If you are a small business that relies on local businesses to survive, then working on your local SEO should be a priority right now. But why is it so valuable? In this article, we’ll outline the fundamentals of local SEO and highlight how it can benefit your business.
In theory and practice, local SEO isn’t all that different from SEO. Here are the fundamental components:
- Market and competitor analysis: in order to run a successful local SEO campaign, first you need to carry out extensive market and competitor research. What does the local competition look like? What are they doing in terms of digital marketing? How can you differentiate your local business?
- Proper keyword research: next, you’ll need to conduct proper keyword research. What are your ideal customers typing into Google when actively searching for the products or services that you offer? Put together a mixture of short and long-tail keywords in all of your service areas and go from there.
- People first, geo-centric content: in order to rank well in local searches, you need to implement your chosen keywords into the content that you create. However, don’t just create content for the sake of stuffing in keywords and hoping for the best; you need to create content with intention. This means developing ‘people first’, ‘geo-centric’ content that speaks to your audience and highlights the immense value that you can bring.
- Quality link building: link building is another excellent way to bolster your local SEO efforts. A healthy backlink profile should include citations, local directories, and industry-related local sites.
- Technical SEO: of course, all of these efforts will be wasted if you don’t take the time to optimize the back-end of your website accordingly. For example, if your website takes far too long to load, it doesn’t matter how well you rank, most people will abandon the search and head to one of your competitors.
If you aren’t quite convinced about the value of local SEO, consider the following benefits:
- It is far more accessible and affordable than any other form of digital marketing (with an excellent potential ROI).
- You will attract highly relevant business – not just to your website but – through the doors.
- There’s less direct competition; you’re only competing with other businesses in your industry in your area (e.g., ‘New York City SEO’ – rather than competing on a global scale).
- You’ll get more engagement and sales (78% of mobile local searches result in purchases made in-store).
- Let people know when you’re open for business! So many people are frequently searching things like: “shop open near me now”, which means that if your GMB profile is optimized accordingly with your operating hours, you’ll invariably attract more business.
- Build trust and credibility online by having an established local SEO presence with positive reviews from customers.
- It establishes a solid foundation upon which you can continue to build.
In conclusion, if you haven’t started working on your SEO already, now is the time to get on it! If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work involved, it’s always worth hiring professionals to accommodate your needs. However, compared to most other digital marketing strategies, local SEO is indeed the most accessible to small businesses with limited resources.
Take your time, do your due diligence, and put the graft in, and before long you’ll start seeing some compelling results with customers in your local community.