results, bringing more clicks to your business. It also lets you appear in Google’s local pack and boost your click-through rate dozens of times.
- Attract more customers and sales: Local SEO optimization helps you target customers near your location or looking for your products or services in your area. These customers are likelier to visit your store as they have a high purchase intent.
- Build brand awareness: Companies can increase brand recognition by ranking in local search results. Further, local SEO helps us leverage online reviews and ratings to showcase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Google keeps its ranking secrets hidden regarding general searches, but they’re more transparent about how local results are ranked.
According to Google, three main factors influencing local rankings are Relevance, Distance, and Prominence.
Relevance means how well a local business matches what someone is looking for. You must provide complete and accurate business information to improve your local ranking. This step helps Google understand your business better and match it to relevant searches.
Distance refers to a potential search result’s distance from the location used in a search. If a user doesn’t specify a location, Google calculates distance based on what they know about the user’s location.
And finally, prominence means how well-known Google thinks a business is. This term is complex because it considers both online and offline factors to decide a business’s prominence.
Like a regular SEO process, local SEO includes optimizing relevant keywords, creating helpful content, and earning trust from other websites. However, local search engine optimization requires more specific factors.
Experts believe these are the top factors affecting local search rankings in the Local Pack:
- Primary GBP (Google Business Profile) category
- Keywords in the business listing title
- How close the address is to the Search spot (Searcher-Business Distance)
- The location of the business within the city mentioned in the search
- Removal of spam listings through spam fighting
- High ratings in reviews with a lot of stars
- Additional GBP categories on GMB
- Quantity of Native Google Reviews with text
- Verified GBP
5 Ways To Effectively Do Local SEO
After exploring local SEO and how it works, you might wonder about the effective local SEO strategy in 2023. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways to do SEO locally to help you improve your rankings and traffic:
Do Local Keyword Research
Local keyword research means finding and analyzing the best keywords for your local SEO campaign. It helps you understand what your target customers are searching for in your area and how to optimize your website for them.
We have Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and SEMrush for this task. These tools help you find relevant keywords based on location, industry, products, competitors, and search intent. Also, you can use Google Autocomplete to get trending long-tail keywords for local SEO.
We recommend you use geo-modifiers, which are words that specify a location. For example, “best restaurant in Michigan” or “pizza near me.” They help you target customers looking for businesses in a specific area.
2. Research Your Competitors
Researching your competitors is another critical step for doing local business SEO effectively. It allows you to explore who you are competing against in your area market, what are their o strategy, and how you can stand out from them.
Consider tools like SEMrush, Moz, or Ahrefs to research your competitors. They will tell you who are the top-ranking businesses for your target keywords, their website metrics, backlinks, content, and reviews.
Find your main competitors – those that rank higher than you for your target keywords or have a similar business model. Then, analyze their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, find gaps and opportunities in your local market.
If you need help with this process, we – ROI Digitally are always ready to support you. As one of the best digital marketing agencies in the USA, we are perfect for businesses that need to grow their online presence but have a tight budget.
3. Get Local Citations
Local citations mention your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other sites, such as local directories, social media platforms, etc. As a vital part of SEO local, they help Google verify your business’s location and credibility and increase your traffic.
To get local citations, ensure your NAP is consistent and valid across the web. It should be crawlable HTML text on your site to help Google better display your NAP in location-based search results. Further, you must update your listings on relevant sites and manage your online reputation.
Pro tip: Avoid the typical error of placing your NAP only inside an image. Search engines can’t read the content in images like they can with HTML text.
See more: What is technical SEO?
4. Build Backlinks
Building backlinks is crucial for local SEO optimization, as Google uses them to measure your site’s popularity and authority in your area.
To build backlinks, create valuable and shareable content that attracts natural links from other sites. Besides, build relationships with other local businesses, organizations, influencers, and media outlets. Guest posting, sponsorship, or partnership opportunities can also effectively do this off-page SEO tactic.
You need local link opportunities that are specific to your location or industry. For example, look for local directories, news sites, blogs, events, awards, etc. Whitespark or BrightLocal will help you find and submit your website to these sites.
If you need a tool to audit your backlinks, use Ahrefs or Moz. These tools audit your existing backlinks and review where they’re from and how useful they are. They also show your competitors’ links so you can learn from them and even do better.
5. Refine Your On-Page SEO
Finally, remember to refine your on-page SEO. This step is especially crucial if you’re trying to get noticed by people in your local area.
To check how well your website is doing with on-page SEO, consider Semrush’s On-Page SEO Checker. Here is how you do local business SEO on-page:
- Step 1: Type in your website’s address and click “Get ideas“.
- Step 2: After a few minutes, the tool will show you a dashboard with different elements you can work on to improve your website.
- Step 3: You’ll find the most crucial pages in the “Top pages to optimize” section. Click on the “# ideas” button next to each page for specific tips on what to change.
Pro tips: Build internal links between relevant pages on your website. It will enhance your site’s user experience and SEO performance.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a part of SEO that aims to improve the visibility and relevance of a business in local search results. It helps companies attract more customers from their local area, increase their reputation, and stand out in the market.
What is local SEO vs SEO?
Local SEO and SEO are both branches of search engine optimization that focus on improving a website’s rankings, traffic, and conversions.
However, local SEO focuses on a specific geographic area, while SEO focuses on a broad range of keywords and topics. Moreover, local search engine optimization requires different ranking factors and signals.
Is doing local SEO worth it?
Yes, it is worth it for any business with a physical location or serving a specific geographic area. It is proved through numbers, such as 46% of all searches have a local intent.
Therefore, by doing local SEO, your website can rank higher, attract more customers in the area, and earn a high ROI.
Now you have an answer to your question: “What is local SEO?”. An effective local SEO strategy is a powerful way to grow your business in 2023.
Ready to boost your business locally? It’s time to follow the local SEO tactics we shared above and watch your business thrive in the digital market.