Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. According to statistics, small businesses account for 99.7% of all businesses in the United States. That is an impressive number, and it should not be ignored by business owners. If you are a small business owner, then you need to make sure that you are doing everything possible to optimize your website for local search engines. But why is local SEO an accepted strategy? Why should you pay attention to it this year?
What is Local SEO?
To start, let’s cover the basics. What is local SEO? It is the practice of optimizing your website for search engines to rank higher in local search results. When someone searches for a product or service that you offer in their area, you want your business to appear as one of the first results. As an example, let’s say you own a pizza shop in Los Angeles. When someone searches “pizza shop Los Angeles”, you want your website to appear as one of the top options. Whether it’s ‘shoes Houston’, ‘Strawberry SEO‘, or ‘New York tennis rackets’ – if you’re a local business, you want to be one of the first options that come up in a search.
How Important is Local SEO?
Local SEO is important for two main reasons – the first reason is that it helps you to attract local customers. If your website appears as one of the top results for a search in your area, you’re more likely to get local customers coming to your shop or using your service. Have you ever searched for a local business on Google and chosen one of the options that came up on the first page of results? If so, your prospective customers have done the same. If you can get into the elite list of suggestions, you’re more likely to bring in business.
The second reason that Local SEO is important is related to the first – it can help you to increase your brand awareness. If you’re a small business, chances are that most of your customers come from your immediate area. But if you can get your name and your brand out there through local SEO, you may find that you attract customers from further afield.
So, you can attract local customers, boost brand awareness, and compete with other services in the niche. After all, most people look online for the services they need – if you’re not ranking highly, you’re missing out.
How Do You Get Started with Local SEO?
At this point, you understand why local SEO is important for small businesses, but how do you get started? Firstly, if you don’t have knowledge of local SEO in the business, it’s worth bringing someone in who does. Whether this is hiring an expert or outsourcing to an SEO service, this is up to you.
Once you have a plan of action, there are some key things you can do to improve your local SEO ranking. For example, you should make sure your website is up to date and mobile-friendly. Secondly, ensure you have all the relevant local information on your website, such as your address, phone number, and opening hours.
You should also create local content, such as blog posts or social media posts, that mention your location. In addition, you can encourage customers to leave reviews on popular platforms such as Google and Yelp. Finally, make sure you claim your business listings on platforms such as Google My Business and Bing Places.
By following these tips, you can improve your local SEO this year!