What is Local SEO Services?
Local SEO is a search engine optimization approach that enables your business to appear on SERPs when prospective customers conduct local searches for what you are selling. In other words, local searches are online searches conducted on SERPs to find products or services within a specific location.
For instance, if your business is located within the Sacramento area in California and users living within that area search out products and services similar to what you are selling within the Sacramento area, that’s called local search.
While the reliance on social media may have surged in recent years, local SEO remains vital in optimizing the performance of numerous companies. Failing to consider the relevance and importance of this advanced marketing approach means that you’re missing out, big time. Don’t believe us? Let’s see what Google has to say about local SEO:
“Near me” and “where to buy” keyword searches on mobile devices have increased by over 200 percent in the last two years.
A whopping 60 percent of smartphone users acknowledge directly contacting a local company using search results like “click to contact.”
In two years, mobile searches for the keyword “store open near me” grew by over 250%
Up to 46 percent of shoppers confirm products online before visiting a store.
When you take your smartphone, open Google, and search for the “best Spanish restaurant,” the top results won’t be the best such joints in the country or part of a massive chain. Instead, you’ll see locally-owned eateries in your city close to your current location. This is the power of local SEO.
So what does this approach entail, and how valuable is it to your company? This guide will inform you on the basics of local SEO, how it relates to general SEO, and its potential impact SEO can have on your business.
The 5 Reasons Why Local SEO is Important
Local SEO works almost the same as regular SEO. It comprises a series of strategies and actions designed to enhance search engine visibility to prospects within your physical location.
At its core, SEO’s visibility-building practices aim at improving sales. Local SEO appeals to customers correctly by creating content using relevant keywords containing the geo qualifiers.
Here are the primary reasons why doing this is essential to your business.
Like most people would've done, you'll likely pull out your tablet or smartphone and look up the services you need. A mobile search like this will immediately pull up the local business type. Sometimes Google even displays how far the entity is from where you are.
Establishing a robust local SEO strategy means people will find you when up and about. You'll have customers visiting your premises on a whim.
How Can You Use Local SEO?
Local SEO isn’t a complex concept. The actions your company takes to enhance local SERPs visibility are more straightforward than you might imagine. Here are the simple steps of improving your local SEO strategy:
Create precise, consistent local citations
In essence, there are instances where your company name, contact details, and address are mentioned online – like in a local business listing. It doesn’t matter where you add local citations; ensure you include correct information and maintain a consistent format. This way, search engines can trust your data.
Respond to reviews
Taking time to respond to online reviews and comments shows that you care for customers, which can boost your local search ranking. Getting more business reviews requires some time and effort, but once you begin receiving them, always be ready to respond, whether it’s a positive or negative review.
Create a Google My Business Profile
Creating and maintaining this profile will feed your company details straight into Google Maps and Google Search. Furthermore, creating this profile also lets you monitor Google business reviews, update your hours and keep up with clients using features like Google Posts.
List your company in local online directories
Set up local business listings in key online business directories like Google My Business, Facebook, Bing Places, Yelp, and Yext. This way, search engines will quickly verify your company’s legitimacy and data correctness.
Include hyperlocal content to your site
Local keywords can have a significant impact when included in your website copy. Including business identifiers specific to your service, like “executive barber in [City, State]” in your web content, allows search engines to understand what you offer and the local areas you serve. Therefore, you’ll likely show up if a potential customer in your community searches for an “executive barber near me.”
Local SEO will be critical in generating leads and conversions when you’re running a physical brick-and-mortar business.
You may be discouraged because a local search places you against competitors like Amazon and Walmart, but things are different regarding regional prominence.
The shopping public and search engines like google acknowledge the importance and value of local businesses. With a robust local SEO strategy, you can bypass Google’s specific local ranking factors that determine your company’s geographical relevance to searchers. This way, you won’t have to worry about competing against established corporate entities for local customers.
We are a Local SEO Company that delivers leads not excuses
Sophia- Dallas SEO is a digital marketing firm specializing in getting local Google search results. For a decade our team has built a proven track record for customizing powerful internet marketing that gets long-term results. Here is what our clients have to say about us:
Discover how our team helped pave the way for this growing business to become one of the most popular rug shops in Dallas and the USA.
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YO Ranch Steakhouse Case Study
YO Ranch Steakhouse
Improved organic rankings proved to increase foot traffic and web traffic for YO Ranch Steakhouse.
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DFW Fence Contractor
Discover how our team helped pave the way for this growing business to become one of the leading fence contractors in DFW.
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How To Effectively Use Local SEO for Your Business
In an increasingly competitive market, businesses—and especially small businesses—must do everything possible to stay afloat. One effective way of staying ahead of the competition against established industry giants is by investing in local Search Engine Optimization, or local SEO.
ReviewTrackers reports that local searches account for more than 35% of the total searches conducted on SERPs. Even better is that local SEO helps level the field for most businesses, thereby giving everyone a chance to rank fairly against more prominent brands.
So, how do you make use of local SEO? This article explores the whats, whys, and hows of local SEO and provides valuable insights and actionable steps to help you optimize your business and rank with local SEO.
The Importance Of SEO for Small Businesses
When a user conducts a local search on search engines, the results that come up include all the essential details of businesses operating in that region. As such, the user doesn’t need to click further through each website unless they need additional information on a particular product. Therefore, with local SEO, prospective customers can quickly locate your business, access information related to your business, and make conversions. Here are the main reasons why local SEO is vital for your business.
People will make purchases when they are within the same locality as your business.
For example, someone looking for home renovation services will most likely reach out to a home renovation company within their area. As to why this is important, when the potential customer types into search engines the type of home renovation services they are looking for, Google automatically displays all the businesses offering such services within that area.
Therefore, if your business is local SEO-optimized, the chances of appearing on SERPs are higher. And with more visibility comes more transactions.
Local searchers are natural action takers.
A study conducted by Google shows that 75% of searchers who performed local searches eventually visited the stores within 24 hours. So, if local SEO can rank and give your website heavy traffic, you can be sure to increase sales from the same.
About a third of all local searches performed on mobile devices takes place before the searcher eventually visits the store. But more than that, most people would complete an online query to confirm a business’ existence and location before seeing it. Now, for small and medium-sized companies, establishing a solid online presence to help people verify your existence is highly beneficial as it helps boost your legitimacy.
Local searches increase sales.
An estimated 28% of local searchers make transactions within 24 hours. And more and more people are adopting online shopping, meaning they frequently search out local businesses. This is according to a survey which showed that 93% of people searched the net looking for local companies in 2020. And 34% of these performed local searches compared to 27% in 2019.
7 Local SEO Tips To Help You Kickstart Optimization
Local SEO is not that distinct from regular organic SEO. If anything, you’ll need to optimize every aspect of local SEO as you would an ordinary SEO. The only difference is with local SEO, every element must be locally focused. Here are the seven most essential tips to get you started on your local SEO campaign.
Keyword research is vital for any search engine optimization, local SEO included. To ensure your business is optimized for local SEO, provide the relevant keywords to common user queries. Typically, keywords for local searches include location, product, and services, otherwise known as geo-targeted keywords. Here are some examples:
- Roofing experts in Florida
- HVAC services in Orlando
- Italian restaurants in Georgia
Other keywords for local searches are generally the “near me” searches, e.g.:
- Best home renovation company near me
- Italian restaurants near me
- HVAC technician near me
Finally, voice search for local SEO is another way to perform keyword research for local SEO. According to statistics, more and more people are increasingly adopting voice-enabled devices such as Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo, and Google Home. And with such devices, voice search is projected to be one of the essential mediums of performing local searches. You can include voice search keywords based on what people ask if they speak and put what they are looking for instead of typing it. With these keyword research ideas and tips, you can compile a list of keywords similar to what you could obtain from keyword research tools. Always go for the best and most relevant keywords to incorporate on your on-page SEO.
Content is everything. When optimizing your local SEO website, positing up-to-date, relevant content will significantly boost your ranking on SERPs. And such content must be of top quality, that is, highly researched and profoundly engaging content. Additionally, the content must stay relevant to what's happening in your local community. And while at it, remember to include the usual SEO essentials such as:
- Target keyword in title tags
- Captivating metadata
- Target keyword in the URL
- Using H1, H2, and H3 tags
- Incorporating the target keyword throughout the text
- Adding external and internal links
The perfect blog for your specific niche should include all of the above and optimize for local searches.
It is no secret that most people use smartphones compared to other devices. That means that the people searching out your business are likely to type search queries from smartphones. As such, you need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly to improve organic traffic. This will also improve your chances of ranking higher on Google since its search engine algorithm gives the most priority to mobile-optimized websites.
The final step to optimizing your GMB for local SEO is generating positive customer feedback. Thankfully, you can request such reviews from customers with the help of Google. According to research, 79% of online customers say their purchasing decisions tend to be influenced by online reviews. So, the more positive the reviews you generate, the better.
Not only will it improve your ranking and visibility, but it will also give you a better competitive advantage. To summarize how to use effectively local SEO for your business, here are the key points to remember as discussed in this post:
- Excellent keyword research
- A well-optimized GMB profile
- Relevant and good quality content
- Link building to worthy sources
- Citations from local directories
- Good customer reviews
And just like the traditional organic SEO, local SEO should be a consistent process if you want to see long-term results.
So there you have it. That’s how to use local SEO for your business effectively. Optimizing your website for local SEO is vital for your small or medium-sized company operating amidst established competitors.
Our Organic Approach to Higher Search Rankings
In order to achieve the best results, we take a more personalized approach to your company’s SEO. We look at strengths, weaknesses, competitors, and perform quality audits to strategize a customized solution for your company. Our proven SEO tactics are what set us apart from other search engine optimization companies.
With this personalized approach, we’ve helped numerous clients from the greater Dallas area, Texas, and even across the country with their website design and search engine optimization needs.
After years of trying to go it on our own with digital marketing, we are seeing great results with the Sofia team directing our efforts and helping us get the most from our advertising budget. They’ve helped our own staff improve our ability to keep an eye on things and make better decisions also. Highly recommend them to help take your business to the next level!
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How to Improve Local SEO
When you’re just starting to launch your business online, figuring out how to utilize SEO to further grow it can seem like a daunting task. However, by taking advantage of a few strategies, you’ll be well on your way to improving your local SEO. Here are seven effective strategies for small and mid-size companies.
Google My Business is one of the essential parts of improving your local SEO efforts. It’s no secret that Google biases results towards companies with profiles because they want to provide helpful and accurate information whenever people look for business information.
GMB profiles also provide an incredible amount of visibility on Google result pages. Many people look at business result pages when they appear in Google because they’re large, often include photos, and help people decide if the company is worth contacting.
A well-made GMB page also supports other local SEO efforts because Google recognizes that all steps are being taken to improve the ranking of a specific business and will reward them accordingly.
Optimizing the page is a little trickier, though. In this case, optimizing means following Google’s guidelines exactly and filling out as many sections as possible.
More information is always better in this case, and you should include phone numbers, health and safety measures, photos, and other notable business attributes like being veteran-owned.
Location pages are mainly helpful for businesses with multiple locations. This can be companies that are part of a chain or any business that happens to have multiple offices all under centralized control. The business structure is less important than the fact that there are several buildings customers may visit.
Location pages cater to specific areas. They work for local SEO because search engines strongly prefer location-specific information over generic businesses that could focus on online activities over local clients.
Location pages should include long-tail keywords with the location name and mentions of neighborhoods, landmarks, city names, and anything else that could be relevant. Location-specific addresses and phone numbers are critical to include on each page.
One area that businesses often trip up is making carbon-copy pages for each location, only modifying the name and address as necessary. Google rarely likes it when companies do that, so it’s better to make location pages that describe that area’s unique qualities or characteristics.
Mobile devices now consistently account for more than 50% of all web traffic. This is even higher for local SEO, where people may use voice search systems to make inquiries and find stores when they’re already in a vehicle and driving around.
Search engines can tell the difference between desktop and mobile searches, and responsive, mobile-friendly sites will get the majority of traffic. Anything that looks too small or hard to read on a mobile device will only bounce users away from the site, assuming you could attract any to start with.
The good news is that most business website development software now includes mobile responsiveness as a core feature. If you already have a mobile-friendly site, double-check its characteristics to make sure it works as intended. You can study how to improve local SEO for hours, but if your software isn’t working, neither will your other website strategies.
If you don’t have a mobile website, the best time to get one is always as soon as possible. Look for website hosting services or creation systems that meet your needs as a company and, if necessary, hire an expert to make the website for you.
Most local businesses don’t need complex websites, so costs are on the low end. Things will get more expensive if you want to integrate an eCommerce store or advanced features, but these should still pay themselves off over time.
Search engines love reviews. It’s hard to overstate how much they value these, especially for local businesses, because they do one of the few things that search engines can’t: They provide in-depth user feedback for companies that often conduct most transactions offline.
A few dozen reviews can be all it takes to elevate a local business out of the crowd and into a place of prominence in search engine results. Better placement alone makes this great for local SEO, but there’s also another obvious benefit: customers trust reviews.
According to Qualtrics, over 90% of consumers say that online reviews have influenced their buying decisions. This isn’t limited to specific products, either. It also applies to actual companies. Most people won’t even consider going to a business with a score below 3.3/5.
Numbers matter. A company with two 5-star reviews may have a “higher” score than a company with 400 reviews and a 4.8 average, but people will trust the second company more regardless. Trust happens because, past a certain point, reviews show the actual results of a company’s efforts.
There are many ways to get reviews, but it’s vital to avoid faking them. Search engines can generally tell if reviews are purchased instead of genuine, leading to massive damage to your company’s ranking.
Try to reply to reviews on websites that allow this. Replies will show other people reading them that you’re highly responsive and offer personalized responses and feedback when there’s an issue.
Local keywords are another great way to improve your local SEO performance. If you run a burger joint, you probably won’t rank nationally for any keyword you can think of. However, you can rank locally.
The trick to getting the best results here is determining what local means for your customers. This can be as small as a neighborhood or as big as an entire county. Many companies optimize at the neighborhood, city, and county levels for better results, and that makes sense.
In short, how far are customers willing to travel to reach your business? Most people won’t travel through two or three cities to reach a pharmacy unless they have to, but they might go that far for specialty automotive care or an unusually high-quality restaurant.
You can collect information on customer origins through surveys or even casual conversations when they come in. Track as much of this as you can to create a map of where people are coming from. Then, focus your local keywords on these areas to improve your presence.
When deciding how to improve local SEO, local forums are one area that many companies overlook. Opportunities vary by area, but forums can include groups on social media, separate websites, or even apps sharing information with search engines.
Like social media, the main idea is to post regularly and offer relevant and timely advice in discussions. Don’t go too hard on sales when you’re in local forums. Instead, consider the topic of each discussion. Then, determine how you can contribute to it in a way that portrays your business as a leader and a trustworthy source of information.
For example, if you run an auto repair shop, you can join discussions where people are confused about specific errors. If you explain what problems could be and how easy they are to fix, that could convince buyers to come into your shop.
Some businesses don’t have this kind of direct support to offer conversations. Don’t avoid forums entirely, but don’t jump into conversations just to be there. Instead, look for ways you can contribute by drawing on personal knowledge and experiences. You can even collaborate with other businesses in your industry. While some companies are highly competitive, others can benefit from a rising tide that lifts all businesses in certain categories. Being friendly and intelligent on local forums can establish trust with customers who read the conversations later.
In other words, most people don’t like seeing companies that are hostile or aggressive. The goal isn’t to win a conversation or even convince any specific person to become a customer. Joining local forums is more about establishing and maintaining a brand, so people think of you when they want what you sell.
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At Sofia Marketing, our team specializes in a variety of SEO strategies formulated to bring local businesses to the top of page 1 in organic search and maps. Are you ready to take the next steps toward SEO success?