46% of all Google searches are local. Local SEO is increasingly important today. Users primarily search via their smartphones. For this reason, it is crucial to optimize local SEO (more and more SEO specialists are dealing with this). In this article, we cover more about how to do this.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a way for local businesses to increase their findability. Often search terms are capitalized on with the intention of making a purchase nearby. Consider search terms with a village or city in the search term. Local SEO ensures that businesses are more visible at the right times.
Who is local SEO of interest to?
Increasing local SEO is of interest to businesses that have a physical store or service. Examples include restaurants, dentists or supermarkets. For a restaurant, it would obviously be interesting to be present at the moment when someone types in the next search query:
“Eating Out Rotterdam”
If a restaurant is present here in Google, chances are that person will go to this restaurant. This way, the restaurant gets more guests through local SEO.
The importance of local findability
Local SEO responds excellently to the trend that more and more users are using their mobile to browse. On a cell phone, local search results are prioritized more often than on desktop. This is because a person on a mobile is often looking for something nearby.
Google reads off from the IP address what a searcher’s exact location is. Based on this, Google shows relevant search results that are near the searcher.
A survey was conducted by “Fresh Egg” in 2013. This research has shown that four out of five searchers on a cell phone have local intent. This includes: These searchers are looking for local information or a local business. Two out of three people take immediate action as a result and one out of three makes a purchase based on this information. So it is hugely important for a local business (or one with multiple locations) to optimize for this.
Local SEO tips
Below we share some tips to improve local SEO for your website. Many aspects that are important for local SEO are also important for SEO in general. So optimizing for local SEO is like a knife that cuts both ways.
Setting up Google My Company correctly
Setting up Google My Business is very important: This information is displayed in Google’s search results. Filling in data correctly in Google My Business immediately improves your position in Google Maps. In addition, you increase online visibility.
All the data you enter can be seen when a nearby searcher is looking for your product. Verify that you are the owner and provide up to date information.
Subscribe to directories
Submitting to directories is important to improve local findability. This helps because it provides backlinks associated with local intent. A directory is a platform to which you link your website.
For example, this could be Yelp if you have a hospitality business. It is important here to pick out directories for relevance.
Create establishment pages
Do you own a business with multiple locations? Then create a separate page for each branch. Optimize each page for SEO. In addition, it is vital that each page contain unique content. This should be done to avoid duplicate content and make each page rank for its own keywords.
Use the keyword
Place the keyword with local intent in the H1 of the page. For example, if you are a restaurant in Rotterdam, you can make the H1 look like this: Restaurant Rotterdam. This way you make sure you are findable when someone is looking for a restaurant in Rotterdam.
Ensure consistent entries
Everywhere you are listed on the Internet should have the same NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address & Place. When this is the same everywhere, Google gets confirmation over and over again that this is actually your company’s address.
User reviews are hugely important in a company’s local SEO. They provide an easy way for potential customers to see what customers are saying about your business. In addition, this plays a huge role in the decision-making process.
Encourage customers to leave an online review. Google notices this and sees it as signals of reliability.
- Ask your customers to leave a review after selling a product or completing a project.
- Look at user reviews on other platforms such as Facebook.
- Comment on posted reviews.
- Make it easy for the customer and send a link that allows them to write a review directly.
- Handle complaints and accommodate these customers.
List the NAP on the website
By listing the NAP on the website, you tell Google in which region you are most findable.
For almost every business, local SEO is very important. Make sure you are present at the times when potential customers are looking for similar businesses. When you don’t do this, your competitor will!
Frequently Asked Questions
I get questions daily regarding working with an SEO specialist and the advantages/disadvantages of this possible collaboration. I have written out the questions asked and answers given below from my own experience in this area.
What is local SEO?
Local search engine optimization or local SEO is something you hear about more and more these days and is also becoming increasingly important. It means improving the online findability of your business or website specifically your neighborhood.
As an example, a plumbing company in Vlaardingen. People who live in or near Vlaardingen and are dealing with a clogged toilet are likely to google: unclogging company Vlaardingen. When you as a plumbing company bet on local SEO, you appear in this person’s first search results. Chances are at this point that this visitor will become a potential customer of yours.
Achieving local SEO requires special methods. In fact, these are more specific techniques than normal SEO. You can use tools and services specifically designed for local SEO in this case.
How does local search engine optimization work?
Local search engine optimization, or local SEO, works a little differently than regular SEO work. The Google algorithm uses several factors to determine positions of your locations in Google Search and Google Maps. Google indicates using the following factors:
- Relevance: this indicates the extent to which your company profile matches what someone is looking for
- Distance: this deals with how far each possible search result is from the location term used in a search, or from which location someone is searching from
- Prominence: this refers to how well known a company is. This pillar is determined in part by the number of online mentions.
Local search engine optimization is performed in 4 steps:
- Keyword research and strategy: determine your objectives and conduct a keyword research. An objective could be, for example, more visitors in your store.
- Optimize Google My Company: optimize this profile based on the findings from the keyword research.
- Improve Ranking in Google Search & Maps: make sure your locations are shown in the local 3-pack for relevant local search terms.
- Analyze and adjust: analyze your strategy and monitor results. If you want to do local SEO in other locations, you can roll out this strategy there.
What are the benefits of local SEO?
One advantage to local SEO is that you reach your target audience and thus potential customers at the time of need. Especially when you have a business that operates in the neighborhood. In such a moment, local SEO ensures that traffic is created at the right time. So investing in local SEO always provides you with a good return and is effective when needed.
Some benefits of local SEO:
- A local audience leads to more conversion
- Rank higher locally in Google on important keywords
- More local brand awareness
Who is local SEO of interest to?
Local SEO is especially interesting for organizations with a local focus or one or more physical addresses. As the example was given above: a Vlaardingen-based unblocking company. Almost every business can benefit from local SEO, even those that focus on national level can develop a strategy where they become more visible in local search results. After all, it depends on the company’s market and the search behavior of potential customers.
Local SEO is of interest to organizations:
- with a few large or dozens to hundreds of small establishments
- where regional marketing is important
- with a specific local strategy
- that target search terms where many geographic results are shown
What are the differences between national SEO and local SEO?
There are certain differences between national and local SEO. Simply actually because you have a different objective. Indeed, using local SEO, a company wants to be visible to businesses in the region, while national SEO seeks visibility on specific topics.
Local SEO involves looking at Google Maps listings in addition to search results. These are boen the organic search results, so they are very important.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool from, you guessed it: Google. This tool allows you as a business to manage your business listing within Google Maps and Google Search. This listing appears for local searches, searches focused on the company name or search terms that match the categories assigned to the company. To use this tool, you do need a Chamber of Commerce number.
After you create Google My Business, you are visible with your business listing in the form of your address, phone number, business hours and reviews. You can also click through directly and find directions to your business, for example.