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SEO

What exactly is local SEO?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of improving a company’s online visibility in local and geo-targeted organic search engine results. The three pillars of local search are proximity, prominence, and relevance. Local SEO entails a variety of technical and creative attempts to persuade search engines that a business should appear prominently in their results as a relevant response to internet searchers within a short distance of each business location.

One of the most actionable ways to think of local SEO integration, whether you’re a local business owner or marketer, is as a type of customer service, ensuring that nearby internet searchers can find, like, connect with, and choose your local business.

All online and offline efforts to promote business locations so that they become household brands in the areas they serve are referred to as “local search marketing.”

A local SEO strategy is similar to a hike from the trailhead to camp. The trail is full with problems as well as incredible opportunity!

Why is local SEO important?

While each local business is distinct, nearly all of them require online visibility. The purpose of practises like website optimization, developing local business listings, monitoring reviews, and collecting links is to boost online interaction.

Google is at the centre of the vast majority of local SEO debates. What is the reason for this?

Google’s global search engine market share was 92.06 percent as of mid-2020. While other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo continue to play a role, they pale in comparison to Google, which is expected to process 2 trillion searches each year globally.

Most notably, according to a Google official in 2018, 46% of Google searches had a local intent. Every day, that’s a tremendous number of local searches, demonstrating how visibility in Google’s local and localised organic search engine results may bring business to each location.

What do you need to start local SEO?

Standing at the trailhead of a local SEO project, there are four key things you need before you begin auditing a local business and creating a strategy for it.

1) The guidelines for representing your business on Google

Google’s rules rule Google’s platforms.

Google’s local search guidelines will heavily influence how you think about and market a local business online. The criteria for representing your business on Google dictate what you can and cannot do. Before you take your first step on this adventure, get to know them like the back of your hand.

Every local business marketer should have a copy of the standards for representing your business on Google. It teaches you how to think of a business from Google’s perspective, how to market your firm using the Google My Business platform, and how to prevent costly mistakes. Violations of the standards can result in rankings loss, various levels of penalty, and possibly the removal of local company listings. Because Google often adds new provisions and clarifications, bookmark the guidelines, study the regulations they contain, and refer back to them frequently.

The standards detailing eligibility for inclusion in Google My Business are the most important for you to understand at the outset of your journey. This is a criteria that must be met by every location:

“A business must make in-person contact with clients within its specified hours in order to qualify for a Google Business Profile.”

In other words, if a business location doesn’t serve consumers face-to-face during business hours, it won’t be qualified for a GMB listing and won’t be able to run a comprehensive local search marketing campaign. Local SEO relies on in-person service, whether it’s in a store, on the street, or at a customer’s home.

The guidelines go on to explain how to fill out the various fields of the Google My Business profile, including how to name a business, how to handle its addresses, departments, and forward-facing practitioners, how to set hours, and more, once you’ve determined the eligibility of any location you plan to market.

2) Basic business data

Audit basic business info with the help of each location’s key personnel.

Make sure you have the correct name, address, phone number, hours, and other information for each location. Ascertain that the canonical state of this data is fully agreed upon by all relevant business departments. From start to finish, inconsistencies can wreak havoc on a local search marketing effort.

If you skip this step, you’ll end up in difficulty later. Make a copy of this easy, free spreadsheet and fill in all of the fields, assigning a store number/code to each company location. Make sure you complete out a column for each of these entities if the brand you’re marketing qualifies for multi-department or multi-practitioner listings according to Google’s rules for representing your business.

If you need more fields, add them to the spreadsheet. Consider adding fields for franchisee contact information, for example, if the business is a franchise, so you can immediately reach out to them when you need to interact.

Finally, if your company has more than ten locations, you’ll be able to use Google’s bulk upload option, which entails filling out a spreadsheet.

3) Clear identification of the business model

Spend extra time determining your business concept in particular. The following are some examples of business models:

  • Brick and mortar, like a retail shop or restaurant customers can visit
  • Service Area Business (SAB), like a plumber or caterer who goes to customers’ locations
  • Hybrid, like a pizza restaurant which also delivers
  • Home-based, like a daycare center
  • Co-located/co-branded business, like a KFC/A&W chain location
  • Multi-department business, like a hospital or auto dealership
  • Multi-practitioner business, like a real estate firm or dental practice
  • Mobile business, like a stationary food truck
  • Kiosk, ATM, and other less common business models

Each model has its own set of constraints and opportunities when it comes to representing your business on Google. We won’t reprint the complete document in this tutorial because it is subject to frequent editorial changes; however, you should study the entire set of instructions to ensure you understand how to navigate Google’s online domain.

4) A clear statement of business goals

In certain cases, your goal will be to create the full range of online (and maybe physical) assets for a local firm. Everything from the website to local company listings to email marketing to social media profiles to review management will be in your control. You might just be concentrating on a small part of the picture at other times. Whether the breadth of the work ahead of you is large or restricted, the only way to gauge your performance after finishing your chores is to set goals from the start.

It’s usually better if the business owner can state their objectives by responding to the following question:

“What will success look like?”

Try to formulate an answer to that question by defining success as:

  • An increase in foot traffic
  • An increase in phone calls
  • An increase in transactions
  • An increase in form submission leads
  • An increase in requests for driving directions
  • An increase in links
  • An increase in positive reviews
  • An increase in local pack visibility for X search phrases

Steer clear of vanity metrics like “I want to be #1” or “I just need more website traffic.” At the end of the day, what most businesses really want is increased profits. How to get from A to Z is where strategy comes in, defining which tactics and messaging may result in reaching the stated goal that then translates into increased profits.

Once any relevant contributors have agreed on a goal, set a timeline. In-house and third-party marketers should be extremely clear about developing realistic time estimates. It takes time for the impacts of nearly all local search marketing efforts to fully mature, so be sure any timeline you offer avoids over-promising and under-delivering.

Now that you have the canonical business data, know the model and goals of the business, and have Google’s guidelines well in hand, you’re ready to begin your local SEO journey.

Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.

SEO

You’re probably aware that search engine optimization (SEO) is the most effective way to drive organic traffic to your website. However, there is another type of SEO that is less common and frequently misunderstood.

Do you have any idea what it is?

Local SEO is a type of SEO that is more powerful than traditional SEO, especially if you are a brick-and-mortar business with a local presence in your community.

About Local SEO

Local SEO employs location keywords in conjunction with other strategies to help you build your brand, increase organic traffic, and improve your page rankings. When someone searches for a local business, the search engine, among other things, matches their search request with the local keywords on a business’s website (or page) to provide that searcher with the best possible results to their inquiry.

For example, a searcher might type in “best roofer in Name of City” or “best roofer near me.” The search engine then returns results for roofing companies in that area. That is, if your website does not include any of your local keywords, the search engine will have a more difficult time identifying it as a local business, and your website may not be presented as an option to that searcher. Furthermore, 82 percent of mobile device users conduct “near me” searches, according to Search Engine Land. Furthermore, more than 90% of those polled said they usually click on one of the first few results that appear. As a result, if you do not use local SEO keywords and tactics, your company is unlikely to appear on the first few pages of search results, if at all.

What Are the Business Benefits of Local SEO?

Local SEO is critical for local businesses that have a physical brick-and-mortar presence and serve their customers in person.

Here are a few of the business advantages of local SEO.

  • Increase the number of visitors to your website.
  • Your website will be highlighted in more places and will rank higher.
  • Get more precise traffic results.
  • It makes it easier for people to find your company.
  • You will spend less money on other forms of advertising if you get more organic results.
  • Local SEO will assist you in getting listed on Google Maps.
  • Local SEO is a no-cost pay-per-click strategy.
  • Your company will be more visible than competitors who do not optimise for local SEO (which many do).
  • It will boost your company’s reputation and aid in the development of your brand.

8 Ways to Optimize for Local SEO

There are numerous ways to optimize your website and pages for local SEO that go beyond simply including local keywords.

  1. Optimize your homepage as well as your meta data.
  2. Use a local business model.
  3. Take control of your Google My Business (GMB) page.
  4. Update your website’s business name, address, and phone number (NAP) information to exactly match your GMB listing.
  5. Other best SEO practises should be implemented across your entire website.
  6. Add your company to a number of local directories.
  7. Set up separate social media pages to help you manage content for multiple locations (if they are relevant to your business).
  8. Work on increasing your online reviews on sites like Yelp and others, as this will help your business rank higher in search results.

Should You Use an SEO Agency or Attempt to Do It Yourself?

That is an excellent question. It may appear that going through the motions of implementing local SEO is simple. However, knowing exactly how to implement it properly and ensuring that every aspect of the local SEO puzzle is completed in accordance with Google’s requirements is an entirely different story.

If everything is not done exactly as Google requires, it may result in ongoing problems that are extremely difficult to resolve. As a result, your website may not be displayed correctly. It may also have an impact on how your website appears on the search results page or map pack for all of the areas you serve. Not to mention a slew of other issues that poorly executed local SEO efforts could cause. Finally, you must be able to keep up with all of the ongoing changes Google makes in order to improve their local business features.

For example, Google’s local SEO feature began as Google Local, was renamed Google+ Local, and was recently renamed Google My Business (GMB).

As a result, it’s probably best to hire a reputable SEO company to handle your local SEO. This will ensure that your local SEO is properly founded, that information is fed to all the appropriate places, and that your business is properly branded, among other things.

Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.