How many times have you added the phrase “near me” to a Google search?
Nowadays, searches made using voice-enabled gurus, such as Alexa and Siri, are becoming increasingly commonplace, while mobile searches for local services continue to rise and influence local sales.
So if you haven’t optimized your business for “near me” and voice-activated local searches, it’s time to consider doing so by implementing a strategy known as local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO serves to promote your business’ visibility on location-based searches. It is merely a variation of your run-of-the-mill SEO (search engine optimization), and is aimed at making sure your business gets found online by people searching for it at that locality.
These include searches with certain geo qualifiers, such as city, state, zip code, etc., and ‘near me’ searches, where Google picks up the geo location of the person and provides search results from that area.
Basically, local SEO is all about increasing search visibility for businesses that serve their communities face-to-face. These can be brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations, like a retail store or dentist’s office, or service businesses that operate throughout a certain geographic area, like an electrician or house cleaning company.
Why is Local SEO Important?
Investing in local SEO can significantly increase your online visibility, as well as the number of people who walk through your doors.
Statistics show that searches containing the terms “near me” or “close by” increased by 900% between 2013 and 2017, and the numbers have continued to go up since then.
According to a study done by Forbes, 95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches, out of which 61% called the business and 59% visited. Local SEO provides potential customers the power to take this action, and this in turn provides your business with a qualified lead that you can convert. Since these leads are from people who are specifically searching for products or services that your business offers, you can assume these are qualified leads with a higher conversion rate.
How Do I Implement Local SEO?
You can implement a local SEO strategy to let search engines know that your location is important and should play a role in your site’s ranking. With a few simple tweaks, you can get your business in front of customers in your area.
Here’s how Net Designs can help give your website a boost in local search rankings:
1. Net Designs can optimize your website using location-based keywords.
Just as you may already optimize your site using popular search terms related to your industry, you can also incorporate some specific words and phrases to notify search engine crawlers of your location. An example of this would include your business type paired with “near me”, as well as with the name of your city.
2. Net Designs can help you claim and optimize your Google My Business profile.
Google My Business is a platform that enables business owners to share key details with potential customers in Google Maps and search engine results pages. Google automatically creates these profiles, but you have to claim yours in order to optimize it. When you do this, Google can verify your business as authentic, and is more likely to reward your business with a coveted sidebar space in a local search.
3. Net Designs can create and maintain a blog featuring topics of local interest.
Research has continually shown that having a regularly updated blog on your site will drive in exponentially more traffic. And while writing about general topics will attract a wide crowd, honing your focus and writing about local or industry news can attract a more local audience and show that you’re engaged and invested in your community.
Don’t have time to write a blog? Wordsmithery isn’t your forte? Net Designs has professional writers on our team that are well-versed in creating interesting, informational, well-written content that will not only make you look good, but drive traffic to your website and customers to your business.
Small businesses have the odds stacked against them when it comes to competing with big box companies. However, with the right strategy and help from Net Designs, you can increase your local visibility to drive sales.
Author: Kendall Dick, Net Designs Writer