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Local SEO: What is its role and importance?

Local SEO is an essential SEO strategy often underestimated by most brick-and-mortar businesses that serve a specific location. Well, many might think, when there is a well-optimized business website through which you can target the entire online world with higher rankings on search engines, then what is the need for local SEO?

But, according to Google, almost 46% of its searches have a ‘local intent’ included.

That’s why every business needs to get found in local search results to reach its full potential. And there are high chances to scale up the businesses when found by their local audience searching online for their products/services.

This article will take you through the ins and outs of local SEO to understand its role and significance in improving businesses by increasing the chances of ranking higher for local search results.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a branch of SEO that mainly focuses on optimizing a business’s website on search engines to rank higher for search terms that include a local intent. The local intent in the search terms can be either the physical location of a business or the specific region.

Who should adopt Local SEO?

Any business with a local storefront either at a single or multiple locations or which serves a set of specific local areas should use local SEO. In addition, serviced-based businesses where the workers can travel to the customer’s location in a specified geographic area can use local SEO to improve their business. Some of the examples which fall under service-based businesses include plumbing, construction, electrical services, etc.

What are the benefits of Local SEO?

Investing in local SEO is beneficial for both brick-and-mortar and service-based businesses as well. To run with the pace of the digital world, today’s businesses should maintain both physical and digital storefronts. The local SEO helps you make your digital storefront visible online and attracts more customers. Apart from this, local SEO brings many advantages that help even small businesses turn big with continuous efforts.

The benefits of local SEO include:

  • Increased footfall to storefronts with the customers who are either local or searching for the products/service in the specific locations.
  • Helps to establish business’s brand image
  • Boosts website traffic for the most relevant searches
  • Bridges the gap between the businesses and customers with increased accessibility
  • Improves lead count with calls/bookings and thus results in higher ROI
  • Reduces the need for paid advertising
  • Builds trust and authority by elevating the level of appeal in the local market 

How different is local SEO from SEO?

While general SEO mainly focuses on achieving higher rankings for niche-specific queries on SERPs, local SEO aims to rank the websites in higher positions in specific geographical locations for the searches with a local component. With local SEO, small businesses can benefit from the local audience, who often perform online searches.

In addition to this, Google can also understand to a certain extent whether the audience is looking for a local solution or not based on the search term, even if the local component is not included. Therefore optimizing a website for local SEO with location-specific keywords and building quality backlinks to the local events pages can boost its online presence in relevant areas; where the storefront is physically located or in the set of specific areas a business serves its customers.

Finally, local SEO refers to all the search engines and not Google alone. Though Google is the most used search engine worldwide with a whopping 92% of its search engine market share, it is also important for businesses to optimize for local SEO on other search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Apple.

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