written by Aleksandar Debeljak
Customers today don’t just search globally or nationally when they are looking for a product or service. Statistics show that in fact 46% of searches on Google are seeking local recommendations. Despite these statistics, about 56% of local companies are missing out on reaching new customers because they haven’t completed Google My Business listing or optimized their website content based on local searches.
Using Google My Business is a great start for businesses looking to reach out locally. But there are more ways for your company to reach and adapt to your local target audience, which we will go through in this blog.
What is local SEO
Local SEO means that your company focuses on being visible to a target audience that is geographically close to your workplace. The goal of local SEO is for your target audience to be able to find your company through a local search and then be able to visit your company on site. Companies that can benefit from local SEO are, for example, hair salons, hotels, restaurants, shops, car dealerships, dentists, realtors, plumbers, etc.46% of searches on Google are seeking local recommendations and 80% of local searches convert into a new customer.Click To Tweet
Since 80% of local searches convert into a new customer, it’s important to invest in local SEO if you want your local company to receive more foot traffic and sales. For example, let’s say that you’re planning a business trip and search, “spa hotels in Miami”. If you own a spa hotel in the Miami area, you want to make sure your listing shows up at the top of the local results for that search if you want to attract a new customer.
If you are looking to market your business locally, it’s essential that you work with local SEO so that your target audience can find you. For example, if you run a plumbing company in Cleveland, there is no reason to market all over northeast Ohio. Instead of competing with all plumbers in northeast Ohio, it’s more efficient to focus and adapt your marketing to the local target audience around Cuyahoga County because that is where your customers are. Managing your local presence means you literally have to put your business on the right map for your target audience to find you.
Optimize your company’s local SEO
Register a Google My Business listing
There is a lot you can do to optimize your company’s local SEO. First and foremost, it’s important that you have a Google My Business listing so that you can make it easier for your local target audience to know how, where and when they can contact your business.
If you haven’t created a Google My Business page for your business or if the existing information doesn’t match your website – it’s a good time to focus on being seen locally. Be sure to set up your Google My Business to include:
- Have a detailed and unique description that is formatted correctly.
- Choose the right category for your business.
- Upload photos and phone numbers.
- Add the correct address that matches the information you have on your website and local directories.
- Add business hours.
- Be sure to get customer reviews.
Use the right contact information for NAP
It’s important that the local company’s contact information you have on your website, social media and Google My Business match up. Google cares that your NAP (name, address, phone number) matches all the digital platforms on which your company has a presence because it makes it easier for searchers to locate you. Otherwise this can negatively impact your local SEO ranking if there are differences. If your business is in multiple locations, it is wise to add a map interface to your website to make it easy for your customers to find the right place, which you can do through the Google Maps Store Locator.
Also, be sure to have landing pages for every city your business is in, this means your company has a strong local SEO presence no matter what locations your business is located in.
Verify your Google My Business listing
Be sure to verify your business. Most local companies verify by email. Businesses working in a specific service area can enter this information into Google My Business, making it easy for customers to see which addresses to visit or deliver to.
Having a verified address and geographical location can be the difference between getting a customer to visit you, or instead choosing another company. Statistics show that over 70% of consumers who are looking for a local store within 5 miles choose to visit the location. Therefore, it’s of utmost importance that you have entered the correct address for your target group to find you.
Have a mobile-friendly website
Make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Almost 90% of those looking for local businesses via mobile phone choose to make contact within 24 hours. About one third of mobile users search for location information when looking for local businesses. These statistics show how important it is to have an SEO optimized website for your visitors to easily find you.
Write content geared towards your local target audience
Your SEO copywriting efforts should produce content that is geared towards how your local target audience speaks and behaves to understand their intent and the local-related keyword terms that they use. For example, your target audience in Cleveland prefers to use “dentists in Cleveland” while in Detroit they use “dentists near me”. Depending on your industry, content with a local focus tends to provide better results when it comes to helping you rank well and convert your local target audience.
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For companies whose target audience is located locally, there are many opportunities to reach out with relevant information when they search for something online. Keep in mind that the information your company has online is easily accessible to your local target audience to find you – which an effective local SEO strategy can deliver.
The statistics show that consumers search via mobile and locally, so it’s important that your company is visible so that you can generate new local customers. Having a strong SEO strategy means that your business will get long-term results which means a stronger brand and more customers.
How does your local business reach out to your target audience online? Share your comments below.