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DAP 2022 Guide to Local SEO Services
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the buzzword that sounds ominous, techy, and intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be! Even those who don't understand the ins and outs of SEO know its importance. Nowadays, customers are most likely to find you through a quick Google search. Without an SEO-optimized presence on the internet, however, your competition is going to be wiping the floor with you, stealing potential customers.
Local SEO provides all businesses with an easier and more efficient way to appear higher in search rankings. Getting started takes minimal tech knowledge, and even novices will be comfortable improving SEO. However, as with anything, the further you get into the local SEO optimization realm, the more likely you’ll need the assistance of an SEO agency. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. First, let’s talk about what local SEO really is.
The Importance Of Local SEO Marketing
To understand the value of this local SEO guide, you need to know that 97% of search engine users are looking for local businesses, and a massive 46% of searches include references to locations. While traditional organic SEO plays a crucial part in local SEO, it is not the be-all and end-all when it comes to attracting visitors to your website and customers to your premises. We’re going to run through a local SEO checklist, dissecting the most important tools, solutions, and trends for 2022 – let’s get started.
Creating and Optimizing A Google Business Account
Google Business, formerly known as Google My Business, is your first port of call on your local SEO journey. When conducting a search, Google uses your location information to present local businesses as a solution to a search query. For example, a search for gyms in Dallas, Texas, returns a map with what Google deems to be the three most suitable gyms in the area. How Google decides this is based on many factors, but they are all associated with your Google Business account.
Creating your Google Business account is easy – verify your address, insert contact details, website information, and opening hours. There are over 200 fields that can be completed on your profile, and as you might expect, the more of these fields you complete, the more value Google gives to your profile.
Generating Google Reviews
Every local SEO expert will tell you that Google reviews are one of the most important factors in ranking highly and appearing as one of those three lucky map pins. Do a quick search and you’ll notice the most frequent and well-reviewed businesses appear first. Think of reviews as backlinks. A review is someone recommending your product or service, and Google trusts the opinions of its users.
If review collection isn’t part of your marketing strategy, it should be. A few ways you can encourage people to leave Google reviews include:
- An automated email after purchasing a product or service.
- In-store promotion such as entry into a competition for leaving a review.
- Including Calls To Action (CTAs) on product pages to encourage reviews.
Google Maps Citations
Is your business listed in all major worldwide, national, and local directories? If not, this should be high on your list of things to do. Similar to viewing reviews as backlinks, you should do the same with a local SEO citation. However, you must use directories that are relevant, have high domain authority, and are trusted by Google. If you’re a restaurant based in Los Angeles, listing yourself in a directory of flower shops in San Diego is going to be damaging to your local SEO score rather than helpful.
The most crucial element of this step is consistency with the information you provide. Replicating your address, contact details, and website URL exactly as you have entered it into your Google Business profile is a must. If you end up with slight variations across multiple domains, this confuses Google and causes your rankings to drop rather than skyrocket.
Create Local Inspired Website Content
Show Google you’re a local expert by creating website pages and blog content that focuses specifically on your local area. Not only can this be an incredibly fun way to expand your reach by sharing with potential customers your favorite things to do, sights to see, hikes to attempt, festivals to attend, and more, this is also a fantastic opportunity to include long-tail local keywords that you wouldn’t otherwise rank for.
The more local topics you cover effectively, the greater volume of local keywords you will rank for, and the more traffic will be driven to your site, both organically and via the local search results.
Website Performance Optimization
While not strictly just a local SEO factor, ensuring your website functions perfectly on a mobile device and optimizing the loading speed of your pages plays a massively important role in both organic and local SEO. While many businesses will need assistance with this, you can use tools such as Google Mobile-Friendly Test and Google Pagespeed Insights to see how your website is performing against these metrics and if you need to enlist the help of an expert.
Now is the time to make local SEO tools a key element within your marketing strategy. Utilizing the local SEO services we’ve mentioned will quite literally put your business on the map, exposing you to a huge audience, and driving customers to you rather than your competitors. Following a few simple steps will get you on your way. But when you feel you require the assistance of an expert, we’ll be ready and waiting to provide you with the expert advice, guidance, and local SEO solutions you need to succeed.