What Is Local SEO? Everything You Need to Know
Local SEO can be considered a subset of search engine optimization. It involves using geographically targeted (geo-targeted) SEO strategies to increase visibility on Google and other search engines.
Businesses with high local search rankings have a greater reach to nearby consumers. Many local service businesses and brick-and-mortar stores depend on being searchable online to attract customers. The ability of customers to find them online is critical to their bottom line.
Websites that are locally optimized enjoy greater exposure on:
- Local search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Google’s local 3-pack, the top three results displayed on their local SERPs
- Map listing results
- Online directories
- Social media platforms
A 2019 study revealed that 97% of search engine users turn to Google to find nearby restaurants, clothing stores, or local service providers, including those in Las Vegas. If you are a location-based business in Las Vegas and you are ready to build a digital footprint that amplifies your online presence, our Las Vegas-based local SEO agency can help.
Watch this video to learn about the Digital Authority Partners approach to local SEO!
Local SEO vs. National SEO
Local SEO is not to be confused with national SEO. They both use artificial intelligence to connect consumers to the products and services they want. But there are differences between the two. Search engines have separate algorithms for local search results from those used for national or regular SEO. Search engines design algorithms to respond to queries with local intent, like a personal injury lawyer near me, grocery stores close by, or hospital in Henderson, NV.
While national SEO enables brands to reach target audience members on a broader scale, casting a wider net can often leave you empty-handed or with a bunch of poorly-targeted leads. You also face the risk of being seen as a small fish in a big pond.
The beauty of local SEO is that it narrows your reach to nearby customers with purchase intentions more closely-aligned to your offerings. When a consumer needs YOUR solution in YOUR area, it puts you in a position to stand out from national brands that don’t have a solid local presence.
Keep in mind that local SEO isn’t strictly reserved for local businesses. Certain national and virtual companies can benefit from it as well. National, international, and online businesses can see a quicker return-on-investment with local SEO than with national SEO. They can even outrank competitors with a more substantial national SEO presence on local search terms.
Many national restaurant chains have optimized website pages for some or all of their locations. This is because a restaurant’s menu offerings, prices, and location specifics may differ by region, state, or even city.
Both national and regional businesses can produce results with local SEO in a short amount of time. It’s an effective way to drive ready-to-buy traffic to your site.
Key Ingredients of a Winning Local SEO Strategy
Geo-targeted keywords are the foundation of any local SEO campaign. Location-based keywords relevant to the searcher’s intent can help you achieve your desired rankings. Location landing pages are a great way to incorporate these keywords on your site.
These are citations that link back to your website or blog in the form of search engine profiles and directory listings on the internet. The importance of local citations can’t be understated. They’re a crucial part of building local visibility for your business online.
Well-optimized listings can not only help you rank higher in directory search results. They can also strengthen your company’s ranking authority on search engines: the more high-quality citations you have, the better. You can increase local citations by claiming local search engine and online directory profiles, the most important being Google My Business.
There are two types of directories: general and niche. All local businesses should have a presence on the following general directories.
- Yellow Pages
- Bing Places
- Best of the Web
- Yahoo Local
- Better Business Bureau
Different industries have their niche directories, and a quick online search will give you a list of directories for your industry. For example, law firms should have profiles on Avvo and lawyers.com. Those in the auto industry should consider directorycar.com and autoguide.net. These are just a few of the online directories available to these industries.
When a user searches on Google for your business name, directory listings for your company may populate along with your website. These listings are more likely to work in favor of your local SEO goals when they’re well-optimized. Your profiles need to look lived in for your local SEO to be optimized.
All information fields should be filled out completely, including company description and location-specific details. Adding logos, banners, and company images will optimize your profiles even more. Profile information must be consistent across all your listings, meaning your company’s NAP information (name, address, and phone number) should match every listing.
You’re ahead of the game if you already have existing profiles. You may already be aware of many of these, but there are most likely some that you are not. Maybe someone on your team (or your marketing agency) created them for you, or you just have unclaimed profiles that have automatically populated on specific directories.
Before creating a new directory profile on any platform, always check to see if one exists for your business. You wouldn’t want to create a duplicate listing on the platform, a big no-no for local SEO. A local SEO agency can investigate your presence in existing directories and help you keep them updated with current information.
4. Getting Help
There are thousands of online directories out there, so managing them all would be impossible. Imagine having to update an address on 100+ listings. Fortunately, there are listings aggregators to do that for you. Platforms like Yext and Localeze allow you to manage listings in one place, with a single update syncing all of your online listings.
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