Did you know that an average of 40,000 Google searches take place every second? That’s 2.4 million searches per minute!

What’s more, half of this number are from people who wanted local results. Furthermore, 50% of those who use their smartphones to conduct local searches visited a store the same day. A third of those who used their PCs or laptops also paid a store a visit the same day of their search.

These should already tell how valuable local SEO is in your digital marketing campaigns.

What exactly goes into going local though? This list of local SEO tips will answer all your questions and more, so, make sure you keep reading!

Understanding Local Search

According to forecasts, U.S. marketers and advertisers will spend $72 billion in SEO this year. That’s a lot of money to invest, but one that’s worth it.

After all, getting the number one spot on search results can get you 33% traffic share.

So… Where does local SEO come into play?

Local SEO is the same as standard SEO, in the way that it increases quantity and quality of website traffic through organic search results. “Organic” is the keyword here, which means that the results show up based on relevance to search terms used.

You may be thinking, “Why do I need local SEO then if I already have SEO?”

For starters, because local SEO services allow you to target consumers from your specific location. They offer you a way to put your business in a better position in search engines. Especially in Google, which now considers local SEO a major ranking factor.

Think about this. Say you’re a dentist with a practice in the United States. That means you have 198,517 other dentists to compete with.

If you don’t use the best local SEO strategies, potential patients will have a hard time – even no way – to find you online. If you have powerful local SEO practices in place, people who search for dentists in your area will find you faster.

It’s a win-win situation. Patients don’t have to go far to receive quality dental services. This then translates to you having more potential patients for your practice.

It All Starts with Your Business' NAP

Local citations start with having your business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP) appear online. You’ll need this for most of the local organic SEO tips discussed in this list.

This is the easiest to do, since you need only to list your business NAP as it is. Let’s use Forbes Media, as an example. Here’s how they list their NAP:

Forbes Media
499 Washington Blvd
Jersey City, NJ 07310
Phone (800) 295-0893

That example is a form of “complete citation.” You can also use a partial citation. You can use a combination of your brand name and phone number/address.

There are other NAP variations you can use (think horizontal, vertical, etc.). Keep in mind though that consistency is key when it comes to citations.

What’s most important is to ensure all the primary details of your business show up. That way, people know right away the name of your business, how they can contact you, and where exactly they can find you.

Get Your Business Listed on Online Directories

The right keywords for local search terms means including place-specific, targeted keywords in your content.

Let’s say you’re writing a blog post talking about the state of dental health in Canada. Your dental practice is in British Columbia. In this case, you may want to include statistics specific to B.C.

Another example is when you have a chiropractic office in Toronto and you want to write an informative piece on back pain. You may want to talk about how many employees in this part of Canada suffer from this condition.

From here, you can then add location-specific keywords to your posts. For instance, you can go with “general dentistry service in B.C.” or “Toronto chiropractic care.”

Remember: Consumers search for businesses that offer them the most convenience. As such, they’re more likely to pick an establishment (whether a store or a health facility) that’s near them. Local SEO boosts your chances of appearing on their search results whenever they use location-specific keywords (such as the examples above).

Get Reviews and Respond to Them

Reviews are so important that 88% of consumers rely on them when choosing a business to work with. Many of them treat these online reviews like personal recommendations.

That said, you want as many reviews as you can get. Not only because they’re important for your local SEO campaign, but also because they serve as a form of publicity. Free publicity, to be more precise.

That’s why your branding efforts should extend to social media. Think of the 68% of U.S. adults on Facebook. Or the 84% of Facebook-using adults in Canada.

What we’re saying is, your business needs to be active in social media, since this makes it easier for consumers to give you reviews. At the same time, more people will come to know of your brand. Especially if you offer them insightful and useful content on a regular basis.

Don’t forget to respond to every review you get, though. Whether it’s a raving review or one less positive, make sure you reply and address all reviews and comments. This’ll show consumers your business’ human side, while also telling them you care about your customers.

Expand to Mobile

Picture this:

You wake up with a serious toothache so painful you can’t think of anything else. What’s the first thing you do?

Most likely, pop a pain reliever, right? After which, you grab your phone and ask Uncle Google for help. Since you’re already on your phone, the next thing you’re most likely to do is search for a dentist near you.

You may not notice it, but you do the same for many other activities. Whether it’s searching for other service providers, shopping, or looking up restaurants, you rely on your smartphone.

It’s the same for the 80% of Americans who are now also mobile. 96% of smartphone users depend on their devices for such tasks.

Use this to your business’ advantage. Go mobile and local, and you can further boost your chances of securing a bigger portion of the market. This is also key to staying on Google’s good side, since being mobile is now also a ranking factor.

Implement these Local SEO Tips Now

Remember: Every hour in the world of Google equates to 144 million searches. While these aren’t all for your specific niche, many of them still are. That’s why you need to start using these local SEO tips as soon as possible.

If you need more help in jump starting your local SEO campaign, then please feel free to connect with us. We’ll be more than happy to steer you towards the right path, the local way.

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About the Author:

Mike Carroll

Mike steers the overall strategy & direction at Bearhug Digital, promoting constant innovation and success.

Sometimes referred to as the ‘unicorn’, he has the ability to communicate and execute on big ideas effortlessly. Mike challenges his team to strive for excellence when crafting digital solutions. He leads from the front and is involved in every aspect of every project. With a passion for leveraging technology to solve business challenges, Mike’s eye for design and vision for scaleable solutions drives innovation and exponential results.

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