Why Local Businesses Win Using Local SEO Strategies

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When users enter a search with a local keyword (or a geographic location indicating to Google their location). Google serves up a set of results that are at the top of the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). Local businesses depend on customers in their own local communities for success and growth. Local SEO strategies work to organically ranking for local keywords is an advantage, especially thanks to Google local 3 pack —it is a straight path to visibility to audiences and customers who matter most. But what about companies that operate on the national level? Or local businesses that have not yet taken the leap to explore online marketing?

Utilizing local SEO strategies is crucial for almost all local businesses. Ever-evolving a considerable amount in the past few years, it’s guaranteed to continue changing more in the years to come. In 2021, will it be a necessity for you to leverage and use local SEO strategies?

Benefits of a Local SEO Strategy

First, a brief summary of how local SEO can better serve your business:

Less Local Competition

Since your competitors reduce to only those in your geographic area, you will have an easier time ranking quickly.

Customer Visibility Increases

You will not have to fight as hard for top ranking. The top 3 local entries indexed always take precedent over the other results for local searches.

Secondary Ranking Options.

If you want your local SEO efforts to results to rank at the top of the SERPs. It requires more than focusing on your content marketing strategy & inbound links ( those are important too, they are part of the bigger picture). You can increase your chances by using other ongoing tactics like reviewing optimization on poorly performing content and citation management.

Increase in Visitor Relevance

Those who see your local entry are most likely local residents, meaning your target audience will ultimately increase.

How Local SEO Is Changing For Local Business

Aside from the previous benefits, local SEO as a whole is changing. Keep in mind what local SEO is today versus what it will be in the future continuously changes.

Enhancing Unification For Mobile Platforms

Local results on mobile devices are beginning to shift weight favorability against desktop search engine result rankings. And layouts that are friendlier for mobile devices. In 2016 Google released its update called the “local 3-pack.” The results reducing the SERP of local results on desktop browsers from 7 to 3. Now websites, directions, messages, appointment bookings are available with a single click. This means local entry interaction will continue getting easier and more convenient due to Google local 3 pack. Accordingly, you can expect to gain more and more from being in one of the top search engine positions.

Local SEO: Using Google My Business Too Optimize Your Rankings

Mobile eCommerce growth has been parabolic in the past few years. This upward mobile trend is having a huge impact on how we approach website design and SEO for the mobile user experience. Local SEO for any industry, whether it be local SEO general contractors or local SEO for a real estate agent, mobile UX needs to be taken into consideration.

Increasing geographic specificity

Local search is truly focusing page results locally. Instead of narrowing focus on a city or region, the new local searches continue to drill down further into communities. This equates to less competition for even more specific niches.

Increasing importance of Mobile Marketing

Users are growing accustomed to using local search to discover local results, and are using mobile devices. (61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.) In 2021, local results are becoming more important than ever to users—meaning they’re even more valuable to rank for.

Local SEO vs. National SEO: How Are They Different And Why It Matters

Google uses different algorithms for its national search results vs the new Google local 3-pack. The local 3-pack displays 3 relevant local businesses for a local search query. There are some similarities in rankings, But both local and national Google algorithms and the target results are noticeably distinct.

Local SEO: Google Local Search And Local Search Ranking Optimization

Your local SEO strategies vs. national SEO strategies will also depend on the country in which you reside. National SEO in Europe will be very different than in the United States and other countries.

Some industry experts have translated this to mean that national and local SEO strategies require entirely separate approaches. For example, a local business may focus exclusively on attempting to rank in the local 3-pack. While completely ignoring national SEO strategies, or a national company may ignore local SEO strategies ranks altogether.

Tackling SEO from either side, regardless of the schism in Google’s algorithms, is a strategy with flaws. It’s much more advantageous to use one group of working strategies with the goal of generating inbound traffic.

When first starting out online, small businesses may attempt multiple different strategies. Some seek to target the world as their market; others start off small by focusing on their local region.

As the world wide web becomes more saturated with businesses all fighting for the top spot in global SERPs, others are turning their attention to smaller, more concentrated markets through national and local search.

Theoretically, national and local searches are a much more promising target. But be aware of certain key differences between them for determining which you want to build your SEO strategy around.

The following discussion that will help you to distinguish between national SEO and local SEO.

National SEO —National SEO, being more general, allows you to use search terms that are broader in nature. This increases the difficulty to rank for because competition is more aggressive on the national level. This is apparent as there are only 10 spots available on Google’s first page and typically only the top 5 results see the lion’s share of visitors.

When you are in competition against 20 or 30 different companies on the national playfield, and all metrics are equal, it’s going to be difficult for your business to compete in terms of creating enough quality backlinks to compete for the SE top rankings.

Local SEO —It’s probably safe to say that competing for local search rankings is a lot simpler than national search ranking considering there is much less competition in this area versus national search. Optimizing for home service providers, such as home improvement contractors, by city or state will be far less exhausting than optimizing for a broader reach on the national level.

But when you are just starting out, you will be facing a substantial amount of effort to get local citations and listings on small business directories in your city.

Local SEO: Google Local Search And Local Ranking Optimization

SEMRush provides details from SEO professionals on the most understood ranking factors in SEO. These represent only a fraction of multiple factors that search engine algorithms take into consideration.

Trying Too Digests Countless Strategies Just Complicates Matters     

Occam’s razor, which is the theory that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex. Applying this to SEO, the easiest approach is the most effective. That doesn’t mean that you can execute SEO properly with only the basics, but the fewer unnecessary impediments you add to your SEO strategy, the better. Adding another area of focus to your SEO strategy will potentially cloud your current efforts, especially if you spread the implementation to different members of your teams to those responsibilities. An example of this is having one group of team members working specifically on national SEO and another group of team members working solely on local SEO, you run the risk of working toward different goals, in the end weakening the success of each team.

Every business can find possible value in both local SEO and national SEO.

Instead, of focusing on local SEO and national SEO as separate strategies, there are businesses that completely ignore one side to focus on one or the other. An example of this is a restaurant that only operates in one location that might totally steer clear of national SEO and solely focus their attention on the local 3-pack ranking. On the flip side of the coin, a larger financial institution with multiple locations in multiple states might opt to ignore local SEO altogether.

The issue here is, both types of companies can gain from the opposite side of each strategy. In this example, you have a restaurant with the potential to rank higher in the national SEs and see a little inbound traffic even if most of the visitor traffic comes through on a local position. On the other hand, the financial firm could simply optimize for its specific locations and earn substantially more local-specific traffic, resulting in more high-quality visitors and additional visibility.

Overwhelming amount of common ranking factors

Considering each algorithm functions virtually independently, identical ranking factors do overlap in areas. Even deciding to focus exclusively on one or the other, you could easily start influencing the other by proxy. In this example, the local and national rank factor depends on your website’s domain authority (DA) The more inbound links your website gets from other sites with high DA authority the more you will increase your search engine rankings for both types of SEO. Mobile optimization is just as important these days for SERPs, both for national and local rankings. The list of common ranking factors continues to grow larger, to the point it’s much easier to manage local SEO and national SEO strategy in parallel rather than focusing on just one or the other.

SEO Strategies That Put Heavy Focus On Algorithm-specific Are Becoming Less Effective

The emergence of new technological developments is making algorithms across platforms less and less important. Not very long ago, it was possible to optimize uniquely for Bing and Google. Today, both Google and Bing compete so close to one another that the set of rankings is very similar to the others. The increasing usage of digital assistants like Siri, Google, and Cortana, also blur the lines by masking the algorithm they use to fetch results and what happens after combining them with other, offline search features. Modern search engines are becoming less and less dependent on algorithms.  This means you have to focus less on individual algorithms and subtleties.

Local Organic Traffic & National Organic Traffic-Organic Is Organic

While you can simply fool around with your Google Analytics to tease out which visitors come from your local rankings and which come from your national rankings, when all is said and done, the most important metric is overall organic visits. Organic visitors are one of the most important and tangible metrics to accurately measure the effectiveness of your SEO campaigns, and both national SEO and local SEO rankings count equally to the net total.

Winning With Local SEO in Short

For your business to stay competitive a local SEO strategy is a must and will continue to be more important for local businesses. If you do not have a local SEO strategy in place for your business your competitors will have an advantage.

Certified Expert on Organic and Paid SEO (Local and National), Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, Online Reputation Management, Website Development and Design.

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