Gradually, businesses have moved from the offline space to the online space. What is even more fun is that most businesses do not operate in the confines of physical spaces anymore.
They operate solely online. We also hear of businesses setting up e-commerce stores to attract online buyers daily.
Nevertheless, businesses that still operate physical stores strive to attract buyers online to redirect them to those stores.
In short, we can all agree that these business owners have a deep understanding of connecting physical and virtual businesses set up to reach a wider audience, make sales, increase their reach, and gain more visibility.
One of the ways by which business owners achieve this is by optimizing their businesses for local search.
This blog post will serve as an eye-opener to local search and how to go about it.
What is Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to draw attention and attract more customers to your local store when searched based on location.
For businesses, local SEO includes claiming a business listing, monitoring reviews, managing ratings, showing up on the map, among other things, on Google.
In simple terms, it is the art of getting visitors to your physical shop by working on your online listing. It does not matter what product you sell or the service you offer in your physical shop.
All sorts of businesses are welcome online. It could be a gymnasium, law firm, veterinary hospital, grocery store, and so on.
What are the Importance and Benefits of Local SEO to your Business?
The beauty of local SEO is that it applies to all sorts of businesses. Another positive side to it is that searchers can find your business at the top of their search lists while on Google.
Have you once needed some espresso urgently, and you’re wondering where you could get a cup?
You then go to Google and type “coffee shops around me.” Then Google presents you a list to choose from. That is what local SEO can also do for your business when people search for related keywords.
Local SEO has numerous benefits. Here is a list of them;
It helps Prospective Customers find your Business
Research has shown that 46% of searches on Google are local. This means people would rather surf the net to find out which store to patronize than roam the streets aimlessly.
If your local shop has an online listing, it will make it easier for potential customers to find it and make patronage.
Further, research corroborates that 90% of people who do local searches about a business on mobile devices make sales conversion.
Quality Website Traffic Delivery
Rather than directing every Tom, Dick, and Harry to your store, search engines like Google sieve out unneeded traffic through local SEO.
Let’s say you own a cat food store in Cincinnati, and someone searches for “cat food stores in Cincinnati,” only relevant results will show.
This means people only 5 miles away from your store will get its name in their results. Your store won’t show up in the search result of someone about 90 miles away.
This is because if it does, they will end up not visiting your store, let alone patronizing it.
It builds Trust
People who have just heard about your business are most likely to type in your name to Google to verify your existence.
When people see your business name showing in their search results, they are sure your business exists and is legal. They find it easy to patronize or partner with you with this.
It helps in Citation Building
Citation building is impossible without being present online. To build citation for your business, it is essential to send correct information about it to listing directories periodically.
This will make it easy for search engines to rank your business for potential customers to find.
So, when customers search listing directories for a business like yours, it shows up. This adds to the credibility of your brand.
How to Optimize your Business for Local Search?
This blog post will be incomplete if it highlights why local SEO is important to your business without showing you how to go about it. Local SEO will continually contribute to the growth of businesses.
Therefore, to enjoy the various benefits of local SEO, ways to optimize your business is highlighted below;
1. Create a Google my Business Account
This is the first step required when worried about doing local SEO. Start by opening a Google my Business Account. Continue to click the Get Started button and continue from there. Fill in every blank with the required pieces of information. Ensure to claim the business after creating the account. This is crucial to boosting your online presence. See that you make edits when necessary.
2. Get Reviews
Gather reviews from people who have interacted with your business. Post them on your website. Also, post them on your Google my Business Account. Encourage them to give star ratings and write a few lines of testimonials.
3. Use Schema Markup on your Website
Schema markup helps Google organize your information and show it in search results. Ensure that the schema markup is placed wherever you describe your business on your website.
4. Update NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) Citations
If people find you online, then they’ll need your contact information. Ensure that your business’s name, phone number, and address are present on your website. Let these details reflect on your Google Business profile too.
5. Create Content
Deliver value to searchers by creating relevant content on your website. Do keyword research to discover what people search for and create content around them.
Local SEO is a significant way through which businesses can reach their target audience and drive traffic to themselves. To achieve this, businesses must follow the highlighted steps and stick to them.
To get help on optimizing your business for local search, reach out to Lead Origin today.