Imagine you’re the owner of a local retail clothing store and a couple of blocks away someone types on Google Maps “clothing store near me.” However, on their search results, your business doesn’t show up top three or even top ten. You’re showing up on the tenth page of Google. To that customer, you don’t even exist as the last time someone went to the tenth page to find a clothing store was, well, probably never.
Though, to you, as an owner, losing one customer over this doesn’t seem like a big deal. But the truth is you’re not losing one; you’re missing out on lots of customers daily. It goes without saying, Google is today’s largest online directory. If you’re not in the top three or top ten of search results, chances are you’re not attracting as many local customers as your competition.
That’s where Local SEO comes into play. Increasing your web presence locally will not only improve your ranking on Google, but it will also attract more customers to your business.
Local SEO is a process that involves the optimization of your online presence. It will increase your visibility and attract more traffic when people search for your products/services locally. Many confuse it for Organic SEO (Website SEO), but it is entirely different.
Here are the main elements of Local SEO and how it can increase your local presence and ranking.
- Local Area and Google Maps
Local SEO is broken down to your business information being populated on hundreds of directories across local suburbs, communities, neighbourhoods, and regions in your area. When Google does a refresh on the rankings and sees your business information populated on hundreds of directories across those areas, it starts to trust your business and ranks you higher on Google Maps. While there is a geographical element to Local SEO, Google displays the most web present businesses from your search location, and it’s not always necessarily the “closest businesses to you.”
When searching on Google, there are two types of results. At the top of the page, you will see a Google Map with some pinpoints. Below it is the top three local businesses for the area, which Google calls the “Local 3 Pack.” Below that, you’ll find the organic website results.
The businesses that appear in the top three are there for their vast online presence. The good news is if your business is outside the local-3-pack, the right Local SEO strategy can get you there.
Again it is important to remember, Local SEO and Website SEO are not the same. Website SEO means you are competing with millions of other websites around the world for that search query. With Local SEO, you’re competing with the businesses in your local area, which significantly increases your chances of getting into the top three/ten quicker.
- Categories and Keyword Research
Google categories help you stand out on relevant searches. When creating your Google My Business profile, you can choose up to nine business categories, but we recommend five.
When choosing your categories, be as specific as possible by selecting the ones that best describe your company. Within each one, there are keywords associated with the categories you choose.
For instance, if you are the owner of a retail clothing store, you might have business categories such as:
- Women’s Clothing Store
- Clothing Store
- Dress Shop
- Shoe Store
And underneath each category, there would be specific keywords associated with them. To give you an idea; under the business type “Clothing Store,” you’ll see keywords like these:
- Tank Top
This means, in the beginning, you might not rank in the top 3 for your main category which is “Clothing Store,” but you can rank high for some keywords like “dresses” or “skirts.”
- Online Directories
Being found on tons of directories is ninety percent of how a business ranks top three or top ten. Populating your basic business information on online directories as a “citation” (Business Name, Address, Phone number – aka NAP) will show Google that you’re a “popular business,” and as a result will rank you higher. These citations will be on online directory sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, Bing, Apple Maps, and many others.
The tricky part is ensuring your NAP information is identical on the different directories; otherwise, Google won’t recognize the connection. Even if the rest of the information is precisely the same, Google will think they are two separate businesses, which would reduce your online visibility.
Even though the real results of Local SEO might take time, the long term impact will be significant in terms of ROI (Return of Investment).
So to recap, Local SEO isn’t solely focused on a geographical component; it’s all about web presence and trust between your business online and Google. Here at Your Listing Expert, we guarantee to rank your business top three on Google Maps in your local and surrounding area for one keyword minimum within ninety days. Otherwise, you get your money back!
We have four different radius packages you can choose depending on the increase of business you’re looking for (click here to view all radius packages).
Call us today and find out which one of our packages is right for you!
*All packages are subject to availability in your local area