Local SEO: What is it, and how is it different than organic SEO?
Local SEO is a form of online marketing that provides local businesses opportunities to reach local customers. Local SEO aims to provide search engine visibility close to to the time of purchase. A good example might be a mobile search for “pizza.” Being mobile, we know the searcher is probably on the move and hungry.
As a business owner, top rankings for local searches can provide a huge boost in business. Local searches are almost always very closely aligned with user intent. In our example, the searcher wants pizza now. If you are nearby and happen to sell pizza, you’ll almost certainly win the business.
Local SEO differs from global, organic SEO. Google ranks local results separately. Preference is given to websites that provide the best experience for mobile users. The foundation of your local SEO plan should be your Google My Business listing. More on that in a minute.
Local SEO also includes managing online directories like Yelp, Superpages and TouchLocal. Keeping tabs on these helps you reinforce your presence in online search. It is also critical for managing your online reputation.
Local SEO: Google My Business
The first step in establishing a local SEO plan is to make sure your Google My Business page is complete. Start with the following list:
- Claim you listing. You’d be surprised at the number of business owners that don’t.
- Make sure your GMB listing is up to date.
- Add and/or update images. Including pictures of your business and staff shows you’re are real. People like to do business with people.
- Verify that no one has made edits or claimed your listing for nefarious purposes.
- Double check your contact information. Your phone number, website address, etc. all need to be correct for customers to reach you.
Encourage Online Reviews for a Local SEO Boost
Online reviews impact your business. While not as dire as bad reviews, having no reviews at all sends the message that your business isn’t very active. The number and quantity of online reviews is generally considered a ranking factor as well.
You should never create fake reviews, but your should definitely encourage happy customers to share their experiences. Most often, they’ll be glad to talk about you, but aren’t likely to think of it on their own.
Local SEO Services
Going through these steps will go a long way toward boosting your local search engine rankings. In reality, these local SEO tips only scratch the surface, but are nevertheless essential. If you are too busy, unsure where to begin, or are in a very competitive market, it might be time to bring in the pros. OCG offers local SEO services for all types of organizations. Call us. We’d love to help. (775) 324-1644