Local SEO — or local search engine optimization — is a marketing tactic that aims to increase a business’s online visibility for localized searches.
When a business has a strong local presence, they’re much more likely to show up in the top search results for “near me” searches and maps searches. The most obvious example of this is a business appearing in Google’s coveted map-pack — the top 3 local search results, which contains a picture of the business, reviews rating, contact information and additional local schema that helps guide users to take action.
It should be noted that a strong local online presence is not confined solely to Google. For instance, Bing Places for Business also serves up local business profiles to help guide users to the best local search result. Apple does as well.
In fact, there are hundreds of websites, maps apps, social networks, navigation systems, online business directories and voice search tools that help customers find local products and services. It’s important to have a business profile on as many of these as possible (so long as they are relevant) in order to be visible to your customers everywhere they are searching online.
But that’s only half the battle. There are various ranking factors that one needs to take into consideration if they truly want to dominate “near me” searches.
What are local ranking factors? #
Local SEO ranking factors are slightly different than what you would expect if you were engaging a national SEO campaign — however, there is some crossover.
The most significant difference between national SEO and local SEO is that a company does not need a business website in order to engage local SEO and produce real results.
There are dozens of rankings factors that impact online visibility. When it comes to local SEO, the most significant are:
- the number of business profiles on search engines, reviews sites, online directories, maps apps, etc.
- the quality and quantity of reviews
- reviews response rate
- on-page website signals (such as an address linking to a business profile)
- consistent NAP (name, address, and phone number)
- business listing accuracy
- enriched profile data (such as Q&As, exterior and interior photos of one’s business, etc.)
- user signals (such as check-ins and tagged photos)
- profile activity (how frequently a business engages their customers through their business profiles)
The list goes on. However, if you focus on these, you will certainly be able to curate a local online presence that leads to higher customer acquisition.
It’s a lot of work if you choose to do each of these things manually. Fortunately there are tools available to help streamline major portions of your local marketing.
What tools can I use to manage my local SEO? #
Yes, there are many tools available to help businesses manage and optimize their local SEO.
We created Direction Local to provide business owners and managers with everything they need to be successful in a package that is affordable and easy to use.
Our software is an all-inclusive solution that gives businesses all the tools needed to outrank their competition and reach more customers. For instance, our software:
- creates business profiles where you don’t already have profiles
- corrects older listings with inaccurate NAP (name, address, phone number) information
- consolidates reviews so you can respond to customers everywhere they’re leaving feedback
- allows for real-time business updates to be published across multiple directories via API and data aggregators
- contains a publishing suite to engage audiences and customers on Google, Facebook, and more
- uses AI to provide profile optimization suggestions so our clients can reach more customers
- tracks impressions and engagement across listings real-time
When it comes to getting started with local SEO, there is honestly no better time than the present. We know it’s an exhausted phrase, but it’s the truth.
As more and more businesses begin to use software to create, manage, and optimize their local business profiles, it will become harder to break through the clutter and gain a strong foothold on “near me” searches in your area. So, the sooner you can get started the more likely you are to secure those valuable ranking positions. Get in touch with our team of local SEO experts to get started.