What is Basic Search Engine Optimization
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to appear higher in search results on the search engines such as Google, Bing, and Duck Duck Go, who are the three players as of writing this. The higher your pages rank in search results, the more likely you are to attract new and existing clients.
Let’s say you run a website about dog grooming and dog grooming services. You would most likely want to target dog grooming keywords because these keywords are highly searched terms within your particular niche. So naturally, when someone searches for those terms, you want your website to appear high in the list of websites showing up in the organic or natural results. But with these, you are competing nationally.
What is Local Search Engine Optimization
Local SEO is an important factor in Search Engine Marketing and refers to optimizing a site’s content, design, and structure to increase user engagement in a particular geographic area. Search engines provide the most relevant search results to local users when it is determined they are looking for something local. These types of queries include users using keyword phrases such as “near me,” town or city name, or even zip codes. Google and Bing have begun providing local search results above and beyond the regular organic results area on the search results pages or (SERPs).
So, what’s the trick to Local Search Engine Optimization?
The trick to Local SEO is to combine a keyword(s) or keyword phrase(s) with a geographical area or location. By doing this, you signal to Google and the other search engines that you know about these keyword(s) or keyword phrase(s) and the area.
Let us revisit our previous example and expand on it. Let’s say your dog grooming business is mobile and that you want to focus on a small geographic region for the dog grooming services. When optimizing your site for local clientele, you would want to have content that would attract your local audience in addition to keywords about your dog grooming services. Include information about the communities and areas you serve on local landing pages or geographical landing pages.
You will also need to include dog grooming keywords within these pages again because these keyword(s) or keyword phrase(s) are among the top searches shown in the organic or natural results.
Can I Just Put Anything Up?
The key to Local Search Engine Optimization for businesses online is to provide quality content. In other words, make sure you have web pages, blogs, news, tips, and videos pertaining to your businesses within your site. This content will be visible to your target audiences because it relates to what they’re interested in.
For example, if you are targeting dog owners, you obviously don’t want to provide information on cat grooming because most dog owners will not find that helpful information.
Getting Technical With Your Local Search Engine Optimization
Another facet of Local SEO is ensuring your website and pages are technically sound. You will want to ensure you are using the correct meta tags, title tags, and alt text on the page. It is also a good idea to include your keyword(s) and keyword phrase(s) in these as well.
Include a Map on Your Geographical Landing Page
Whether you are a service area business or a small business, one of the best things you can do is to embed a map on your local landing pages. Many search engines, such as Google, have map features built into their software. This will help to achieve higher visibility for your keywords throughout the entire Internet.
One of the key benefits of Local Search Engine Optimization is increased business exposure. With increased exposure comes more opportunities for prospects and clients to find businesses in their area. The Internet has made the world a much smaller place. While larger cities are increasingly populated, many rural areas and smaller towns are still relatively unknown. Using SEO to boost a business’s local search engine listing gives businesses the best chance of gaining new clients.
Additional Benefits of Local SEO
Local SEO also has other benefits. By using search engine optimization techniques that focuses on local searches, businesses have access to a larger audience than they would gain from simply having the Internet as their only available client base. I know that may seem counterintuitive, but it helps you attract the people in your service area rather than outside it.
Many small businesses have limited budgets when it comes to advertising on the Internet. A lack of exposure to organic listings allows businesses to be overlooked in favor of large companies with the ability to spend a lot of money on advertising. By utilizing SEO techniques, your small business can begin to outrank your bigger competitors and become a source for prospects and clients in the areas your service.
A final benefit of Local Search Engine Optimization is creating and maintaining relationships with other local businesses. More local businesses are choosing to work with other local businesses to gain an advantage over large competitors who are expanding their market globally through their Internet presence. The relationships that local businesses form online give them an opportunity to provide information to clients on events, special offers, discounts, and promotions. As well, by providing links back to other websites and social media pages, local businesses increase their exposure and create a viral network of local clients that spreads the word about their businesses.
While the benefits of Local Search Engine Optimization are clear, if you are looking for help getting your small business to rank better locally, then reach out to us for a free consultation. We are here to help you and your small business grow!