Local SEO: the what, the how, the why

Start with the neighborhood

If you’re a website owner or are looking into building an identity online, you’ve probably heard the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) many times by now. Yes, ideally, you’d want the world to know what you’re doing and purchase your products and services. However, starting local might be a more effective way of growing your business—local SEO is a very effective way to market your business online and reaching local customers where they are, at the time they’re looking for your products and services.

Many people go online every day to find the best local businesses in their area whether it may be a restaurant, a hairdresser or a plumber. This is where local SEO comes into play:

They can find you when they search for the products and/or services you offer.

We have some tips to help you make the best of local SEO.

1. What does good SEO look like?

For example, do a search for “mall in dubai” on Google, and investigate the websites that appear on top. What do they have in common? The first thing you’ll notice is they’ll all have their address (therefore, location) and contact details in place.

local seo google search

It’s very, very important to tell search engines where they can find you, and including your actual mailing address on your website is an important step in doing that. It is also important to make sure you spell your business’s name, address and phone number the same way across the web.

2. Register your business on Google My Business

Make sure to get your free business listing on Google My Business. In doing so, make sure you write SEO-friendly content, choose the correct categories for your business, upload quality photographs, enter your local phone number, enter your address that matches the one on your website, upload high-resolution profile and cover photos and add your work hours. And remember; Google My Business is a great platform to collect real reviews and ratings.

3. Be present on other websites

If your website is cited on others, search engines view your business’s listing more favorably. Some ways to do that include getting listed on online business directories (like the local yellow pages) or getting your website mentioned on blogs or other sites. The online directories you can find through a simple Google search. To get mentioned on other websites, you can contact local bloggers and try sending press releases to local news sites.

4. Encourage reviews and testimonials

Online reviews and customer testimonials are essential to local SEO. You can ask your customers to review your business through your social channels or in your email newsletters. Put those on your website so new visitors can see people have already had a good experience with you and be encouraged to work with you.

Conclusion

According to we are social data, there are now more than 4 billion people around the world using the Internet. Instead of focusing on all of them, start with those who are near, who have a higher possibility of stopping by your store and making a purchase. Stronger local search results can lead to more customers that turn into royal ones and maybe even brand ambassadors.

Image by: mari lezhava via Unsplash.

Selina Bieber
Based in Istanbul, Selina is part of the GoDaddy EMEA team managing the Turkey and MENA regions to help grow the GoDaddy brand and business. With a background in marketing communications, Selina is passionate about small businesses, the entrepreneurial eco-system and leveraging digital technologies to get ahead of the game. Prior to joining GoDaddy, Selina led the PR activities of Facebook, VeriSign and Euler Hermes in Turkey, and was based in Amsterdam to head up regional media relations across Europe for a natural gas project. Selina is a self-professed foodie and travel addict.