What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization is a digital marketing strategy that aims to get your business in front of local customers, increase its online presence, and boost its revenue. With the help of local SEO services, your business can rank higher on search engines for relevant keywords, online maps, and listings.
Unlike many other marketing methods such as paid advertising on social media or websites, local SEO lets you target prospects who are actively looking for solutions that you can offer, which dramatically increases the likelihood of them clicking through or calling you.
Although the underlying goal remains the same, a comprehensive local SEO strategy actually involves a handful of methods for appearing in front of the very best prospects in your area.
First off, we need to look at local search, which accounts for up to 46% of all Google searches, according to the company’s representatives. These are search terms that include a physical location like “bakery San Francisco,” or have specific terms such as “bakery near me.”
Instead of focusing solely on ranking for broader terms like “how to choose a lawyer,” local search marketing pursues words that are typed in by people with immediate purchase intent, such as “family lawyer near me.”
Search engines have adapted to display locally-optimized results as well, providing searchers with relevant information while simultaneously giving businesses more opportunities to showcase their contact info and reviews.
A crucial part of local search is called Local SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), which use the ‘local pack’ or ‘3-pack’ system to display the three most relevant local businesses for any query.
Getting a spot among the ‘3-pack’ for your local keywords offers an enormous advantage over the competition, as it provides all of the relevant information about your company: what you do, how to contact you, your working hours, and even your rating according to customer reviews.
But to have a shot to be displayed among the ‘3-pack’, you need to have a Google Business Profile account, which is another integral part of the local SEO services equation.
Google Business Profile (formerly called Google My Business (GMB)) will act as your business profile, which Google will use to display your business on search results. Because of this, it’s a crucial part of the strategy that you should expect from your local SEO company.
Today, Google and other search engines have become the equivalent of the yellow pages in a newspaper – most people head online to search for local service providers, so you must be one of the first results to be shown if you want to have a chance of standing out.
Benefits of Local SEO
There’s a reason why the demand for best Local SEO services has skyrocketed: more and more businesses are seeing the unique advantages of getting in front of the potential customers that are actively seeking solutions to their problems.
When a person decides to go online and type in a query for a local business, they are usually already aware that they have a problem that they want to solve, and that they need a trustworthy company nearby to help them.
Local Search can serve as the foundation for increasing your visibility among this key segment of your audience.
Local SEO strategies such as citation building help make your business more visible across the web. People will be able to find you not only on Google, but on various business directories as well, which will make it easy to find your address, resulting in more foot traffic and more sales.
With local search optimization, you can target ready-to-buy local customers instead of broad groups of online users who may not be qualified to seek out your business because of their location or other factors.
And by using on-site techniques that are part of Local SEO, you will be able to provide a much better experience to your visitors, improving load times and providing more relevant information with in-depth content.
Local SEO will provide you with better visibility on Google Maps, as well as the potential to appear among the “3-pack” of top results in your niche. That means a lot more traffic to your site, but it also means a boost to your reputation and authority status.
Today’s consumers read around ten reviews before trusting a business, and appearing at the top will help you quickly accumulate dozens of positive reviews from happy customers, especially when you consider how most of today’s users browse the web.
More than half of all online traffic is on mobile, and that is changing user habits as well. When people need a local business, they will likely search for it on their phone by either typing what they need into Google Maps or Google Search.
In both of these scenarios, an experienced Local SEO marketing company like Victorious can help you get in front of those people and provide all the information that they need to reach you, which is often more than enough to get them to choose you.
As you can see, the benefits of Local SEO for businesses make up a long list, and at Victorious, we can help ensure that your business makes the most of every single one of them.
Why is SEO for Local Businesses So Valuable?
A while back, local keywords weren’t really a priority in the SEO world. These types of keywords had their limitations, such as low search volume, which made them seem less valuable than the broader terms that have millions of searches every month.
But ever since Google made its first steps towards optimizing local searches back in 2003, SEO for local has been on the rise as the best way to generate leads for local companies.
Today, if you’re operating a law firm, a medical practice, or restaurant, or if you provide local services such as plumbing or other repairs, the vast majority of your foot traffic or offline customers are likely to start on Google.
Even if someone hears about your business from a friend, they are very likely to look it up online before making a decision. 71% of people confirm the location of the business online before going, so your public information needs to be available in multiple places, be accurate, and remain consistent. And that’s what Local SEO is designed to do.
So, while these queries might only have a fraction of the search volume of some of the broader terms, what they can offer instead is people that don’t need much convincing and just want to choose a business that they can work with. And that is a much better proposition for many local businesses.
At Victorious, we follow the best practices and approaches for local SEO, and our local SEO consultant will develop a tailor-made strategy that’s designed to meet your business needs.
SEO vs PPC for Local Businesses
As a local business, you must consider all of the available strategies for attracting new leads so that every marketing dollar you spend provides you with the biggest returns possible. The good news is that today, you can use a variety of proven methods for growing your business online.
Some businesses decide to focus on paid strategies like PPC campaigns, where you pay for every click to your site. Meanwhile, others pursue organic strategies such as content marketing and local SEO, which take more time but provide better ROI in the long run.
But which one should you focus on? And how are they different?
The obvious benefit of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns is that, at least in theory, they can start bringing in customers from day one. Once you set up the campaigns, you can expect clicks to start coming in within hours, and if the ads are profitable, scaling is also quite easy.
The caveat is that making the campaigns profitable can be a challenge, especially at first. Local keywords tend to be very competitive, so you will likely need to pay a lot for each click, and that can rack up the expenses quickly, especially since you’ll probably need to optimize before you can turn a profit.
Meanwhile, SEO (including a strategy for local search) is a much more organic process, which means that you can’t expect to set up your Google My Business page and start seeing leads immediately.
What you can expect is that, even though getting a spot among the ‘3-pack’ and gaining a place on the first page of the SERPs can take time, once you get there, you will have a steady stream of leads that will come to your site month after month.
What’s more, since the results are organic, they pack a lot more social proof and trust than if you were using PPC, which will show prospects that your business is not only showcased by Google but also endorsed by previous customers through reviews.
At Victorious, we can help you come up with a proven SEO strategy, gradually growing your organic presence on Google and ensuring that your position will remain secure through any future Google algorithm updates.
Google Business Profile Optimization
Formerly called Google My Business (GMB) by Google, optimization of your Google Business Profile is essential to help your local SEO strategy be effective. Google Business Profile is simply a profile that you create on Google, providing information about what your business is about, how to reach you, and other details that your customers might find relevant.
At Victorious, we look at Google Business Profile as a fundamental pillar in any local SEO strategy and have a comprehensive approach to setting it up for our clients.
The profile needs to contain accurate and up-to-date information about your business. Details like your location(s), contact details, and working hours help Google ensure that crucial business data remains consistent throughout the web. Images are another vital part of Google Business Profile setup, as they help prospects see how your business looks, how to recognize it, and who works there. And of course, you can insert relevant keywords throughout your listing, and use geotagging techniques to verify your locations and make your business more trustworthy, both to Google and to prospective clients. These are just a few of the aspects that go into setting it up.
Even though local SEO has some differences from other types of SEO, one thing is the same: backlinks still play a vital role in where your site ranks, as that are used by Google to determine a site’s value.
And since local SEO revolves around a specific location, local search engine optimization services should focus on links that not only point back to your site with a relevant anchor text but also link from a website that potentially will be seen by your local audience.
In local SEO, getting a backlink from a relevant local blog or website can often be more powerful than a link from a high-authority source like Forbes, which would be very coveted for traditional SEO purposes.
Another useful tool for increasing the link juice of your site for local SEO is using citations, which are directory listings of your business that contain all of the essential information such as your location, contact details, and business name.
Local SEO can be the single most effective marketing strategy for small businesses, but executing it correctly and outranking competitors can be challenging, at least without help from an experienced local search company.
At Victorious, we use our local SEO services to bring you local backlinks from a wide range of sources that are relevant to your location, audience, and goals. We can assist you in figuring out the best approach in your situation and provide you with local SEO services that have been proven to deliver results in a wide range of industries.
How Does Local SEO Help Grow Your Business?
Did you know that 92% of people find the company they want to work with on the first page of search results?
That means that if you’re not visible on the first results page when they type in a query on Google, there’s almost no chance that the very best leads that need your services right now are ever going to consider you. (How would they find you?)
What’s more, when you rank for relevant local keywords, you will experience a surge of traffic to your website. There, you can give directions for people to visit your store in person, while also boosting your online sales for your products and bookings for your services.
As you become more visible on local search, more people will start leaving you reviews, which will provide your company with a ton of social proof and helps build credibility that will help you stand out, even in the most competitive marketplaces.
When you hire local SEO experts, they not only improve your online presence, boosting your traffic, but help you set up a funnel to deliver the majority of customers to your physical store.
People need to trust a business before they can consider its services. Seeing your business among the ‘3-pack’ results, or your high review rating on Google Maps, can serve as undeniable proof that your company is reliable. In fact, this type of proof can be the primary factor in the decision process.