Many times smaller businesses find themselves in a dilemma when it comes to SEO. They need SEO to grow their business, but they cannot bear the expenses for that.
SEO includes many processes, and it is not always necessary to invest in a complete SEO package for your business. You can gradually improve SEO for your business, starting from a fundamental and affordable one.
Local SEO is the most affordable category in SEO that can help your business or organization get noticed. There are many affordable local SEO services for small businesses that can help you achieve your goal.
What is Local SEO?
Optimizing your business or organization to rank on local search is known as local SEO. If you own a local business, you do not need to waste your time and money for the whole world to know about your business. It would be best if you went for local SEO, as it increases your chances of reaching your target audience.
Suppose you have a restaurant in Italy. You want people who live in Italy to find your restaurant when searching for the best restaurants in Italy. If you are implementing SEO for global audiences, your efforts will go in vain. People from America and Canada finding out about your restaurant will not help much in growing your restaurant.
On the other hand, if you own a restaurant chain with a branch in almost all countries. You might need to consider both SEO and Local SEO.
How Does Local SEO Work?
The local SEO works almost the same way as Google search. When a person searches for something, google scans through its database and provides the most relevant information. However, the searching criteria differ for local search. There are some things Google considers while searching locally. They are the following:
- The location from where the person is searching for information
- NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) citation
- Online reviews of that business
- Google My Business presence
- Keywords used in Google My Business profile
- Keywords used in online reviews
- Number of “check-ins” at that location
- Social media shares
- Google Maps star rating
Why Is Local SEO Essential for Small Businesses?
Many people these days search on Google when they are looking for something locally. The number is 72%, to be exact. These people are more likely to visit a place or store within 5miles and probably do that the same day.
97% of search engine users have searched for a local business, and 86% look up the business in Google maps. So optimizing your business for local search and Google maps is essential. For small local businesses, Local SEO is essential as 46% of people search for local information on Google. 28% of searches become purchases.
Smartphone users are more prone to search for local businesses, and they do not take much time to visit a physical store or business. 76% of smartphone users search for local businesses and visit them within 24 hours.
In recent times, people have started using the “near me” feature a lot more. People discover many new businesses from this feature. Not having a Local SEO will cause you to lose exposure in this feature.
How to Optimize Your Business for Local SEO?
Several ways or steps can be taken to implement local SEO for any business. Local SEO is especially beneficial for smaller companies and work as the base of a small business’ success. Many digital agencies provide affordable local SEO services.
Google My Business Listing
At first, you need to claim your Google My Business listing. This tool from Google helps businesses or organizations to create their presence on Google search and maps.
Creating a GMB profile is the first step of Local SEO, as this is the first thing a visitor notices when they search for your business. Your GMB profile must have all information accurately. Otherwise, you will lose authenticity both to your potential customers and Google search engine.
Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone) needs to present correctly on your GMB profile. You should also include business hours, category/menu, images, and other information. The more information you provide, the easier it is for Google to store your data and deliver it when relevant. Complete and accurate information increases the chance of showing up on top of a search.
Getting customer reviews increases your rating and improves your business presence. It does not just enhance your local SEO; you will also get many more customers from good reviews. It is something you need to earn with your service and products.
Good reviews from customers help you gain trust from future customers. It provides authentication or validation. People are more interested in businesses with good reviews.
You can ask for a review from your customers after the sale or send them an email to give a review after a purchase. You should professionally respond to your customers. If they give positive feedback, thank them. If they have complaints about your business, politely respond to them and try to solve it. When your customers are happy with your service, they will give good reviews.
Optimization of Homepage and Metadata
Your homepage is your first impression to any visitor, and having an excellent first impression is required for the rest of the journey to be smooth. Your home page sets the tone of your entire business.
If you do not optimize your home page, you will not rank in Google search. Even when people visit your website and could not find the necessary things or the website does not look appealing to them, they will leave. This action can harm your business.
Your home page needs to be appealing, responsive, and have intriguing headers or content to engage your visitors. Your website has to be eye-catchy and user-friendly.
For better ranking and for being on top, you need to optimize your meta description as well. As meta description helps Google find a relevant website, it is crucial to optimize your meta description.
Home page optimization is necessary as it helps you rank higher on search results. If you are wondering how ranking higher can benefit your business? Research shows that 92% of searchers will pick something from the businesses that come on the first page of local search results.
Create content about local events or stories. This way you can get more local visitors. Your ranking on local searches will be higher as you post more relevant local content. You will gain more traffic from locals.
People are more interested in things that are happening around them. You can share blog posts about something happening in your area. Local places, markets, events, celebrations, etc., could be subjects for local content for your blogs.
Google Map Optimization
For a local small business, you cannot compromise with Google map optimization. Google map not only makes the customers aware of a particular business but also draws traffic.
Google map is especially significant for smaller businesses as it provides exact information about a business. To make it more accessible to the users, business owners or entrepreneurs should use Google map optimization for their businesses or organizations.
As mobile users’ number is increasing, it is necessary to optimize your business for mobile users. You need to make sure your business is mobile-friendly. Otherwise, you will lose a big portion of the potential customer. As 78% of location-based searchers go to make a purchase physically, 18% of them do it within a day.
If your business is mobile-user friendly, you are more likely to get responses. 61% of users contact local businesses if they have mobile-friendly sites, and 88% contact a local business within 24 hours.
Mobile optimization includes many things, like creating a website that looks impressive, even when using it through your mobile phones. Most importantly, your business site has to be responsive. It has to respond fast too. All the content, like images, texts, videos, etc., are compatible with mobile devices. Headings, meta descriptions, and contents are optimized for mobile devices.
Keywords are important for SEO; it is important for local SEO too. If you do not use relevant keywords, it will become difficult to discover your business for anyone. Local keywords rank higher on Google.
Suppose you have a pizza restaurant; you should target keywords like pizza, cheese, best pizza, etc. So, when someone searches for the best pizza restaurant near them, they might find you easily.
If you do not use relevant keywords for your website, it becomes difficult to connect your business with your content, and Google does not recommend your business to searchers. Imagine if you do not use the word pizza; how will Google find your business and know that you sell pizza in thousands of data.
Set Social Media Pages
Google business profile is important. However, you need business pages for other social networking platforms too. After finding your business on a local search, they can search for your social business’ social accounts too.
Keep your social accounts updated with pictures or videos. The NAP of your social pages should be the same as the NAP of Google My Business profile. Otherwise, you might lose authenticity.
Many visitors might give check-ins in your business; therefore, you will need a valid location or page for your visitors. These customers can influence other potential customers.
Local SEO for Driving Local Visitors
Local SEO leads to offline sales generation. Many people search for businesses or services nearby so that they can go there for what they want. It is foolish to think that you only have offline purchases, so online advertising does not help. You have to understand that people are physically visiting your business for your online presence.
Though we have already discussed many advantages of local SEO for getting local visitors, we are still providing some scenarios for better understanding.
- A person who needs to buy a new laptop immediately will look for a nearby laptop shop on mobile and visit the shop. He might find several shops. However, those with accurate information and better ranked on Google seem more legit. Therefore, that person might visit a shop that has better local SEO implemented for their business.
- You went to visit a place you know nothing much about. You are hungry and want to eat something, so you search for the best restaurants. Google local search will suggest you some nearby restaurants where you can visit. Here Google is suggesting the best restaurants based on their local SEO. Restaurants with the best local SEO are presumably come at first.
In both these cases, local SEO plays a significant role. It might seem like a customer just walked into their business from shop owners or restaurant owners perspective. However, a lot of local SEO was involved in the customer’s end to go to that certain place.
Why Should You Choose A Local SEO Service
Owning a small business and doing the local SEO can be a challenge for anyone, no matter how hardworking you are. It is best to leave local SEO for the professionals.
SEO is a constant process and needs time and attention. Many digital marketing agencies have many affordable local SEO packages to choose from. They will provide the best solution for your budget, and you do not have to worry about a thing.
All you need to do is provide them authentic information and take care of your business. A marketing agency will do the rest to improve your online presence.
All the local SEO strategies we have talked about takes skill and time to implement. A digital agency will implement all those effortlessly without you worrying about it.
Local SEO is the most affordable one of all types of SEO. You should invest in local SEO at first if you are limited on expenses and then go to the advanced marketing strategies.
Initial steps for any business is critical, and this time is full of obstacles. It might seem like you will never succeed when you start a business as sales go slow. However, with the blessing of the internet, businesses can grow a lot faster these days.
Whether you are an entrepreneur, small business owner, organization owner, you should take advantage of local SEO to take your business a few steps ahead in a very short time. Good digital agencies who have affordable local SEO services for small businesses can help you on your journey.
How much does local SEO cost?
The cost for local SEO can vary depending on the extent of SEO and the SEO agency charges. Usually, the range is from 650 to 1500 dollars.
How Long Before I See Local SEO Results?
It takes about 4 to 6 months to see the results of local SEO. However, it is a long process. It grows gradually, so; there is no fixed duration for getting results. What results you will get on the 5th month will be less than what you get on the 12th month.
How Many Customers Actually Use Local SEO Results
97% of consumers search for local businesses online, and 46% of searches are local. Every year, people visit almost 1.5 billion locations related to what they have searched on Google.