Local SEO is important for small businesses because it helps their business/website to be more visible to potential customers in their local area. For example: when people search for products or services online, they often include a location in their search query. For example, “pizza delivery in Roslyn, WA” or “garbage dump in Cle Elum.” If your small business appears in the search results for these types of searches, it can help drive more traffic to your business and potentially increase sales.
Some reasons why local SEO is particularly important for small businesses:
#1 It can help you to stand out from larger competitors: Small businesses often have to compete with larger, well-established companies for local customers. Local SEO can help level the playing field by making it easier for customers to find your business when they do an online search.
#2 It can help you to attract customers who are ready to buy: People who search for products and/or services online with a local element in their search are often ready to make a purchase. By appearing in the search results for these types of queries, you can attract customers who are actively looking for what you have to offer.
#3 It can help you to build credibility: When your small business appears in the search results for local searches, it can help to build credibility with potential customers. It shows that your business is a reputable and an established presence in your local community.
#4 It can help you to reach mobile customers: More and more people are using their smartphones to search for products and/or services, and local SEO can help you to reach those using their smartphones so they might become customers. When your business appears in the search results for local queries, it can make it easier for customers to find and visit your store or website.
Here are a few things to start with to improve your local SEO:
#1 Claim and optimize your Google Business Profile listing: No brainer here – Make sure your Google Business Profile (aka: Google My Business Listing) is claimed by you and is up to date. This is a free Google listing that allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Maps and in local search results. Make sure to include accurate and up-to-date information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and business hours. It is very important to keep your address, phone number and business hours updated. You should also include photos and reviews from customers to help your business listing stand out.
#2 Include location-specific keywords on your website: Include the name of your city, state, and neighborhood in the content on your website. This will help search engines understand that your business is relevant to local customers. This is often overlooked when creating content for your website… but it’s very important for the search engines to know where you are located and compare that to where the people searching for products/services in your area are located so as to give accurate search results. Example: Website design in Roslyn – The search engines need to know if it’s Roslyn, WA or Roslyn, NY
#3 Get listed in online directories: Many people use online directories, such as Yelp and Yellow Pages, to find local businesses. Make sure your business is listed in these directories and include accurate and up-to-date information. You should constantly check to make sure your Name, Address and Phone Number are accurate. This is called “NAP” – It’s also important to keep your business hours up to date. If you have seasonal or holiday hours – make sure to update the online directories or you might get a bad review if someone visits your business during the hours stated online and you were not open.
#4 Encourage customers to leave reviews: Online reviews can help to improve your local SEO, as they can help to build credibility/trust and increase the visibility of your business in the search results. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on your Google Business Profile and other sites such as Facebook.
In conclusion, local SEO is important for small businesses because it helps them to be more visible to potential customers in their local area. By claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile listing, including location-specific keywords on your website, getting listed in online directories, and encouraging customers to leave reviews, you can improve your local SEO and reach more potential customers.
Reach out to Ron the Web Guy with any questions and/or to get help with your local SEO
Here are some tools and links to help you do local SEO:
The Essential Local SEO Strategy Guide (2022) – Moz – https://moz.com/local-seo-guide
Moz Local Overview – Moz – https://moz.com/products/local
Local SEO: The Complete Guide (ahrefs.com) – https://ahrefs.com/blog/local-seo/
Local SEO Course with Greg Gifford – Semrush Academy – https://www.semrush.com/academy/courses/local-seo-course-with-greg-gifford/
What is Local SEO and How Does it Work? – BrightLocal – https://www.brightlocal.com/learn/local-seo/introduction-to-local-seo/what-is-local-seo/