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What is Local SEO?
While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is often regarded as one big and mysterious entity, the reality is that there are many different types of SEO to consider for your website and your business. While your website allows you to target the entire online world, it is typically more important for your business to target local customers as they have a much higher chance of converting. This is where local SEO comes in. In short, local SEO is a series of practices that are focused on optimizing your website for a specific local area. As experts in search engine optimization, the team at FirstPage Marketing knows how important local SEO is for businesses of all sizes. That’s why we’ve put together some information to help you understand what local SEO is, why it matters, and how to improve it for your business.
A Brief Overview of Local SEO
As we mentioned earlier, local SEO is the practice of optimizing your website for a specific local area. In many ways, local SEO can be viewed as a sub-discipline of general SEO. For example, if you own a restaurant in the Lower Mainland, your local SEO tactics will focus on cities like Abbotsford, Langley, Surrey, and other nearby areas.
While general SEO is focused on showing up in general search engine results, local SEO helps you show up for relevant searches from users in your area. For example, if your restaurant is a pizza place in Abbotsford, you want to show up in search results when a user searches “pizza in Abbotsford”. Good local SEO practices will help you accomplish this and allow you to show up in the top search results, increasing your customer base and sales potential.
Why is Local SEO Important?
If you own a local business like a clothing store, restaurant, or agency, local SEO is crucial for your success and growth. A site that is optimized for local SEO will show up when nearby users enter a relevant search into Google or another search engine. While we used a pizza example earlier, another example can be if a user needs services from an electrician for their home.
If a user types “electrician near me” into their search bar, you want your business to show up if they’re searching from the city you’re located in or a city that is close to you. If you don’t show up for this search, you’ll be missing out on the potential for a new customer. To put it another way, local SEO helps you show up in search results for customers that will actually make use of your services instead of customers that live in a different region, province, or country.
How to Improve Local SEO
To improve local SEO for your business, you will need to:
Claim Your GMB Listing
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is vital for local SEO. This listing is what shows up when a user searches for your company name, location, or when using relevant keywords. For example, if you were to search for “professional painters near me” on Google, you would be greeted with a collection of GMB listings for painters that serve the area you are located in.
To make the most of your free GMB listing, you will need to claim it and include as much information about your business as possible. At the very least, you should include your “NAP” information (name, address, and phone number), as this is crucial for helping users find you or get in touch with you. Additional information can include a link to your website, your business hours, user reviews, and more.
Create Localized Content
Another crucial local SEO tactic is to create content on your website that shows the areas you serve. To accomplish this, you will first need to add your address and phone number to your site. This is typically included on the header and/or footer of your website. Next, you should embed a Google Map with your business’ GMB listing on your site to further boost local SEO rankings. This map can be anywhere on your site, though the most common locations are at the foot of your homepage or somewhere on your “About Us” page. Once these tasks are done, you can create website pages that are specifically focused on regional/local keywords. This is often achieved through the creation of regional pages, a set of pages dedicated to specific regions, provinces, cities, or neighbourhoods that you serve.
For example, if you are an electrician that serves the entire Lower Mainland, it would be worth having specific regional pages created for Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley, Surrey, Burnaby, Vancouver, and other key cities that you wish to target. When creating these regional pages, you can then use terms like “Abbotsford electrician” in your page heading, page content, meta title, and meta description, helping you show up for local results in the city. While using terms like this can be beneficial, it is crucial to ensure that you don’t go overboard with the usage as this can quickly fall into the realm of keyword stuffing.
To learn more about local SEO, get in touch with the experts at FirstPage Marketing. We can be reached at 604-866-2230 or through our online contact form and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your local SEO strategy.