Having the right arsenal of local SEO tools is key to your search ranking initiatives. Even with a basic grasp of SEO fundamentals, you can take advantage of local SEO strategies to expand your reach deeper into the local market, and build a brand with deep roots in your home community.
So what is Local SEO, anyway?
If your physical address is within proximity to the user, search engines consider you a more qualified match than your competitors located further away. Local SEO focuses on making your website more visible to your local audience or market.
Whether your website serves as your online storefront (i.e. travel agency, custom jewelry, courier service), or you have a brick-and-mortar location (restaurant, dry cleaner, auto repair shop, etc), your business address is a critical piece of information used by search engines to determine your relevance to a query.
Why is local SEO important to Small Businesses?
Market research conducted by Go-Globe Web Development in 2016 revealed that 46 per cent of all searches on Google are local. A few significant findings for local search include:
- The Google 3-pack ranks highest in 93 per cent of all local searches.
- 50 per cent of those surveyed who conducted a local search visited the store within the next day.
- 46 per cent of all searches on Google are local.
- 71 per cent said the look up a business address before visiting the physical location for the first time.
- 1 in 3 smartphone searches took place moments before the store visit.
Consumers have made it clear that they want solutions located within geo-proximity to their location. In other words, your website’s ranking in search results is largely based on your physical address. You can even edge out large franchises and rank higher in local SERP’s if your business is closer to the user.
Can Any Business Or Industries Benefit From Local SEO?
Some industries benefit from local SEO more than others, but even if you don’t have a physical location, you should be listing a physical address for your business online. Professional services, home repairs, real estate agents, health and medicine, restaurants and neighborhood services (pet walking, community outreach) are just a few examples.
Where Do I Start?
Web administrators and SEO professionals rely on a wide range of software tools to help them analyze, diagnose and implement effective optimization strategies. Many self-employed entrepreneurs and freelancers are hands-on, managing their blog or website without professional help
There are literally thousands of programs and SaaS products to choose from, but how do you know which ones are the best for local SEO? This short list is by no means complete, but it’s a good start if you’re not technically inclined. There are plenty of free programs available for local SEO as well:
5 Software Tools for Local SEO
- Google My Business: If you want to rank higher in local SERP, there’s no better way to position your website into the coveted top 3 spots than registering with Google My Business . You can also explore as many as ten alternative business category listings to expand your relevance and capture more leads.
- AuthoritySpy: Looking for influencers to help spread the word about your company? AuthoritySpy is a link building tool that helps you find the top bloggers and other influencers in your industry and region.
- Buzzstream: Once you start receiving more traffic, more inquiries, comments and feedback, you’ll need a streamlined method of managing and prioritizing replies. You want to be able to react to negative feedback, misinformation or misconceptions in a timely manner before they can harm your reputation. Buzzstream is an email and link manager that can be fully integrated with other email manager software such as Mailchimp. With Buzzstream it’s easy to save emails and tweets, schedule follow –ups, alerts, and stay on top of all your online communications.
- Citation Lab’s Link Prospector: In addition to another of other outreach software, Citation Lab offers a Link Prospector tool that helps you identify and prospect potential backlink opportunities. This program will save you hundreds of hours spent researching and prospecting the right sources, and boost your presence in social media through likes and shares. Search engines rank content that has high social engagement as more relevant and useful than pages void of any user interaction.
- Google Alerts: OK, so Google gets preferential treatment but they truly do offer some great tools for SEO, especially for small businesses. Google Alerts sends you alerts of online citations. Whenever your business is mentioned online, you’ll be notified so you can respond and take immediate advantage of new opportunities. Potential clients will be impressed by your prompt response, which makes it easier to get a referral, a review or a testimonial later.
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