Just how important is local SEO? Is it worth implementing a local SEO strategy? Will it bring enough revenue to cover the cost of its’ development? To answer these questions, let's have a look at some of the statistics that drive local SEO in 2019.
So far, according to Google, 2019 is looking very good for local SEO. Here are a few of their findings:
Currently, 88% of people who search for products and services using longtail local keywords and find viable results visit or call the businesses they search within 24 hours. Eighty-eight percent! But wait! There's more...
46% of all Google searches involve searching for local information. Not to mention the obvious, but that's just shy of half. Half of all searches on Google revolve around people looking for local info.
We could literally go on all day pulling stat after stat that shows what you are likely already figuring out: local SEO matters and matters big. Moreover, local SEO is mandatory for creating meaningful matches within the SERPs and for streamlining the way people find stuff nearby. It is a simple and very efficient way to get the right people in front of any business in any market anywhere.
There are a number of elements that constitute a good local SEO strategy and you simply cannot neglect or ignore any of them. If your goal is to dominate the SERPs in local searches for similar companies, products, or services, look at the following five areas wherein savvy marketers will be focusing their local SEO strategies this year.
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) listings are a critical element of local SEO for any business that wants to rank higher on the SERPs with local, organic searches. Search engines like Google look at all the information on a page and use the available data to determine the sites that should be shown in geo-targeted searches.
It goes without saying the name, address, and phone number of the business should be correct and up-to-date. This is true not only of the company website but in other places around the Web as well. Both Google and other search platforms cross-reference NAP information to validate the information. For this reason, consistency and accuracy are crucial.
Why all the red tape? Simply put, it's hard to know who to trust these days. Scammers and another shady pseudo-”businesses” often don't have physical addresses or headquarters and subsequently do not list this information on their sites. Legit businesses will almost always include NAP lists on their websites and typically rank higher. Google and the other search platforms do their best to weed out scammers.
Local Link Building
Backlinks are the backbone of off-page SEO so integrating a good plan to create more in 2019 should be a part of your overall SEO strategy. Here are a few ways to use them effectively:
Submit your business as a candidate for local awards - Search for awards that relate to your company's product or service offerings and sign up as a nominee. Follow the instructions on the event website meticulously to ensure entry.
If you are unsure about anything regarding entry procedures, contact the organization directly for assistance. Quite often, your business will get some free online advertising with links directing new organic traffic to your site in the form of blog posts and other pages that spotlight the event. Who knows... you might even win.
Local Social Media Platforms
There are two distinct definitions for this one: local pages on major social networks or local networks themselves. We'll encourage you to seek out the latter independently since not every area has its own social network and some that do simply don't attract enough users to make audience targeting on them a viable effort.
You are far better off reaching out to local groups on the major networks and posting content with calls to action to like and share. It is also a good idea to be an active member of an online group in the target market and build better local SEO there.
Spend the bulk of time and effort engaging where your customers hang out. Do some responsible research and figure out which network(s) provides the best opportunity to engage with users local to your business. Hint: that network isn't always going to be Facebook so don't start there by default – do your market research first.
Geo-targeting involves delivering content that implements specific market targeting to a prospective audience based on geographic location. A business that offers services throughout a particular city, county, or region might, for example, want to create separate pages for different cities, towns, or even neighborhoods.
This is accomplished by seeding each page with variant text and unique local keywords (“quality locksmiths in Parsippany” and “affordable locksmith services in Bayonne” is a good example of how this works).
The only difference between general keywords a local one is that local keywords are “tailed” with the names of specific cities or locales. Using a variety of local keywords can help get the same page indexed for multiple local searches. To continue with the previous example, using these keywords in the same blog post or webpage can help index the page they're on in three separate categories:
Locksmiths in Dutchess County
Hudson Valley Locksmiths
Locksmiths in Poughkeepsie
Since the business serves the entire region, use Hudson Valley. They also have a presence in Poughkeepsie, which means they're also in Dutchess County.
While this is just a thumbnail sketch of the possibilities, the points above clearly communicate the importance of local SEO and doing it right. If you find it difficult to cover the task independently or just aren't getting the results needed for success, contact a local SEO agency and start with a site audit for local search capability. From there, organizing a better and more effective strategy should be easier to create and implement into your overall content strategy.
Elizabeth Price is a freelance writer interested in education, marketing, and business-related topics. A former Psychology student of Montclair State University, she is still an active learner eager to research almost any topic. Elizabeth also works as an assistant editor at EssayPro, a service that provides top-notch help with academic essay writing. You can reach here on Twitter or drop her a letter.