Still not sure of the significance of local search engine optimization (SEO) and the impact it has on your business? Considering that 85% of consumers now use the internet as their primary source to locate products on-the-go, and smart devices have all but replaced the yellow pages, local SEO optimization has emerged as a necessary marketing approach if your local community is important to the success of your business.

Can Local Customers Find You?

Many companies are learning if you don’t bother to innovate and keep up with domineering trends, you simply become irrelevant. More than 40% of consumers are familiar with local merchants yet during a search, they are unable to locate them.

Local business SEO optimization is central to the future of consumer shopping: smart devices help consumers geographically locate whatever they want, whenever they want it, on-demand. In fact, in an effort to address the burgeoning consumer demands of “I want it right now,” the big 4, Amazon, Walmart, Ebay and now, Google Shopping Express, have all began piloted programs to test same-day deliveries. This essentially means if you’re not utilizing local business SEO to engage potential clients, the door is wide-open for your competitors.

Benefits of Local SEO

One of the greatest challenges for brick and mortar merchants has been conquering the digital world. With more and more consumers seeking instant gratification, local SEO is the simple business strategy to fend off these digital threats, and position your company as a go-to local business.

Every business looks for a competitive advantage; you want customers, more sales, better visibility, and a loyal following, right?

  • [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Local business SEO effectively markets your products and services to customers seeking the items you offer
  • [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]This approach not only increases traffic but improves search engine rankings, giving priority to geographical searches
  • [icon type=”angle-double-right” class=”fa-li accent”]Helps consumers make buying decisions

How to Make the Most of Local SEO

Local SEO requires a completely different set of strategies and tactics than traditional SEO. Local is focused around location – each location’s Google+ Local page, Yelp and directory pages, location tagging, etc.

One of the mainstays of utilizing local business SEO is Google My Business, Google’s new tool for small businesses. Google My Business offers businesses an all-in-one platform to update business information, add photos, read reviews and use Google+. Simply put, Google My Business is now the default experience for all of Google’s business-related services, including Places for Business and Google+ Local for Business. Google designed My Business with the consumer in mind, providing all business information such as, address, prices, and schedules, maps to get directions, photos, videos, opinions and additional details to help make quick decisions.

  1. Claim and Optimize Google My Business. Why is claiming and optimizing your Google My Business page imperative? It will enhance your business’s position in the search results when the search phrase is part of the company name or the keyword appears in the description of the business. Additionally, it can improve your rankings up to 5 positions on Google.
  2. Claim Directories and Citations. Claim and optimize local directories, publish real time calls to action and have a long-term citation building strategy.
  3. Prioritize Location Pages on Your Website. Optimize your website for local search including location pages, schema codes and location-specific keywords in your website’s local SEO optimization.
  4. Increase Reviews as a Social Signal. Build up your social reputation through active monitoring, response and review-building programs. Review sites can become a double-edged sword, yet every day, millions of consumers collaborate and share experiences on these sites, offering opinions about local businesses. In fact, 1 in 5 users consult online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Registering your business on several review sites can become invaluable to your local presence.
  5. Include a Map in Local Search Results. Google Maps can boost visibility by providing a physical presence that consumers can identify with when they perform a search. Studies show that search results that include a map of a local business typically connect faster with an audience, and offer better sales conversions.
  6. Use Social Review Sites to Increase ranking. Every day millions of consumers collaborate and share experiences on social review sites like Yelp, offering opinions about local businesses. In fact, 1 in 5 users consult online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Registering your business on several review sites can become invaluable to your local presence and credibility.

Increasingly, consumers seek local results to fulfill their quick, give-it-to-me now requests, and local SEO optimization offers the best competitive business advantage that goes to work from day-one.

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eBook written by our Local SEO Partner, LocalVox

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