Branding is not the sole domain of a large business anymore. Smaller brands can strategically create and build their brand awareness using their location and reap tremendous rewards. More than 60% of consumers already expect search results to be location based. As more users are now using smartphones, almost 95% of users have set their phones to use their location for most queries as per a Forbes report. This data can be interpreted to suggest that people love solving their needs as physically close to them as possible.
While this is happening, Google (in response to this development) is scripting its own new changes simultaneously on how a business will rank. In fact, they already have. Popular stores, landmarks etc are now used for local rankings. Other factors that are now important include links, articles, Google reviews etc. This is where Local SEO comes in and has become a very important feature for brand-building, business development and growth.
Covering all these local SEO elements and ensuring that your business features highly on the Google ranking list (and other search engines) does not happen overnight. You will not be able to pay and get this status so easily. It takes a lot of concerted effort and one has to keep at it consistently for a sustained period of time.
Local SEO is a variation of the normal Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Local SEO is an SEO strategy to optimize a page on your site or the site itself so that the user finds them in search engines when the user’s intention is to find local information. For example, if a user includes the name of a city or a street or even without a geographical qualifier (like ‘restaurants near me’), Google understands that this is a local search. The strategy used here and the search engine optimization used to promote products for local search purposes is called Local SEO or Local Search Engine Optimization.
A positive brand reputation using local SEO has to be ideally done from both ends. We at Blufig have to do our part and the business entity (you) will have to work equally hard to satisfy your customers and create great customer experiences so that they are more swayed towards writing more positive reviews online (not just in person). The brand image is how a business shows its personality and identity to the public.
Backed up by a team of local SEO experts, you will raise the probability factor of being a huge success tremendously. Rank your business now using Local SEO! Talk to us (call to action button here?). When we do local SEO campaigns for brand awareness, it is important to concentrate on your strengths especially if you are a local brand (and not a huge national/international brand). Basing your brand awareness on price for example means you are competing with such large international brands on their platform and strength. This is a grave mistake. We recommend using your local business branding to good effect.
Customers value local businesses for a multiple of reasons including quality of work, personalized attention, the trust factor, distance and the time taken etc. Instead of taking on huge brands on their own turf, you can be a king by playing smart and focusing on such factors (which is also your strength incidentally). But your best asset is your location. The audience is more targeted, the geography is defined and your presence in that community is unique. You are a resident in that community and considered as one of them by the locals there. This is a giant advantage that is waiting to be leveraged. Though this factor has already gained importance, stats show this is going to grow more rapidly in the near future.
Blufig offers unique services on building your business brand using a well-thought out customized local SEO strategy depending on your business activities and goals. Our main objectives are not limited to positioning your services highly on search engines but also in ensuring that you get tangible results. You don’t have to then take any forceful measures to attract your potential clients. We will make sure that they see you and ensure that they want to see you!
In this blog, you will get a feel of the route we take, the exhaustive number of factors we consider and the tremendous focus we apply to this process when handling your local SEO campaign. We are firm in our belief that the factors listed here and the explanations given are enough reasons for you to confidently select our services safely.
You have probably got an idea that there are many areas to focus on when it comes to a Local SEO campaign to boost your business. One such important area is ‘Google my Business’. It is a dashboard that stores your business details. Google my Business plays an important role in shaping your business look and how it performs in the search engine (in Google search, maps, knowledge graph, Google+ etc). When it comes to local SEO, Google my Business becomes even more important and it is the top-most influencing factor for local SEO success. It is a simple process where you list your business details including NAP (name, address, phone number), opening and closing time, company photos etc. Another very important area, customer reviews, is also managed under Google my Business.
The main factors that matters here (for rankings) are relevance, distance and prominence. The details provided in Google my Business should accurately match the details in your website. After claiming your listing, you need to take some appropriate steps to optimize the details to heighten the chance of success. Our local SEO campaign experts can take care of these steps easily. Yet again, even here, things change and this is a continual process that requires constant monitoring and timely updating of details.
Customer reviews and ratings is one of the main KPI’s (key performance indicator) when it comes to local search. The more reviews and higher your ratings, the more the chances of getting ranked higher and selling your product. We recommend you to encourage customers to post ratings and review on your website. Managing bad reviews individually also goes a long way to nullify the adverse effects to your business.
It reflects your sincerity and it is noticed by the public and by Google. Negative reviews will not damage your brand and rankings completely but it is an opportunity for you to show that you care. Also Google’s search quality evaluation guidelines are based on a broader perspective and take into consideration many factors to rank your website (not just negative reviews). As of now, Google has confirmed that responding to both positive and negative reviews will help in ranking your website.
(It shows great character & sincerity to respond to such reviews and especially please read the last line of the response from the store. That’s the way to go!)
Local Link Building
Though we prefer to target links from sites that hold a high DA (Domain Authority), but in the case of local SEO, we venture out into a different route as well. Sometimes for local SEO link building, even a site with low authority carries some relevance. An inexperienced SEO team might suggest you to target only high authority sites.
But if you are doing local SEO, we believe there is more to it than what meets the eye. A low authority site could be very prominent in a particular local area and a link from them to your website can do a wonderful job in increasing your rankings. And now, while most businesses (in your field) target the same type of sites, you have an advantage from local sites that many of them might not have considered. Imagine the edge your will hold in this scenario (strictly for a local SEO campaign i.e.). Studying your competitors, your relationships (local relationship) and then creating relevant links are the 3 main steps in local link building. After Google my Business, the biggest factor that decides your local SEO campaign success is link building.
Local citation involves listing your products and related details on specific website listings. The place where we have listed the details mentions important details about your organization. Google my Business is an example. There are mainly 3 formats for this process;
Local citation generally helps you to increase your local search rankings. Accurate and detailed information of your business are the main factors enabling Google to rank you higher.
When we focus on local SEO and if Google concludes that your business has a local intent, you will then be eligible for a local pack. This pack contains 3 locations that Google determines as being the most relevant for a keyword.
These features are especially shown on a mobile. As smartphones are increasingly dominating the world of mobiles (and even internet), Google has restructured its result pattern to 3 at the top with the map for a pleasing user experience. This is the reason it is called the local 3-pack. The percentage of customers who prefer clicking on the top 3 displayed results is increasing as we speak. A proper local SEO process can increase your chances to get the 3-pack. Google’s local 3-pack is a highly desired spot in Google search. An example of a local 3-pack is given below:
These results shown above are not taken from your website but from listed sources like Google my Business (of whose importance we have explained earlier).
Local SEO On-Page Factors
Traditional on-page SEO factors (related to keywords, titles etc) are used in a local SEO campaign to, but there are plenty of other relevant factors that should be more highlighted when it comes to ‘local SEO’. Optimizing your homepage, optimizing your meta data, creating a page for every product and location, using Google my Business page, link building and citations, adding schema mark-ups to your pages, focus on customer reviews, launch a proper and relevant SEO campaign with the best practices etc. are some of the most important local SEO on-page elements. While it is not feasible to explain all the factors in detail, many of these factors were explained earlier on.
We don’t want to overwhelm you with all the exhaustive measures that are taken to ensure that a local SEO campaign is successful. Our approach will also vary depending on the number of locations you are based on.
It takes a comprehensive and concerted effort to launch and complete a successful local SEO program. People are more actively searching for locally based stores to satisfy their requirements. Therefore, such type of targeted campaigns can lead to quality and qualified traffic to your site. The first part of the objective is to be seen. The second part is to make them choose. As explained throughout this write-up, there are a number of factors that complete this campaign. Besides the major factors we have explained in details, there are subtle additions like using local lingo, engaging customers in some interesting stories/experiences to share etc that could make a marked difference to push you towards the top spot in local searches. We have these and plenty more of value-added measures that we carefully implement when we take care of your local SEO campaigns. It should be noted here that Google is not the only place that is important.
Of course there are people searching on Bing, Yelp etc. If you are wondering why then have we emphasized on Google throughout this page, we would be glad to point out the fact that 92.21% of the market share is held by Google as far as local business searches are concerned. And that’s it! Even though we have refrained from explaining more factors in this blog, we understand that it is still a lengthy piece for you to digest. But we wanted to give you a detailed idea on how local SEO is a lengthy process and what it takes to be one of the best local SEO Company and serve you to the best of our abilities. Once the campaign is done and we have placed proper conversion tracking measures, you can then see the unique delightful changes in your business fortunes.
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