Opinion holder entrepreneur Contributors are their own.
Globalization has changed the market significantly, but many businesses are starting to find success selling to local customers. Yellow pages may have once been a staple of business, but online search engines have taken their place. That’s why local search engine optimization (SEO) has become one of the most important keys to business success, regardless of location or company size.
What is Local SEO?
Search engine optimization has become an integral part of marketing any business that relies on website traffic. Optimizing content from search engines such as Google helps your website appear higher in search results, increasing the likelihood that consumers will visit your site and interact with your brand.
Local SEO is an SEO strategy aimed at improving search results in a specific location. If your business relies on online and offline customers within a specific region, local SEO can be the difference between your business’s survival and thriving.
RELATED: Struggling with local search? Here’s what you need for a competitive local SEO strategy in 2022.
The value of local SEO
Google alone handles 8 billion searches every day, but more importantly, nearly 50% of Google searches are made by people looking for local goods and services. Without a local SEO strategy for a business, he will miss out on valuable online traffic. Local business owners cannot afford to ignore an opportunity of this magnitude.
Local SEO is important for online businesses and those looking to drive more foot traffic. Decades ago, consumers might have looked for local businesses on Yellow’s pages and maps. Today, they use search engines to find contact information, locations, opening hours, and other details about businesses.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, about half of searches for businesses “near me” resulted in a visit to a physical store. The numbers were even more compelling when searches were done on mobile devices. Nearly 90% of these queries were followed by a phone call or store visit within a day.
Businesses that rely on local customers cannot afford to miss out on the opportunities that local SEO offers.
RELATED: 7 Drawbacks Local Businesses Face Online (And How To Overcome Them)
Leverage local SEO and work with Google to improve your rankings
Marketers and business owners have many options for increasing visibility through local SEO. Is your brand looking to improve rankings, improve conversions and sales?
It’s fair to argue that conversions are more important than rankings, but if your business isn’t appearing on the first page of results, your conversions will naturally be lower.In most businesses, rankings and conversions go hand in hand. doing.
To improve your local SEO results, start by improving relevance, distance, and attention. These are the three criteria that Google’s algorithms apply to determine local search results. Your company’s Google Business Profile should also be updated to attract more local customers.
Relevance is a measure of how accurately a business matches an online search query. Search engines are trying to determine if your business offers what users are looking for. Providing clear and complete information on your website and business profile is critical to meeting these criteria and increasing your relevance.
Proximity is how close your business is to a searcher’s exact location. If a user doesn’t specify a specific location in their search, Google will use the location based on her IP address to prioritize nearby listings. You can get similar results by adding the “Nearby” designation to your search. To appear on these listings, you must optimize your website and Google listings location.
Prominence is Google’s term for how well-known your business is, both online and offline. Search engines determine your popularity based on offline information about your business and online means such as reviews and website popularity. Increasing the number of quality reviews for your business will improve your rating. Reacting to and responding to online ratings also increases your visibility.
Algorithms tend to change periodically without notice. As with all of his SEO work, local SEO success depends on consistent effort. Many businesses benefit from expert support to manage their local SEO.
Related: Why Local SEO Is Even More Important
Impact of Covid-19 on Local SEO Practices
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed nearly every aspect of consumer life. With lockdowns and travel restrictions becoming the norm, shopping habits have definitely changed. At this point, it is too early to tell whether long-term consumer habits have been affected by the pandemic.
Online searches for products and services increased in 2020-2021. Consumers needed an online alternative to meet their needs. Evidence now supports both the continued popularity of online consumerism and the growing demand for in-person shopping experiences.
The indisputable fact is the incredible difficulty the pandemic has posed for many small businesses. Many businesses have faced closures, layoffs, and lost customers. Carefully considered and well-managed marketing is essential to a successful reboot. Good local SEO can make a difference in this reboot.
Local SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to quickly increase your visibility to your key audience. This may seem like a small part of his SEO, but given the sheer number of locally oriented searches, business owners and marketers should consider this a priority.
Search engines are the new yellow pages with huge potential to change the future of small businesses.
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