If you are the owner of a business with a physical, brick-and-mortar location that services clients that walk-in either by chance or appointment, you can benefit from local SEO. This form of SEO is designed to cater specifically to potential customers who live, work, or otherwise travel through the area that your business provides services in.
Why Is Local SEO So Important?
This type of SEO can be thought of as an advertising billboard that targets people directly when they are looking for your product or service and are in close enough to come by and get it. The increasing proliferation of mobile phones, tablet computers and other on-the-go networking solutions means that more and more people want results, “Here and now”.
When you create and then claim a local profile through Google, you allow for SEO practices to then apply to what Google knows about your business. If you own a steakhouse restaurant in a particular neighborhood, it would be highly beneficial for it to show up when someone nearby asks Google for steakhouse restaurants. This directly responds to that here-and-now mentality, and improves the likelihood of that person walking right in.
What Specifically Improves Local SEO?
In order to get people who are nearby to enter your place of business through SEO practices, it is necessary to gather citations, check-ins, and reviews. The more people check-in to your place of business or leave positive reviews, the more likely it is to show up first on a search using keywords related to that business.
Another important and easily overlooked factor is your proximity to the busy downtown district of the city in question. Google, for example, operates with a bias towards locations that are closer to the center of the city in question. Location is just as important online as it is in the physical world, so it is important to compensate if you happen to have your business on the outskirts of a major city.
How To Improve Your Ranking
Google is only one search engine, and creating a citation for your business in Google Places is just a single step towards developing a presence online. Increasing the number of citations by registering your business in other locally informative websites is key to gathering higher rankings. Many paid services exist to register your citations with all the available websites that earn you local SEO benefits, and can help tremendously towards getting your business more customers- even if you do not have a website.