Why Is Local SEO Important?

You’ve probably heard of SEO or search engine optimization. You may have even heard of some of its benefits for businesses, but did you know there are different types of SEO? Local SEO is aimed at bringing in traffic from a specific area—your local area.

Who Uses Local SEO?

Local SEO is most commonly utilized by companies that don’t have a global or even national reach, such as brick-and-mortar shops who just want residents to know who they are and what they offer locally.

Additionally, a business that offers a service that’s enhanced by their location might benefit from local SEO. For instance, if you were in Philadelphia and planning to hire an SEO agency to help you improve your site, you’d want a local Philadelphia SEO company that understands local slang and terminology. In this way, even though that SEO company may serve customers across the nation, including local SEO would also be wise for them.

How Does Local SEO Differ From SEO In General?

The top three positions on Google get the most interactions, and there’s less competition for location-specific searches. For example, the search term, “Philly sandwich” would be very difficult to rank #1 for, but add a location, especially a small town, and your job just got much easier.

Google also places a strong emphasis on the locations of websites in local results so that big sites with high authority can’t just create a ton of pages including location keywords. This means a small mom-and-pops restaurant could outrank a web giant with proper SEO for their location. Their business number and address featured prominently on their website are critical to this occurrence.

In essence, you could think of local SEO as a very specific form of utilizing long-tail keywords to pull in more traffic—and Google helps the process.

How Do You Improve Your Local SEO?

First, ensure your businesses information is correct. Do you have the right address and phone number listed? Go to every website your information is listed on and ensure they are all the same.
Not only will Google decrease your ranking if you don’t have an address up, but it will also decrease it if it is not uniform online.

Next, search out third parties that can list your business information, such as Facebook and Yelp. While not all of these sites or directories off do-follow links (the type that improves your search ranking the most), they do show Google—and your potential customers— that you’re a legitimate business. They build trust, and trust is very important.

Some of these websites will charge money for you to list your information. Be sure to research sites of this variety carefully. A link from a bad site can hurt more than help on top of being costly.

As you can see, local SEO is critical if your business targets people in a specific area, and is actually easier to implement than many other SEO techniques.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.