The highly competitive online space has urged traditional, modern, small, and large businesses to invest more time and money in various SEO strategies. Among these strategies, local SEO is one of the best practices to attract more local customers and clients to your business online and offline.
In this article, we will have a detailed analysis of local SEO and how it can help your business.
What is Local SEO?
As the term indicates, local SEO is the technique of optimizing your online presence to make you more visible among relevant local searches. Using a variety of SEO strategies, local SEO is often employed by small and local businesses seeking to improve or refine web traffic, generate walk-in traffic, and boost sales. When a website or business is optimized for local SEO, it will be displayed for the relevant local searches related to its niche.
The need for local SEO is justified by the fact that almost half of all Google searches are done for local businesses. Among the local searches done through mobile devices, 85 percent of them call or visit a local business within the next 24 hours. You can see Google’s Local Pack on the SERP that consists of three local businesses along with their location and contact address whenever you perform a local search. Three aspects determine the ranking of a business in the local pack – proximity, relevance, and prominence.
In order to have a fair game in the local SEO business, you should have a completely updated Google My Business account. According to SEO agencies, Google My Business is a complete directory or record of businesses that seek online benefits from Google. You should add complete details about your business including contact number, images, address, location, website link, opening times, etc. A set of customer reviews are also very important to have the desired effect with local SEO as people always have a look through the reviews about a business before choosing it.
Key Factors That Determine Local SEO Ranking
Now that we know about Google My Business and its importance, we will have a look at the three important factors based on which local SEO operates.
Relevance refers to how well the local listing matches the requirements of a local search. When you provide complete information about your business to Google, the algorithm can easily understand your purpose and list you in the local pack for searches related to your niche. For this, you should also optimize the Google My Business account with relevant keywords that include the terms related to your niche, locality, etc.
Proximity refers to how close your business is to the place or location used in a search. Even if the place or location is not specified in the search, Google will list the most nearby businesses based on the available location details of the searcher. You can take advantage of the proximity factor only if you provide the exact location details of your business on your Google My Business account.
The prominence of your business is defined based on the information that Google has about your business through the links, articles, content, and other citations available on the internet. Apart from this, the number and range of reviews also define your credibility and the value of service that you are providing.
The Importance of Local SEO
As we have already seen why local SEO is important according to the statistics, we will have a deeper look into the importance and need of local SEO.
Online Visibility Through Citations
An online business citation refers to the mansion of your business and its details anywhere on the internet. This set of information you cite is called NAP (Name, Address, Phone number). When you build such citations on Google, Facebook, etc with the help of reliable online directories, you will be easily found by your potential customers or clients who are looking for your kind of product or service in a particular area at a particular time. This will also provide more visibility to your business as everyone searching for a similar service sees you in the Local Pack. Citations are considered a very important factor that determines the local search rankings of any business. SEO agencies in Dubai always try to include maximum citations of a business so that search engines and social media algorithms are well aware of a business and what it provides.
On-Site SEO Improves Traffic For Local Searches
There are a wide variety of ways by which you can optimize your on-page SEO for better local ranking. With most local searches being done on mobile devices, your website should definitely have a mobile-friendly design. Google’s mobile-first index feature has also increased the importance of having a mobile-friendly website. Fast loading web pages and page elements also improve your place in the local search ranking. Furthermore, by using the most common local search terms as the keywords in your website content, you can make sure that your business will be listed at the top for relevant local searches. Apart from the SEO aspect, all these will help to provide your potential clients or customers with the most accurate information about your business. This accuracy in information is an important factor when Google considers a business to be ranked top in the local pack.
The Power of Google My Business
Google My Business is the core of all local search rankings on the search engine. Google has already declared that businesses that have verified their Google My Business details are considered as trustable by customers. Google uses this information in multiple areas like search and maps to give an online identity to a business. When you provide maximum details about your business on the platform, your search ranking and visibility will improve for sure. But while entering the credentials, choosing the right business and service category is very important to find your target customers easily. Building reviews and responding to as much of them will make sure that you are a reliable business, improving your value among the customers and also the Google algorithm. You may hire a reliable SEO company in Dubai to keep track of online reviews, inquiries, and everything that comes in your Googe My Business account. They can also help you with relevant keywords that can be added to your Google My Business Account to optimize it for niche-specific searches.
Enhance Your Relevance With Content Marketing
The prominence of your business and how relevant you are for a user will determine your position in the local search ranking. Content marketing is a very powerful method that can improve your relevance in a specific niche. You may come up with locality-specific and niche-specific content as part of your local SEO efforts in such a way that it is informative and at the same time engages the audience. For example, if you are a pizza shop in Dubai, the ones who search for you would be pizza lovers. So, you may come up with content that describes the varieties of pizza you give in the specific location of your store. Through this, you can establish the niche and location relevance before Google’s algorithm. Another content marketing strategy is generating backlinks from other trustable websites. In this case, you may generate backlinks from leading businesses in the same locality, so that Google will understand your reputation in the locality. This will also improve your credibility and authority as a local business, ranking you higher for relevant local searches.
Building Trust Through Reputation Management
As we have discussed, online reviews about your business have great significance in influencing the decision-making process of a potential customer. When someone looks for a local business online, they are very much concerned about the customer reviews and the trust ability of that business. Further, the number of reviews that a person check is increasing year by year. Thus, getting as many reviews about your business is necessary to keep the customer thinking more about your business. About half of the customers have set four-star reviews as the standard for a reliable local business. Further, customers also consider businesses that respond to negative reviews and make immediate measures. Everything you do to ensure your online image and presence will improve your reputation and the trust that online shoppers place in your business. Thus, when you provide the perfect service along with a well-set local SEO strategy, your reviews will be the best and your business will surely top the local pack for the relevant searches in your locality.
Local SEO is very important in this digital era if you want to take full advantage of the potential customers in your locality. Whether it is the local shoppers or people coming from far away, everyone considers online reviews and recommendations as a fair means to get to their decisions. So, if you are yet to implement local SEO strategies for your business, be sure to do it before anything else.