If you have ever operated a Small Medium Enterprise (SME) or just starting digital marketing for your business, you would have probably come across the term Local SEO. Hailed as one of the most underrated aspects of digital marketing, it creates tremendous ripple effects for any company that is selling products or offering services on the web.   

So, What Is Local SEO, And More Importantly, Why Should I Care? 

When you open your phone and search for the “Best Indian restaurants near me,” what do you see? They may not be the best Indian joints in the state or part of a massive food chain. They are often likely locally-owned Indian food cafes and stalls that pop up on the screen, closest to you right now.   

That is the power of Local SEO. 

No, Local SEO is not magic, but it does wonders to increase your business’s visibility for online users in your geographic location on popular search engines such as Google and Bing.   

The sister to the more popular duo member, External SEO or SEO, Local SEO can promote your business for location-based search engine results pages (SERPs) by improving your local search rankings. If you do your Local SEO right, your business gets on top of the search results page. That practically translates to more eyeballs for your business.  

Local SEO comprises certain geo qualifiers such as the zip code, state, city, and ‘near me’ searches. The three principles that make up Local SEO lies in proximity, prominence, and relevance.   

How is Local SEO Different From SEO? 

Local SEO might be the underdog of the two, but it has great potential. SEO or External SEO focuses on optimizing your business websites to fit a global audience, while Local SEO caters to the audience closes in proximity to your business.   

If You’re a Small Business, Why Should You Do Local SEO? 

Although most small businesses are digitizing to come online, not all optimize for local business listings and appear on the top search results pages where most customers are. In 2021, over 70% of online small businesses lose out on this opportunity with no SEO strategy in place.   

That’s a scary figure when over 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.   

Besides Ranking High On Search Pages, What Else Can Local SEO Do? 

  1. It doesn’t burn a hole in your wallet to manage an online presence. During economic downturns such as the pandemic, organic rankings have a better ROI than paid advertising. That reality is shared by B2B businesses, where 61% of B2B marketers generated more leads through SEO and organic traffic than any other marketing initiative.  
  1. It helps direct local customers to find your business. Over 72% of customers who did a local search visited a physical store within five miles of their location.  
  1. It doesn’t just direct local customers to your store, but these people already know what you’re offering, and they are interested. 80% of major purchases starts with online research, even if the purchases happen in a physical store.   

Here’s A Free Checklist Guide To Do Local SEO – The Right Way 

  1. Optimize your Google My Business listing. Be sure to give all the information Google needs to get closest to a score of 100%. The more you provide your business’s details, the more likely you’ll be able to rank high up in the Google 3-pack.  
  2. Use social media to your advantage. It’s no longer enough to have an account online, but it’s another way for you to reach out to your customers through appealing content. 
  1. Reach out for reviews (yes – the good and bad!). Customers are quick to note dishonesty and illusions. Being transparent goes a long way. 
  1. Use SEO-friendly URLs. Long-winded and badly-written URLs have a high risk of being flagged by Google as “spammy sites”, which can hurt your website’s performance. 
  1. Don’t forget SEO titles and descriptions – including the meta description.  
  1. More backlinks, more referrals create a win-win situation. 
  1. Build and earn credibility when you use outbound links and internal links. When using outbound links, be sure to note the source of the external link and the domain authority.  
  1. Use Schema or structured data markup, especially for businesses with physical locations. In layman’s terms, it is an additional code to your HTML that improves the way search engines read and represent the business in SERPs. 
  1. Leverage the power of Google Maps to shine a light on your business’s physical location directly within the Contact Us or About page. 
  1. The basics still matter – remember your NAHPs. Your business’s name, address, hours and phone numbers can make a world of difference for you and your customers in need. 
  1. Always optimize for mobile. Chances are, if your website is not mobile-friendly, your site may be tangibly penalized in search rankings.  

As more businesses compete with each other for a larger share of the online market and a higher spot up the search results pages, mastering Local SEO the right way has never been more imperative. Think of it as a person who works for your business and generates quality leads – only, it’s completely free!  

If this is a topic beyond you (we promise, it really isn’t!) and you can’t seem to wrap your head around it, worry not. Our team of digital marketers and SEO specialists are ready to solve your hardest business problems (from SMS marketingemail marketing to social media advertising) in just a click away. Talk to us today!