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Local search and local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) are essential for businesses that want to attract customers from the local area. Used by various types of businesses, organizations, and professionals that operate in specific geographic areas, the overall aim of the game is to appear at the top of the search engine results pages to attract local customers to your business.

What’s the difference between local search and local SEO?

Local search and local SEO are related concepts but refer to different aspects of online marketing. Let's clarify the difference between the two:

Local search

Local search refers to the process that users perform when looking for products, services, or information with a specific local intent. This means that the search query includes location-specific terms, such as city names, zip codes, or "near me" phrases. The primary goal of local search is to find businesses, services, or resources in a particular geographical area. For example, someone might search for "best restaurants in New York," "plumbers near me," or "gyms in Los Angeles." The search engine (e.g., Google) will then return relevant search results based on the user's location or the location specified in the search query.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy aimed at optimizing a website's online presence to improve its visibility in local search results. It involves various tactics and techniques to increase a business's chances of being found by potential customers when they conduct local searches. The main objective of local SEO is to enhance a business's local search ranking, ensuring it appears in the local pack (the map and business listings section that appears in local search results) and organic search results when users search for relevant local products or services.

Here's a quick guide to help you understand the basics of using local SEO to optimize local search.

🔍Setting up a Google My Business (GMB)

GMB is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to create and manage your online presence on Google Maps and Google Search. It's a critical element of local SEO, as it will help your business appear in local search results and provide essential information to potential customers, such as business hours, address, phone number, and customer reviews.

🔍Using local citations

Local citations are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on various websites, directories, and online platforms. Consistency in NAP information across different platforms helps improve local SEO and ensures that customers can find accurate information about your business.

🔍Incorporating local keywords

It’s important to identify and incorporate local keywords that are relevant to your business and location into your website content and GMB profile. For instance, if you're a dentist in Los Angeles, use keywords like "Los Angeles dentist," "dentist near me in LA," etc.

🔍On-page optimization

You can optimize your website for local search by including location-specific information on your pages, such as city names, neighborhoods served, and local contact details. Ensure that your website's meta tags, headings, and content align with your local SEO strategy.

🔍Gathering customer reviews

Positive reviews are EVERYTHING to local businesses. Try to encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your GMB listing and other relevant review platforms—such as your Facebook Business Page. Positive reviews can boost your visibility in local search results and improve your reputation among potential customers.

🔍Building a mobile-friendly website

With the increasing use of mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for local SEO. You may find it helpful to work with a web developer, who can ensure that your website is responsive and provides a seamless user experience on different devices.

🔍Local link building

Local links can boost your local search rankings and establish your business as a relevant and trustworthy local entity. Do what you can to network with other business owners, seeking opportunities to earn backlinks from local websites, directories, and other businesses. 

🔍Developing a local content strategy

This one may seem obvious, but you’ve got to create content that appeals to your local audience! Consider producing blog posts, videos, or other content that highlights local events, news, and topics related to your industry in your area.

Increase your visibility, increase your sales

Remember with local SEO, that the process is an ongoing one, and it may take some time to see significant results. In order to reap the benefits, regularly monitor your local search performance, adapt your strategy as needed, and stay actively engaged with your local audience to make the most of local search opportunities.

Need some support? Our search engine optimization experts can design relevant website content that encompasses topics and subtopics, which overtime, evolves into a valuable local traffic source. 

Speak to one of our team today. 

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