We are living in a dog-eat-dog world and it’s virtually impossible to ignore the growing competition in the market. As a local business owner, you need to do everything in your capacity to take control of the market – both online and offline. However, you need to have a well-designed Local SEO strategy to achieve the same. When it comes to capturing online attention, you will have to befriend Google and its changing search algorithms to help your business show up locally.
Believe it or not, people are making Google searches for your business and the products and services you have to offer. To leverage the incoming local traffic, you will have to optimize your online presence for Local SEO. In this post, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about Local SEO in 2021. So without any further ado, let’s get started.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO, to be precise, is the practice of optimizing a business’s online presence (preferably your business website) to improve its visibility in a specific local area. What kind of business, you ask? Well, it can be anything – a shop, restaurant, law firm, cleaning agency, local car dealerships, or any other business that caters to the local market. In this, you will be tasked with optimizing your website pages in a way you can help them rank higher for certain local search queries.
Local SEO 2021 statistics you should know
But, why exactly do you need to execute a Local SEO strategy? We can go all day long explaining how useful Local SEO is for your local business. But to make things easier for you to understand, we have delegated the task to numbers. Here are a few Local SEO statistics you should consider:
- Percentage increase in ‘near me’ or ‘where to buy’ like queries in the last two years – 200% (Think with Google)
- Percentage of Google searches that are for local businesses – 46% (Hubspot)
- The Percentage of ‘near me’ searches that result in a visit at a store – 50% (Mediapost)
- Percentage of online consumers in the US that search for local businesses daily – 33% (Statista)
- Percentage of shoppers that don’t trust a business listing with less than 3 stars – 82% (Synup)
We have your attention now, don’t we? Well, there are many more stats we can share to demonstrate the importance of a solid online presence and well-optimized business listings. But, these were the most important ones that will poise you to take action.
In other words, you cannot survive the present competition without investing heavily in Local SEO. Now, let’s keep rolling and discuss the benefits Local SEO can bring to your local business in 2021.
What are the benefits of Local SEO?
Now that you understand how online users behave while looking for solutions on Google, it’s time you get acquainted with the benefits of having a highly-effective Local SEO strategy. Here are the most important benefits of Local SEO you should know in 2021.
1. Improved Online Visibility = More Traffic (and sales)
Local SEO helps you with online visibility. Creating more and more (but useful) online business citations allows your target local audience to find you online easily. An online business citation is nothing but an online listing with your business’s name, physical address, and phone number on it.
Local SEO involves building such citations on popular business listings sites like Google (Google My Business), Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and others. The better citations you have on these popular listing sites, the more are the chances of you generating traffic and revenue.
2. Make the most of relevant searches
You will need to optimize your business website for Local SEO. the optimization requires a firm understanding of on-page and off-page factors responsible for a website’s search rankings. The idea is to optimize or make changes to the site in a way that it becomes THE answer to your audience’s queries. In other words, you want your business site to rank for relevant searches. The good thing is that when you optimize your website for Local SEO, you automatically get to:
- Create a mobile-responsive website design
- Improve website’s loading speed
- Conduct extensive keyword research
- Optimize website’s metadata with the relevant keywords
- Target the consumer’s search habits
- Create on-site content optimized with relevant keywords
- Set up a system to monitor your website’s ranking (Google Analytics)
3. Gets your business on the ‘Local Pack’
The Google ‘Local Pack’ is the holy grail of search results – something you might want to eye for your local business.
Creating a Google My Business (GMB) listing is vital to your Local SEO success, which automatically makes you eligible for the local pack. What is Google My Business, you ask? Here’s how Google explains GMB:
“Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers to find you and tell them the story of your business.”
It’s quite clear that internet users trust Google and its products. If you get your business listing on Google My Business, and Google starts recommending customers to your local business, the number of customer queries and traffic to your physical store WILL spike.
And how does Google recommend your business to the customers? By ranking you in its ‘Local Pack’ search results. Want to build a successful Google My Business listing? We can help you do it!
4. Better results for content marketing
Once you aim at improving your website’s local search rankings, your content marketing, and link-building campaigns gain a new (and practical) purpose. As you perform extensive keyword research and dig deep to understand the customer-intent, you automatically will begin creating content that matches a search user’s requirements.
Local SEO will help you create evergreen content that will bring your local customers closer to your business, which will eventually lead to a significant increase in engagement and brand loyalty. This will boost your online relevance and authority and Google will feel more confident recommending your local business.
All this will directly translate into improved results for your content marketing campaigns. Consequently, you will receive more leads and sales!
5. An effective way to manage online reputation
We have already mentioned how important reviews and ratings are for your online listings to work the way they should. Maintaining a high rating, managing negative ratings, reviewing and responding to feedback, and getting more reviews are all a part of online reputation management.
However, Local SEO sets you perfectly to manage your online reputation and generate more business at the same time. Online reputation management is a part of a Local SEO strategy that will help you fetch fresh reviews, greater online visibility, and most importantly, customer trust.
Quick Local SEO tips for business owners
So, how can you get started with Local SEO for your business? We have a list of top local SEO tips you can follow in 2021. Follow them in the order they are mentioned and you’ll be fine. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Build business listings (and optimize)
Claim business listings for your local business and optimize them. Get your business listings on popular listing sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, GMB, and more. Keep the listing up-to-date and remove duplicate listings.Building new citations needs to be consistent and relevant to your industry.
2. Have a landing page for every business location.
If you are running your business in multiple areas, you must have location pages that work as landing pages for each location. This makes it easier for search engines to locate your listing.
3. Maintain uniformity in information across all listings
Most listings will ask you to enter your business’s Name, Address, and Phone Number or NAP. Make sure you stay consistent with the NAP information across all the listings.
4. Encourage customers to leave feedback (reviews)
Your business listings MUST get reviews and star ratings for them to stand out. You should ask your customers to leave feedback on your listings. But before you do that, make sure you satisfy the customers. This can work wonders for your Local SEO campaign.Learn more about review management here.
5. Develop more and more local content (and optimize them)
We already discussed how content marketing goes hand-in-hand with Local SEO. Focus on targeting local customers through your content. Create more local content and optimize them for local searches.
6. Leverage social media
Lastly, make use of free social media platforms and create your listings on them too! A huge percentage of your local customers are on social media. If they can find you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms, it will be easier for them to connect with you. You want to do that also because Google crawls social media platforms.
Get ahead of your competition!
There you have it. We hope by now you know everything you need to jump-start your online marketing campaign with a solid Local SEO strategy in place..Are you looking for help to create a Local SEO strategy for your business? We will work with you to understand your business goals and help create online marketing strategies that get you better search rankings, improved online reputation, and effective citation development. Connect with us today at 904-667-4123 or by submitting this form.