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What You Don't Know Online Can Hurt You

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How do you know if you need a local SEO strategy? The critical word in this question is "local." Do you own a business that draws in customers from zero to 15 miles away? Would potential customers looking for your products and services drive up to ten minutes to get to your business? If you can answer yes to these questions, chances are you need to manage your local SEO strategy.

So, what is local SEO? And why is it important?

What Is Local SEO?

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Local SEO involves optimizing your online presence to attract business from local searches on Google and other search engines. According to Hubspot's local SEO statistics, 46% of all Google searchers are looking for local information. And 72% of consumers who searched for a local product or service using local SEO near me searches visited a store within five miles.

So, does local SEO work? It sure did if you were one of those businesses. Are you wondering where to start? To illustrate the benefits of focusing on local SEO, we've put together a list of five reasons why it's essential for your business success.

5 Reasons Local SEO Is Essential for Your Business Success

Reason #1 - Your Business Details Appear in Front of Consumers Looking for Your Products and Services

Remember the good old days when you scoured the yellow pages to find businesses offering the products and services you needed? Today, all you do is type the product or service you're looking for into a search engine on your laptop, desktop, or mobile device. The businesses that provide those products or services will pop up. And, if you type "near me," it'll show you everything close enough to drive to from your current location.

Pretty slick. Those local SEO "near me" searches save you time. Just choose what you like, pull up the map and directions, and you're good to go. If you look at those results carefully, you'll see they're populated by online business directories, much like the yellow pages of bygone days.

When you compare local SEO vs. organic SEO, both are still important. You want a content marketing strategy that helps your pages rank in search engine results for specific keywords and keyword phrases (the goal of organic SEO strategies). But local SEO is critical for businesses that serve a localized community. It's somewhat less important for global companies that draw customers from all over.

Reason #2 - Consistently Accurate Online Directory Citations Boost Your Organic and Local Pack Rankings

You must list your business name, address, and phone number accurately and consistently across the top-ranked local citations and business directories. That information is referred to as your NAP Data (name, address, phone). A search engine bot is more likely include your business in the search engine results pages (SERPs) if it's confident that your information is consistent and accurate.

That seems fair. Do you think you might get frustrated if Google sent you to a business that isn't there or gave you a phone number that's no longer in service? Search engines want to find this basic information about your business in numerous places throughout the internet.

When they find that information in several places-and it's all consistent and correctthey trust the data. But if Google or Bing, for example, see confusing, inconsistent data, they consider it less valid-less reliable. Therefore, search engines are more likely to bypass you in favor of a business with more consistent NAP Data.

Reason #3 - Your Business Site Gets More Links Back to It from Authoritative, Trusted Sites

Backlinks, or links pointing to your site from trusted, authoritative websites, play an essential role in SEO. They validate your website's existence, proving that your site is a viable force in the vast internet universe. Additionally, some directory citation sites add a website URL field to their listings and display these URLs as 'dofollow' links. That passes valuable link equity to your site. Search engines use backlinks to determine your domain authority, boosting your SEO (as opposed to 'nofollow' links, which are nice but don't give you any juice).

Want another great way to snag a backlink while doing something else worthwhile to build your business? Join the local chamber of commerce or other business group. Doing this will provide a relevant local link back to your website, and you can network at local events. While you're at these events, you might pick up some business or even more backlink opportunities.

In addition, if you have vendors or are a product provider, you may want them to link to your website as well (with a dofollow link, of course).

Reason #4 - Your Business Will Be Closer to Landing on the First Page of Search Engine Results

Online business directories take up quite a bit of real estate on search engine results pages (SERPs). As a result, local businesses they list in their directories get top billing on local search queries. If you're not on those lists...

You need to know how to get your business listed in these local citations business directories because you'll lose out on valuable business. And what you don't know online can hurt you.

You might have the best pizza in town, but if the guy across town doesn't find you when he searches for "pizza near me," he's going to go buy his pizza from your competitor. And that brings us to Reason #5.

Reason #5 - Your Business Will Gain Opportunities for Third-Party Reviews

Here are the three core pillars for ranking well in the Google Local Map Pack.

We've touched on relevance and proximity. Now it's time to talk about prominence: the positive reputation and comments your business enjoys across the internet. How do search engines find this information? Many citations and directories allow customers to post reviews and grade their experiences with local businesses.

If you deliver excellent service, your business will benefit from this added perk. But it's not enough to get good reviews. You should also respond to them. And, if you get a negative review, don't sweat it. Just be sure you keep your cool and respond appropriately. Work on resolving the issue as quickly as possible. Even a simple apology is better than no response at all.

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More Tips for Local SEO

Local SEO for multiple locations, list all of your staffed locations, including the complete name, address, and phone number on a Contact Us page on your site.

For businesses with 10 or fewer locations, list the complete name, address, and phone number of each location in the sitewide footer.

Make sure people can easily find your phone number on your website-and that it's clickable on mobile devices.

Just as you want to be consistent on the directories, make sure your NAP Data is consistent across all pages of your website.

If your business serves multiple locations, you need a separate page with unique content for each site. Avoid copying and pasting from one page to the other.

Customize Your Local SEO to Your Business Type

So, what you don't know online can hurt you. If your business isn't working on a local SEO strategy, you're leaving money on the table that your competitor across town will pick up.

Local SEO works well, but it takes time and patience just like organic SEO. That's why many businesses hire a local SEO agency to put all the pieces together.

SEO technology, a rather new product of the dotcom boom, is a method to boost the traffic to an individual's website. SEO technology is used so a website appears earlier in the search engine results which will lead to an automatic increase in the traffic. This is a rather natural process as there is no affected appearance on the search engine page through advertisement but due to optimization the site ranks higher and appears in the search results.

The SEO technology can be targeted at specific searches such as image search, industry search or also regional searches for city or locality based requirements. Search engine use spiders or crawlers which inspect all websites and rank them on the basis of information displayed, on the basis of the rank the pages are displayed higher in the search results, therefore to be ranked higher your website needs to be informative and well presented.

The most important requirement of SEO technology is the proper and optimized use of keywords which increase hits and results in large amount of traffic to your website. An effective application of keywords could lead to the display of your website on the first page of a website which would result in a larger number of visitors. In the past as SEO technology was a fairly new concept, the cost of optimization was greater as only a few experts dealt with the same, now with self help tutorials and a number of professionals in the field the cost relatively much lesser.

With the availability of various software that identify keywords and also optimize your website for greater visibility through search engines the task of optimization is very convenient and rather easy. Software available today scrutinize search engine hits and analyze what SEO technology a better ranking website would be using. Not only for business purposes but even while writing a blog SEO technology can be used to achieve greater visibility.

Primarily as a marketing strategy SEO technology foresees what a consumer searches for and how search engines function, combining the two optimization of any website would increase traffic. There a number of search engines which work on a commission basis where they demand fees either on the basis of either permanent visibility or cost per click, where the website owner pays for the number of times a visitor visited seo specialist their website through the Yahoo search engine. An unaccepted and largely immoral SEO technique is called black hat SEO technology where the developer uses techniques such as link farming or keyword stuffing which are considered to unethical and lead to a lifetime ban to the website from the relevant search engine. Google and other search engines make a point to discourage developers using aggressive marketing skills for more visibility, for this they analyze the off page factors such as page rank and hyperlink analysis.