As the name suggests, local SEO describes the process of optimising a website such that it promotes a product or service to potential customers who live or work in a specific area. Local SEO is often the only sensible option for businesses that service a specific geographic region. A QSR restaurant, for example, might only be able to deliver to customers who live within a ten-mile radius of its physical location; indeed, some QSR restaurants do not deliver at all, so they are limited to an even smaller nucleus of potential customers.
Advertising on the internet provides companies with an opportunity to access global markets. Although a local business could derive limited benefits from advertising local services to the entire world, the reality is that local customers hold the key to success for businesses that service specific geographic regions. And that means local customers must be targeted online. But how?
Local SEO should not be confused with location targeting in Google AdWords, which is a paid search (PPC) advertising platform. Many business owners opt for paid search advertising because results are measurable. Location targeting also ensures that ads are displayed to local people. This feature of AdWords is able to narrow display options to specific countries, counties, regions or towns. It can even focus on an area within an area (e.g., a five-mile radius of the centre of London). But paid search can be expensive for competitive markets. Many business owners prefer to target local customers organically, which is not always easy.Local Keywords.
Local businesses should attempt to identify which keywords drive local traffic to their competitors. Are people in an area searching for "florist" (70 million results) or "florist London" (625,000 results)? What about "florist Kensington High Street" (103,000)? Do local customers prefer pick-up or delivery? Are they motivated by value or quality? What stops them from turning to a nationwide firm such as Interflora? Targeting the right keywords is a critical first step that requires companies to examine every aspect of their business.
The next step is to produce high-quality content for each keyword. Finding the right balance can be difficult, but an article on "The freshest flowers in Kensington", for example, might include the targeted keyword two or three times. On-site content is important, but businesses also require links, which is why publishing content on other websites can be advantageous. Content must be original, informative and relevant.Google My Business.
Another key element for local businesses is to sign up for Google My Business (GMB) previously known as Google Places, which helps a firms' visibility on Google Search, Maps, mobile and the Knowledge Graph. In a study by MOZ in 2015 it made up 14.7% of the overall local search ranking factors. The free service helps users update and display information about their business.NAP Data & Schema Markup.
You should make sure your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) data is consistent throughout your website on all pages. Using the exact same data and format when citing your address on other websites is crucial. Using Schema.org markup on your NAP data will also help the search engines display your company information correctly.
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