While Local SEO works like a “regular” Google search and traditional SEO more of broad search results; Local SEO returns more geographically targeted results. Google uses a different set of ranking factors to rank the local search results. Local SEO is the practice of optimizing a website in order to increase traffic, leads and brand awareness from local search. Finding local keywords, optimizing a business’s Google My Business profile, and building “NAP” citations are some techniques to help boost your Local SEO.
Who Should Use Local SEO?
In theory everyone who has a brick and mortar business or provides services to a targeted community should be focused on making their SEO more locally targeted, How many times have you traveled to another city and Googled something like, “Best places for a burger in Miami?” Now if you’re, let’s say Rick’s Famous Burger Joint, you would want to be ranking and showing up in the search results for best burger places in Miami. If you’re a business that caters to customers across the country or world, optimizing your site locally might not be in your best interest.
Do I Need a Google My Business Profile?
The answer should be a resounding yes. A Google My Business profile is a great way to help your local rankings. And the best part is that it is free. All you need is your Google account to sign up. Having a Google My Business profile is a great way to have your business show up in the local search results as well as have your business added to Google Maps. You can use the Google My Business profile to engage with customers by answering questions that they can message you or you can ask current clients or customers to leave you a review of your business. The more reviews with 5 stars the better. Google factors that in as well as the number of clicks that people make on your profile.
What is “NAP”?
The NAP acronym stands for name, address and phone. Your NAP should be identical on every website that you post it because Google values accurate information for its users and it helps build consistency. When a users performs a local search, Google will use your information to display the most relevant, localized results and if your NAP isn’t up to date you could miss out on gaining new customers and revenue. You would be surprised on how many businesses do not have their NAP up to date and yet it is one of the easiest tasks to do to help you rank better locally.
Reviews, Reviews and More Reviews
Another important factor is reviews and not just on your Google My Business profile. On any website that you’re listed on that has reviews you should be asking for reviews from customers. Responding to the reviews is also beneficial. Sometimes a review isn’t favorable or a customer had an unpleasant experience, but if people see you took the time to address their issue or concern, that goes a long way in building trust with your business.
If you want to rank for locally targeted searches then you need to make sure your Local SEO is up to date and that you’re doing everything possible to rank for those local search terms. Check your NAP and maybe take one after you’re done updating everything. The more consistent you are across the web, the more Google values that.