Local SEO is a valuable tool that can make a big difference in how successful your online marketing campaign is. SEO is Google’s way of pulling up search results from what users are searching for and the local aspect of SEO is focusing those results on a geographical area. For example, someone who is in New York types in the keyword “coffee shops” into Google to find a new place to try. Because they are in New York, Google assumes they are likely not looking for coffee shops in Louisiana or some other state.
So, Google applies a local filter to that search and pulls up results in that local area first. This is why making sure you are using these local keywords in your content is important because it makes it easier for Google to find you and display your listing in the search results. Local SEO creates a valuable opportunity for you to market your brand and your products to local customers.
Here are five reasons why you should be investing in Local SEO.
The Majority of Local Customers Use the Internet to Find Businesses
It is undeniable that it is a digital world we live in and that technology is the heart of marketing today. Most customers conduct at least a general internet search and do a few minutes of research before they visit a company’s website or make a purchase. Get out in front of those people right away with strong Local SEO content.
Attract Your Ideal Customers When They’re Ready to Buy
Customers also are more likely to conduct research and compare companies and products the closer they are to making their purchase. This is yet another reason why Local SEO is key to your business marketing plan. You can grab them and bring them in right when they are ready to make their purchase and secure the sale.
The Growth of Mobile Creates a Real-time Need for Local SEO
With all the changes in technology and how customers use it, there is a definite need to make your website’s content and platforms mobile-friendly. If someone cannot access your content on their phone or tablet then they are likely to pass you by and seek assistance from your competitors so don’t miss this opportunity to optimize!
Local SEO is Very Cost Effective and Provides Results
Many businesses are under the false impression that SEO services are expensive and unattainable on their budgets, However, local SEO services are often much more affordable because they are focused on a smaller target group. There is less competition at the local level than trying for state or national competitive coverage.
Online Business Reviews from Customers are Excellent Testimonials
Another benefit you stand to gain by attracting local customers with Local SEO focuses is you can get built-in local advertisement and support. Local reviews and testimonials are a great way to encourage others to turn to your brand and business and having local names and businesses endorse you is a huge benefit to be sure.
9 Best Strategies for Small Business Local SEO
Now that you know Local SEO is important for your business’ growth and survival, what are some of the recommended steps you should take to implement it?
Use Google My Business
This business-centric page for Google listings is specifically designed to highlight businesses and the goods and services you have to offer and the market you serve.
Claim Your Profiles
Yelp and similar review sites are go-to places for customers to research and investigate a business or brand before committing to purchases so make sure you are seen there too.
Respond to All Reviews
Good reviews are wonderful and deserve a word of thanks and appreciation. Poor reviews also should not be ignored and need to be addressed in a professional manner.
Keep a Strong Social Presence
Another common source for customer research into local businesses is social media pages. Make sure you have a well-maintained Facebook or Twitter account at the very least.
Know Your Target Audience
Make sure your content is designed to appeal to your target audience and that your message is getting to them. The best marketing plan will fail if the right people don’t see it.
Understand Target Keywords
You need to make sure you understand how Local SEO works with keywords and that you are using them. Good keyword use makes it easier for Google to display you in search results.
One Page Per Location
If you are using Google My Business and review sites like Yelp, make sure you set up one page per location. That way a bag review for one location won’t drag down the others.
Create Selective Local Content
Local people are often looking for benefits and reasons to stay local with their shopping. Give them content that offers rewards and perks for local customers that keep coming back.
Ensure Consistent Citations
Citations with business listings refer to the contact data such as an address, phone, website, and operating hours. These need to be consistent everywhere so customers can easily access it.
What Should I Avoid Doing with Local SEO?
As it is with everything in business, there are some major no-no’s that can undo a lot of the hard work and effort you put into your marketing campaign. When focusing on Local SEO, there are three things you must avoid at all costs:
1. Keyword Stuffing Your Content
While it is true you want to have keywords in your content for Google to find you do not want to go overboard. Google will penalize websites with an overabundance of keywords in the content and will actually show them lower in the results or not at all!
2. Wrong Google My Business Category
There are many listings and categories you can choose when setting up your business page. Choosing the wrong category can affect how you place in search results because it could end up blocking your content from certain viewers.
3. Duplicate Content on Every Location Page
One thing Google has always penalized in its search results is duplicated content. This gets flagged as plagiarism and will be blocked from search results, even if it is content you wrote but put a word for word on all your pages.
How Much Do Local SEO Companies Charge?
The final big question many business owners have when it comes to working on Local SEO plans is how much will it cost to hire someone to do it?
According to ahrefs website, “53.45% of SEO agencies command $100+/hour, compared to only 33.33% of consultants and 15% of freelancers. The most common hourly rate for SEO agencies is $100-$150/hour. For SEO consultants it’s $75-$100/hour, and for freelancers, it’s $41–50/hour.” What these amount to is a rate that looks something like this:
- Agencies charge around $130 per hour, on average.
- Consultancies charge around $100 per hour, on average.
- Freelancers charge around $70 per hour, on average.
Depending on the level of work you need to be done, your target audience, your geographical area, and the keywords you are ranking, you can likely find someone to assist you with your Local SEO needs. BizIQ, a top local internet marketing company, can help you reach your SEO goals. Contact us today for more info.