Local SEO: An essential strategy for impacting online and offline sales  – Belo + Company

Local search attracts buyers in your service areas who are close to a purchasing decision. For brands with multiple locations, such as restaurants or retail stores, quality local listings and positive reviews are crucial for capturing those buyers’ attention while they’re searching online — either by your name or by what you offer. Local search terms have become increasingly important as search engines recognize local intent and prioritize those results.

Think of it like this: Branded search is your new homepage. It’s someone’s first encounter with your business online, so you’d better make it count — or risk losing that customer to a competitor. Plus, you know there’s a high probability the person searching online wants to make a connection with you, whether it’s a phone call, in-store visit, or online purchase.

Why does local search engine optimization (SEO) matter?

If you need more evidence to care about local SEO, consider these statistics:

What does all of this mean? Essentially, if your local listings are incorrect or inadequate — wrong phone number, out-of-date address, inaccurate store hours — you risk losing visibility in search, which hinders online and in-store traffic and sales. Not only that, it turns off buyers, as do few or bad reviews.

Google Maps Pack is the place to be

With more than 80% of market share, Google is by far the most popular search engine, which is why everyone is so focused on Google (but its dominance also makes it the most competitive environment for SEO). The Google Maps pack — aka the “3-pack” or “local pack” — is the group of three listings displayed on a SERP for a local search.

Due to the rise of searches with local intent, the map pack now takes up a huge amount of real estate on local search results — especially on mobile — pushing more traditional search results further down the page. So how you rank in the map pack determines where you show up on the SERP. In other words, ranking No. 1 in local search means ranking No. 1 in the map pack.

So if you’re a local business, and your goal is to rank well in search, then you need to be in the local pack.

Tips for improving your local SEO

Whether you’re a small business with only a few locations or a national brand with hundreds of storefronts, you need to pay attention to your local search rankings. If you don’t, you’re missing out on sales.

Here’s a checklist for ensuring you’re doing all the right things to influence local SEO:

How to best manage your brand’s local presence

The more locations you have, the more you have to worry about. Thankfully, there are solutions out there for managing such things — listings, reputation, local pages — and we offer one of them. Our software-as-a-service platform, combined with active involvement from our SEO whizzes, takes the guesswork and anxiety out of your local presence management, so you can operate more efficiently and preserve hard-earned brand equity. With us, you can optimize your local listings across all sites, review and respond to every review from every source and analyze buyer sentiment, develop user- and SEO-friendly local pages, and get detailed reporting on all of it. We’re ready when you are.

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