What is SEO and How Important is it to Your Business?
With the world’s current state of technological prosperity, we have seen how certain innovations have changed how industries work. For one example, SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been effectively utilized by a great number of business owners as a means to expand their customer base. In this guide, we will be showing you everything there is to know about local SEO and how it can increase your business sales.
With that in mind, let us start by defining what SEO is as well as the importance of local search.
The Evolution of SEO
It was columnist Winston Burton who commented on how SEO has changed over the years. SEO, also referred to as Search Engine Optimization, is known as the process of allowing the online visibility or presence of an individual or an organization to generate what is known as “natural” or “organic” traffic.
SEO is considered as an online marketing strategy. With today’s technological advancements, every business owner finds SEO as an effective means to reach a wider audience, and eventually, increasing their sales.
What is Local SEO?
According to Yoast, local SEO is a form of strategy that allows business owners to effectively optimize their business website to rank better for a local audience. We all know that a website is the virtual representation of a physical business. It allows you the opportunity to reach out to a greater audience and potential customers!
However, accessing the internet as a means to expand your customer base is not that easy. Moreover, if you are targeting a local audience, certain strategies under the umbrella of local SEO should be practiced as well.
With local SEO, you need to utilize and incorporate your city name as well as your business address details. This will allow people to locate your business location and be able to find you online – and offline.
To wrap things up on what local SEO is, it is a means to target a local audience. By doing this, you are allowing people within your area to access your online and offline store. The service area and your business address are two of the most important things to consider when performing local SEO.
Top Benefits of Local SEO For Your Business
It lasts longer than a paid advertisement.
Traditional marketing strategies surround itself with a paid advertisement. While this has been proven to be successful over the past decade, you have to know that times are changing. Local SEO is a new online marketing strategy. It lasts longer than a paid advertisement, and it is an excellent way of exposing your business to the digital world.
It brings about consistent and permanent results.
Stemming from the previous point, the traditional form of advertisements are now dead. Why opt for these paid ads, when you can utilize SEO as a means of generating organic traffic. Do note that you may not see the actual results on a daily basis; however, there is a gradual improvement in your business website’s ranking.
It develops and establishes a better relationship between your business and your customers.
Another benefit that local SEO can bring is that it provides an impressive future growth. By following some of the basic SEO rules, as well as incorporating local SEO, you can ensure that there is an improved interaction and relationship with your customers. This can help your business expand and diversify its products and services in the long run.
It helps establishes brand credibility.
Let us ask you this one question: “If you want to make sure if a particular business is legit or if it provides great customer service, what do you do?” – You Google it. Google, as well as other search engine platforms, have become the gateway for customers to learn more about a certain company or business organization.
With the proper utilization of local SEO, you can develop a website or an online presence for your customers. Moreover, this webpage will help establish your brand’s credibility. Of course, those webpages that grace the top results pages are those that are trusted by many. Local SEO will be your key to achieving this.
It helps drive more traffic to your business website.
In today’s technological era, the digital world is as real as the physical world. One of the many benefits of establishing a credible online presence is that you allow it to work 24/7. Local SEO ensures that your business website is attracting traffic every day. It ensures that your business is running even when you are sleeping.
It helps convert searches and clicks into purchases.
Think about this: If your business website is easily searchable, more and more customers will be able to find your products and services. If you are honest about the products and services that you offer, these mobile searches can easily be converted to purchases.
In fact, local mobile searches usually result in an offline purchase. What local SEO can help you is the proper determination of your customer’s intent. It allows local businesses to grace the top pages of search engine platforms. This is one of the many reasons as to why local SEO is unique from other SEO strategies.
The Importance of Making the Most Out of Your Google My Business (GMB)
What is Google My Business?
GMB or Google My Business is a one-stop shop on properly managing how your business will perform in various SERPs or search engine results pages. This is an important tool to master for most business owners because it will allow your business website to appear in Google+, the Knowledge Graph, and Maps.
In the 2017 version of Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, it was explained how Google My Business continues to become one of the largest local SEO success drivers. A business owner is given the power to manage their business listing through the addition of NAP details, photos of their physical store, opening hours, discount rates, events, announcements, and so much more.
How Does Google My Business Work?
In order to properly utilize your GMB for local SEO, you have to create your own account and claim your business. You are then asked for the details of your business. After this, you will get a literal postcard from Google on the business address you have specified. This postcard will be your proof that you are the owner of the business listed in the said address.
Once you, as the business owner, and your business has been verified, you can now check the status of your business listing. Through GMB, you’ll be given the ability to see how many clicks, impressions, shares, and subscribers are interacting with your business website.
What we have noticed with most business owners is that they fail to realize how GMB is not simply a catch-all tool for your local SEO. You have to work hard on both your online and offline store. No one can easily climb up the ranks of SERPs if your business profile is inaccurate.
3 Main Factors Affecting How GMB Works
Distance is a big deal for when we talk about local SEO; it’s in the name. For it to be locally found by your targetted audience, you have to ensure that Google can find your business in the local search. You can do this by creating locally-oriented content on your business website.
Relevance is a means to determine how your business fits what the customers are searching. When it comes to ensuring that the content of your business website is relevant, you have to know that vagueness is nowhere in the picture. If you think that being vague will allow you to appear in more search results than usual, think again.
The activities surrounding your business listing – reviews, local content, events, and quality links – will allow your business website to hit the top ranks in SERPs. We define a prominent business website as something that is always active; something that isn’t dead.
How to Optimize Your Business Website For Local Search
To optimize your business website for local search, you have to optimize it for GMB. Here’s how you can do it:
Ensure that all of the data for your business listing is complete and accurate.
To start things off, you should claim your listing with the actual name of your business. Then, you have to select a category that is accurate to what your business is. You have to provide as much information about your business as you can so that Google’s spiders can get as much information as well.
Do not forget to check your business phone numbers, address, email address, and more. Always consider local holidays when inputting your operating hours; this is a great way to create locally-oriented content.
As for the photos, you have to check and re-check them to ensure that they are good enough – or if there is room for any improvements. You can improve your GMB listing by creating citations on other websites as well. Lastly, always check your business listing to make sure that all of the data are updated.
Ensure that Google’s spiders are crawling your business website.
What business owners should know about GMB is that Google already has a giant database of websites – business-related or not. As a result, it would be difficult for someone who has recently set up a business website to easily graces the top SERPs. However, we are not saying that this is impossible. By studying Google’s algorithms, you can definitely achieve this.
Google’s algorithms involve robots, also known as spiders; these are responsible for visiting each of the webpages that have been registered in Google’s listing. Spiders check the website’s content, links, data, and more. This activity is called crawling.
Crawling measures the relevance of your website. Of course, you have to ensure that all data and content that are uploaded into your website are complete and accurate; however, all of these would be a waste if Google’s spiders are not crawling your website.
There are a number of online platforms and tools that measure the crawlability of your website. You can even register your website with Google Search Console to ask for further technical assistance. These testing tools will help you identify various hurdles that are preventing Google’s spiders to crawl your website.
Ensure that your business website is mobile-friendly.
According to Yoast, 70% of all local searches are made through mobile devices. While the average consumer is entirely forgiving of non-mobile-friendly websites, it’s only about time when people will develop a lower tolerance for these kinds of websites.
The mobility or the mobile-friendliness of a website is tested by Google and is actually used as a means to measure your business websites’ relevance. Furthermore, if people are always on their mobile phones, the prominence of your website can also be affected by whether or not it’s mobile-friendly.
With that in mind, you have to put in time and effort into improving your business website’s mobile user experience. You can start by answering these several questions concerning the width and text of your website. Does this automatically adjust when someone views it on a mobile device?
On another note, does the text of your website automatically adjusts to an appropriate size for mobile visitors. If not, you have to make sure that the readability of your website’s content is top-notch because people don’t want to be constantly pinching and scrolling through your content. The worst thing that could happen is that they would immediately leave your website because the text is too small.
Our Final Thoughts on Local SEO
In the end, we firmly believe that with dedication and the help of an SEO agency, you can establish an online presence that will help you not only reach a wider audience, but also increase your business sales. The truth is that we believe our world can greatly benefit from all of these technological advancements. All we need to do is to learn how to utilize it properly.
Local SEO is not a hurdle for business owners. It is important to realize that all of these can easily be mastered if you set your mind to it. Moreover, with the help of a local SEO agency, you’ll get the proper guidance necessary to conquer the digital world.