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What you don’t know online can hurt you

How do you know if you need a local SEO strategy? The critical word in this question is “local”. Do you own a business that attracts customers from zero to 15 miles? Would potential customers looking for your products and services take up to ten minutes to get to your business? If you can answer yes to these questions, chances are you need to manage your local SEO strategy.

So what is local SEO? And why is this important?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is all about optimizing your online presence to attract business from local searches on Google and other search engines. According to local SEO statistics from Hubspot, 46% of all Google searchers look for local information. And 72% of consumers who searched for a local product or service using local SEO searches near me visited a store within a five-mile radius.

So, does local SEO work? It certainly was if you were one of those companies. Are you wondering where to start? To illustrate the benefits of focusing on local SEO, we’ve put together a list of five reasons why it is essential for the success of your business.

5 reasons why local SEO is essential to the success of your business

Reason # 1 – Your business details appear in front of consumers looking for your products and services

Remember the good old days when you scoured the yellow pages for companies with the products and services you needed? Today, all you need to do is enter the product or service you are looking for into a search engine on your laptop, desktop or mobile device. Companies that provide these products or services will appear. And, if you type “near me” it will show you anything that is close enough to drive you from your current location.

Fairly smooth. These “nearby” local SEO searches save you time. Just choose what you like, display the map and directions, and you’re good to go. If you look closely at these results, you will see that they are filled with online business directories, much like the yellow pages of yesteryear.

When you compare local SEO to organic SEO, both are always important. You want a content marketing strategy that helps your pages rank in search engine results for specific keywords and keyphrases (the goal of organic SEO strategies). But local SEO is essential for businesses that serve a localized community. It’s a little less important for global businesses that attract customers from all over the place.

Reason # 2 – Always accurate online directory quotes improve the ranking of your organic and local packs

You should list your business name, address and phone number accurately and consistently in local references and top ranked business directories. This information is called your NAP data (name, address, telephone). A search engine bot is more likely to include your business in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) if it is satisfied that your information is consistent and accurate.

It seems fair. Do you think you might be frustrated if Google referred you to a business that isn’t there or gave you a phone number that is no longer in service? Search engines want to find this basic information about your business in many places on the Internet.

When they find this information in multiple places, and it’s all consistent and correct, they trust the data. But if Google or Bing, for example, see confusing and inconsistent data, they see it as less valid, less reliable. As a result, search engines are more likely to bypass you in favor of a company with more consistent NAP data.

Reason n ° 3 – Your business site gets more links to it from authoritative trusted sites

Backlinks, or links pointing to your site from trusted, authoritative websites, play a vital role in SEO. They validate the existence of your website, proving that your site is a viable force in the vast Internet universe. Additionally, some directory citation sites add a website URL field to their listings and display those URLs as “dofollow” links. This conveys valuable link equity to your site. Search engines use backlinks to determine your domain authority, thereby increasing your SEO (as opposed to “nofollow” links, which are cool but don’t give you any juice).

Want another great way to grab a backlink while doing something else worthwhile to grow your business? Join the local chamber of commerce or other business group. This will provide a relevant local link to your website and you can network at local events. While attending these events, you might land some business opportunities or even more backlink opportunities.

Additionally, if you have vendors or are a product vendor, you might want them to link to your website as well (with a dofollow link, of course).

Reason n ° 4 – Your business will be closer to landing on the first page of search engine results

Online business directories take up a lot of space on search engine results pages (SERPs). As a result, the local businesses they list in their directories get the top spot on local search queries. If you are not on these lists …

You need to know how to get your business listed in these local business quotes directories because you will lose valuable business. And what you don’t know online can hurt you.

You might have the best pizza in town, but if the guy across town doesn’t find you when he searches for “pizza near me,” he’ll go buy his pizza from your competitor. And that brings us to reason # 5.

Reason # 5 – Your business will gain third-party review opportunities

Here are the three basic pillars for a good ranking in the Google Local Map Pack.

How well are you targeting the keywords or topics that your potential customers would search for on your website?

How does your business stand out online?

How close is your business to the potential customer looking for your products or services?

We have mentioned relevance and proximity. Now is the time to talk about brand awareness: the positive reputation and reviews your business enjoys on the Internet. How do search engines find this information? Many quotes and directories allow customers to post reviews and rate their experiences with local businesses.

If you provide excellent service, your business will benefit from this added benefit. But it is not enough to have good reviews. You must also respond to them. And, if you get a negative review, don’t beat yourself up. Just make sure you keep your cool and react appropriately. Work to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Even a simple apology is better than no response at all.

More tips for local SEO

Local SEO for multiple locations, list all your staffed locations including full name, address and phone number on a Contact Us page on your site.

For businesses with 10 or fewer locations, include the full name, address, and phone number of each location in the site footer.

Make sure that people can easily find your phone number on your website and that it is clickable on mobile devices.

Just like you want to be consistent on directories, make sure your NAP data is consistent across all pages of your website.

If your business serves multiple sites, you need a separate page with unique content for each site. Avoid copying and pasting from one page to another.

Customize your local SEO according to your type of business

So, what you don’t know online can hurt you. If your business isn’t working on a local SEO strategy, you’re leaving money on the table for your competitor across town to grab.

Local SEO works well, but it takes time and patience, just like organic SEO. This is why many companies use a local SEO agency to put all the parts together.

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