6 Reasons Local SEO Can Give You a Competitive Advantage
If you own a company and have a website, you know the concept of SEO and its importance. SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization, which refers to creating a content strategy to lead you to higher positions in SERPs. But, knowing your relevant keywords and having strong content is not enough nowadays, especially when your business is tied to a location.
That’s why local SEO is a thing nowadays. Many agencies offer affordable local seo services to their clients to help them rank better in Google and other search engines. The goal is simple. Higher rankings mean more website visits and more chances for turning those visits into effective sales.
Maybe you think you are done with SEO once you have an excellent strategy, but focusing on local SEO is more beneficial nowadays. But first, let us explain what it is.
What Is Local SEO, and Why Is It a Thing?
While general SEO is focused only on website traffic, local SEO is more about sales, calls, online purchases, and store visits.
So, let’s take a simple example. If you own a small business and ship only in your country, you need to target that audience only. Undoubtedly, your products and services can get viral at any moment, but before you go global, you need to act locally.
Traffic from around the world is not beneficial for you when your business is local.
That means, when someone is looking for a local service, they are using localized keywords like “bookshop London” or “best art museums London.” Searchers limit Google to listing only the relevant results. But, we all know Google is getting smarter and can offer local results without even mentioning your location or the phrase “near me” in your search query.
Of course, it has something to do with the Google location services and something known as Google My Business. It allows you to list your business details, such as phone number and address, locate yourself on Google Maps, and enable user reviews on your Business card.
It’s not that simple to learn how to dominate local SEO, but if you take small steps at a time, you can get there. Also, you can always hire a company to run some SEO audits and create a strategy for you.
The least you can do for your business is to:
- Always update the NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number of your business)
- Register your company with the Google My Business profile
- Make sure you use geotagging for the images of your website
All these things help the searchers find you on the internet. When things are done correctly, you already have their attention, which will make them at least visit your website or come to your physical store.
Now, it’s time to get to the point: How to dominate local SEO and which benefits it brings to you?
1. People Focus on Local Keywords More Than Before
We can blame this on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it changed our shopping habits. In 2020, during the lockdowns, people were shopping online more than ever. That’s how businesses realize it is important to focus on their local SEO strategy, and improve it, for precise results on Google.
During that time, people were blindly buying skincare products, fragrances, groceries, clothes, and even furniture. When the lockdowns were finally over, online businesses used the great timing to open stores and offer direct services to the customers. But, the thinking process has completely changed. For example, when people need makeup products, they look for cosmetics shops near them, so they can find the closest ones and test the products there. So, you see how the local SEO is getting even more relevant.
It’s the same about services like lawn mowing, plumbing, food delivery, home cleaning, etc. The searchers’ goal is to find the best around, not the best ones in the whole country or outside of it.
2. Brings Relevant Traffic to Your Website
It takes a lot until you have a great website. But once you have it, the goal is to attract the relevant audience.
Use Google My Business to localize the website and optimize the content for the local parameters. You can even add a local landing page if needed. You will receive the most relevant traffic if you do these things properly.
So, stay relevant and accurate. Update the content as needed. Localize the website to keep the relevant visitors longer, eventually encouraging them to buy or subscribe.
Local businesses that target a global audience risk losing relevant potential customers. Maybe you will receive a large traffic volume, but it means nothing if you are in London and visitors are from Los Angeles.
3. Effective Conversion Rates and Better Brand Awareness
How to dominate local SEO if you have a small business? It’s a long process, but it guarantees great conversion rates while increasing brand awareness.
SEO already brings relevant traffic to your website, but you should motivate them to choose you instead of your competition. By combining all the parameters of a successful SEO strategy, you can overrank your competition and prove you are better than them.
When people who search for a particular product find your page ranked higher on SERPs, they are more likely to trust you. That’s why you need to learn from the competition and use an improved version of their strategy.
4. You Know and Understand the Relevant Keyword Queries
Some keywords are too general and may rank you higher without bringing any particular benefit to your business. That’s why many strategies run a local seo keyword research before they offer some free local seo audit to their clients.
Less competitive keywords can easily rank higher on Google, but the question is, does it bring relevant traffic to your website? You need to carefully analyze these aspects before developing a keyword strategy for your business.
Let’s illustrate this with a good example. If you own a Thai food restaurant, naturally, you are targeting the keyword “Thai food.” But, when you enter it on Google, you may get suggestions for Thai food recipes, restaurants, or even restaurants in Thailand, even though you are somewhere in Europe. But even Europe is too general as a location.
So, we come up to the point where we highlight the importance of Google My Business profile, consistent NAP, image location tag, and specific keywords that can lead the searchers to your restaurant.
If you do these things, the next one looking for Thai food places will easily find your restaurant and probably pay a visit to it.
5. Greater Exposure in Local SERPs and Listings
You’ve probably seen business directories with local results or blogs like “10 Most Beautiful Restaurants in…” With a great local SEO strategy, you can easily become a part of these listings and blog posts.
Travel bloggers may include you in their recommendations, and local guides can easily find and list you in their articles. It’s similar to services like Yelp or Tripadvisor, and you can even find your name there when the strategy is implemented properly.
This brings more relevance and real reviews. When you are relevant, you are more credible, which can surely boost your ranking.
Pro Tip: You can use the listings and directories as resources for link building for local seo strategy. Think and act smart – it’s worth it.
6. You can Learn to run a Local SEO Strategy by Yourself
Many businesses decide to hire an SEO specialist to work on content localization. It’s a good solution, especially if you want to learn how to dominate local SEO results on search engines.
But, you can collaborate with a specialized agency too, and learn from the best. One of the advantages is the wide array of the best local seo tools they use, resulting in the ultimate strategy you can use for your business.
Either way, you can learn the basics of local SEO and fix some issues every now and then. The decision whether you would hire an expert, or collaborate with an SEO agency, is only yours.
All these things can give you a competitive advantage and make you stand out when ranking your business higher on search engines.
But, there can be some pitfalls and risks you need to be aware of. So, we decided to cover most of them.
What to Avoid With Your Local SEO Strategy?
As you can see, there are many things you need to pay attention to in order to get things properly done. It seems like an easy thing to learn how to dominate local seo results on Google, but it comes with some pitfalls and risks, including:
1. Local SEO Won’t Bring Instant Results
Many businesses expect a miracle to happen overnight. Even when you work with experts and great SEO agencies, results don’t come immediately. It’s a long process that may take up to six months or even more until you rank higher in the SERPs.
Unrealistic expectations can lead to using black-hat SEO approaches, like keyword overstuffing, spamming, or trying to over-smart the search engines. It may work for a few weeks, but you must know that Google and Bing will track you down and eventually penalize your website. And we are sure you don’t want that to happen.
2. It’s an Ongoing Activity
Many businesses think that once they have a strategy, they can stick to it forever. But, this is the worst mistake they can make. Google is changing the guidelines and algorithms, and what was relevant two years ago today may be completely useless.
Get ready to invest and reinvest in local SEO strategies and implementation. Monitor your results, and if you see a traffic drop, check on why it’s that.
Surely, the basics are the same, but search engines must track down the most relevant results and rank them higher. That way, they help the worthy websites to grab the traffic and put down those who can’t even follow simple guidelines.
So, no, your old strategy is probably irrelevant today, and you need to either hire an SEO expert to work on it all the time or collaborate with an agency to help you learn how to dominate local SEO results.
3. Local SEO may Come With Some Disadvantages
Right now, there are no strong arguments against the current local SEO practices. But it doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone. Sometimes, some challenges may come up during the implementation. So, as a local business, you must maintain the Google My Business listing and update the information as needed.
Also, not all reviews will be positive. Local businesses often suffer because of fake negative reviews, sometimes conducted by the competition. We suggest you not fall into that trap and don’t do the same to them. On the other hand, you can use that as an advantage, especially if you respond to the reviewer. Managing the review section can be exhausting, but no matter what, don’t try to create user-generated experiences because it can easily harm your business.
We all want to speed things up if possible, but not if that means a bad reputation for the local business.
All businesses must be very careful when working on local SEO strategies. It’s a long process and requires patience until the first positive results are visible.
Some of the companies will give up during the process, thinking they are losing money without any benefits. Others will spend a lot until they find the right approach. Sometimes, the result will come faster than expected, and people can get too confident with that. The key is to find the balance between the approaches and understand the importance of localized content and its full potential.
At last, it’s up to the business owner to decide if they would hire an in-house expert or they will go for an SEO company. But, no matter the choice, we must be consistent with the strategy, follow the search engine updates and reviewed guidelines, and maintain realistic expectations. That’s how local businesses grow every day.