It is time to be online. 46% of all searches on Google are for a local business or local service (Source). A simple search for a ‘Hairdresser’ presents innumerable organic search results for long-tailed keywords such as ‘What is a Hairdresser?” “What is the difference between a hairstylist and a hairdresser?”. On closer observation (as displayed below), before everything else, Google shows me local SERP results of 3 hairdressers around my location and the relative distance from my location, some information related to the businesses.

A snapshot showing Google results for Hairdresser

As you can observe, one of the businesses listed doesn’t even have a website, but as per Google, these 3 business listings are an ideal suggestion for my search query. This is all possible due to the niche branch of SEO marketing called Local SEO. Local SEO marketing gives local businesses an incredible opportunity to market themselves or promote their products and services to local customers as soon as they search.

This article aims to be your first step into Local SEO marketing. It will educate you about what local search optimization is, create your business profile to be a part of your prospects’ search results, and use different strategies to be present at the right time and place.

What is Local SEO Marketing? Who Can Avail These Services?

Local SEO or Local search engine optimization is an SEO type where you optimize your business’s information so that Google displays accurate and relevant results for a certain type of search query. It involves using local SEO strategies like building out reviews, using business directories, updating citations, and creating localized content to build online credibility leveraged when someone searches locally for a keyword your business ranks on. It relies heavily on the proximity to the user’s location and the query relevancy to your business.

Local SEO services are ideal for any business or institute that wishes to leave their mark on the Google Map (pun intended). The only requirements for local SEO services are that your business should have a local physical address and have a defined local service area. Some of the common businesses who opt for Local SEO marketing are:

  • Service area-based company
  • Brick and mortar companies
  • Medical or professional offices
  • Manufacturers with local dealers or vendors
  • Non-profit organizations

Have a business that falls under any of the above categories? Looking for quicker solutions? Talk to our experts and get a solution faster than reading this entire blog.

How Does Google Distinguish between a Local Search Query and an Information Search Query?

The answer lies in the intent and the terms used. When someone searches for “Top Hairstyles” or “How to keep clothes smelling fresh,” the intent is to gaining information. So, Google considers it as an information search query and displays helpful links with SEO rankings to answer the query.

For search queries such as “Hair Styling Products” or “Dry cleaners near me,” Google automatically predicts that the user is looking for products and has an intent for purchase. So, it offers local search engine results based on the user’s location.

Nearly 46% of searches have a ‘local intent’ (Source), and now Google’s search algorithms are smart enough to identify the local search intent from a single search phrase such as ‘Pizza,’ ‘Landmarks,’ ‘Shoes,’ etc. This can be owing to any of the following criteria:

  1. Google knows your location.
  2. The user is searching from a mobile device.
  3. You are searching on Google Maps.

While you may already have a good time having a good SEO and authority for informational search queries, it is a worthwhile exercise to have your local presence made evident with Local SEO activities. Wondering why? Read on…

Why Should You Invest in Local SEO Services?

In case you are on the fence regarding adopting Local SEO, you are wasting precious time. With the advancements in technology, most people have access to an internet-enabled mobile device & more people are going to the internet for finding local businesses. Since local searches are highly targeted and timely, the first business to offer solutions becomes the preferred option.

Moreover, unlike the other traditional marketing channels such as local newspapers, leaflets, signboards, local SEO depends on three factors:

  • Proximity: Relative distance from the location of the user
  • Relevance: Relevance of your business’s products and services to the user’s search query
  • Prominence: How prominent is your business as per your customers.

This means that Local SEO can get you more exposure as your listing is only seen by those looking for it. Additionally, it doesn’t cost any money to claim your local business profile on any popular search engine platforms such as Google My Business, Bing Places for Business.

The only downside to adopting Local SEO services is that building your profile online takes time, and maintaining it is an on-going process. This can be bypassed by taking the help of Local SEO service agencies such as Searchaholiks at competitive prices and letting the experts manage the optimization part. Here are some of the benefits of investing in Local SEO.

  • Better Local Visibility
  • Increased Foot and web traffic
  • Improved Outreach into the Local Community
  • Businesses without websites can still have an online presence with citations.
  • Better on-optimization for better-targeted traffic for relevant keywords
  • Faster trust-building with online reviews
  • Increased inquiries through phone number listing

How to Begin with Local Business Listing Profile

Claim your Listing

Before working on building your Local SEO profile, you first need to claim it. As we stated earlier, most search engine plnbatforms create a generic profile for your business and charge you nothing for claiming it. All you need to do is search for your business and click on the ‘Claim this listing’ option.

Google My Business Profile

‘Google My Business’ (GMB) is the business profile on Google. It displays all the information related to your business, such as Your Business Name, Physical Address, Phone Number (NAP), the services you offer, your business hours, any online reviews you received, website (optional), and photos of your store.

A huge chunk of Local SEO involves keeping your GMB profile updated and optimized. The more optimization you have done for your business listing, the higher are the chances of it to be displayed in Google Local Pack SERP. The Google Local Pack is the 3 search results of local listings based on proximity to the searcher’s query.

Google Results showing 3 business around the user that matches the search term

Build Citations

Claiming your business listing on GMB is one of the ways to gain ‘citations.’ A citation is a mention of your business’ Name, Address, Phone number, and Website on any well-known social platform, directory, website such as Yelp!, Facebook Business Page, Yellowpages, Bing Places for Business, etc. Building citations is a foundational move in upgrading your local SEO strategy.

Manage Reviews

Admit it; even you are tempted to go through reviews while shopping online and get swayed by them. As per research by BIA/Kelsey, 97% of people read reviews for local businesses. So, it is important to put your best foot forward by asking your customers to leave reviews on your website or on your GMB listing for others to see. Positive reviews and responses are not only morale-boosting but also send signals to search engines that your business can be trusted, and your services are genuine. The more number of reviews improves your authority and rankings. Also, replying to the reviews make customers feel valued and increase their chances of them visiting.

Build Backlinks

Getting backlinks from reputed websites is a standard SEO practice that is useful for local SEO ranking. Search engines consider backlinks as a trusted source of information. The more backlinks your business gets, the more score is added to the prominence of your business. Getting backlinks from any of the following sources is a valuable addition to your business listing:

  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Local trade organization
  • Partnering companies
  • Local charity organizations

Following the above-mentioned steps are key highlights when it comes to optimizing your business profile. In a nutshell, the following actions can increase your local search ranking considerably:

  • Ask for Reviews & Feedbacks
  • Conduct Local SEO along with Standard SEO activities
  • Generate backlinks from useful websites
  • Maintain consistency in citations

Conclusion

While talking about Local SEO, we have barely scratched the surface. As a part of our Local SEO services, we conduct different activities such as Google My Business Setup & Optimization, On-page Local SEO, Schema Markup, and much more. In case you need to learn more about local SEO, stay tuned for our blogs, or drop us a line at hi@searchaholiks.com.

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Team Searchaholiks believes that sharing knowledge can help the community grow. Hence, we regularly post articles covering the most common pain points of our clientele. However, for a quicker resolution of your issues, drop us your requirements at hi@searchaholiks.com.

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