As a small local business you’ve probably heard the phrase “local SEO,” or you’ve been told you “need to optimize your business listing for local search.”
In return, you might have shown confusion in your eyes, or you have felt overwhelmed, wondering “what exactly is local SEO?, what is its difference from existing SEO efforts? And how exactly should I start?”
Do not worry, this post will describe how your business can be optimized for a marketing strategy to local search engines. As a subset of SEO practices, local SEO involves three factors:
- Local listings and quotations
- Online reviews
- Local SEO site optimization
This post will show an introduction to each of these components, and probably on succeeding articles, speak to each in depth. If you’re ready to start becoming a place with excellent visibility, then you’re in the right place. First, let’s see how modern consumer looks and currently buys.
The modern consumer
Not long ago, the client should go to the local section of newspapers or yellow pages to find a local business, searching by category. By finding what he wanted, he wrote down the address and telephone number of the establishment to make a call from home.
Those standards sound a bit outdated now, right?
Currently, more than 125 million American consumers bring a smartphone, representing 54% of people who consume a product. Here we break down how they use their smartphone to access local information:
- 47% of customers use their smartphone to search for information from a local business
- 29% of smartphone users are willing to scan a code that makes them get coupons
- About 50% of people will search for a product from their smartphone before buying.
It is a common practice that you have searched for a keyword followed by your city. For example, instead of just searching for “burger,” you search for “burger in Jacksonville.”
MOZ Local highlights the following statistics to give small businesses an idea of how often consumers are looking for locally:
- 4 trillion desktop searches in the US are intended locally.
- Over 50% of smartphone searches have local intent.
- Almost 15-20% of searches are mobile
Based on that statistics, it is estimated that there are approximately 7 billion different monthly local searches on Google in the US. Searches such as Jacksonville SEO marketing is not uncommon.
Well, now that you agree on the importance of local SEO optimized for your business, the following are some of the few places to start doing it.
Local listings and quotations
There are literally hundreds of places where you can list your business online, and basically creating local lists is a key to any local SEO company, but take a step back and think for a while why it is so important.
To better understand the importance of these lists and appointment it’s better to recognize the motives and experiences of two relevant variables, search engines, and users.
Users are saturated with so many options that are available to them, either food places, clothing stores or gas stations. So seekers will make your life much easier by allowing them to enter some keywords, and change several options and well positioned based on some factors that will facilitate their decisions and can help them make the transaction. If the recommendations are satisfactory, users will return to the browser and use it again, allowing you to monetize through advertising.
To ensure complete satisfaction, searchers process massive data loads to provide the most relevant and best-valued option, all ordered by geographical location. The quality of this data is used to process information and can make or break a service, and this was precisely what Google separated from other search engines because it provides the best and most relevant results.
So how do you ensure that data is reliable? Through cross-referencing of each data point via the web. However, there are three main corridors whose data are from the likes of Google, Bing, Yahoo, Apple and more options, especially when it comes to small business listings, and are:
- Neustar Localeze
Data that provide these giants are backed by public business listing services such as:
- Google+ local
- Bing Places
- Yellow Pages
- Yahoo Local
Essentially, the more visitors your business listings have, a better picture of consistency and reliability for many data providers will be painted, and will be an option for Google or any other search engine when someone types your keyword. Quality and relevance are essential to remember.
Find out how to optimize your Google local business listing in this article