6 Vital Benefits Of Local SEO For Your Business

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As a local business owner, you know that it is important to be where your customers are. And right now, more and more of them are turning to the internet to find local businesses. If you’re not doing everything you can to make sure your business is found online, you’re missing out on a lot of the benefits of local SEO.

Many people get scared when they hear the word SEO but it’s not as complicated as one might believe. It just requires some common sense and consistency and you will get very far.

As the founder of Flow SEO, Viola Eva said:

“The reality of SEO is the reality of any successful endeavor: It will take strategic, consistent, and sufficient efforts to rank well”

SEO is about making small improvements to your website every day over a long period of time. And keeping SEO best practices in mind. These local SEO benefits show you the steps you can take today to improve traffic to your website with local searches and help you grow your local business.

What Is Local SEO And Why Does It Matter?

Local SEO essentially means optimizing your website to attract more visitors to your website with relevant local search results. Local businesses like shops, restaurants, agencies, landscaping and HVAC businesses, etc. can benefit immensely from this.

This is huge because it means that you have the potential to reach a ton of new customers who are already interested in what you have to offer. In addition, the map pack pushes search results down to show the local options first. That is why having a good local online presence is vital.

The benefits of local SEO with a high GMB ranking

Below you have the benefits of local SEO and after that you have steps and actions you can take implement local SEO on your website.

Relevant Traffic

When it comes to implementing local SEO, the benefits are clear. Not only will you be found by more local consumers, but your website traffic will be more relevant as well. This is because people who are looking for a business in their area are much more likely to be interested in what you have to offer.

So how can you make sure your website traffic is as relevant as possible? There are a few things you can do:

– Make sure your website is properly optimized for local search results

– Use localized keywords and phrases in your content

– Add your business to online directories and local search engines

– Claim your business listing on Google Maps and other mapping services

– Get involved with social media platforms that are popular in your area

– Add unique and good titles and descriptions. It makes you stand out and both users and Google love it

Just the fact that 80% of local searches on mobile convert just shows how important relevant traffic can be for your local SEO campaigns. On top of that if you have a high amount of relevant traffic you will also reduce advertising costs. Further down we will talk more about how you can reap the benefits of local SEO and what steps you can take.

Online Reviews

Other benefits of local SEO are online reviews. They are important for businesses for a variety of reasons. They can help you attract new customers, increase your revenue, and improve your online reputation. Having just a few high-quality reviews will significantly improve your business’s trust and authority online.

For example, how much do you look at reviews before your buy a product or service? Probably at least a little bit. Because you want to ensure that whatever you buy is good and you get value for your money.

But what many local business owners don’t realize is that online reviews can also hurt your business. Specifically bad reviews. Google actually encourages business owners to ask for reviews and leave reviews.

And as this Moz study found, is that online reviews have an impact on your local search engine rankings. Both the negative and the positive ones.

This seems reasonable though because Google wants users to find the best businesses. And reviews are one way to gauge how good or bad a business is.

More Sales

So how can local SEO help generate more sales for your business?

Well, simply put, it is all about getting your business in front of more potential customers.

And as we’ve seen, local SEO can help you do just that. Not only will you be found by more people who are already interested in what you have to offer. But your website traffic will be more relevant and conversion rates are likely to be higher.

But that’s not all. Local SEO can also help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), which means you have a better chance of being at the top of the list when someone is looking for a business like yours. This can be a huge advantage, especially when it comes to mobile searches.

Local search engine optimization and SEO, in general, require you to write about stuff that your clients and website visitors find valuable. Otherwise you won’t rank. So by focusing on generating content that your users find valuable you will also have more sales.

Search engine optimization can be further reinforced by the fact that the majority of people don’t go past the first search results page on Google.

Google Map Pack

One of the best ways to boost your ranking in Google Maps and improve your local SEO is by using the Google Map Pack. The Map Pack is a section that appears at the top of the results page for local searches.

It shows the businesses that are closest to the user’s location. There is an example of a Google map pack result further up in this blog post.

To be included in the Map Pack, you need to make sure your business is listed on Google My Business. This is a free service from Google that allows businesses to create and manage their online presence on Google.

It includes a free website builder, map listing, and more.

In addition to using a Google business account, you can also improve your ranking in the Map Pack by adding photos, videos, and reviews to your listing. And be sure to use localized keywords and phrases in your title and description.

This will help you rank higher when people search for businesses in your area. More about that farther down in this blog post.

Returning Customers

One of the benefits of local SEO is that it can help you retain your local customers and create a long term business relationship. That is because over the past years consumers have become more conscious about what businesses they buy from.

This has led to people preferring to support local businesses over big corporations and national companies. People like to buy from businesses that they can trust and feel a connection with. And the best way to do this is in your local area. Especially if your business has been displayed in front of your user a couple of times.

Effective Marketing Campaigns

One of the benefits of local SEO is that you will gather a lot of data about your users and customers. This info can be very useful for creating marketing campaigns.

The fact that you know how customers and prospects interact with your website and online profiles make retargeting them a lot easier. For example, install Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and perhaps Facebook Pixel on your website and start learning about your customers.

Beating Your Competition

This is highly dependent on the niche you are in but for example, if you are in the home improvement niche like plumbing, landscaping, construction, etc. Then just putting a little bit of effort into your local SEO will very often be enough to beat your competition.

Because the fact is most local businesses in that niche have no idea what local SEO is and know even less about how to actually do it properly.

With that being said it doesn’t mean you will have an easy time ranking in the top. It all depends on what niche you are in, where you are located, how good your SEO skills are, and a bunch of other things. However, it should still be part of your digital marketing strategy.

What Now?

So at this point, you are probably thinking that all these local SEO benefits are great but how do I actually get started and what do I have to do exactly? That’s what we’ll cover next.

Below you have a local SEO strategy to get you started and generate relevant and organic traffic to your website.

Create A Keyword List

To enjoy the benefits of local SEO you need to do keyword research. A few ways you can come up with keywords for your list is to use phrases you think your customers search for.

During this phase don’t use any online tools like Semrush or keyword planners instead only use your brain. If you want to optimize for “HVAC Paterson NJ”, then some local keywords could be:

  • HVAC Paterson NJ
  • Best HVAC contractor Paterson NJ
  • HVAC company Paterson NJ
  • HVAC services

Google Intuitive Search

To expand your keyword list you could use Google Intuitive Search as well. So type ‘HVAC’ in the search bar of Google without pressing the search button and see what comes up in the auto-complete. You can get some great keywords doing this!

Benefits of local SEO with keyword research from Google Intuitive Search

However, it might take a few tries until you have something that is worth putting on your list. On the search results page also check out the “people also ask” and the “related searches” at the bottom of the page. There might be some good questions you can answer or find some other relevant keywords.

The keywords in the “related searches” are called LSI keywords which basically are just search terms related to your target keyword. Below you have an example of what each would look like in search results.

Get questions that people also ask in the SERPs during your keyword research
Related searches are LSI keywords which help you website have more keyword related to your target keyword

Google Keyword Planner

The Google Keyword Planner is a great tool to find keywords for free and get a little bit of an understanding of how many people search for specific keywords

Google’s keyword planner is another tool you could use to find more keywords. It is especially useful if you don’t have a paid one like Semrush. With the keyword planner, you also get some insight into how much traffic a keyword has and what the competition level is.

With that being said the keyword planner is not as good as Semrush or Ahrefs. These tools give you the ability to conduct a much more extensive analysis. If you have the resources it is definitely something to consider.

However, to get started, the keyword planner is enough. Once you have more experience and know more about SEO you can switch to the paid tools.

Semrush

To expand your keyword list a great paid tool is Semrush. With this tool, you can research your competitors’ keywords, keyword variations, related keywords, questions, and more. There are many other things within the digital marketing space that you can use Semrush for. We use it at our agency and strongly recommend it if you want to get serious with your local SEO optimization.

Semrush is a great tool to keyword research for local SEO

Competitors’ Websites

Another local SEO tip for local companies is to look at your top-ranking competitors’ websites. See how they have structured their pages. Simply scan through it, and look at what words they use and where they use them. Where are the keywords placed? 

  • URL
  • H1 tag
  • Anchor text 
  • How much text does the page have 
  • How many images and/or videos 
  • Number of internal and external links
  • Etc.  
Analyze your competitors to reap the benefits of local SEO

Just get an overall feel for what the competitor is doing and how they use keywords on their website. To see what pages your competitors have, you can search on google site://domain.com. This shows you all the pages a website is ranking for. Write down all your findings in a document or on a spreadsheet and refer to it when you optimize your site.

By doing this you have a list of the things your top-ranking competitors are doing and you know what is required in order to rank first.

Building the Pages

You now have guidelines on how to construct your location pages and know approximately what is required to outrank your competitors. Based on the gathered information, start creating content with the keywords in the same places.

For example, if the competitor had the keyword in the H1-tag then you want to do the same. If the competitor had 1200 words on their page then you want to have at least the same amount, ideally more. There are 10 images on your competitor’s site, you want to have at least the same. 

One of the benefits of local SEO is to build SEO optimized pages

You catch the drift, your competitors tell you what you have to do to outrank them. But we want our local content to be better than our competitors. That way our content marketing will be more effective.

Another thing to keep in mind when building the pages is to ensure that the pages look good on mobile devices. Google has confirmed that more searches are made on mobile than on desktops and laptops.

Therefore, it is very important that your pages not only look good on mobile but that they also load fast on mobile. You can do a mobile-friendly test and also check your page speeds to see where there is room for improvement.

Include outbound links to authoritative and local websites throughout your page as well. This increases your page authority and makes your website more trustworthy.

A good authoritative website you could link out to is Wikipedia for example. Link internally on your website as well. Internal links are links that go from one page to another on the same domain. They are useful because they help navigate the website and spread link equity. For a blog post like this one, you can refer the reader to other posts they might be interested in.

Analyze competitors’ backlinks with Semrush and see which are the ones of interest to you. Aim for both do-follow and no follow backlinks. A do-follow link is the default state of a link. That simply means all links that are not no-follow are do-follows. So when a website links with a do-follow link it can affect your local search rankings and is therefore considered a ranking factor. 

Another form of link building is from networking with other small business owners that have authority online. The more authoritative backlinks you have the better and the more effective these local SEO tips for small businesses are.

Geo-Tagging Images

Another local SEO tip for small businesses is to geotag the images on their website. This is quite simple and straightforward. Simply go to geoimgr.com and upload your image. On the left you’ll see a map, drag the pointer to the location on the map where you want to geo-tag your image. In most cases that will be the city in which your business is located. Once you have selected your location, select “Write EXIF-tags”. Then just download the image.

Geo-tagging images can also help with local SEO

At this point, I usually also add the target keyword of the page the image belongs to in the file name of the image. This improves your search engine optimization a little and is something that most people don’t do or skip because they deem it’s not worth it. Therefore it can be something that makes your SEO better than your competition’s.

Google Maps

Something that can also help a local business and improve user experience is a map on your site. It can help visitors find directions to your business. As a result, they don’t have to open a new window or leave your site, they just use the map on your website.

Another pro is that the business info such as name, address, phone number, etc., or NAP is easy to find. 

The map could also keep visitors longer on the site as they might explore surrounding areas on the map. In terms of SEO that is very good because Google uses the time visitors spend on a website to gauge how good the content of that website is. That means the longer people spend on a website the better the website must be.

Getting a map embedded on your site is not that difficult and it can give you a little boost in user experience. It’s well worth it if you have the extra time.

Google Maps is a great way to improve your local SEO

Google My Business

Creating a GMB profile is something that can be very beneficial for your local SEO. To get started create a GMB account and claim your business. Once the profile is set up Google gives you a score on how complete your profile is.

You will receive an envelope by mail that will contain a code that you have to use to verify your account. After the account is verified, ensure that you complete the profile so it is at 100%.

Backlinko has a great blog post about how to optimize your GMB profile to get the highest ranking and most leads. It’s worth checking out because if you implement everything in this post, you will definitely improve your local SEO and knock your competitors out of the park. Especially if your competitors don’t know all the great benefits of local SEO!

Social Media

In order to start ranking you need to start driving traffic to your website. That means posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other account you have. For example, if you offer SEO, talk about your local SEO services in forums like Reddit. You want people to start talking about your service and products.

Just a word of warning, don’t spam the internet. Be sensible about it, if you don’t have an online presence it will take time to build an audience. Consistency is key, posting once a day or a few times a week over several months is a great start. 

Those posts don’t have to be long to blog posts, it’s enough with a short informative post that provides value. It’s very important that your audience sees your posts as valuable as that is more likely to create engagement with your content.

If you have the finances you might consider a Google or Facebook ads campaign. Other local marketing strategies could be handing out flyers and business cards in your area. The list of things you can do is pretty much limited to your own imagination. So go out there and start talking to other people and use these local SEO tips for small businesses.

Local Business Directories

Social Media:

Sign up for as many social media profiles as you can. That means Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Yelp, BBB, real estate directories (if relevant to you), etc. Also ensure that the name, address, email, and phone number (NAP) of your business are consistent across all those platforms. For example, search for ‘top 100 local directories’ and create an account for all the ones that are relevant.

This can be a bit tedious but it’s very important to do it. You don’t have to sign up for 20 of them each day. Doing that would actually be a bad idea. Instead, sign up for 2-3 every day or every other day.

In fact, Myles Anderson from Search Engine Land believes that Citation/NAP inconsistency is the biggest issue affecting local rankings. So stay consistent with your citations!

Keep local listings updated:

Many set up local directories and then never touch them. Don’t do that! It looks unprofessional and Google actually penalizes Google My Business listings that are dead. So ensure the contact details, photos, and descriptions are up to date. For GMB, set it up and get it verified with the code they send you. You want the “Complete your business profile” to be 100%.

Add photos:

Keep your listings fresh with photos. This can be before and after pictures, recent events, your employees, etc. Another possibility is to use customer photos that they have taken of your business’ service or product or just images you have taken yourself.

Descriptions:

Add good descriptions of your business. Talk about your business and what you offer. You don’t have to write an essay but just include a few sentences. You could also include any special offers or seasonal deals you might be offering. However don’t make it a sales pitch, focus on providing value. You want your potential customers to understand your business.

Reviews:

Get more reviews. That means contacting clients or previous clients and asking for an honest review. Most of the time your clients won’t leave a review for your service unless that service was bad.

So if you had a good experience with a customer or client ask them to leave an honest review. The more good reviews you have the more likely you will be to rank in the map pack.

Google doesn’t want to rank someone with bad reviews so deliver an awesome service and ask for an honest review afterwards! Once you have a review from a customer ensure you respond to those reviews. Thank them for choosing you and invite them back. 

If a customer leaves a bad review you need to respond as well and do your best to solve their problem. This shows that you care about your customers and service.

Join local groups and communities and network:

Join local groups on FB or your local chamber of commerce, etc. However, don’t just join and then disappear instead be part of discussions. Provide value where you can. Try to educate your prospects and clients as much as possible. This provides trust and shows that you are knowledgeable in your area of expertise.

The aim is to create a win-win situation. Prospects/clients hopefully learn something new and either purchase your services or recommend you to someone else. Either way, you both benefit from it.

Want to Learn More About SEO?

These are the benefits of local SEO and some tips for small businesses. We hope you now know why local search engine optimization is important. It can seem daunting when you don’t know so much about it but it’s not rocket science.

Good planning, thorough research, and staying updated on local SEO trends will get you further than most. Many times for local SEO the competition is not that high. Most local businesses don’t know anything about SEO and digital marketing.

Therefore it is often very easy to outrank them. Just doing a local SEO audit to get a basic understanding of the current situation of your website is a great way to know where you could start.

If you want to learn more about SEO we have a 10 step SEO game plan that goes through more SEO. Or you can read more about our SEO for service businesses with our HVAC SEO.

I hope these local SEO tips for small businesses provide some value and helps you rank better for your local SEO!

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