A recent infographic published by web design specialist Go Gulf revealed some very telling statistics concerning local search engine optimization. Per the agency’s collected research, 86 percent of consumers rely on the Internet to find local businesses, with 29 percent of them searching at least once a week. Seventy-eight percent of these searches – which comprise 46 percent of all search traffic on Google – result in an in-store purchase.
In short, local SEO is one of the most powerful and most important techniques in your arsenal, especially if you’re a small or mid-sized business. A solid understanding of what it involves and entails is at the core of your success on the modern web.
With that in mind, we’d like to go over a few of the core facets of local search – foundational knowledge you can use to start building your own local strategy.
It’s All About Mobile
A survey from local marketing agency Uberall found that approximately 82 percent of smartphone shoppers search for businesses near them on a relatively regular basis. Research by Statista, meanwhile, shows that the number of smartphone users worldwide is slated to top 2.87 billion by 2020. In short, mobile optimization goes hand-in-hand no just with local SEO, but with maintaining a web presence at all.
If your website cannot be readily viewed and browsed on the small screen, you will lose traffic to competitors, like it or not.
Business Listings are a Cornerstone of Local Search
One of the most important features of your website – both from a local and overall SEO perspective – is to include your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) on each page. Visitors to your site should be able to easily determine how to contact you, no matter how they arrived there. Moreover, as noted by digital marketing organization Fishbat, NAP data also has a role in determining whether or not you’ll appear on the SERP for geo-targeted searches.
NAP isn’t the only thing that’s important, either. Maintaining a Google My Business page will make it easier for customers to find information on your business including your website, hours, and reviews. It’s imperative that you complete your profile and include high-quality photos in the listing. Because as research by Brightlocal has found, there’s a direct link between My Business photo quality and search engine performance.
Location-Based Keywords are Incredibly Important
Last but certainly not least, let’s talk keywords. As you might expect, location-based keywords are a foundational aspect of local SEO. This means including your city’s name in any pages you want to target for local searches.
You’ll need to do a bit of keyword research, of course. Figure out what queries people are using to find your website, and giving them a bit of local flavor. Search Engine Journal has published a decent guide on how to get started in that regard.
Local search is the future for businesses and brands. No matter where you’re situated, no matter what kind of market you target, it’s in your best interest to target an audience close to you. The advice we’ve outlined above is enough to get you started.