Did you know? 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a local business within that day. Of those searches, 28% will result in a purchase.
That statistic alone demonstrates the power of local SEO, or search engine optimization. But what exactly is local SEO, and how does it work? More importantly, how can it help increase organic traffic for your business?
This article will attempt to explain everything you need to know about local SEO as a small business owner. We’ll share why it’s important, and what you should focus on to optimize local search traffic for your business. Finally, we’ll explain what you can do to get expert help with your search engine optimization.
To learn more, keep reading.
What Is Local SEO?
What is local SEO, and why do we need local SEO?
Semrush defines local SEO as “the process of optimizing a business, product, or service for a search query that is location-specific.” That basically means helping Google show your website to interested searchers in your area.
When a Google user searches for products or services, Google detects where they’re searching from using their IP address or geolocation. After detecting the user’s location, Google tailors search results to represent businesses that are near where the searcher is located.
If you search in Google for Mexican restaurants, the first search results will all be restaurants within a short distance of where you are. Even if you don’t search for the name of your city, thanks to your personal location data, search engines can get a pretty good idea of where you’re located.
As a business owner, you can use this to your advantage by making sure Google knows where your business is located. Using the name of your city and surrounding towns in your website copy is one way to do this. You should also make sure you’re listed in the major directories, including Google My Business.
Do Google Reviews Impact Local Rankings?
According to this article on Search Engine Land, it isn’t clear that Google reviews significantly impact local search rankings. While there’s some evidence that more reviews lead to a boost in rankings, for the most part, there seems to be little difference.
However, asking if reviews impact search rankings may be focusing on the wrong thing. Even if your reviews don’t affect your placement in search results, keep in mind that searchers who see your business will see its reviews, too. Regardless of how Google’s ranking algorithm works, more (and more positive) reviews will always inspire greater confidence in potential customers.
In short, you should prioritize getting positive reviews from past customers, regardless of whether this specifically impacts search rankings or not.
How Does Local SEO Help for Ranking on Google Maps?
Google Maps results usually appear at the top of the search results page. This way if someone is looking for a local business or service, there’s a good chance it’ll be one of the first items featured. A map of the area and directions to the business are just a tap away.
Fortunately, getting listed in Google Maps isn’t hard. Setting up your business with its location data on Google My Business should be all you have to do. But practicing good search engine optimization may help rank your business above your competitors in Google Maps.
What Are “Local Modifiers” in Search Engine Optimization?
As you learn more about local search engine optimization, you’ll probably hear the term “local modifiers” used. But what are these?
Simply put, local modifiers are keywords that contain location-specific information. You already know what keywords are—they’re words and phrases that people use in search queries to find relevant web pages. Local modifiers are keywords and phrases that are uniquely relevant to the local area.
For example, the name of any city or town combined with a type of business would be a local modifier. “Flower shops” may be a relevant keyword, but “flower shops St. Louis MO” is a keyword with a local modifier.
Local modifiers can also include words that are relevant to a specific location, without actually spelling out the town itself. For example, searching “restaurants near Garden of the Gods” should bring up results for places to eat near the famous southern Illinois attraction, even though no specific town was indicated.
Local modifiers are an important part of your SEO strategy because it’s much easier to rank for a location-specific keyword than a general, broad keyword. Searching “flower shops” in Google will turn up millions of results from all over the world. On the other hand, searching for flower shops in your city should primarily turn up results in your location.
Get Expert Help With Local SEO
With that, you now know more than most business owners about the power of local SEO. But where should you go from here?
While you can figure some things out on your own, your best option is to hire someone else’s expertise. That’s where Seeyu Studios comes in.
Seeyu Studios is helping with local SEO for small businesses in Vancouver. We can apply our in-depth knowledge and cutting-edge strategies on your behalf, saving you time and money in the long run. Find out how you can book our experts to boost your organic traffic today.