Local SEO: what it is and how to use it to attract more customers

Want to stand out on Google when potential customers search for products or services in your area? The key to success is effectively implementing Local SEO, an indispensable strategy for attracting more customers.

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Just as traditional SEO focuses on optimizing a website’s pages to improve its positioning in search results, Local SEO is dedicated to increasing a business’s visibility in searches performed. However, the strategies used are targeted to a specific geographical area.

Thus, instead of targeting a broad audience, local SEO aims to promote your business among users actively searching for products or services in your area.

Considering that about 46% of all Google searches have local intent and 97% of users turn to the internet to find nearby businesses, Local SEO is undeniably important for any effective digital marketing strategy.

Let’s explore more about the topic.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a strategic process focused on optimizing a business’s online presence to increase its visibility for relevant local searches. Unlike general SEO, local SEO incorporates a more precise approach, including optimizing the Google Business Profile, updating information in local directories, and other actions that highlight local searches.

In the Google universe, local results are based on three pillars: relevance, distance, and prominence. The combination of these elements ensures a pertinent match for user searches.

  • Relevance: This criterion assesses how appropriate your business is about the search performed. Filling out the profile with complete and detailed business information is important for this. This way, Google can interpret and deliver your business as a response to relevant searches.
  • Distance: It checks the proximity of your business to the searched location or the user’s current location if a region is not specified.
  • Prominence: Evaluates a business’s online and offline popularity, directly influencing its visibility in search results.

This aspect is also validated based on the online information Google has about a business, such as links, articles, ratings, and the number of reviews on the Google Business Profile. The more reviews and positive ratings a business has, the better its local ranking will be.

The ranking in search results is also considered, hence the importance of applying recommended search engine optimization (SEO) practices.

Businesses without a physical store that can be visited do not benefit similarly from the advantages of Local SEO. Moreover, the algorithm may determine that a business farther from the user’s location is more relevant to the search performed than another closer one.

Local SEO

10 Fundamental Local SEO Strategies

Diving deeper into local SEO strategies reveals that success in this area requires a multifaceted approach that goes beyond simple optimization of the profile on Google.

Therefore, I present 10 strategies to optimize your online local presence and ensure that your business effectively responds to local service searches.

1. Optimize your website for mobile.
With mobile devices prevalent in local searches, ensuring that your site is fast, secure, and responsive on all devices is essential. Include detailed business information, namely, name, address, and phone number, on all site pages. This will help search engines understand and gather your essential information more easily.

2. Create content relevant to your location.
Develop posts that reflect local interests, such as community events or unique features of the region, integrating local keywords to improve search relevance.

3. Use local keywords
Identify and incorporate relevant local search terms into your site’s content to increase the likelihood of appearing in searches specific to your region.

4. Obtain quality local backlinks.
Establish partnerships with other local businesses and participate in community events to garner backlinks that reinforce your relevance and authority in front of search engines. This is a way to tell Google that your site is relevant and trustworthy to the local community.

5. Implement structured data
Using structured data markers on your site helps search engines better understand the content and offer rich information in search results, like reviews and operating hours.

6. Develop specific pages for each location.
If you operate in multiple locations, create dedicated pages for each, providing specific information and thus improving local relevance in searches. Each should include operating hours, unique store descriptions, details about parking and traffic, promotions, and testimonials from satisfied customers.

7. Maximize the Google Business Profile
This free tool offers a golden opportunity to highlight your business, allowing you to have your information updated and attract customers through regular photos and posts.

8. Collect positive customer reviews.
Online reviews are a pillar of trust and directly influence visibility and ranking in search results. Encourage your customers to leave positive feedback about their experiences.

9.Register in local directories.
Presence in relevant directories increases online visibility and helps build quality backlinks, reinforcing your local web presence.

10. Monitor your online performance.
Use analytical tools to track the impact of your Local SEO strategies, allowing for continuous adjustments and improvements in your approach. 

You might need help from an SEO Consultant for these tasks. 

SEO local: como atrair mais clientes à sua loja

Best Practices for Local SEO

Local SEO is crucial for building a trusting and close relationship with your local audience and establishing yourself as a reference in the region. Therefore, I will leave you with some additional practices to maximize your business’s potential through local SEO.

  • Keep information up-to-date: Consistency and accuracy of information about your business, such as the address, phone number, and operating hours, are fundamental. Outdated or incorrect data can harm your ranking in search results and negatively affect customer trust in your business.
  • Respond to reviews: Interacting with positive or negative reviews shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to customer satisfaction. This practice not only improves the perception of your brand but can also positively influence your positioning in search results, as activity and interaction are factors valued by Google.
  • Leverage social media: An active presence on social media can significantly reinforce Local SEO. By sharing content relevant to your community, participating in local conversations, and promoting events or special offers, you increase your brand’s visibility and encourage local interaction. Social platforms also offer the opportunity to generate direct traffic to your site, complementing your other SEO strategies.
  • Promote special offers for local customers: Offers or promotions exclusively targeted at your local audience can increase sales and improve your positioning in local search results. These actions highlight your importance to the local community and encourage customers to choose your business over non-local competitors.
  • Actively participate in your community’s life: Whether through sponsoring local events, engaging in community initiatives, or collaborating with other local businesses, you can significantly increase your business’s visibility and reputation. These activities generate natural backlinks and relevant content for your site and strengthen connections with potential customers in your area.
  • Analyze and adjust your strategy regularly: The world of SEO is constantly evolving, as is the local market and the needs of your customers. Therefore, it is vital to monitor the performance of your Local SEO strategies and adjust them as needed. Analytical tools can offer valuable insights into user behaviour, the effectiveness of specific keywords, and areas for improvement.

  • Stay updated: Given the dynamic nature of SEO and digital marketing, staying informed about the latest trends and algorithm updates can be a competitive differentiator. Participating in webinars, reading industry publications, and exchanging experiences with other professionals are recommended practices for maintaining and expanding local online presence.
  • Create Questions & Answers on the Google Profile: Respond to user questions, provide accurate information, and improve interaction with the local community.
SEO local: como atrair mais clientes à sua loja física

Why is Local SEO Important?

Here are some of the main reasons why Local SEO is important:

  • Increased online visibility
    Local SEO helps improve a business’s visibility in search results for queries with a specific geographical location. This means that when people search for a product or service in the area where the business operates, it’s more likely to appear in search results.
  • Relevant traffic
    By optimizing for local search terms, businesses attract more relevant visitors. People searching for services or products in a specific area are more likely to convert (make a purchase, for example) than those outside the business’s service area.
  • Improved user experience
    Local SEO often involves optimizing the website and information on the Google Business Profile and other directories. In addition to useful information like operating hours, address, phone number, and constantly updated reviews, it generally improves the user experience.
  • Local competition
    Local SEO helps compete more effectively with other businesses in the same area. A business must be optimized for local searches to maintain market share with competitors.
  • Growth of mobile device usage
    More and more people are using their mobile phones to search when they’re on the move, usually to find businesses and services near them. Local SEO ensures that a business appears in these geographically restricted searches.
  • Building community and loyalty
    Businesses that appear in local search results can build a stronger local customer base and foster loyalty. This helps with repeat sales and increases the likelihood of satisfied customers recommending the business to friends and family.
  • Precise data analysis
    Local SEO allows for collecting accurate data on how visitors find the company’s website, what keywords they use, and from what geographical area they are. This allows for further fine-tuning of marketing strategies and the products or services.

In summary, local SEO is essential to any business’s marketing strategy. It aims to maximize a business’s visibility to the local audience, drive qualified traffic to its website, and increase sales. With careful implementation of the strategies above by an SEO Consultant and a continuous approach of optimization and adaptation, your business will be well-positioned to stand out in a competitive market and capture potential customers’ attention. 

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