The Importance of Local SEO
The importance of local SEO links to local prospects finding your business online. Let’s first define what local SEO means.
Imagine you need to find a hairdresser nearby. You’d look up ‘hairdresser near me’ or ‘hairdresser in [this city]’. Implementing local SEO will help the hairdressing businesses that come up to be the first ones on that page.
In other words, local SEO is a strategic process that focuses on the optimisation efforts of local brick-and-mortar businesses. This will entail content, on-page optimisation and link building will be created with this same localised intent.
So, why is local SEO important?
Because it helps your business be visible in front of potential prospects. Once your business is discovered, these same prospects will find the information they need. Here are a few statistics that showcase the importance of local SEO:
- 50% of people, who searched online for a local business on their phone, went to the physical location within one day
- 18% of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day
- 46% of all Google searches are directed towards local information
- Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two
Now that we’ve established how important implementing local SEO for your business, let’s investigate how to successfully optimise it.
Title Tags/Meta Descriptions
There are few ways to optimise these key SEO technical practices to make them local-friendly.
- Include the city, region and product/service in each title tag
- Each title tag should be unique for each local page
- The order of words included in the title tags should be:
local product/service keyword → business name
- Each meta description should be unique for each local business landing page and include local terms such as cities and regions
- A general tip would be to keep your meta descriptions up to 160 characters because search engines will cut it down
In general, when you use tight and organised website structure and internal linking, it helps your audience and search engines comprehend each location page on your website. The best way to not distort this structure by implementing local SEO practices is by creating a separate content silo, which contains geo-specific information. By doing this non-geographic content won’t overlap with the local-specific information, which means you’ll be able to optimise them separately for traditional and local SEO.
Once you’ve built a structure, which has separate pages for local information, you now must create high-quality content. Focus on providing information about local news and events, which will in turn attract a local audience. Think of the top-of-the-funnel content that explores beyond what you sell.
Directories & Citations
To appear on online directories such as Google My Business, your address needs to be updated and consistent throughout your online presence, so when people look up terms like ‘nearby’ and ‘in [this city]’, your business appears on their search. If there any inconsistencies with your address, phone number or website, search engines might avoid listing you.
What do citations mean? Citations are when a third-party website mentions your business as a point of referral. It might not include a link to your website but just your business’ name and contact information. Citations are crucial because let’s say a blog makes a list of top 5 restaurants you need to dine in your locality. Search engines now trust your business and will increase the chances of appearing the top three local searches.