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Local SEO for Local Businesses

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be one of the most important aspects to digital marketing. Whether you own a large or small business, and no matter how many years you’ve put into it, there’s a lot of potential in SEO for your company. Local SEO can make a significant impact.

When it comes to local SEO for local businesses, making sure that you’re visible to people who search for your business or services from your locality is extremely important. SEO holds a dominant position in online marketing, and can help you grow your business.

What is Local SEO?

Search engine optimization helps your company land a top spot on Google searches; local SEO promotes your business and increases visibility in searches that are location-based. It’s a variation of typical SEO that’s specifically aimed at making sure your business is found by people searching for it at that locality. This includes searches that have geographic qualifiers, such as city, state, and zip code, or “near me” searches.

Why is it Important for Your Business?

Local SEO is very important, primarily if you only provide services in a specific locality, because people tend to select a business based on Google searches or searches conducted on their smartphones. Seeing your business pop up at the top of the search leads people to call you or visit. Many of them even call or check out your website by clicking what they see on their phones or laptops. Leads from location-based searches are a major avenue to gain potential customers.

Local SEO Basics

How can you begin to improve your business’ local SEO? It’s important to keep in mind that this SEO is specifically for location-based searches. This means that a physical location or address is required, in order for a business to show up on local search results. If your business’ address isn’t updated or you run a business that doesn’t have a permanent address, it will not show up when a customer conducts a “near me” search.

On top of your address, you need to make sure that your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) information is updated and consistent across all the online directories you’re listed in. If there are any differences, no matter how small, Google will likely avoid listing your business. There are some applications and tools available that manage all your online listings for you, so you don’t have to worry about manually updating everything.

Another great way to improve your local SEO is by citations; a citation is when a third party website lists your business, as a point of reference. This would be something like a food blog naming your restaurant as a good place to eat at, and even providing a link to your restaurant’s website. This could increase internet traffic to your name, location, and contact info. This lets many customers know that your business is trustworthy, and can rank you higher on Google searches.

How Will Your Business Benefit from Using Local SEO?

There are many benefits and rewards to optimizing your local SEO. It helps even more potential customers discover your business; many searches originate from non-locals who are looking for businesses, and you can capture that audience.

Local SEO also provides customers information beyond your address and phone number; if they’re looking for a café that has free WiFi or is pet-friendly, displaying that location as an aspect of your local SEO attracts customers looking for that specific aspect. This is a great way to utilize local SEO if you believe you offer something unique that your competition doesn’t—such as outside fireplaces if you’re a brewery, or an insurance company that offers complimentary coffee and tea.

With local search engine optimization, you can help your business stand out in local searches, and you can drive traffic through online leads. An online presence can impact people’s decisions in favor of your services, and this can build a strong foundation for your relationship with customers, as the more they know about you, the more trustworthy you will be. Adding local SEO to your marketing technique increases your search engine rankings, and helps to put potential customers at your doorstep, instead of with your competitors