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The Importance of Local SEO for Smaller Businesses

May 2018

If you want customers to find your business and you aren’t a massive global organization with a household name, then chances are you need to invest in local SEO.

Related: The Link Between Web Design and SEO Success

Epecially for businesses, many Google searches happen on a local level. Customers are looking for businesses in their area that can serve their immediate needs. Think of it this way: if someone is looking for a place to eat, they are probably either searching for restaurants in a specific location or looking for dining establishments close to where they are currently located.

Local SEO can help restaurants capture these prospects and turn them into customers. The same is true for any smaller business, be it a landscaping company or a law firm.

Local SEO makes two things possible. First, if someone searches a keyword and adds a specific location, it increases your business’s chances of coming up in that search. If someone were to type “law firms in Greensboro,” and your firm wanted to rank for that keyword, you would need local SEO to get there.

Second, if someone searches for a specific business type and Google knows that person’s location, it will automatically return relevant results nearby. If someone in your area starts searching for businesses like yours, local SEO would give you a better chance of ranking near the top of a Google search or showing up in Google Maps.

There are multiple steps involved in local SEO. The first step—and probably the most crucial—is claiming your Google My Business page. Google My Business is a free listing service you can use to add up-todate information about your business to Google’s records. In addition to location, this service can list details like phone number and hours of operation. Not only does it make you easier to find in Google or Google Maps, but it also gives customers or clients information they can use right away to contact you.

Local SEO can involve updating information on other listing services. While not as important as Google My Business, sites like Yelp and Yellow Pages can give your business a better local grounding online. Yelp is especially important, as strong reviews on a claimed Yelp page can push the business up in Google’s results.

Local SEO can also revolve around content itself. Often businesses think of search engine optimization in terms of the keywords it targets. Having pages on your website that mention your location is a good way to improve location optimization for your site. From contact pages to service pages to blogs and articles, a simple mention or two of your city or county (or the cities and counties you serve) can give you a big boost in location-based Google searches.