Local search is concerned with the marketing of a business to local customers through the use of online platforms. It is about making sure businesses are found online for searches for local products and services.
When someone searches for something on their computer, phone, or tablet, they are looking for quick, helpful results. Local search takes this one step further by helping people find local businesses, local attractions, and local services that meet their needs.
To be successful in local search, businesses need to ensure they’re properly listed and promoted on the appropriate platforms.
Here is a comprehensive overview of local search, including guidelines and best practices.
What is Local Search?
Local search is a form of Internet marketing that focuses on promoting a business within a specific geographic area. It is considered a subset of search engine marketing (SEM) and is designed to specifically target local consumers.
In essence, it is a way for local businesses to reach customers in their area through the use of search engine optimization (SEO) and other digital marketing techniques. This can involve creating and managing digital assets such as websites, social media accounts, directories, and advertising campaigns.
Local search ensures that businesses appear prominently at the top of search results for local searches, allowing more customers to be reached.
Why is Local Search Important?
Local search has become increasingly important in recent years as the number of people using their mobile devices to search for local businesses has risen. Many people now only use the internet to search for local businesses, so it’s critical that you show up in local search results if you want to increase your visibility and be successful.
Another reason local search is so important is that it gives businesses the opportunity to target a very specific audience. For example, if you own a restaurant in London, you can use local search to make sure you’re appearing for relevant search terms in the city, such as ‘best Italian restaurant in London’.
This type of targeted outreach is incredibly powerful and can be incredibly effective in helping to drive more customers to your business.
General Guidelines for Local Search
When it comes to local search, there are a few basic steps you should take to make sure your business is properly listed and promoted.
Claim and Complete Directory Listings
The first step is to claim and complete directory listings. This involves signing up for local business directories and filling out the appropriate fields with your business information. This includes details such as your address, contact number, website, and opening hours.
Make sure to include as much information as possible to ensure you’re visible in local search results. Also, double-check your information and make sure it’s accurate.
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It’s important to note here that the accuracy and completeness of your listing information is critical to ensuring you show up in search results.
Set Up Geolocation
The next step is to set up geolocation for your business. This involves determining your business’s specific location (if applicable) and then telling search engines like Google and Bing where your business is located.
You can do this by using local listings such as Google My Business, which allow you to enter your business address and other information. This helps search engines pinpoint your business’s exact location, allowing them to show it more prominently on local search results.
Build Local Citations
Citations, or mentions, are simply references to your business on other websites, such as directories or other local businesses. You should work to build local citations by having your business listed on as many local websites and directories as possible, as this will help build up your presence in local search results.
Best Practices for Local Search
Once you’ve completed the steps above, you should focus on optimizing your local search strategy. Here are some of the best practices you should consider when it comes to local search:
Optimize Your Titles, Descriptions, and Content
Your website content and titles should reflect your local area and be optimized to include relevant keywords that represent your business and the local area. This will help to improve your organic search rankings and ensure your website appears prominently in local search results.
Prioritize Mobile Searches
As more people use their mobile devices to search for local businesses, it’s important to optimize your website and content for mobile. This should involve making sure your website loads quickly and is easy to use on smaller screens, as this will help to boost your rankings and ensure your website is visible in local search results.
Encourage Reviews and Engagement
Finally, you should work to encourage reviews and engagement from local customers. Reviews and comments from past customers are incredibly valuable and will help to boost your online presence, as customers are more likely to trust businesses that have a high rating.
You should also encourage customers to leave reviews and comments on your social media pages, as this will add credibility and authenticity to your online presence.
Local search is an essential part of online marketing, as it allows businesses to attract local customers and increase their visibility online. To make sure you’re taking full advantage of local search, you should ensure your website and business information are listed on as many local directories and websites as possible, as well as optimizing your content and titles for SEO. You should also focus on encouraging reviews and engagement from local customers, as this will help to boost your rankings in search results.