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What Is Local SEO? And Why Does It Matter to Your Business?

You’re no doubt already familiar with search engine optimization and how it can help drive more traffic to your site and boost conversions for your business. However, if you’ve been looking into SEO practices and how to improve your search rankings lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of talk about local SEO. So what is local SEO and how is it different from traditional SEO?

With local SEO, the searcher will get results based on their location, whether they actually enter the location or not (so long as they have location services allowed on their device). So, if you were to search for “Restaurants open for lunch”, “Restaurants near me”, or “Restaurants near [your location]”, you would actually get very similar results because search engines are becoming more and more attuned to which search criteria are localized and which are not.

Mobile Devices and Local SEO

You could argue that the rise of local SEO has a lot to do with mobile technology, especially as recent polls have indicated that more than 40% of mobile searches are location based and are intended for local use. More and more people are using Google Maps, for example, to find the nearest locations for businesses carrying products that they want.

If your customers are on the go near you, and they’re searching for your products or services, then you want them to be able to find you immediately. Through the power of SEO, they can not only find your site in their search results but immediately get directions to your location, too.

Local SEO Increases Conversions

With so many people performing searches based on their locations and the businesses near them, you can see how important local SEO can be for lead conversions. Your local searchers aren’t just searching for your site to browse through your pages, products, and/or services. They’re searching to find your location and visit your business.

When someone performs a local search and it brings them to your business, you’ll literally have a lead walking in the door. With more leads coming to your business, all you need to do is show them how your products or services can improve their lives. Local SEO is a great means to increase conversions and improve your sales.

Improving Your Local SEO

So how can you make sure that your business appears when people do local searches on their mobile devices or home computers? First of all, you’ll want to create local business pages with Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Then you’ll want to list your business with both local business directories and review sites. The more legitimate listings and citations like this you can collect, the better your local SEO will be.

Beware, though, as you list your business, to always ensure that your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are accurate and up to date. If any of these change, you’ll need to ensure that you change them with all of your listings. Conflicting data will confuse search engines and will result in a negative effect on your search rankings. In fact, it may even take you out of search results entirely.

You can also improve your local SEO by including your location and/or area in your content, but, like other keywords, you want to ensure that any mentions of your city, state, or county read naturally and don’t decrease the quality of your content. Awkward keyword usage is always a bad move.

For more information on local SEO and how it can help your business, contact us at Gauge Digital Media today. You can call us at 410-376-7709 or fill out our online contact form.