How to Achieve Better Local SEO For Your Business?

By Milan Mušicki

Hey, want to rank your local business on Google and other search engines? Don't worry, you're in the right place.

Local SEO is important to increase search visibility for businesses that serve their communities face to face. These can be companies with physical locations, such as a grocery store or a dental practice, or companies operating in a specific geographical area, such as an electrician or a house cleaning company.

This includes everything from claiming a business listing to making sure that the franchise's location appears in an exceedingly local search on Google (a process referred to as location data or citation management). It also extends to managing online ratings and reviews, engaging on local social networks and beyond.

What is Local SEO?

Optimizing your local SEO means more website traffic, leads, and conversions because the strategy is more relevant to your local customer base. Think about this focused strategy as the simplest way to assist you to compete more effectively against larger national brands that have unlimited spending resources.

By focusing on specific local SEO tasks, you can neutralize the advantage of larger brands that are routinely optimized for broader keywords and rely on brand recognition, rather than value suggestions, to drive traffic.

Local SEO is crucial for smaller businesses that operate at the regional, as critical to the national level. Albeit,  national SEO focuses more on ranking in searches across the country, local SEO prefers to look at SERPs in a very particular location.

This strategy relies on marketing your brand, products, and services to local leads and customers.

A good portion of all search traffic is local, so without Local SEO in 2021, your business can lose a major amount of traffic. - Vladimir Milić, CEO of VM Digital

How Does Local SEO Work?

High-level local SEO works like a ‘normal’ Google search.

Local SEO - VM Digital

When someone searches, Google scans your index to produce the most effective results for that person's query.

What makes local SEO unique is that Google uses a different set of ranking factors to rank local search results.

In fact, local SEO has a set of unique ranking signals, including:

  • NAP Captions
  • Presence of ‘Google My Business’ listing
  • Keywords used in the Google My Business profile
  • The sentiment of online review
  • Keywords used in online reviews
  • The number of ‘check-ins’ at that location
  • Shares on social media
  • Google Maps rating for this business

Benefits of Local SEO

There are several components to successfully customizing local SEO, and that goes beyond just identifying your location. The more quotes (sites on the web that mention your business) created for your business, the greater the chance that they will find you locally.

In theory, SEO is extremely powerful. With very low setup costs, SEO promises to greatly increase the number of people who visit your site, which can translate to many more sales, clicks, and subscribers.

Unlike advertising, you only pay labor costs - and once you stop, the benefits will continue to ensure that traffic is constantly flooded for months or years after that.

Those are good things. That is why so many companies invest a lot of money in SEO.

Google on Mobile Phone - Local SEO - VM Digital

Both Google and the purchasing public recognize the value of local businesses. Google has a set of local ranking factors that it uses as a measure to determine if your business is geographically relevant to a search engine near me.

This means you don’t necessarily have to worry about competing with large corporations to put a local business in front of local consumers.

Local Search Results

Typical search results are Local Package (Google My Business) and Organic Results (sites).

A local search strategy can contain several aspects to increase business visibility. This may include:

  • Paid ads
  • GMB
  • Organic

As a local SEO practitioner, I concentrate on providing organic visibility (unpaid). However, there is always a time and place to use paid ads; that would be when you start a local SEO journey and don’t show up in a local package or an organic search result.

It can also be when your competitors show ads at certain times of the day and push your organic visibility down the page; you may want to be present during those hours as well.

Local SEO Techniques and Strategies

Here are a few examples to show you how to improve your Local SEO. So let's get started.

Create your Google My Business’ account

Optimizing your listing on Google (also known as your business profile) is perhaps the most effective way to rank higher on Google Maps, as well as to achieve visibility in local Google search results.

Google Local SEO Search - VM Digital

However, to be able to access your business profile for these optimizations, you need a ‘My Business’ Google Account associated with that profile. Once you provide all the required information in the account dashboard, all that information will be added to your business profile, which appears in local Google search results, the Google Search dashboard, and Google Maps.

Optimize for voice search

Voice Search will grow rapidly in the coming years. Therefore, in local SEO, it is vital to optimizing the way people ask questions when speaking into devices, as opposed to the way they type their searches.

Basically, your customers use more long-tailed keywords when doing voice searches compared to regular searches. Therefore, you will also need to adjust the SEO of your content to match the conversational tone of the speaker.

For example, you want to explain the traditional questions, to begin with (who, what, when, where, why, and how).

Get regular reviews from happy customers

Encouraging customers to write brilliant reviews about your business not only optimizes ‘My Business’ presence on Google; it also encourages more local customers to buy from you.

Here are some tips to encourage customers to leave reviews:

  • Request a review in person after closing the sale
  • Send an email or post-purchase text asking customers to write a review (but only after reviewing them through an internal survey to make sure you are not addressing dissatisfied customers)
  • Respond to existing reviews professionally, thanks to reviewers, and addressing complaints in not-so-favorable reviews.

Conclusion - Local SEO: More Important Than Ever!

SEO is changing pretty fast. You never know when Google will introduce new features into its local search SERPs, but you can count on these changes to come. That is why it is necessary to always be up to date with local SEO.

That would be it for today, I hope you enjoyed this text, and if you haven’t, you’ve certainly learned at least something new.

For any professional help, do not hesitate to contact us and develop a strategy for your Local SEO together with us.