As the name suggests this is for businesses that have local presence, through an offline store or company office as customer transaction point. There are some businesses that have high interest in this like a saloon in a locality, Restaurant, hotel, fast food joint, tailor & dresser, flower shop etc to name a few. Customer doing the search is looking at options buy the product or service by going to the point of sale. Such searches will have the name, address , web site or social media link and mobile number of the local business.
It is realized that about 20% of desktop users make local searches and the number is as high as 50% or more in case of mobile searches. Like organic seo, there are no charges for clicking on local seo.
Type of businesses that need local SEO Thumb rule – any business that has a local address and have customers walking in for services – like a dentist , Spa, weight loss centre, multi speciality hospital, nursing home , Pizza store etc. This is quite similar to the physical yellow pages which people used to refer when search engines were not evolved. People used to search the yellow pages to find out the name, address and contact number.
Difference between local seo and normal Seo–One of course is the physical location as mentioned above, second difference lies in the fact that even if you do not have a web site, you can still be found basis your Google plus page, Third difference is that there is address vertification process that follows from Google to ensure that business exists in the physical location.
Process for doing local SEO - While there is not much of difference in the basic approach on local seo and normal seo, but the factors that impact local seo are given below…
Web site optimization.
- Reviews & Recommendations
- Web site optimization
Inclusion of location based key words - Example for a Dentist in Navi Mumbai or more specifically in some part of Navi Mumbai – lets say Dentist in Navi MumbaiVashi may be Dentist in Vashi ( which is in Navi Mumbai). Such key words need to be part of the content as many times without damaging the user experience, Content writing is a skilful job, you have to be just right, more usage or less usage both fall under adverse levels. Same thing implies to use of right page title and h1 & h2, right meta description.
Location on every web page – It is important to mention the contact address of business with name contact number clearly mentioned on landing page or if it is a web site than it needs to be on every web page.
Unique content creation -Blogging is a way to keep feeding fresh content to the search engine, this can capture local events or activities and provide backlinks to web site or landing page, which will help in local seo efforts.
Optimize web site for mobile -Since 50% of mobile searches are location based, any strategy on local seo would be incomplete without optimization of web site for mobile users. This basically means that web sites should preferably be responsive or optimized for mobile.
Citations- Google likes to keep things tricky, so there is some difference in the approach to organic seo and local seo. To start with local seo needs to be listed in Google places with relevant key words, name, address and phone number of the the business location. Once that is done efforts on citation start. What is Citation ?Citation means visibility of your business’s NAM (name, address and phone number) on various web sites, this mention may not may not be complete but to get the full results of effort it should be same as mentioned in the google places listing. A special mention on name – if your business name ends with Private limited then, Citations should mention the same and not Pvt ltd. Similarly same landline or mobile number, Pl. refrain from using toll free numbers for this.
Citations does to local seo what links do to organic seo, Citations may or may not have links, when ever a search is made with reference to location on google, other things being equal a site with more number of Citations is likely to be ranked higher.
Earlier belief was that only way to get Citations for local seo is to get listed in local directories, while there are many other ways as well like social media, blogs, yelp.com, Image and video description, press release, articles, forum signatures, press release.
Reviews & Recommendations –Reviews are an important source of reference for potential buyers as well as for search engines, when it comes to reviews – it is no brainer to guess positive reviews count more and higher the number of reviews better it is. There are various ways that can help a business get reviews and recommendations….
CTA ( Call to action at check out page) – this along with a line requesting the buyer to share the opinion on experience.
E mail - Not all consumers may be willing to share opinion at the time of check out, a polite mail on the same after a few week gap may be a good idea.
At the physical location – at the time of check out from physical store, cashier can request the buyer to share his review.
Pl. refrain from activities that are fake in nature, or paying some one for getting artificial reviews. Social media is a good way to connect with prospective buyers and existing customers and observe their recommendations and reviews and link them to the web site.