Local Search Engine Optimization: SEO Guide to Ranking a Local Business

local search engine optimization guide ranking local businesses google

Your business needs to rank in the local search engine results. About 45% of searchers on Google are looking for local information and if you're not there -- how are they supposed to find you? The days of picking up the Yellow Pages to find information on a local business are gone for most people.

Failing to understand the importance of local SEO will leave your business running behind the competition in the race to the sale. Continue reading this article to learn more about local SEO and why your business needs it.

The 411 on Local Search Engine Optimization

Once you fully understand why your business needs local SEO, you'll stop putting off getting to work on an SEO campaign. The following information will make sure you're in the know.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is SEO that is done in order to get your website in front of local search traffic that is looking for what you have to offer. Local search is different from an informational search because one is looking for information and one is looking for a solution.

An example of a local search is "find an accountant near me" or "SEO Consultant London". As you can see, they have local intent when they are doing the search. Local SEO puts your business in front of these searchers.

Local Search Engine Pages

When people make a search that has local intent, local search engine pages show up unlike when people are making an information search. You've probably seen what's called the local pack or the 3 pack that shows local businesses above the normal search engine results on Google.

While Google can pull information from your site, that's not what you're going to see if you do a local search on Google. What you're going to see when you do a local search on Google is the information from your Google My Business profile. Many businesses don't even have a Google My Business profile set up.

What Is Google My Business?

Google My Business used to be known as Google Local. When you have a profile on GMB, it feeds your information to multiple places online. When you have your Google profile filled out properly, your information will go to the local search results as well as Google Maps. When people do a branded search for your business, your listing will also look much richer when you have your profile filled out.

Now you can do things like post updates, add photos and share announcements which makes it a great place to put some attention. When people search for your business by brand, they will see your "knowledge panel" which give information about the services you offer, your hours, location, phone number, business category and more. The more information and updates you provide, along with more and higher customer reviews, all helps your local SEO results.

Building Citations

Another important part of local SEO is building local citations. Citations are the places online where your business name, address, phone, and website show up. Most of the time, you're going to find these are business directories and online business listing sites. Citations may also show up on press releases and news articles, however, which will also help your local SEO strategy.

Winning Those Coveted Local Search Rankings

Now that you know some of the most important things when it comes to local search, let's get into the nitty-gritty about how to get those local search rankings. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of factors that go into ranking your site. You can only optimize your site so you have the best opportunity to show up and you can't guarantee your results because they are out of your control.

When people search for local businesses on Google, the job of Google is to show them the best results. You can let Google know that your business is the best result by being close to the searcher, showcasing all of your services so you can be relevant to as many customers as possible, and have lots of great reviews so they know you're the go-to business.

Localize Your Business

When you write your website copy, make sure you localize your content. You don't want to just say that you're an accountant. You should say that you're an accountant in Knoxville, TN or Birmingham, AL. If you are available in multiple locations then list those cities on your website as well. Don't keyword spam list every city or state as part of your local search engine optimization strategy, but include the ones that apply to your local business.

While search engines are smart, they can't read into information that isn't there. Make sure the most important information is placed prominently at the top of your website pages so it's easy for search engines to find and use for local visitors.

Get Quality Reviews

Another important part of ranking in local search is customer reviews. Customer reviews can not only make or break your conversions when people look at your listing but not having reviews can tank your results.

Never ask anyone to leave fake reviews. You can ask satisfied customers to go to your Google listing and even provide them an easy link to go to leave a review but never have someone that hasn't used your business leave a review.

Just know that if you don't ask people to take the time to leave a review on your Google My Business listing -- they probably won't leave a review. Don't incentivize people to leave Google (or Facebook or Yelp) reviews, but you should still ask customers if you can. It will help your local search engine optimization significantly to rank your local business much higher.

Business, Marketing & Sales - Increase Your Knowledge

Now that you know more about local search engine optimization, why not keep growing your business to the next level? We have many more articles that will help you increase your business, marketing, and sales knowledge to grow your business. Visit the Blog Outreach and SEO sections of our blog for more local search engine optimization insights.

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