Local SEO - An Area You Shouldn't Ignore
How many times have you first searched for something on the Internet, and only after making an online selection did you go to the locations that made it into your shortlist? That's how most people today make decisions about buying products or services, counting on the search engine to offer all those who deserve it.
That's why there are no more businesses that will say "I don't need it, I only work locally" for a presence in the search engine. Local inquiries are highly accurate and are highly likely to convert to a purchase from one of the top-ranked sites.
If you are not satisfied with your positions, it is time for Local SEO. Schedule a completely free consultation and find out how we manage the website optimization process.
What we offer
Our SEO experts will help you in analyzing the current situation and competition, as well as in finding the most profitable "local" keywords for which you should position yourself. After that, we create an SEO strategy together, one of our experts works on optimizing your site, we monitor the progress of positions and the growth of visits and look for opportunities to further increase organic visits.
Why is this important?
How important it is to position a site for local inquiries is best described by numbers from several serious surveys.
A whopping 50% of people who search for local queries on their phone, visit the physical location of that business within a day
Neverovatnih 50% ljudi koji preko svog telefona pretražuju lokalne upite, u roku od jednog dana poseti i fizičku lokaciju
As much as 46% of all searches have a local character
18% of local mobile searches are completed with a purchase within a day
18% lokalnih mobilnih pretraga se završi kupovinom u roku od jednog dana.
Elements of local optimization
What is needed to optimize your site is also needed for local SEO. Good On page optimization of the site based on the previously done analysis of keywords is a mandatory part. We also wrote about the increase in the number of incoming links on the Site Optimization page.
But local SEO means a lot more. First of all, Google My Business profile optimization and positioning on the Google Local Pack. With most local searches, Google will show you the Local Pack in almost the entire first screen, with a map and contact information of the three businesses it finds most relevant to what you're looking for. So, it takes into account your location and the location of the business. Then, based on the query you are searching, your intention intersects with the "offer" of the business, the content on their website and Google My Business profile.
Placement in local search is also affected by the number and quality of ratings you have on Google My Business, the keywords mentioned in those ratings, the mention of your name, address and phone on other sites, directories and listings…
Local SEO is not a simple matter, but we will break it down into several understandable processes, which together affect the final outcome.
Keyword research and On page optimization
In a business with a local character, the owners often fall into the trap of their mistaken opinion that potential customers know about them, because they have been doing business in the local market for a long time. However, this is not quite so. People do not keep information in their head that they do not constantly need.
After all, the data show that there is a sizeable quantity of monthly searches for queries such as "furniture showroom Valjevo", or "corner couches Valjevo". This means that customers do not keep in mind where the furniture showrooms are at the store, but ask Google when they need it. Along the way, they will also see who has been evaluated, what are the working hours, what is on offer and the like. This search will determine the further course of the purchase, by determining which showroom is shortlisted and which is out.
Keyword research must be the first step in site optimization. It is necessary to find all relevant keywords that also contain the name of the location in them.
After that, the content of the site needs to be optimized for these queries as well. If we do not clearly signal to Google through the content of the site that we are a furniture showroom in that and that city, then it is not very likely that we will appear in the search results for these keywords.
Local link building
Links are one of the key factors for ranking sites on Google Search. And to improve the ranking for local queries, we must try to:
- bring links from relevant local sites
- use the local designation (city name) in anchor text when linking
The essence of link building is the same as in general SEO, only for local results it is good to have links from local sites. These can be sites of partners, suppliers, distributors. Then the websites of local professional associations or chambers of commerce, business directories, address books and classifieds, local media.
Any cooperation, sponsorship or any action at the local level is an opportunity to bring a link, but also for branding in the local community.
Google My Business
Managing a Google My Business profile is extremely important for local SEO, a fact that is often overlooked. In practice, we constantly face the fact that the client does not have a GMB profile or does not know who manages it. However, GMB can be a powerful tool for any local business, if used in the right way.
First, in the profile name, you need to put the business name in the same form as it appears on your site and on third-party sites. For Google, this is the basic and easiest way to verify credibility. A serious brand always has the same name. Do not declare yourself on the GMB profile as a Some Brand Company ltd, on the site only as a Some Brand, and on a third party as a Some Brand Company.
Secondly, it is important to choose the appropriate category from those offered. Many think that this is where they are done dealing with the categorization of their business, but GMB offers the possibility of adding additional categories, which will give even more precise information about which queries your business should appear in.
After categorization, fill in all other fields, such as working hours, price list, logo, photos of the space outside and inside, description.
More information gives more options to get “singled out” by Google for us.
Once we have filled out the profile, we are at the beginning. Because this is not a one-time job. We need to update the information as needed, and monitor comments and ratings on an ongoing basis. And to respond to every rating, whether positive or negative. The answer is an opportunity to find out what clients were not satisfied with, to try to fix things, to show future clients that we care. And of course, to run a keyword through the comments.
NAP means Name, Address and Phone.
And what does this have to do with site positioning?
We've already touched on this above. Google will compare the name, address and phone from your site with the same information elsewhere on the web. If everything coincides, there is no doubt that it is a serious company. It is therefore recommended that you always provide the address in the same form. For example, to always be "Jovana Jovanovića Zmaja 35", and not "Str. Jovana Jovanovića Zmaja 35”, or “J. J. Zmaja 35” or “ J. J. Zmaja 35 street” and the like. The same recommendation applies to the format in which you specify the phone number.
Once you've matched the NAP on your site and on your Google My Business profile, it's time to move on and do the same across all third-party sites and listings where you appear. And if you don't show up on third party sites, that's something you need to fix. Namely, what kind of a local business is this that is not mentioned anywhere? Such companies are also doubted by potential clients, as well as Google. In every area of business, as well as in every market, there are business portals and directories where hundreds of real companies are listed. If you want to find yourself in search results, you must also find yourself on such portals. And with unified NAP data.
The Map Pack
You noticed that with a large number of searches, Google first provides a map with three offered businesses that it believes match your query. The results that will appear in the Local Pack, also called The Map Pack, depend on the location from which it is searched, as the algorithm tries to find the nearest relevant answer. If you type “hairdresser” on your phone from different locations, you will get quite different answers. This The Map Pack occupies the entire first screen, and only below it are ranked the sites in an organic search.
According to research done by MOZ on the factors that affect the Local Pack ranking, signals from the Google My Business profile have the greatest impact. Incoming links, quality and quantity of ratings and On Page SEO are three other very important factors, and the overall results are to a lesser extent influenced by more mentions on other sites, signals from social networks, etc.