What is local SEO?

Local mobile searchHave you ever searched for “coffee Edmond” instead of just “coffee” on your phone or computer? Then you’ve made use of local SEO!

MOZ estimates that there are seven billion unique local Google searches each month in the United States, which includes more than half of all Google searches on mobile phones. Sure, local SEO is helpful when you want to buy something, but it’s also helpful if you want to reach consumers with your own organization’s website.

How can you improve local SEO for your company? First, a quick definition. Local SEO has the same goal as regular SEO—ranking higher in online search results—but has a strong geographic component, too.

Here are a few things to consider to help your organization rank higher in local searches.

Name, address, and phone number (NAP) consistency

Make sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are accurate in all locations, including your website, social media platforms, and review sites like Yelp.

It also helps to have your NAP in several different locations. If you’re a member of a chamber, business directory, or non-profit database, use that resource! And keep your information up-to-date, because having different NAP information in different locations can lower your rankings and make potential customers confused about your business.

Relevant keywords

It’s not a good idea to stuff your website full of keywords until it’s unreadable (since your website is ultimately for people and not for search engines), but relevant, location-specific keywords can boost your local search engine rankings.

Make it clear to search engines and to potential customers what you do, what type of industry you’re in, and where you’re located. You can even use your NAP as a way to get location keywords into every page of your website—put it somewhere like a footer where it will be seen on every page of your site, and you’ll automatically have your city name listed on each page.

Positive reviews

Search engines (especially Google) consider reviews when ranking search engine results, so it’s a good idea to request reviews on several different sites. Of course, having positive reviews help potential customers begin to like and trust your company as well, so it’s a win-win!

Google My Business

Google is only one search engine, but it’s the default for a lot of people. Google My Business a free tool you can use to make sure your organization’s information is accurate when people search for you using Google. This tool gives you the ability to share images and comment on reviews, as well.

There’s no quick fix for improving SEO (local or otherwise) but making some common-sense tweaks to your organization’s online presence can definitely help. Having consistent information that accurately reflects what you do, in several different places online, will make it easier for both search engines and potential customers to find you.

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