*** Author’s Note: We originally published this blog post in September of 2019. To improve the quality of the post, we have expanded it and added updated information. We hope you enjoy this new version even more than the original! ***
They Understand How Local SEO Works
Welcome to part eight of the “How to Select an SEO Company” series. In our last section, we covered the topic of blackhat SEO tactics and why you should make sure you don’t hire a company who will practice them. In this section, we are going to discuss finding an SEO company who knows how to boost your local SEO rankings.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the effort to rank well for certain keywords in a specific area. It is the tactics that impact searches made locally, as opposed to nationally. This way, people in your service area come across your website more easily.
Local SEO is a great practice if you are trying to get more business from people in your local area. For example, if you are a local small business, you likely want to get more foot traffic. Or, if you are a service-based company, and you only serve a specific location, it’s important to rank well for that area. Using local SEO tactics can help you reach more local customers and drive sales.
How to Practice Local SEO
There are a handful of tactics that benefit local searches over national searches. Some tactics are very similar to national searches. And, some tactics you may be doing already!
Use Local Keywords
Using local keywords such as a city name or a street are one method of improving your local visibility. For example, in our local SEO strategy, we use “Pensacola SEO agency” or “SEO Pensacola”. A landscaping company may use “Landscapers Gulf Breeze” or “Gulf Breeze landscaping”. Before you or your SEO company choose which keywords to use, it’s important to look at the traffic of these keywords to ensure you use the best ones. Then, once you choose your keywords, you can use them on your website and in your content.
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
You can also practice local SEO by focusing on your Google My Business listing. By adding your business hours, your service locations and posting regularly, you can drastically improve your local SEO rankings. You should also respond to every review so your listing are active. Additionally, you should use the keywords you would like to rank for in your services and description. This can take a great deal of time, so hiring an SEO company to manage your account is a great idea.
Did you know the images you use on your website, social media, and Google My Business listing have locations tied to them? We always recommend geo-tagging images, because this shows Google where you run your business from. You will need to either buy a tool for this, or ask a SEO company to do it for you. Each time you upload an image tied to your company with a geotag, you are helping your local SEO rankings.
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What Businesses Should Practice Local SEO?
Just about every business should be practicing local SEO. Many people assume that just because they offer services or products online, they shouldn’t practice local SEO. However, this isn’t the case. Traditional SEO will help you rank well nationally, but this just isn’t helpful for local companies. You can rank well for keywords all over the world, but if you are not ranking well in your local area, you may not see as many local leads. Additionally, it can be a waste of money. This is why you want to hire an SEO company who understands how local SEO works.
Unless you only offer your services or products online, and local customers do not receive anything different, local SEO is very important. If you have customers from all over the world, but also have a local store, you should be practicing local SEO as well. Local businesses like stores and those in the service-based industry should be prioritizing local SEO more than anyone. For example, if you own a tire repair shop and only offer in-person services, local SEO is very important.
Why Should You Practice It?
Most people have found themselves searching for a local business near them. Whether we search for a pizza restaurant, coffee shop, or clothing store, most of us have relied on local search results. The goal for local SEO is to rank above local competitors when people are searching for a local business. This can help drive sales and foot traffic when your business is the first to show up.
An SEO company should know how to help their clients practice local SEO, as it is very important for seeing results. If there is no way for someone in a different state to purchase your products, there isn’t much of a point to rank well in their area so they visit your website. You would want to rank well in your local area. Your SEO company should know how to help you and the factors that impact your local search result rankings.
Factors That Impact It
As mentioned above, one of the most effective tools to help local search rankings is Google My Business. This is your business listing found on Google. Google My Business listings show up as search results when someone is using Google to search for a local business. It is completely free to create a Google My Business listing for your business, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. The more detailed a listing is and the more reviews it has, the higher it will rank in search results. You should also include the keywords you want to rank for in your description. If you are interested in learning more about Google My Business, you may enjoy our blog post, “Why and How to Use Google My Business”.
Another factor that helps your website show up in local search results is the use of keywords. Chances are, you know to use the keywords you want to rank for on your website. You can also use the names of the cities you want to rank for in your content. For example, if you want to rank well for “coffee in Pensacola, Florida,” you can use those keywords in your website content. This will help you see a higher ranking in search engines.
SEO Companies Knowing About Local SEO
There are many other factors that affect local SEO, so it is important you hire an SEO company who knows how to practice it. You are much more likely to see an increase in sales if you practice local SEO. To make sure an SEO company will know how to help you practice local SEO, ask them if they have any experience with it. You can also ask them what tactics they use to improve local SEO rankings. When you are interviewing different companies, hire one who has experience and sounds confident in improving your local SEO rankings.