What is Local SEO & Why is It Important?

Local SEO increases your website's online visibility to local customers in your area. It helps boost site visitors and grow conversions and sales.

by Courtney Herda

Local SEO | Marketing Analytics | SEO

Reading Time | 3 min

There are over 30 million small businesses in the United States, forming the lifeblood of our economy. From mom-and-pop shops to boutique restaurants, these small enterprises drive job creation, economic growth, and the well-being of our communities. 

Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) harnesses the power of the community to catapult small and local businesses to success. It optimizes your online presence to improve your website’s visibility in the locations where your potential customers or users search. This begs the question: is your business visible to your local audience? We explore why it’s crucial that you check.

Why is a Local SEO Strategy Important?

When someone searches online for your products or services in your area, you want your business to appear at the top of their search results page. While closely linked to traditional SEO, local SEO is more nuanced and involves slightly different approaches to content-first, authority-building SEO efforts. Let’s look at what makes local SEO a stand-out tool in your marketing toolkit, starting with its purpose.

What is the Role of Local SEO?

The purpose of local SEO is to: 

  1. Increase visibility, particularly in a specific area: When you optimize your online presence for local search, you increase your visibility to potential customers searching for your products or services in your area. This could mean in your city, region, county, or even just your part of town. 
  2. Improve credibility: Local search results often include customer reviews and ratings, which can help improve your credibility and reputation in your area. 43% of consumers regularly read reviews when searching for local businesses, and 49% trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from family or friends. In short, happy customers are some of the best marketing tools in your arsenal. 
  3. Drive targeted traffic: Local SEO helps you reach customers who are most likely interested in your products or services as they search specifically for what you offer in their area. For example, a lifestyle brand in Atlanta, GA, will want to be top of the search results when a user looks for “handbags for sale in Atlanta.” 

What Are the Important Factors to Consider in Local SEO?

There are three key components to local SEO:

1. The first critical component of local SEO is directory listings. 

Directory listings are online directories where businesses can list their key information, such as their business name, address, phone number (NAP), and website. These directories are important because they help search engines (like Google) verify your business information and improve your online presence.

2. Another vital factor in local SEO is tracking your rankings in local markets. 

This involves monitoring where your business appears in local search results for specific keywords and phrases. By tracking this data, you can monitor possible drops in your rankings or surges in those of your competitors, and identify areas where you need to improve your optimization efforts. 

It’s essential to keep an eye on your local competitors! By analyzing your competitors’ online presence and SEO strategies, you can identify areas where you can improve and stay ahead of the competition. Tracking the impact of your SEO strategies over time and keeping an eye on your competitors ensures greater ranking success and more customers. 

3. Finally, we have NAP, another critical aspect of local SEO. 

Your business’s NAP – an abbreviation for Name, Address, and Phone number – must be consistent across all online directories and platforms. Inconsistent NAP information can hurt your SEO efforts and make it difficult for customers to find you online. If your business has relocated at some point or changed phone numbers or URLs, you may have inconsistent NAP information. So, you must check that your business’s details are the same across all your social media platforms, website, email signatures, and directories.

For some businesses, local SEO is an essential part of their online marketing strategy. Optimizing your online presence for local search can increase your business’s visibility, online credibility, and targeted traffic, leading to more customers and increased profits. 

Add Local SEO to Your Marketing Toolkit

As our economy continues to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to use all the tools in our toolbox to support local businesses and help them thrive. SiteCare’s Local SEO services are an incredibly affordable option for small-to-medium enterprises looking to grow, monitor, and optimize their online visibility in their local markets. 

If you’re interested in adding this service to your SiteCare plan, contact a member of our team for assistance

Courtney Herda

Courtney Herda, Director of Digital Marketing, is a digital marketing expert based in Knoxville, TN, with more than 16 years of experience in online marketing and strategy. Prior to joining SiteCare, she ran her own digital agency for almost a decade. She also teaches Digital Marketing Strategy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, educating future marketers about utilizing digital marketing in a truly practical way.

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