Take your phone, open up Google and type “best Japanese restaurant.” You’ll be surprised to see that even if you don’t use keywords like “near me” or add your location in the search, you’ll get a list of locally owned Japanese closer to your current location instead of huge brands that are part of multinational hotel chains. And that is the power of Local SEO!According to studies, 80% of disposable income in the United States is spent within 20 miles of home Hence, there is no question how vital it is for brick & mortar businesses to improve their local rankings.Wondering how you leverage Local SEO techniques to boost your businesses’ ranking in local search results? You are at the right place. In this article, our Search Engine Optimization experts have shared everything you need to know about Local SEO and mentioned the best practices to rank your business locally in 2022 and beyond.
Table of Content:-
What Is Local SEO?
Simply put, Local SEO is an umbrella term used to define every strategy focused on ranking a business organization in relevant local searches. It allows search engine crawlers to give highly relevant results to users based on geographical data.
The competition is comparatively lower in local search optimization, given that your website is optimized for the same. Strategically placing relevant keywords can go a long way in improving your site’s visibility in your preferred location.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
Search engine optimization is a digital marketing practice focused primarily on increasing
brand awareness and improving search rankings. However, the only drawback of general SEO practices is that they will attract users regardless of their relevance to your business’ geographic location.
Whereas, Local SEO strategies help you reach out directly to your targeted consumer base. These practices target people actively looking for services or products you offer in your area.
Consequently, they are far more likely to turn into paying customers faster than an individual reading your blog from a different continent altogether. Hence it is an excellent tool for generating calls, expanding sales, and building brand loyalty.
Here are four main reasons why Local SEO is vital for businesses in 2022-
- There is a tremendous surge in the use of local keywords.
- It gives you a competitive edge amongst businesses located in your area.
- Local searchers are highly likely to turn into consumers.
- Local SEO puts your business front & center.
Google’s Vicinity Update – An Overview
Launched in December, the Vicinity’ update is one of the most significant local algorithm updates in Google’s history.
The ‘Possum’ update launched in 2016 was designed to improve search results relevance by showing the most relevant businesses for their specific product & service. However, some industry giants with substantial marketing budgets found strategies to rank higher even in distant locations, overpowering the locally owned businesses.
With the latest update, Google has changed the layout of the local map packs. This helps users zoom in easily and select the most relevant businesses for their requirements.
Moreover, due to this update, companies with keyword-rich names but lack relevancy can no longer dominate the market and outshine the locally owned small businesses.
Let us now move on to understand the best practices to improve your ranking in Local searches & stay on top in your area with local optimization.
Aspects To Work Upon For Improving Local Seo Ranking
Get Listed On Google My Business
Listing is one of the most profitable SEO practices that can work wonders in both improving your rankings & driving relevant consumers to your business. And, what better place to begin your local listing than “Google My Business.”
This incredible platform is one of the most preferred listing sites that allows you to engage with local customers using both desktop & mobile.
You need to log in to your business account or create a new one for your organization to get started. After that, you need to set up your profile and provide your business location to Google, which will send a card containing the pin you will require to verify your address. Once the process is completed, you will see your business included on Google Maps.
Optimize Your Business Profile
Another essential aspect of working in Local SEO is ‘Profile Optimization.’ This helps your consumers get a clear idea about the products & services you offer. Furthermore, it also helps the search engine rank your businesses for the most relevant searches, which plays a crucial role in driving genuine customers towards you.
It is no secret that NAP (Name, Address, phone number) optimization plays a significant role in improving your position in Geo-targeted search rankings. Ensure that all the information is listed correctly on your GMB profile and business website. Also, always keep the data up-to-date and be consistent if you desire to gain local organic traffic.
Leverage The Power Of Google Reviews
The majority of modern consumers make decisions based on data. And, what better data to portray the goodwill of your business than reviews from your satisfied consumers.
When a consumer searches your business on google and sees five little stars beside your name, it will help your business stand out on the search results.
Positive Google reviews help you get an edge over your competition and improve your overall ranking as Google considers these reviews an important ranking signal.
On-Page Strategies For Local SEO
1. Local Keywords
Your SEO experts need to conduct thorough keyword research to frame the content for your website, GMB content & product descriptions. You can use professional tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs to conduct your keyword analysis, and these platforms will help you understand what people search for in your business’ location.
Ideally, the keywords and phrases you use should describe your services and products and stand a chance of performing well in the search results.
2. Separate Pages For Locations
If your business is established in more than one location, it is better to have a separate page for each location. This way, you can place location-based keywords on the website pages and make it easier for your consumers scattered across the different locations to find the information they are seeking.
3. Content-Based On Location
To rank #1 on Google for local rankings, you must provide local content to your audience. Local content can be created in various ways, as mentioned below.
- Video content – use location-specific keywords in video descriptions.
- Blogs & articles covering local events.
4. Meta Tags
Using Localized keywords in meta tags and descriptions is another way to improve your Local SEO ranking. These tags are crucial for search engines to determine what your page/content is about and thus play a vital role in your rankings.
OFF Page Strategies For Local SEO
1. Local Citation Builder
Similar to link building, local citation building is the process of scattering your business information on local directories. This helps the search engine crawlers and the consumers know how and where to find your business and what services you offer. The more your business mentions across the web, the better it will rank on local search results.
2. Local Press Release
Another great off-page optimization strategy for Local SEO, is to roll out press keyword-rich releases. A press release is a written description of your product or service sent to/among the general public. It helps with your ranking and helps consumers stay updated about your business information, which further helps in building brand loyalty
3. Local Business Listing
Lastly, to boost your Local SEO rankings, you should consider getting your business registered on local directories. This practice has several advantages: improved local visibility, increased traffic, better consumer engagement, and a more straightforward feedback collection process
1. Mobile Friendly Website
In today’s mobile-driven world, modern businesses can not afford to miss out on consumers solely because their site is not optimized for mobile screens. If the layout and functioning of your site are optimized for mobiles, a consumer is 60% more likely to transact with your business.
Please make sure you communicate with your designer to build a mobile-responsive website & check the same on all device sizes before it goes live.
2. Website Speed Optimization
It’s not enough to have a mobile-friendly website. You might capture a customer’s attention with an attractive page and website. Still, if the website is slow, all of your efforts to attract customers will be in vain, and they may also second-guess their decision about availing your services.
Best Tools For Local SEO Audit
No strategies are worth it if you have no idea whether or not they are bringing desired results. Here are some of the best tools for Local SEO audit to check out your site’s local performance.
Founded in 2009, Brightlocal is one of the most used SEO audits platform, offering all-in-one reporting analytics. It provides many practical features, i.e.,
Audit citations and NAP, Track search Rankings, Generate Search Engine Optimization Reports, etc.
2. Agency Analytics
is one of the ‘marketers favorite’ tools that help you conduct thorough Local SEO audits. This tool is explicitly designed to provide conclusive data to help businesses improve their SEO rankings. Some of the primary features that set it apart are – Agency management, Rank tracker, etc.
Serpstat is a digital marketing tool that helps in Search Engine Optimization that comes with more than 30 SEO & PPC ranking features that helps in tasks such as – competitors analysis, semantics collection, backlink checking, and daily rank tracking.
Rank watch is an SEO audit platform that is good for measuring and deriving conclusions. It is one of the most accurate tools, and several SEO experts rely on it to derive data for a general and local SEO audit. As a bonus, Rankwatch also offers specific free-to-use tools for those who have recently boarded the Local SEO ship.
Your business’s ability to rank higher locally in 2022 depends on diverse factors, including prominence, distance, and relevance. The on-page, off-page, and technical SEO tips will help you with all these factors and make it possible to achieve your desired local rankings.
For gaining maximal benefits from your Local SEO activities, it is vital to define your crucial audience precisely, which will help you figure out which keywords to weigh more and what practices will work better for them.
If you need more information on Local SEO or wish to avail of SEO or digital marketing services, contact us today.