What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a set of techniques to improve your company’s visibility in geographically targeted search engine results. For example, if you own a restaurant in North London, optimizing your search engine presence will ensure that a search for “restaurant North London” will show your store in the search listings – ideally in the featured search results (known as the “Google Local Pack” and “Bing Local”).
Why is Local SEO Important – And Should You Invest?
If your business has physical locations that customers can visit (stores, workshops or offices), investing some time and effort in Local SEO should pay significant dividends. A major component of any online-to-offline conversion strategy, it specifically targets local prospects (and existing customers), tapping into the increasing adoption of smartphones and tablets.
60% of adults in the US now use mobile devices rather than desktop PCs to search for local products and services, according to the Local Search Association, and more than three quarters of these result in in-store purchases.
Benefits of Investing in Local SEO:
- Boost in-store traffic and sales
- Acquire new local customers
- Be front-of-mind when customers are actively searching for products or services
- Significantly increase online-to-offline conversions
- Achieve high ROI – little investment is required to reap significant results
How to Drive Traffic from Online to Offline
There are Two Parts to Implementing Local SEO: Onsite and Offsite
1) Offsite Local SEO
SEARCH ENGINE LISTING
Firstly, add or claim your Google My Business and Bing Places For Business listings for each location. The NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information is crucial, but the following should also be included:
- One or two business categories – aligned as closely to its actual function as possible.
- The hours of business for that location.
- A link to your website (ideally a page dedicated to that store).
- Location photos, including a cover photo and gallery pictures, and videos if available.
- A menu of services offered at this location if appropriate.
- You should also consider using Google location extensions, which can enrich your search or display ads with map, directions, and click-to-call button.
LOCAL DIRECTORY LISTINGS
Although search engines should be at the top of your list, it is worth ensuring your business locations are listed on other local directory sites. The sites to target very depending on your country and region; directories to consider include Yellow Pages, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, and Internet Citysearch. Finally, ensure that there are no duplicate listings for any of your locations.
OTHER OFFSITE OPTIMIZATIONS
Advertising: Consider using geo-targeted ads with click-to-call buttons linking to local store numbers or “Show directions” buttons.
User Reviews: 88% of people read reviews online to judge the quality of a local business, according to a survey by BrightLocal. Encourage your customers to leave reviews on relevant sites at post-purchase touchpoints such as thank-you or follow-up emails or visits, and on social media.
2) Onsite Local SEO
SIMPLE STEPS THAT WILL SET YOU UP FOR LOCAL SEO SUCCESS
- Your site must be fully optimized for mobile – this is arguably the most important factor for local conversions.
- Ensure each physical location has its own dedicated page surfacing all crucial information: store/office name, street address, local area telephone number, opening hours and so on (as they appear on search engine listings).
- Consider implementing a store locator to help customers find shops near them.
- Add richer information – review scores (for example, Trustpilot), services offered, parking availability and so on.
- All the above information should be clearly set out and easily crawlable by search engines. Consider using Schema Markup.
How BRIDGE Can Help Your Organization
BRIDGE is an SaaS, or ‘Software as a Service’, marketing platform for brands and retail networks. BRIDGE helps brands capture local traffic and convert it into in-store footfall.