Local SEO is becoming one of the most essential components of every business or brand that wants long-term success across search engines. Location-specific searches and the results that go along with them suggests that local business owners need to step up their game in terms of local SEO.
At present, Google alone has to manage more than 100 billion searches per month from around the world. Among them:
Local SEO is a great way to target customers by allowing the local businesses to get featured before their customers are looking for them. Higher a business ranks in this local search result, greater are its chances of being noticed by a potential customer.
Local SEO has grown significantly over the last few years, particularly due to the rise of smart phone usage and better connectivity all around. Although it has lot of similarities with organic SEO, it is ultimately very different.
Local SEO is focused on providing results that are relevant to a searcher based on his/her current location.
The number of search queries with local relevance is increasing due to the growth of mobile search. More and more local customers use mobile phones and mobile ‘apps’ to find best local business while they’re walking around.
In order for Google and other search engines to serve users with the most relevant information using the vast amount of data they have about us, local based results will become more and more prevalent. So the search engines rely on information including local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide the most relevant local results to the user.
The rise of location-specific search of late makes it incumbent on local business owners to seriously start considering ways to scale their local SEO efforts. With the recent Google Pigeon update, local businesses are scrambling in a frenzied manner reacting to the changes.
Claim your listing on Google+ Local. If you have already claimed your Google Places page, then it can automatically be moved to Google+ Local, and hence you can manage your Google+ Local page from your original Google Places dashboard. When you appear on Google, you make it easier for the customers to find information regarding your business online. They can see the contact information, hours of operation, direction, as well as the reviews and the ratings.
Online reviews are playing an increasingly critical role in driving consumers’ purchasing decisions. The quantity and quality of reviews also strongly influences how your business appears in local business listing results. Note that having a more positive score (quality) is more important than quantity of reviews.
NAP (name, address, phone number) citations are a key ranking factor in local SEO. Local citations from quality directories and other locally relevant sites are still very important to gain higher local SEO ranking on Google search. Google crawls them and compares them with the address data on the company’s website. Citations increase the trustworthiness of the company.
Optimize the website for local search; include some geo-specific information so that the search engines understand the locations you are trying to target.
Google has also recently indicated that one in three US mobile queries is now ‘local’ and 87% of people use their phone when on the go. Google also found that 95% of mobile users look up local information on their phones and the primary functions are calling or visiting a business place. When you are on top of your local SEO, you have a better chance of ranking higher for mobile SEO too.
Local search engine optimization is becoming increasingly important, especially because of the rising number of searches via mobile devices. Google is using a combination of proximity, reviews, citations, and other factors to prioritize Local SEO results. Local SEO trends are rising as of now and they are only going to get better and more significant in the future. Now is the time for you to take advantage of local search engine optimization and boost your business before your competitors gain an edge over you.
Image Source: SearchEngineLand