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Why Local SEO Is Important? Is SEO Important for Local Search?
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a subcategory of general SEO. It aims to make sure that people can find your business online when making relevant local searches. The main goal of local SEO is to promote a business’s visibility against local queries such as finding a doctor or a nearby lawyer.
It uses queries with geo qualifiers like state, city, service area, zip code, etc. It also includes searches with ‘near me’ in the end. Google recognizes these local queries and provides relevant results using the geo-location filter for that particular area.
Why Local SEO Is Important?
As per one of the studies by Forbes, over 95% of users would use their phones to conduct local business queries. Of those, 61% would call the business and 59% would visit.
The study shows great promise and the potential that location-based queries carry for local businesses. These numbers are expected to only increase.
Also, since people making these queries are actively searching for local services/products, they are already qualified leads. That means the conversion rates are naturally higher. All you have to do is make sure you show up in SERPs against local searches.
What Is the Difference Between SEO and Local SEO?
Normal SEO is GLOBAL whereas local SEO is, well, LOCAL. In the latter, the focus is on capturing the audience residing within your community as opposed to targeting people from everywhere.
When you understand this basic difference, it gets easier to develop more promising methods that can better capture qualified leads. This is not to say that general SEO is not important. In reality, when you know the basics of global SEO for IT companies, it serves as a solid platform for your local efforts. You have a better knowledge of where to start.
The important thing is to dive deeper into a specific form of optimization that targets specifically the kind of customers your business needs. Only then, you will get the best possible results and highest ROI.
Who Benefits the Most From Local SEO?
- Lawyers & Law Firms
One great thing about local search results is that customers looking for relevant businesses get to click the ‘call button’. They can connect with the business all from within a click from their mobile phone.
The way lawyers benefit from local SEO is that when a client searches for ‘[type of] lawyer’ or attorney – they will find targeted results for their location which they can call. Ideally, your local optimization efforts should show you on the first page of local search results with a ‘call us’ CTA.
This is beneficial for lawyers and law firms because someone who needs urgent legal consultation would like to find a lawyer quickly from their Google searches.
- Doctors & Medical Practices
It’s natural for people to ideally find a nearby doctor, and/or medical practitioner. Rarely, anyone likes to travel across the city or out of town to go see a doctor. They want someone they can visit frequently during emergencies.
Local SEO for doctors, if done right, should show up the practitioner’s name along with the ‘directions link’ redirecting the user to Google maps.
Google Maps come in handy for help with directions so searchers can book an appointment comfortably. Directions also tell them how far the doctor’s office is from their home so they can pick and choose.
Restaurants happen to enjoy the highest benefit from local SEO efforts. People who are out and about need relevant restaurant results immediately. Restaurants thrive on this immediacy of required information as these searchers want something as quickly as possible.
People can see reviews, photos, and locations to assess the quality of food, service, ambiance, and neighborhood all from local searches. These are the aspects that local SEO works on.
That’s the reason local SEO can be most lucrative for those in the hospitality and food business.
How Can You Improve Your Local SEO
- Link Building
Link building involves getting other relevant web pages (preferably high-quality) to link back to your site/content. Link building can be done both internally (within the site) and externally (with other websites).
We already talked about external link building. In the case of internal linking – you look for relevant places in a content copy where it makes sense to reference other blogs from your collection. The idea is to help out the user by offering him helpful and relevant information without leaving the site.
However, when we talk about local SEO, it’s observed that external link building is more profitable because it allows more users to check out your site from relevant sources where local information and listings are available.
- Meta Description and Title Tags
To define a meta description – it’s a tiny bit of information that tells search engines and users in SERPs what the content on your site is all about. A title tag, on the other hand, is the title of your page.
Both local and general SEO must include relevant keywords within the title tag and description. This helps to promote content visibility by telling the search engine crawlers about your content’s relevance against queries in your industry.
- Keyword Research
Keyword research continues to remain the same for the most part. Although some aspects have changed for local SEO. With the introduction of devices like Google Home, Amazon Echo, Alexa, and smartphones with voice search options, a new way of executing local searches has emerged.
Now, using voice search – people are likely to say ‘find a lawyer near me’ rather than typing it out. Because of this, local search queries happen to be longer, more conversational, and informal.
Therefore, it’s advised to service-oriented industries to try a few variations of keywords. Be sure that the keywords have a conversational focus and tone.
SEO continues to remain an integral part of local optimization efforts. Only a few aspects have changed. Make sure you incorporate those in your future efforts.