If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, then you know how difficult it is to grow your business in the face of stiff competition online. How do you get people to notice you, let alone know that your business exists in the first place? How do you create a strategy that can fuel your growth in the years to come?
You might find the answers to these and other questions in local SEO.
Local SEO is one of those things that can take your business to the next level. When done correctly, it can get you in front of your target customers and fuel your growth.
What will local SEO look like in 2023? What can you do to harness its power?
What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization or local SEO is an SEO strategy that aims to make local businesses more visible on local search results.
Local SEO is usually carried out by local businesses that want to improve their visibility in search engines, build brand awareness, and drive revenue. Furthermore, it helps you expand your reach, increase web traffic and encourage more conversions, and give your reputation a boost through online reviews.
When it comes to local SEO, Google factors in three main components:
This refers to how well your business profile matches a searcher’s query. One of the things you can do is to optimize your Google Business profile by making sure you have the correct and updated info in place.
Distance refers to how far your business is from the searcher’s location. When a user doesn’t specify their location, Google will calculate the distance.
This takes into account how well-known your business is. Some famous places are likely to rank more prominently in local search results. However, Google also accounts for how much information it has about a business and uses it for local search rankings. According to Google, having more reviews and positive ratings can have a positive impact on your ranking on local searches. Thus, it’s recommended that you observe SEO best practices.
Why Local SEO?
Why local SEO? Here are some numbers that shed a light on just how valuable this SEO strategy is:
- 46% of Google searches are performed with local intent, whether it’s looking for local products or services or searching for business information within a local area.
- 72% of people who conduct local searches end up visiting a business within 24 hours, with 28% of these searches ending up in successful transactions or purchases.
- 97% of users learn more about a local business online compared to other channels.
- Where your business appears matters. 92% of users are likely to choose a business found on the first page of SERPs.
- 79% of local partners that use local SEO consider it effective.
- 99% of consumers use online searches to find out more about a local business, with 21% using the web daily to get more info on local businesses.
A Brief History of Local SEO
Back in the day, how we did marketing was relatively simple. All it took was getting the word out there through ads in the local paper or listing your business in the Yellow Pages.
During the early days of the internet, there weren’t as many websites as we now have—it’s estimated that there were 1.88 billion websites in 2021 alone. With the burgeoning number of websites, there came a need for search engines to facilitate online searches.
The thing is, marketing has changed greatly since then. We now rely on the power of the internet to search for a business or look up answers to queries. Today, if people can’t find your business online, then you’ll be missing out on growth opportunities.
To better understand why local SEO is vital for businesses, we first must look at how SEO works. Search engines like Google use algorithms to match searches with relevant results. An SEO-optimized website will rank higher in search engine results pages compared to ones that aren’t. But when it comes to local SEO, Google takes on a slightly different approach.
What makes local SEO different from general SEO is that users are looking for a product or service that’s within their proximity. Thus, the algorithm for local searches considers your location and its proximity in relation to the user’s location.
For example, if you Google “Italian restaurant”—even without the “near me” phrase—you’ll see results for Italian restaurants close to your location.
With local search, you’re creating a way for people to know that your business exists. It also establishes your presence online, particularly in local search results. Say you’ve already done your homework and have a local SEO marketing strategy in place. This doesn’t mean that you’re good to go. Local SEO requires you to have an ongoing strategy to ensure that your business will continue to show up in local search results and not be overshadowed by the competition.
With the growing popularity of mobile devices and improved access to the internet, mobile search has been gaining traction over the years. This helped make local SEO become a vital factor in a business’s growth and development.
Local SEO For Your Business in 2023
Local SEO doesn’t just benefit big businesses. All businesses can leverage local SEO in their SEO marketing strategies.
Here’s how you can incorporate local SEO techniques into your SEO marketing strategy:
Optimize your Google Business Listing
Your Google Business listing helps you deliver accurate and up-to-date business information to your audience. While you can get an automated listing, the problem is it’s not always accurate. Thus, claiming and optimizing your Google Business ensures that your potential clients can find your business online or in person and that they can easily get in touch with you.
It also helps if you claim and optimize all your listings in other business directories like Yelp, Bing, and Facebook.
Create Content That’s Relevant to Your Area
Great content can take you places—possibly even to the first page of SERPs. In the digital landscape, your business will face a lot of competition, not just from similar businesses but from other sources like review sites and other online publications. Make sure that you have a local content strategy that can help steer the direction of your published content. Use different local content to create pieces that are relevant to local searches. For example, if you’re a local vet who wants to attract new business, you can provide your audience with resources that will help them learn more about the area. You can create local guides on where they can get the best pet supplies or a calendar of local events centered around pets.
Identify and address technical errors
Make sure that your website can be crawled and indexed by search engines. While you can look into finding and addressing technical errors yourself, you can also work with SEO agencies or consultants who can help you check for and solve technical errors that can adversely affect indexing.
Leverage local keywords
Using local keywords can help improve local SEO for your businesses. For example, incorporating “plumber (or plumbing services) in [your city]” into your website or content can help search engines understand the nature of your business and what local areas your business can reach. This also helps you become more visible in “near me” searches.
Local SEO in 2023
Local SEO will still play a key role in the growth of your businesses in 2023.
By taking advantage of local SEO in 2023, you’ll be able to improve your visibility online and become more easily discoverable by potential customers. You also get high-quality targeted traffic that can pave the way for more leads and higher conversion rates.
Moreover, this helps you build up your site’s authority, give your audience a channel where they can learn more about your business and what you can offer, increase web and physical traffic, and cultivate brand awareness. Plus, you get the opportunity to build authentic relationships and nurture trust among your customers.
Equip your business for local SEO success in 2023. EWR Digital is an award-winning full-service digital marketing agency that can give you the results you need. Meet and exceed your business goals with the right marketing strategy. Schedule a free consultation today.