Although traditionally SEO has been thought of as a tactic to attract eCommerce traffic, local SEO can substantially increase business for brick and mortar companies and draw in new customers. The fact of the matter is that with the influx of mobile outpacing desktop, local SEO matters more than ever.
NAP Citations and How to Use Them
The Balance describes NAP (name, address, phone number) citations as mentions of your online business that factor into search engine rankings. This can be broken down into directory mentions, such as Yelp, or local citations such as newspapers or trade organizations, the latter of which are the most powerful. These listings improve your search ranking, which makes it more likely that your business will pop up in search results, especially if it’s a local endorsement. This would also count as SEO catering to off-site content that will help direct customers toward your business.
How People Search Local SEO for Businesses
Many people are on the move when searching for a local business, whether it’s researching the best sushi in a particular locale or simply needing to find the nearest hardware store. Google has reported that 95 percent of mobile users look up local information on their devices and it’s mostly to find information about a business such as contact information or an address, according to Econsultancy.
Effectively utilizing local SEO for businesses means that you optimize the ability for your company to appear at the top of searching results by matching local search terms. What’s essential is to research specific keywords that are being used in local searches, rather than the expensive popular keywords that are used for your industry in general.
Off-site Versus On-site SEO Tactics
Traditionally, on-site and off-site SEO tactics are exactly what they sound like, which is to attract people to your business’s website using content that’s on-site or directing them by optimizing off-site content. When you’re dealing with local SEO for businesses, off-site is especially important. Search Engine Land recommends using carefully crafted title and meta description tags, because they count just as much for local SEO as they do for traditional SEO, especially when you include the name of your city or local area.
Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that your business is listed in all off-site directories, and that information people are searching for will be readily available, including address and contact information in the footer. Moz warns not to use generic words or to list an address that isn’t a brick and mortar location, such as a P.O. box.
Be Fully Mobile Equipped
While there will be times when people will search for local businesses using desktop to find services, more often than not they’ll be accessing a search engine through their mobile device. This can frequently be while they’re on the move, especially if looking for an address or recommendation. It’s highly likely that if someone is searching for the best steakhouse in the area on the move, and your establishment comes up, they’ll abandon pursuing the result if they can’t view your website easily.
Local SEO is a great way for brick and mortar businesses to draw customers to their door using the Internet. By having your website come up first in search results, you’ll have first dibs on new customers passing through an area or just someone looking for quick information. By ensuring that your content is optimized for local SEO, you substantially improve your chances of showing up in search results.
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