When you’re running a business, everything you can do to boost your profits will lead to success. If you have a website that isn’t optimized for relevant local search terms, you’re missing out on potential revenue.
Without a well-done SEO strategy, your business won’t appear at the top of the results on Google’s search engine results page (SERP). You’ll be outranked by other local businesses in your industry, meaning that your competition will get better visibility by ranking higher. Users are more likely to click on results that appear on the first page, and towards the top.
Those local searches are not something to brush aside. Without them, you’re missing out on an untold amount of sales opportunities with every passing day. SEO is crucial for local businesses because the people they want to attract live in the area. In fact, 46% of all Google searches are locally based. That’s why it’s so important to find your local SEO ranking and start making it to the top of the SERP.
Before you can improve, you must know where you’re starting from. To find out more about how you rank on Google and how to use local link building to your advantage, you must first find your rank position. This blog digs deeper into what you need to know about SEO and applying it locally to get the results you want to see.
What Is Local SEO Ranking?
Local SEO optimizes websites to increase their traffic, build leads, and develop brand awareness from local searches. To accomplish this, you will need to find local keywords, optimize your Google My Business profile, and build NAP citations.
Today’s consumers have the ability to connect to you right in the palm of their hand. If you need more compelling evidence that using local SEO is a must-do for your business, know that over 50% of searches with the words ‘near me’ at the end result in a visit to that business. Additionally, 76% of people who search for local businesses visit a business within 24 hours while 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
Local SEO is directly tied to search intent, and revenue for local businesses. Hence, local SEO is a huge opportunity for you to improve. If you can put your local business at the top of these searches, you’ll be getting more traffic through your doors.
The Benefits of Focusing on Local Searches
When your brand ranks high in local queries, you will reap the benefits. For starters, you’ll get a huge boost to your brand awareness. You’ll also increase foot traffic to your store.
Additionally, you’ll improve your credibility with both existing and prospective customers while cultivating strong connections with your target audience. Since using local rankings has big benefits for your business, you don’t want to miss out on local search engine optimization. Make your business more visible in local search results to stay ahead of the competition.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO ranking factors are easier to think of as a two-part system that works in harmony. Google search results are shown in two types for local search results – the map pack and organic, blue link results. Ranking in both of them is the best way to get to the top.
Map Pack Results
Also known as the local pack, the map pack is a significant feature of Google’s SERP. It shows the results for the top local business listings and a Google map of their location. When doing a search of your own, you will usually see the map at the top of the Google search results in a local search. Curious how you can track your Local Map Pack rankings?
Organic Search Results
Organic search results are the blue links that you may already recognize. You can find them under the results from the map pack.
How Do I Check My SEO Ranking?
Local rankings stand to increase profits for your local business, and it begins with learning how to find your SEO rank. One way is to use Google’s SEO Checker, which allows you to simply enter your URL and see how Google views your website.
This basic feedback and insight will let you know how well your website is optimized for a local SEO campaign. It provides results on a scale of 0 to 100. A score between 100 and 90 is considered good, while anything from 70 to 50 needs improvement. Naturally, if your score is below 50, you need to make some changes to improve your local search ranking.
Additionally, there are other sites that offer a free way to check your local ranking. However, there are software services you can engage in for a small fee that are worth the investment. These often come with an easy-to-understand interface, allowing even those with little understanding of local SEO basics to understand the process. Look for one that offers a free trial that can help you get acquainted with the software.
As for Google, when someone searches for a business, such as a restaurant or a hardware shop near their location, they’ll get local results from Google Maps in the search function. Improving your business’s local ranking can be done by using Google Business Profile which allows you to claim your business as your own and update the information for your business.
Updating this information is crucial because it makes your business more visible. If you do a search of your business and it doesn’t show up in the relevant searches for your area, you need to make some changes.
As a local business owner, your store’s data should be complete and your business locations verified. You should ensure your hours are accurate and it helps to add photos. Perhaps the most important ranking factor of all for your business profile is managing and responding to reviews. Reviews have also grown in importance map pack rankings.
Keep in mind that local results are based mostly on their relevance, distance, and prominence. For example, the algorithm might show a business that is farther away but has a better chance of offering what someone is looking for over one that is closer. This would make it rank higher for local results.
How Do I Utilize SEO for My Website?
Now that you’ve made it this far, you’re likely wondering how you can use SEO so your website gets better local rankings. Local keyword research is the path that will get you there. Understanding how people search for local services is the key because it will help you optimize your website.
Choose the Right Target Keywords
In order to begin showing up in searches with local intent, it is essential to find and use relevant service-based keywords. As an example, let’s say you run an AC repair business. You have to think beyond “AC repair” as the keyword. While there will be some customers who search this way, you need to get more specific.
Terms like “HVAC repair,” “AC maintenance,” “duct cleaning,” and “emergency air conditioning repair” will drive more customers your way. It may take some research on your part as you think of the services or goods you offer to help you make a bigger list of keywords.
Consider Search Volumes
One very important consideration for a local business website is that keyword research tools provide national search volumes. You have to fine-tune the results for your locality.
While Google does have a keyword planner, it is far from perfect. It will only show you the broad search volume ranges, plus it groups keywords. You’ll need to check the relative popularity of the SEO keywords for a more productive outcome. Using a software service that provides SEO tracking and analytics can make this whole process much simpler in the long run.
Look for Local Intent
Local intent refers to people who wish to shop nearby based on search location. You can Google your business for local intent and see what results you get. If you see a map pack or those blue link results, then you’re doing something right.
Assign Your Keywords
You can’t rank all your keywords on your homepage. You need to target some of them by using separate pages. This requires assigning keywords to URLs, but it needs to have some thought behind it. Consider which services they would map to, and then make your choice. “AC repair” and “AC installation” are completely different services, so they would need to be assigned to separate pages.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
As previously mentioned, to improve local SEO, you have to focus on the map pack and organic results. Here, we’ll dive a little deeper into the local SEO ranking factors that can help make your business a success.
Google Business Profile
Once known as Google My Business, the Google Business Profile is a local listing that contains information about your business. While it is free and shows you in the map pack and Google Maps, you need to fill it out.
According to Google, customers are 70% more likely to visit businesses that have a complete business profile and even more likely to buy from them. If you want to attract more business, you should start here.
Beyond your business name, you will need to be specific when choosing your business category and business information. Setting the business hours for your business listing is also important. Don’t forget about including holiday hours when applicable.
A proper business listing should include the address. If you provide a service, set the service area. It also helps to add the products and services you offer. Photos add a little bit more to your Google Business Profile. Additionally, Google reviews from your customers can further enhance the way your business ranks in local SEO.
Known as a NAP citation, this mentions the pertinent details of your business info such as the name, address, and phone number. NAP citations will additionally mention your website. These citations are somewhat important though they’ve been less relevant in recent years.
You’ll want to take advantage of them as they can help local searchers discover your business online. Business directories rank on search results with local queries. Listing in these directories is another way to get noticed by your target market and improve your profits since you’ll come up more often in searches.
Listing with Apple Maps plus other popular directories within your local area, such as local news sites and places relevant to your industry, is the way to get noticed for web results. However, don’t forget to keep your citations consistent in every listing.
How to Track Your Localized SEO Efforts
Once you find your local search ranking and target customers in your area, you will want to track it to find your analytics. There are several methods for implementation that you can integrate.
Lead tracking allows you to keep track of potential customers. A platform that combines call tracking and analytics with forms, calls, and live chat will save you time since everything is in one place. This will let you see which of your pages are converting at the highest rate and those that need a tune-up.
Just because you’ve researched a great list of keywords doesn’t mean they’re effective. You need to track their rankings in the most popular search engines. This lets you see the keyword history for every tracked keyword and how their rankings have changed so you can adapt if needed.
Detailed Geo Tracking
For the best results, you’ll want to get as specific as possible with those local keyword rankings. It’s imperative that you see exactly where you rank on Google Maps for those keywords in your location.
Google Business Profile Management
The Google Business Profile also allows you to manage and report, though it can be a little complicated. The right software can sync it directly, making it seamless. For example, it can help you respond to online reviews to engage with your customers. Whether reviews are positive or negative, responsiveness is an asset for staying ahead of your competitors.
Keeping up with your website traffic data will help you see where your customers are coming from. It can inspire your next promotion or allow you to make adjustments that further drive more sales.
Next Steps to Take for Your Local SEO Campaign
You can try to navigate Google Maps and your Google Business Profile on your own, but you may find the whole process complex and confusing. Not everyone can understand SEO, and even those that do may not realize they’re choosing the wrong keywords to elevate their search results.
Working with software as a service (SaaS) combines SEO tracking and analytics. This makes short work of finding high-ranking SERP keywords, Google My Business keyword tracking, and website traffic analytics. It also makes it easy to track calls and automated forms.
Even better, you can use SaaS to generate reports for you so it’s a lot less work. You can then focus on your business and provide the level of quality and service your customers expect to keep them coming back. Whether you’re in the business of repairing air conditioners or making the best pizza in your area, this is a tool that can help you through it all.TrackRight is one of the best tools to help you find your local SEO ranking because it simplifies the interface and makes it easy for everyone. You can see how helpful it is for you by signing up for a free trial and gaining all the benefits to propel your business to that coveted top spot on your local search results page. Trackright is specialized in tracking leads, keywords, and traffic across the board. If you’re interested and ready to begin tracking the performance of your keywords on both Google Maps and SERPs, then try out the platform today.