Local SEO trends and tips for getting your company noticed
Local SEO is becoming increasingly important year after year. Local businesses are finding it harder and harder to compete online and are looking for creative ways of driving customers to their business. Many of these local businesses do not know the options available to them so they simply guess at what might bring them more business and end up wasting a lot of time and money in the process. In this article we’ll look at some of the online trends and statistics for what makes local SEO marketing a success and brings results for your local business.
Any small business with a storefront, office, or physical location can benefit from Local SEO Services. Even multi-location companies and franchises can benefit from Local SEO Services.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a search strategy for businesses that want to attract more local customers and foot traffic to their door. Local SEO is an excellent way to market your goods and services to people searching for your products or services online.
With searches from mobile devices increasing every year, it is getting more important to optimized your company’s online presence for mobile local search results. And apparently a Google rep has confirmed at an invitation only Local Search Conference that 46% of all searches on the web have “local intent”. So this statistic alone should make you want to focus a large part of your internet marketing efforts on local search optimization.
Local SEO vs National SEO
Local SEO is much more focused than National SEO. With National SEO you are targeting results for a much wider audience. For example, our website here at ITDwebdesign.com could nationally target keyword phrases such as “WordPress SEO Services” or “Joomla SEO Services”. Both of these terms would target a large audience nationally and even worldwide.
However if we wanted to target a much more local audience we could target keyword phrases such as “Chicago SEO Services” or “SEO Company in Chicago” and these would be more specific to our location or region. And this is the difference between local and national SEO.
What Matters For Local SEO?
At the core of Local SEO are three foundational elements that determine if your business will show up for a local search result. These are:
- Relevance: How relevant are your products, services, and overall business to the search query.
- Proximity: How close is your address to the geo location of where the search query is taking place.
- Prominence: A combination of how popular your company is with consumers, reviews, brand searches, etc.
Local SEO Trends
Google’s RankBrain is becoming more intelligent every day. It is the ultimate artificial intelligence engine designed to date. We can use Google Trends to see how much the importance of local search has become in recent years.
Below you can see “near me” searches and how much they have increased over a 5-year period. People looking for something like “plumbers near me” or “Italian Restaurant near me” are showing results for businesses that have optimized for local search results. If you are not optimized for local search results, then you are surely losing business.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
There are many ranking factors that affect local SEO results. Every year MOZ completes an in depth survey all of the top SEO experts and asks for their input based on their experience with Google rankings. The infographic below shows what the top 8 local SEO ranking factors are based on the results of that survey.
Feel free to share our info graphic and link back to this blog post.
Local SEO Statistics
Were you aware of the following Local SEO statistics?
- Google displays the local 3-pack at the top of the search results 93% of the time. A local business should target to be in the local 3-pack.
- 89% of all people perform a local search from a mobile device once per week. 58% of them perform daily searches. And 72% of those people will visit a location from those search results. Hmm, seems like a no brainer to me.
- 46% of all Google searches are local
- 86% of all people look at Google Maps for the location of a business
Local SEO Listings and Results
Local SEO consists of many variables when it comes to listings. Your local business should be listed on all the top business directories such as Google My Business (GMB), Yelp, Manta, Yellow Pages, etc. There are also many niche related directories that you should be listed in that are directly related to your industry.
Each listing should have very consistent information about your company. Your NAP (Name, address, phone) as well as your description should be extremely consistent across all of your listings. Google will reward consistency when it comes to local search results.
As you can clearly see in the image below, immediately after the paid Google Ads you will see that Google displays the Local 3-Pack map. Companies that have optimized their GMB listing, website, and directory listings for Local SEO will reap the benefits of being shown in the local 3-pack results.
For a hyper locally targeted business or one that simply cannot compete with the larger competitors in their niche, putting your money into local SEO marketing can be a financially rewarding alternative to national SEO marketing.
Local SEO Directory
Online business directories are great for getting your business listed in multiple websites across the web. Some of these directories also allow users to review your services, products, location, etc. As mentioned previously, keeping these listings consistent is very important. This tells Google that your business is legitimate and professional.
Another very important thing to mention is that whatever your niche is, there is most likely directories that are specific to the type of business you are in. Being listed in niche directories helps Google Rankbrain associate your company with a niche market. Even if your website clearly conveys your niche market, being listed in a related directory helps Google Rankbrain validate the category your company does business in.
It is also very important to obtain backlinks from these directories as they will help with boosting your domain rank and age authority. Even if the links are Nofollow links, they will help to associate the importance of your site within your market.
Hubspot has a great article that lists the top 50 business directories that you should consider listing your company in.
Local SEO Checklist
- Create/Claim your Google My Business listing
- Provide accurate data on your Google listing
- Carefully select your business categories
- Create/Claim Bing listing
- Create/Claim Yelp listing
- Create/Claim listings on other directories
- Check listing consistencies on all major directories
- Get on niche-specific directories
- Get listed on industry-specific directories
- Get on social platforms
- Submit citations to top 50 sites
- Check competitors citations
- Remove duplicate citations
- Monitor and respond to reviews regularly
- Look to generate more reviews
- Add recognizable testimonials
- Remove duplicate content
- Create content that can help your rankings on Voice Search
- Build quality backlinks
Local SEO Ads
An increasing number of local businesses are spending increasing amounts of money every year on Google and Facebook advertising and trying to handle those ad campaigns on their own. Pending money on ads can give you a placement for keywords and phrases that are otherwise more expensive and would take a very long time to rank for.
One area that is getting more popular to pay for advertising is to have a paid placement in the Local 3-Pack.
You can view the official Google documentation on how to set up local Google ads here.
What’s Next? Let’s Solve Your Local SEO Problems!
ITDwebdesign.com is a leading provider of Local SEO Services. We help local businesses rank higher