What is Local SEO, and How Does it Help My Business?

Almost half of all searches on Google are seeking local information, and 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device will call or visit the business within 24 hours, according to Nectafy. Local SEO (search engine optimization), also known as local search marketing, is a vital part of digital marketing and creating a stronger online presence for your business.
75% of people never scroll past the first page on a Google search, according to HubSpot. Local SEO marketing helps you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), which in turn brings more visitors to your site because your business is more discoverable by local customers.
What is local SEO? How is local SEO different from regular SEO?
SEO is the art of using different strategies to get your website to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). Local SEO is a marketing strategy that helps promote your business’ visibility on location-based searches. Basically, it is just like SEO but specifically for people who live in or near the location of your business.
To put it in simpler terms, if you are a tea store that sells organic black tea:
  • SEO keyword: “organic black tea”
  • Local SEO keyword: “organic black tea near me”
Another example is if you are a hat store in Des Moines, Iowa:
  • SEO keyword: “where to buy hats”
  • Local SEO keyword: “where to buy hats in des moines iowa”
Think of it as SEO on a local level.
Why is local SEO important?
Local SEO is really important if you have a physical storefront or offer services based on location. You want your business website and information to show up on SERPs so that customers can find you. In fact, 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines, according to HubSpot. If you aren’t on the first page of SERPs, your customers may choose to go to your competitors instead.
How do I make my local business rank higher on Google?
That’s exactly what this article aims to answer. There are a variety of different ways to start local search marketing for your business. To get started, here are a few:
  • Claim your Google My Business page – This makes it more likely that your business will be featured on the front page of a relevant local search.
  • Schema markup – Schema is the language of search engines, and helps them understand the content on your website better. There are several different markups that you can use to help your local SEO efforts. Click here to learn more, or contact us for more information.
  • Localized content – You can optimize the content on your website for local search marketing. Try to target keywords on your web pages that include the city of your business as well as its surrounding locations. Make sure to do this in a way that seems natural. Don’t spam pages with cities and locations.
  • Customer testimonials – People trust customer reviews as much as they’d trust a recommendation from a friend or family member. Gently encourage your customers to leave a review for your business, especially if you haven’t been open for that long. Reviews also boost your local SEO by using fresh, user-generated content.
What are local citations?
Local citations are a great way to strengthen your domain authority and boost your local SEO. A local citation is any online mention of your business’ N.A.P. (name, address, and phone number). Google uses mentions of your business online to evaluate your authority. It is also a way to build quality backlinks, which are a ranking factor.
There are different ways to get citations. We recommend that you start from structured citations, such as local business directories or apps. Examples of structured local citations include Yelp, Yellowpages, MapQuest, etc.
Although it is good to have plenty of directory listings, human error and automated listings can cause duplicate listings or mistakes that frustrate customers. They also lower your domain authority on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Unstructured citations generally refer to mentions of your business N.A.P. on websites that aren’t a business listing directory. This can include blogs, newspapers, and online magazines.
How do I start local SEO for my business?
Call Octadyne Systems today at 515-232-2024 to learn more about local search marketing, or send us a message here.