When you think of SEO, what images come to mind?
Most people believe that combining content marketing and keywords is the best solution.
This limited view of SEO, especially in 2022, would not be entirely inaccurate.
While traditional SEO is still as important today as it was many years ago, there is another aspect that businesses should focus on that has the potential to bring in a lot more customers.
Surprisingly, the number of blogs you write or the content you create to target featured snippets on the results page has little to do with it.
It necessitates a hyperlocal focus, with the idea that you should pay special attention to customers close to your location.
What exactly is local SEO?
Local SEO is the changes you make to your website to increase traffic and brand awareness for your business through local search. This targets customers in a specific neighborhood, city, or region.
The goal is to rank high in the ratings for local search results, including Google’s Map Pack/Local Pack.
Why has local SEO become so important?
Google’s ranking of websites in response to queries has changed significantly. It isn’t just the keywords in the questions that users type. Google’s algorithm has gotten much better at determining the intent behind what a user is searching for.
User intent is a significant ranking factor. Businesses can take advantage of this to ensure that their products and services appear in front of people looking for them in their area.
Consider the following: Local intent is present in 46% of all Google searches. This means that most people now use Google to search for information relevant to their location.
Even more impressive are the conversion metrics. Approximately 80% of all local searches result in a conversion. Queries containing the keywords “near me” have increased more than 500% in the last few years, demonstrating that people are searching for information about their location more than ever.
Best practices for enhancing your local SEO
Create your Google My Business profile
A Google My Business profile is one of the most critical components of a well-rounded local SEO strategy. This is because Google is most confident in sharing information that it can verify, and the company personally confirms all businesses that create this profile.
Begin by creating and verifying your Google My Business profile.
Within your account, you can use Google Posts to encourage customers to leave reviews online. This also ensures that you can provide Google with accurate information about your business, such as opening hours, contact information, service descriptions, etc.
Leverage the Google Map Pack
The Map Pack also known as the Google 3-Pack, appears at the top of the search results page for queries with local intent. This pack highlights three businesses that Google believes best match the question.
Because these businesses are positioned even above the first search results, they receive a lot of visibility and clicks.
Every company’s goal should be to make the 3-Pack. This will necessitate some optimization efforts on your part.
Help Google understand your business so it can display it prominently in response to local search queries. Use keywords that include words and phrases related to your business.
Build local citations
This is kind of like backlinking but for local businesses. Even though much has changed in the SEO realm, backlinking has remained a solid strategy. As long as you can find relevant, high-quality backlinks to your website, chances are that Google will begin to view it favorably and rank the content higher.
It operates a similar method for local businesses.
Google looks at local citations as a ranking factor. A local citation is anywhere the name, address, and phone number information of your business appears online. This is usually via local listings on online business directories such as Bing Places, Yelp, and Facebook.
The more citations, the higher the chance that Google will rank you in the 3-Pack.
Create content for local audience
If you use content marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy, ensure it has a local focus. Content marketing has always been to write broadly to reach as many people as possible.
While you should continue to do so, content with a local focus will improve your website’s rankings when someone searches for something with local intent on Google.
This will allow you to effectively become the local expert on the subject. More visitors to your website can be attracted by educational content that solves a problem that people in your area are experiencing.
When they see helpful content and actively seek a service, their chances of converting increase significantly.
Make local SEO a part of your overall online marketing strategy
Online marketing is challenging nowadays. There are numerous online platforms, each with its own set of advantages. When you’re chasing audiences across multiple platforms, it can quickly become overwhelming.
Local SEO is unique because it requires little active maintenance but can deliver tangible, long-term results when done correctly.
There are already people looking for a solution, make it simple for them to find it.
All it takes is a concentrated effort with local SEO to ensure that Google recommends your business.