Why Local SEO is important to Your Business

5.7 min readPublished On: July 5, 2024
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Why Local SEO is important to Your Business

For businesses that depend on customers in specific geographical regions, ranking high in search engine results within that local area is crucial for any size business, from small boutiques and regional service providers to large operations that generate revenue through local franchises. The question is how do you get your business to rank higher for the most relevant keywords?

What is Local SEO?

“Local search engine optimization” (local SEO) is a growing customer acquisition and lead generation strategy for businesses in specific geographical areas. Local SEO boosts rankings, increases awareness, and helps build an online presence, which in turn increases revenue.

The use of local SEO and ‘near me’ searches is on the rise. Simply adding “near me” to a search phrase prioritizes search engine results based on the location of the user. And consumers are adding the “near me” search term more and more. It is a massive advantage to a local business if it appears high on search results, because they are reaching customers who are close to their location and have an intent to buy.

What are the benefits of local SEO?

Local SEO has a variety of benefits that can provide fast results once optimization tactics are in place.

Targets “buy now” customers
Local SEO reaches the most coveted customer of all – customers that are both local and at the bottom of the purchase funnel (BOFU). These customers are past awareness and consideration and ready to convert. They are actively searching for something to buy, be it fresh flowers, a service, a lawyer or mechanic, something to do, or the best Thai restaurant. And if a business is at the top of the search results, they are most likely to win the business.  

This is where local SEO is paramount. Rather than optimizing for broader search phrases like “how do I find a car mechanic,” local SEO focuses on “near me” phrases like “best mechanic near me (or a city or neighborhood).” Sites that are properly optimized for local searches will rank higher and engage more BOFU consumers that have an intent to buy now.

Builds Trust
Consumers trust local businesses that appear high on “near me” search results. But this also requires a business to have done the legwork, such as claiming listings across search platforms, managing reviews (positive and negative), and having relevant content. Consumers are much more likely to engage with a business they view as trustworthy.

Improves the digital footprint of businesses
A strong local SEO strategy ensures a business’ digital footprint is healthy and builds awareness and trust. The underlying benefits include growing local backlinks and citations, increasing qualified website traffic, and boosting overall SEO.

What are the best ways to optimize for local SEO?

Local search engine optimization is accomplished with a variety of tactics, which in general are not complicated to put into place, nor are they expensive.

Start with your Google Business Profile Listing.
Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business (GMB) is the lowest hanging fruit and critical to that “first blush” a consumer will have of your business. Make sure your name, address, phone number (NAP) are in place and hours-of-operation are accurate. And get satisfied customers to leave positive Google reviews and directly address negative reviews, which impact your results in local searches.

Lastly, consistently posting your Google Business Profile engages customers and drives more clicks to your site, which boosts overall SEO. 

Don’t stop with Google.
Optimize your listings across all channels, including Yelp, Apple, Bing, Facebook and even local channels that allow advertising, such as Nextdoor.  

Insert Location-based keywords in your website and content.
The text in your content significantly influences your results. Add location-oriented keywords organically throughout your website, blogs, and other written content for social media. Start with headlines and page titles. Review your meta descriptions, sub-headlines, and body copy. Include a specific area or neighborhood that is “near” your business. In fact, include “near me” where appropriate!

Create localized landing pages.
Many local businesses operate in several locations in the same general area. Build dedicated landing pages for each location that includes keywords specific to that location. Details about what you offer will help. Remember, this is what a consumer will see first. Would you respond to your landing page?

Are you mobile-friendly?
The vast majority of “near me” searches are done on mobile devices, so it is imperative your website is optimized for mobile devices. Providing a top-drawer user experience for mobile users is a primary difference maker between you and your competitors.

Optimize your website too.
It’s not all about mobile. People still use desktops and laptops to search. Your website needs to load fast, provide an intuitive UX, have content relevant to a consumer’s expectations, and give them what they want/need.   

Implement “structured data.”
Structure data markup (Schema.org) helps search engines understand what your web pages are trying to convey.  If your structured data markup is done correctly, your website will rank higher in search engines. It can be as simple as your location, operating hours, and services you provide, or it can be sophisticated and include schema markup for products, recipes, articles, reviews, and other specific types of content on your website.

Add proper meta titles and descriptions.
Crafting effective metadata will improve your ranking as well as your click-thru rate. For meta titles, use location based keywords along with “near me” if it is natural to the content. And keep it short (under 60 characters). Such as “best Thai restaurant near <city> |<business>.”

Meta descriptions should be under 160 characters and showcase a local example of your service or product. Ideally, include a call-to-action and other keywords relevant to the search. “Looking for the best Thai dining near <city>? Try <business> for an authentic taste of Thailand. Takeout or dine in. Visit now!”

Local SEO should be a key component in your digital marketing strategy.

From the most popular local search terms and phrases, like lawyers, home repair, and things to do, to more obscure key words, any business will benefit from local search engine optimization. Local SEO provides immediate, measurable, attributable results and is a pillar of a solid overall SEO plan with many crossover tactics.

Local SEO is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses that rely on local customers. While it offers immediate, measurable results, implementing an effective local SEO strategy requires expertise and ongoing effort. At Xivic, we specialize in helping businesses like yours dominate local search results. Our team of SEO experts can develop and execute a tailored local SEO strategy that drives more qualified leads to your business. Don’t let your competitors outrank you in local searches – contact us today for a free local SEO consultation and take the first step towards boosting your online visibility and attracting more local customers.

Ready to level up your digital transformation?