One of the best ways to increase your customer base in Charlotte is to capture and own the local search space. This is called Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You know it is important and your potential customers know it is important. Before accepting these truths, we need to fully understand what exactly local SEO is, why it is important, and how it impacts businesses.
This article gives you a clear picture as to why local SEO is vital and how it can help your business grow by leaps and bounds.
What is Local SEO?
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) promotes your business’ website visibility on location-based searches. In many ways, local SEO similar to regular SEO practices with one major exception. Local SEO focuses on making sure your website is found by users searching for it in that specific location.
Location based searches include queries with certain geo qualifiers; such as Charlotte, NC or “near me”. Additionally, Google can identify the geolocation of a user and thus provide relevant search results. The map pack as shown above is going to get a lot of eyeballs so this needs to be optimized as much as possible.
Why Local SEO is Important
Local SEO is all the more important if your business has a physical location or specializes in serving a specific area. According to a study by Forbes, 95% of smartphone users have used their device to perform local searches. Around 61% of those users called the store directly from the search results; while 59% of those users visited the physical location within 24 hours.
Local results in search are becoming increasingly competitive. The stats from the Forbes study indicate that users who find your business in a local search are highly qualified. Or said more simply, they’re more likely to make a purchase at your business.
How to Improve My Local SEO
By now, you’re probably thinking “What can my business do to capture these leads?” The following tips will help guide you through optimization of your company’s website to help capture local search traffic. .
Google My Business
Google Business Profile (previously called Google My Business) is a free tool from Google that helps business owners manage their online presence. Google Business offers the greatest impact for brands seeking local exposure. GBP does not replace your existing website. Instead it compliments it by giving your existing website a public identity and presence with a listing on Google. The information you provide in your Google Business Profile listing can show up in Google Search, Google Maps, and various third party apps that use Google’s API.
Local Search Citations
Another way to capture local search is to make sure that your business is verified by other highly authoritative websites. You can do this through Moz Local. Moz Local consolidates all your online listings across the web. This allows you to verify your business listings on sites like Yelp, YellowPages, Bing, and others. Furthermore, Moz Local distributes your business listings to authoritative directories once your business is verified on Google or FaceBook. By having your business listed in authoritative listings, it sends a signal to Google that your business is legitimate.
One of the easiest ways to improve your local search presence is to encourage customer reviews on Google. Online customer reviews are known to impact search rankings, consumer trust, and click through rate! Google requires a minimum of five reviews on your Google Business Profile listing before it starts showing your customer reviews in search results.
Mobile Friendly Website
In recent years, searches via a mobile device have surpassed searches from a desktop device. Now more than ever it is important to have a mobile friendly website. For starters, Google prioritizes mobile friendly websites in their search rankings. Equally important in having a mobile friendly device is the user experience. We’ve all experienced the frustration of a website that isn’t mobile friendly. The majority of users will return back to the search results to find a mobile optimized site; ultimately costing your company a sale. Partnering with web design experts is the best way to ensure your company’s website provides a positive user experience.
How Does Local SEO Impact My Business?
If you own a small business, optimizing your local SEO can be extremely rewarding. Below are a few of the benefits of Local SEO:
- Local SEO helps potential customers discover your business. In a city like Charlotte where tourists are plentiful, many users will use the “near me” tag in their search. If your local SEO is optimized, you stand a better chance at capturing that traffic.
- Local SEO provides potential customers the information they want, when they want it. For example, if your business has free WiFi, displaying that information will attract customers who are looking for exactly that.
- Local SEO creates trust. The more information people have about your business, by way of reviews, address, operating hours, etc, the more likely people are to view your business as trustworthy.
Now that you know how Local SEO can be beneficial to your business, you can better manage your online presence and increase your client base. You can further enhance your local search presence by hiring local SEO experts in Charlotte. This will not only boost your Local SEO but also help grow your business in Charlotte.