If you are managing a company’s website, local SEO is the key to success. As a local business owner, you may feel there’s little point investing time and money in your Google presence when a quick search shows you competing against large retailers like Amazon for positions. That might be true when it comes to the main organic listings but — for local prominence, it’s an entirely different matter.
By working on this very important aspect of online marketing, you won’t necessarily have to worry about competing against large corporations to get your local business in front of local consumers.
What is local SEO?
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are all techniques that aim to optimize the website of a company or business, taking into account the geographical location and giving it greater relevance. It is about making it so that the website of a company with its geographical headquarters appears in the first results of the search in this area when searching for products and services offered by the company.
For example, if you have a restaurant in the centre of London, you should optimize your website so that it appears among the most important Google results for the search for “Restaurant London Centre” or “Restaurants in center London”. Not only will you gain more traffic for your website, but your company will also become known to people who didn’t even realize it existed.
Why is local SEO so important?
The fact is that consumer habits are changing and companies need to adapt to these new behaviours to benefit from them. On the one hand, it has to be taken into account that many companies have an online store in addition to a stationery store to sell their products online. This provides more convenience for existing customers and offers the opportunity to attract new buyers who did not know the company before.
On the other hand, many online users search the Internet for a store before they go there. For example, if someone wants to cut their hair in Paris and does not know the city, they can search for “Hairdresser Paris” on Google. Most likely, this person will end up having their hair cut by one of the hairdressers suggested in the first Google results. If you were a hairdresser in Paris and had not optimized your local SEO, you would lose a potential customer.
How do you use local SEO?
To use local SEO, it is important to focus both on optimizing content for keywords related to your geographical location and on creating and updating your company’s profiles in online directories.
Local business directories are the online versions of the classic Yellow Pages, which list the addresses of all companies in the city. Depending on the industry, there are certain directories that are used and important.
But amongst all directories the giant Google My Business stands out. It is very important that you create your profile in this directory and update it regularly. Thanks to this, you can display your company or your business on Google Maps and even make sure that a map with a large presence is displayed at the top of the search results.
In short, local SEO is very important for most small businesses and the complementary platforms such as Google My Business are a good way to get started.