For businesses looking to excel locally and target more of the local audience, it is very important to seek local SEO services. This is a rather new kind of SEO that can work wonders for small businesses, but only if adopted and executed well. We have discussed in this blog post about this type of SEO and how it works so effectively for local businesses.
What is Local SEO?
In very simple words, this is another kind of SEO just like online SEO, offline SEO, technical SEO and so on and it basically deals in the local area optimization of the website. This means that SEO professionals will implement some specially devised strategies that will make the a website visible to local area audiences.
The keywords used in this kind of optimisation are totally different and often skip country, state or city name. They mostly have this phrase, “Near Me” attached to them like –
- Family Lawyers Near Me
- Dentists Near Me
But they can also contain “City Name” and also the name of the particular locality or neighbourhood, where the business is located. For example –
- Family Lawyers In Darlington
- Dentists In Darlington
With these keywords, one thing becomes clear regarding local SEO that it is a strategy that focuses on making a business more well-known in the local area rather than the State or Country. Because of this strategy, this SEO is more fruitful for small or medium sized businesses that want customers from around their location. Apart from this, other strategies used in this SEO are almost identical to other SEO types. This includes content, on-page optimisation, link building and other steps, but all of them are focussed only towards pulling local audience more and more. In other words, this SEO is done to make Google put your website on the top whenever any local search query comes. For this, a huge amount of information is to be rendered very accurately. Failing to do this could make you lag behind in the quest and because of inaccurate information; chances are that the website will not be included at all in the local search query.
After knowing the details of local SEO and having an overview of its modus operandi, it’s time that we start realising its importance and this can be done, once you go through the following figures.
- Almost 50% of those doing a local search on a smart phone visit the physical store in next 24 hours
- 34% of those making local search on the computer / tablet visited the store in next 24 hours
- Out of all local searches made on a mobile, 18% reported sale within 24 hours of the search being made
- The world has adopted smart phones as the primary device to access the Internet and 60% of local searches come only from smart devices
- 50% of those making a local search query on smart devices just wanted the contact details or physical address of the local business
- The data is even more heartening in terms of offline sale because 78% of those making a local search from their smart phones went of offline purchasing
- Contact details present on the Internet were used by almost 71% smart phone users to call and contact the business to confirm their existence before visiting
- 1/3rd of the searches made on smart phones were actually made just before arriving the physical store
Keeping in mind the percentages given above, it becomes quite clear that a huge traffic is always searching for locally available businesses to fulfil their requirements. In such situations, if you are missing out a local SEO campaign, basically you are missing out a vast traffic from the Internet that could have come to your website and your store/office from there.
Who Can Get Benefitted The Most From Local SEO And Why?
There is actually a whole myriad of businesses that can use this local SEO strategy for the benefit of their business, store or profession. Using this type of SEO, they can make themselves more frequently present in search queries made by local traffic around any business’s locality or region, city, etc.
Let us have a deeper look at some professions that can get immensely benefited from this type of SEO.
Lawyers & Law Firms
Lawyers and law firms are first professionals who can get directly benefited from this kind of SEO. The reason is that Google shows the “Call” button right in the search results given on smart phones. So, if you are a lawyer or the owner of the law firm and your business has appeared in search results, it will appear with a “CALL” button to let the user call you directly from there. This means increased chances of people calling you, if the business appears in the search results, but for this, this SEO has to be implemented strategically.
This way, the website or your business’s details will get pushed up on the search results for the search made for that particular query. And with CTA or Call-To-Action button, Google assists in making the audience reach you faster and safely.
Doctors and Medical Practitioners
When someone is in kind of pain or illness, the first thing he/she does is calling the doctor and if there is no number stored in phone contacts, obviously they will search on Google for this. The primary query they make us “Doctors Near Me” or the specialised doctor like “Dentist Near Me” or “Physiotherapist Near Me”. The reason is to visit the doctor as soon as possible to get rid of the pain or illness.
This is where local SEO can be very helpful because when executed well, it will let search engines show your Name, Address, Contact Details and also the smallest route with directions to your clinic. These directions will get opened on the “Google Maps” application for the user can follow and visit the nearest clinic without wasting any time at all. Then, the search engines also allow users to set an appointment right from there only by filling a small form with your name, contact details and preferred time to visit. But amidst this, as mentioned above, those using this type of SEO should furnish all the credentials accurately for the search engine to flash them as a part of search results.
Apart from lawyers and doctors, local SEO can also be immensely beneficial for plumbers because often their services are required in emergency situations or odd hours of the day. If someone who has no contact details of any plumber stored in the phone contact book or address diary, the first thing he will do is looking on the Internet. He will type “Emergency Plumbers Near Me” and this is where, search engine and local SEO will start their job by flashing your plumbing agency’s address and contact details on the top.
Call-To-Action or “Call” button would also be provided along with your agency’s specialisation, working hours details and so on. The homeowner can use these features to read briefly about you, know whether you are the right person for that problem and if “Yes”, call you immediately to come and handle that emergency.
One kind of profession or business that can never go in loss or deficit is of the restaurants or a food outlets and with the help of local SEO services; they can certainly double up their revenue. The reason is that because of local SEO strategies, the search engines flash your outlet’s or restaurant’s physical address, customer reviews and also the option of booking a table or a room. The information catered in search results prompts consumers to contact you and this is made simple with the help of CTA or “Call”, “Book A Table” and “Book A Room” form.
In terms of “Book A Room”; if you have furnished the Cost-Per-Night of your hotel’s rooms, the search engines will flash those rates too thereby, making it easier for customers to decide. In addition, it allows people to see, quite efficiently, the restaurants providing the best quality food and service in the neighbourhood.
Apart from these, a number of other small businesses can have a great positive impact of adopting local SEO services, but not all. Yes, this SEO is not ideal for all the business and most importantly, those not willing to share their information on the Internet.
SOME IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF LOCAL SEO ARE:
This remains the same in all kinds of SEO services, but when it comes to local SEO, just like other things or components, this also changes a bit.
The reason is that modern-day searches are made more by voice commands on mobile phones and other smart devices like Google Assistance, Siri, Amazon’s Echo and others. The keywords spoken to them could be slightly different than those typed on a smart phone and this is why, the keywords to be used in local SEO vary from others. The SEO professionals have to ensure that the keywords they use in local SEO campaigns are basically identical or matching those fed through a voice command to the smart phone. Using keywords research tools present on the Internet can be a wiser step and an excellent way to target keywords that have local intent.
This is a fact that just like we see in other kinds of SEO services, the content has a significant role in local SEO too, but yes, the strategies used in content generation are different. The difference is again the same that the content is created keeping local traffic, local region, local demographics in mind. This clearly means that writing long form content is simply a waste of time and efforts in relation to local SEO.
The content needed in this kind of SEO generally depends upon a number of factors and most importantly, the nature of the result of the search queries being made. This also has to be seen that the content fits the user’s intent behind making that query. So, the word count really doesn’t matter when it comes to local SEO and here, custom local content can be pretty helpful. This type of content ensures that you match the quality, standard and most importantly, the parameters set by Google and other major search engines.
A Brief Primer on Local SEO Link Categories
There are some categories to be aware of in terms of link building in a local SEO campaign and the names are –
- Citation/NAP Sites
- Local Directory Websites
- Industry-Related local sites
- Local Partner Sites
- Local Chamber Of Commerce Sites
- Local Newspaper Sites
Let us get a brief overview of all these categories below.
- They are basically the websites, where you submit your website with the aim of improving its local presence
- NAP means Name, Address And Phone Number and you basically have to feed these details in these websites.
Local Directory Websites
- Local web directories are always a positive thing in terms of local SEO because they enhance website’s link authority in terms of local searches.
Industry-Related Local Sites
- These sites are known for improving your local link profile so that it has more information because more and accurate information means better visibility and rank in SERPs.
Local Partner Websites
- This is another very handsome way of excelling in the local area business, but while using it, keep in mind that Google forbids excessive amount of link exchange.
- However, local business partners can be used for link building and there is no penalty to face for doing so.
What’s the Future of Local SEO?
According to the statistics and data present in the beginning of this post, there is nothing wrong in assuming that local SEO is the current trend and it is expected to grow further in coming years. This will become better in the coming years and with the proliferation of devices like smart phones, Echo, Siri, Google Assistance, etc., it is expected to improve more. However, the trend would be of voice or speech made search queries and conversation like approaches would prevail more leaving keypad entry type search queries behind. Google algorithms will also evolve for sure to focus more on the searches made using voice commands from smart phones and smart devices and as a result, local business will get benefit the most.