Don’t you use Google to find the best restaurant or physician in your area? Whether you need a car mechanic nearby or looking for a pizza place in a new city, Google is the ultimate solution for all your queries.
You simply go to Google and type your query in the search box. For instance, if you type ‘best dentist’ or ‘pizza shop near me’, Google instantly shows you three results at the top. The result in the boxed area is known as local business listings. Local SEO results are located in Google’s Snack Pack, also known as the “local pack” or the “Google 3-pack”.
Local SEO helps businesses appear in the box result that appears at or near the top of a local Google search. Search engine optimization (SEO) techniques are widely used by businesses of all types and sizes. It is a common digital marketing practice that involves the use of several online tactics to optimize websites.
The primary purpose of implementing an SEO strategy is to naturally increase the search visibility of a website and rank higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). However, SEO is a broad concept and includes several techniques which make things a bit confusing.
You might wonder what exactly local SEO is and how is it different from general SEO. So, to clear your confusion, let’s find out the meaning, need, and importance of local SEO.
Local SEO is a part of general SEO that aims to improve a website’s ranking and visibility in the local pack result. The general SEO uses tactics to rank a website for target keywords nationally, while local SEO is area-specific and target audience in a particular geographic region.
Most people search for local services such as a salon near me or a locksmith in Ontario. Local SEO strategy is used to help businesses rank for this type of ‘near me’ or ‘city name’ queries. Optimizing your website for local SEO will help you appear in the local search results such as Google’s Map Pack/Local Pack.
Who Needs Local SEO?
SEO is a broad term that includes different types of SEO such as local SEO, enterprise SEO, franchise SEO, and more. Every business is unique and needs a customized SEO strategy.
However, businesses that operate in a specific geographic region need to implement a local SEO plan. So, if your client base is local, you need a local SEO plan.
So, businesses and organizations such as hotels, restaurants, doctors, dentists, hospitals, salons, plumbers, electricians, renovation contractors, and other local service providers need local SEO.
Why Local SEO is Important?
If you’ve noticed, even if a user doesn’t type a location-based query, the result is still a local business. This is because Google prioritizes enhancing user experience and want to show the most relevant results.
The local pack result shows the most relevant information such as business name, contact number, operating hours, website link, and more. Google keeps updating its algorithm and nobody exactly knows its organic search ranking algorithm.
However, the major ranking factors used by the search engine include prominence, relevance, and distance. To improve local ranking, you need to optimize your Google My Business Page by adding the business name, address, and phone number (NAP) for each location. You should list your business in as many online directories as possible and use hyper-local keywords.
Optimizing your website for local SEO lets you reach interested buyers who are actively searching for a product or service that you offer. Besides improving your visibility in Google search results, local SEO provides other benefits also. Read further to know the major benefits of local SEO for small businesses.
Small businesses don’t have a high marketing budget. But local SEO provides a cost-effective solution to promote your business. As compared to other marketing methods, you don’t need money to set up local business listings. You can easily find several free local business listings such as Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. All you need is time and some effort to manage your business information in online directories. These free business listings increase your business presence in local searches cost-effectively.
Local SEO helps businesses reach customers who are looking for their products. Local searches lead to sales because it puts your business in front of users with high intent to buy. More than 60% of people use local keywords for finding products and services they need.
With an increase in local searches, setting up a local SEO plan has become more important than ever. Most people use their mobile phones for searching businesses in their locality. Local SEO puts your business in front of the customer at the exact moment they’re searching for a product or service.
This increases the possibility of sales and or at least asks for more information. Reports have shown that more than 80% of people who search for a local business on a smartphone will make an inquiry or physically visit the store within 24 hours.
If you want to outrank your competitors, it is important to invest in local SEO. Optimizing for local search increases your chances to appear at the top of search engine result pages.
All digital marketing strategies, especially SEO have become highly competitive. Most probably your competitors are Google 3-pack. Local SEO makes your business more competitive and gives you a competitive edge in your market.