As the percentage of mobile internet users increases, more people are using search engines as local directories and sources of information.And when it comes to the future of SEO, it’s pretty clear that local search will reign supreme. If you want your business to take advantage of this trend, it’s time you invest in local optimization.
Understanding Local SEO
Local SEO, when viewed from a distance, can seem intimidating and possibly even irrelevant. Many people wrongly assume that local SEO is only for niche industries or businesses that nobody’s ever heard of, when in fact, the most successful businesses are the ones investing in local search optimization.
According to recent statistics, four billion desktop queries per month (in the United States) have local intent. Over half of all mobile queries have local intent. And between 15 and 20 percent of all searchers are conducted on mobile devices.
Unless you’re willing to miss out on an additional source of revenue and new customer acquisition channel, it’s critical that you lean in and understand what local SEO is and why it matters. Specifically, you need to understand the three main components: local listings and directories, online reviews and testimonials, and on-site optimization.
Local Listings and Directories
Local listings and various directories make up the first component of local SEO. These are incredibly valuable resources, because the search engines use these listings to provide searchers with answers to questions and inquiries. For example, if a person searchers for “best restaurant in San Jose,” Google doesn’t actually know the answer. However, Google does have access to thousands of directories that provide information about the top rated places to eat in San Jose. Google crawls this data and provides the searcher with some suggestions.
While you could spend months adding your business to the thousands of online listings and directories, you should start by focusing on quality over quantity. Yelp, Google+ Local, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare are some of the most trusted sources for Google and the other popular search engines.
Online Reviews and Testimonials
Consumers love reinforcement from their peers, and online reviews and testimonials provide that added confidence. Reviews drive conversion rates and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Any business that is serious about mastering local SEO should actively pursue reviews. Encourage users to leave reviews, ask them to rate you, and see if they’re willing to provide a brief testimonial.
Much like standard SEO, local SEO depends on on-site optimization. The first thing you’ll want to do is pay attention to your contact page and info. Make sure you have your NAP (name, address, phone number) clearly and accurately listed. If you have multiple locations, it’s best to centralize all the information on a single page.
Next, pay attention to the keywords you use on your website. If you have multiple locations, consider creating geo-specific pages that appeal to each group of customers. It’s best to use long tail keywords whenever possible, as it’s easier to get ranked for them in most cases.
Go Local Today
As you can see, local SEO is an incredibly important aspect of internet marketing. By understanding its value and learning to pay attention to the three major components of local SEO, you can take your business to the next level.
At digiTech Web Design, we are committed to providing top-notch search engine optimization services for our clients. In today’s dynamic marketplace, we place a specific emphasis on helping you improve local SEO through listings and directories, online reviews and testimonials, and on-site optimization. For additional information on our comprehensive services – including web design and pay-per-click campaign management – please contact us today!