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Is Local SEO Important? Yes.

As a small business owner, you may be asking yourself is local SEO important for my business? And the resounding answer should be yes! 46% of all Google searches are local searchers! Meaning they are using terms such as “near me” or “near Towson Maryland”. So if nearly half of all Google Searches are local, how come more people are not taking advantage of local SEO or at the very least understanding why local SEO is so important? Well if you are one of the 56% of retailers who have not claimed their Google Business Listing yet, don’t worry this guide on Local SEO is for you!

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more customers from relevant local searches. For example if I type in “coffee shop near Towson” 

the top of the search results page is dominated by a box of local listings on Google Maps, which is called the snack pack. Beneath the snack pack is your typical organic search results. If you are a local business looking to drive more traffic to your store it is important that you do everything in your power to get into the snack pack. Why? Because 33% of the clicks on Google come from the snack pack! Now, remember it is just as equally important to rank in the organic search results as well since they attract 40% of clicks! So if you rank well in the Google Snack Pack AND the Organic Search Results you can acquire a heck of a lot of web traffic! 

Local SEO Important Step 1: Mobile Friendly

This could be considered the foundation of local seo, the importance of a website optimized for mobile searches! Local searches typically mean someone is on the go, and the easiest place to access the internet is in the palm of your hand! So step number 1 is to make sure your website is optimized for a mobile presence. To see if you have a mobile-friendly website just use Google’s Mobile friendly test tool. Enter your domain and Google will tell you whether your website is mobile friendly or not. 

Local SEO Important Step 2: Claim Your GMB Account

Once you have a mobile friendly website, your second step should be to claim your Google My Business Account. Optimizing your Google My Business is often considered the most important step to getting started with Local SEO and is extremely easy to do. Click on the following link to get started: www.google.com/business 

Once you have opened your Google My Business Account you will want to enter your NAP information.

  • Name 
  • Address
  • Telephone

Make sure to select the primary category that you would like to be known for. If you are a coffee shop owner select the category coffee shop. Don’t try to be fancy and say bakery to try and boost sales for your food goods. You want to be known for your main offering. To finish the process you need to verify your listing with Google. They have two ways of verifying your Google My Business Account. 

  1. By phone
  2. By mail

Follow the instructions Google has laid out for you and your business listing should be active in no time! In the meantime be sure to fill out the rest of your Google My Business Account with important pieces such as your business description, your photographs, secondary categories, hours of operation, website, etc. Again Google will walk you through this step by step. 

 

 

Local SEO Important Step 3: Keyword Research

In order for your business to really grow locally, you will need to perform some keyword research. Keywords for your website help you to rank for multiple search terms. So if you are a plumber in Towson you may want to rank for a variety of keywords such as “emergency plumber” “24/7 plumbing expert” “next day plumber”. You can perform keyword research by using tools such as the Google Keyword Planner, Google Autosuggest, and even by going to your competitor’s websites and finding keywords and search terms they rank for. We have a great blog on keyword research so if you want to read more visit the blog: “Selecting the right keyword for SEO” 

 

Local SEO Important Step 4: On-page SEO

You may be familiar with this part, but the 4th step in having a great presence locally is your on-page SEO. It is important that you have your keywords appear in your h1 tag, the title tag, and optimizing your homepage around your Local SEO city. You can also start looking into items such as Schema Markup to help further solidify your SEO strategy. For more help with Local SEO tactics and to get your website ranking faster, contact the team at MarketKeep. Our local seo experts can help you re-tool your website and get in the google snack pack and organic search results page!