Do you do business with people in your geographic area? Then you may need local SEO.
Let’s start with the basics. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is all about impacting how and where you show up on Google. If you have an SEO strategy, that means you’re doing ongoing work on showing up better and higher in Google and other search engines.
Local SEO is an important subcategory of SEO. Let’s look at exactly what it is, how you can tell if you should even be worried about it, and some tips to improve it.
What is local SEO?
If someone is near your location and searches for you, that’s when local SEO kicks in. A good local SEO strategy will help you be more likely to show up when someone is searching for your organization or the products or services you provide, and they’re close to you, geographically speaking.
Traditional SEO helps you show up better and higher on Google everywhere in the world. Local SEO focuses on people searching who are close to you.
Google looks at a lot of factors to determine if your business is close to the people searching. After deciding where it thinks that person is located, one of the biggest things it looks at is something known as NAP. NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone Number.
Your organization’s NAP needs to be consistent on Google maps, your website, and online directory listings. While that’s one of many ranking factors, it helps Google determine whether or not you’re close to the person searching.
How do you know if you need local SEO?
So how can you tell if you need to invest time, money, or other resources into your local SEO? Here are ten indicators that local SEO is worth investing in.
- People visit your physical location.
- You don’t currently come up when people search for you by your organization’s name.
- You don’t currently come up when people search for the services or products you provide.
- You’ve recently moved.
- Your phone number changed.
- People have trouble finding your location using map services like Google Maps.
- Your competition shows up higher than you in Google Maps.
- You don’t have many reviews on Google.
- You have a lot of bad reviews on Google.
- Information on your Google Maps listing is inaccurate or out of date/
If more than one of those apply, then it’s definitely worth considering!
How to improve your local SEO
That’s all well and good, but how can you improve your local SEO if it needs work?
The first option is to hire a digital marketing company. Among other SEO services, my company helps with local SEO.
But if you’re looking to do it on your own, here are a few things you can do.
- Claim your Google My Business listing, which controls how you show up on Google Maps.
- Fill out all the information in there and upload photos.
- Start regularly asking customers for reviews. Don’t flood Google with a bunch of reviews at once, as that can look suspiciously like someone who pays for reviews.
- Make sure your NAP—Name, Address, and Phone Number—matches everywhere you have control online. Check your website, Google My Business, chamber websites, social media pages, etc.
- Check other local business directories to make sure your NAP is the same there as well. Check these regularly, as they can change.
Like most SEO, there’s no quick fix. Good local SEO takes consistent, ongoing effort and time to be effective. The key is to get started and stick to it if it’s important for your organization.
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About Tim Priebe
Tim is a public speaker, author, publisher of Edmond Business, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.
Tim started the Edmond Business online magazine in May 2020 to fill a need in the community when The Edmond Sun shut down and stopped publishing their monthly magazine, The Business Times.