Local SEO is the practice of optimizing a website for search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) in order to rank higher for local audiences.
Here are a few examples to understand it better:
Example 1: Plumbers in New Orleans
Google is all about providing its users with the most relevant search results in order to satisfy its user’s needs or curiosity. When a search engine user searches for a specific location in the Google search bar, and the user intent is specified, Google will try to satisfy the user with the most relevant results. Google shows businesses (in this case plumbers) that are registered to operate in New Orleans, LA.
Example 2: Mexican Restaurants in Dallas
The next time you visit Dallas, Texas open Google and search for “Mexican Restaurants in Dallas” you will see a variety of search results appear.
The results that appear help you find a Mexican restaurant that is best suited to satisfy your craving for Mexican food.
Why? Google is all about satisfying the intent of the search engine users. In this case, a search engine user wants to find a good local Mexican restaurant in the Dallas area with an attached address or phone number. They also want to check out reviews of the Mexican restaurants. In order to satisfy the user intent, Google will provide the search engine user will the most related search results.
So, in order for businesses (in this case Mexican restaurants) to rank high in search results, they have to prove to Google that they deserve to be ranked in the top positions on Google. The websites that rank higher in search results are likely to receive higher CTR (Click Through Rate) and traffic. Google places an emphasis on ranking websites/businesses that are optimized for local results.
Using the examples above, it’s clear that any business with a physical address and a local customer base needs to optimize their website for local SEO.
Do you own a restaurant, law firm, or air conditioning company? Are you a doctor, real estate agent, or mechanic? If you own one of these businesses, you need to optimize your website for local SEO.
Did you know that 71% of search engine users confirm the location of a business before visiting? So, if search engine users aren’t finding your business online, you can bet that they will be going to your competitor.
There are many benefits to local SEO, but here are a few:
Appear higher in the SERPS – As you can see from the examples above, the websites/businesses that appear higher in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) are more likely to receive more website visitors and a higher CTR (Click Through Rate).
More Conversions – Local SEO is considered targeted traffic because search engine users are receiving results that are related to their intent. Therefore, businesses/websites optimized for local SEO will receive more conversions.
Brand Visibility – Websites/Businesses that appear higher in local search results will increase the overall visibility of their business or brand.
I hear this question quite often, but it’s more complicated than giving you a definite price. I’ve seen prices range from $600/month up to $10,000/month. However, it depends on what’s included.
A typical local SEO package should include something like the following:
Local SEO services can range in price depending on the size and needs of a local business. Many agencies or SEO consultants will charge depending on the size of an SEO package or perhaps per hour.
Yes. Just about anyone can optimize their website for local SEO, but it’s not easy. If you are a business owner or someone with not a lot of time I’d suggest hiring a professional. I would recommend hiring a professional SEO company/agency so you can spend more of your valuable time on your business rather than your website.
First, let’s assume that you are using WordPress as your CMS (Content Management System) of choice. By the way, if you are looking to get started with WordPress, you can check out my previous post, Should You Use WordPress for Your Small Business, to learn more about WordPress? Continuing, just about anyone can optimize their WordPress website without being too technical. So let’s get started.
Google My Business. What is it? Well, Google My Business is an interface that allows business owners the ability to control how their business is shown in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
If you want to create a listing for your business, all you need to do is visit the Google My Business website. Once you’re there, add your business and verify that you are the owner of your business.
So, you’ve probably seen a similar image to the one below before when searching for a local business near you. In this case, this is the Google My Business listing for my Digital Marketing Services and SEO Agency.
So getting into it. Why is it important for local businesses?
Visibility – Google My Business will help the overall visibility of your local business. When search engine users search for your business guess what will pop up. Your business’ very own Google My Business listing similar to the image above. Google will also have more information on your business allowing you to pop up more in relevant local searches.
Information Consistency – Have you ever seen incorrect information about your business online? Updating your Google My Business listing will guarantee correct information about your business across Google and third-party platforms. You’ll have the opportunity to update your name, phone number, and address. You’ll also be able to include special information like business hours and photos of your business.
Credibility – Having a Google My Business listing should be considered a necessity for any local business with a physical address. A Google My Business listing will show search engine users that your business is actually a real business. You can do this through reviews of your products/services and through actual photos of your business. Having an updated listing will tell search engine users that you are a credible business.
Bookings – Did you know that Google My Business allows you to take appointments directly through your listing? So if your business takes appointments this is very important to jump on. Search engine users can book an appointment with your business without ever leaving the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
The HTML title tag is, in essence, considered the “official” title of a page or post. Every post or page on the internet has a unique HTML title tag.
So, why are they important? Title tags help search engines understand how the particular page is distinct from other pages of your website or other pages on the internet. It also gives search engines a brief understanding of what a particular page on your website is about.
When optimizing the title tags of your website pages, you should include keywords related to your business. This is considered good SEO practice, but when creating your title tags refrain from “keyword stuffing”. Keyword stuffing is the act of including keywords in either your title tags, meta descriptions, or page content for the sake of increasing the number of times your keyword is shown. By Google, this is considered bad SEO practice and Google may even penalize you for it. Only use your keywords when it flows correctly and makes sense.
Remember earlier I said that Google is focused on providing its users will the best possible results? Keep this in mind whenever you are creating title tags, meta descriptions, or page content. Provide your traffic with quality and related content and you’ll be golden!
What are they? A meta description is a brief description of the SERPS that give some insight about what a particular page or post is about. Meta descriptions are not considered to be one of the 200+ factors that Google focuses on to rank websites. However, a good meta description can lead to more clicks to your website, therefore, a higher CTR (Click Through Rate) which is considered a ranking factor of Google.
When writing your meta descriptions, accurately describe what the particular page is about in a natural way that has a call to action. Include your keywords when you can but remember to only add them if you can add them in a way that makes sense.
So, what do they look like? Check out this picture below of the title tag and meta description for Wobu Web’s home page.
If you have a WordPress website, an easy way for you to write and alter your title tags and meta descriptions is by using the WordPress plugin Yoast SEO. Yoast SEO allows you to easily optimize your title tags and meta descriptions as you can see in the picture below.
Now that you know how to write your title tags and meta descriptions, let’s move on to maybe the most important factor, off-page SEO.
Off-Page SEO refers to specific techniques used to improve the position of a website on the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages). Off- Page SEO is typically referred to as “link building” but its more than that.
Why is it important? For many decades, search engines have tried to find ways to return the best possible results to search engine users. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin came up with an algorithm that would rank websites higher with more links pointing to them rather than websites with fewer links pointing to them. Links gives search engines a good indication of how the other websites or users view a particular website. A website with a high number of quality links (references) pointing back to it will likely rank higher than websites with a few quality links. Off-page SEO will result in an increase in rankings, increased credibility, and more exposure.
If you want to participate in off-page SEO techniques, you can guest post for other websites or blogs. You can also create unique and informational content that will make other websites want to rank back to you to use in their content.
Off-page SEO is a lengthy process and does not happen overnight by any means. If you want to improve your local SEO reach out to other website owners with the intent to help each other and before you know it you’ll see you local SEO work its magic.
Now you know the importance of local SEO and how to get started with it. Optimizing your website for local SEO is a lengthy technical process but it could mean all the difference for your local business.
Do you have a local business that could benefit from more leads? More customers? More Growth?
We service New Orleans with top of the line SEO services for businesses looking to improve their rankings in Google. Interested?