When your business relies on local customers to be successful, general SEO just isn’t enough. Local SEO for brick and mortar businesses focuses on proven search engine optimization tactics that put your business at the top of local search results for people in your geographic area.
The Difference between Everyday SEO and Local SEO for Brick and Mortar Businesses
Studies show local searches are performed by customers looking to make a purchase soon, most of them the same day.
A dentist in Colorado Springs, for example, with a dental clinic that serves just the surrounding area, should obviously have an SEO strategy in place. But with no service or product that can be bought online, that SEO strategy needs to be focused specifically on local search results.
Local SEO uses geographical keywords and designators that let search engines know your business is highly relevant in local search results. Optimizing for local search lowers competition for the top spots in search results because you are competing only with businesses within a certain radius of your geographical location.
A local dentist won’t rank on the first three pages of national search results (which is the furthest anyone will look) for any meaningful keywords competing against every dentist in the United States.
And if this dentist did somehow rank on the first page of Google search results, what good is all that SEO effort if someone a 400 miles away found his clinic because of a blog post on veneers? Local SEO focuses on getting the attention of customers in your area who are likely to buy.
That is why brick and mortar businesses need specialized local SEO to rank high in the local searches that bring in new customers.
On-Page and Off-Page Local SEO
Mastering local SEO involves executing a handful of on-page and off-page SEO tasks that optimize your website for long-term local search visibility. When done right, it helps search engines and search users find, sort, and prioritize your most important information, such as location, services, and benefits.
On-Page Local SEO Tactics include:
- Optimize URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content.
- Add location pages to your website.
- Create local content.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Improve the internal linking structure.
- Speed up website loading time.
Off-Page Local SEO Tactics include:
- Optimize Google My Business accounts.
- Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent online.
- Optimize online directories and citations.
- Get inbound links with relevance and authority.
- Engage relevant audiences on social media.
Local SEO for Brick and Mortar Businesses
Many of the things you need to do as part of your local SEO strategy are small tasks that will have a huge impact.
If you don’t like where your business is ranking in local search results, then now is the time to ask yourself these Local SEO for Brick and Mortar Businesses questions to get started:
- Are you gathering and posting five-star customer reviews and testimonials on your site as well as top review sites?
- Have you claimed, verified, and optimized your Google My Business Listing?
- Do you have a business blog with useful localized content to show your expertise and give the search engines more content to index and provide in search results?
- Have you verified and corrected all your online business listings?
Local search is so powerful for brick and mortar businesses! Four out of five consumers use search to find local information, so if your business is not optimized for local search, you could be missing out on 80% of your potential customers. Don’t let new customers slip through your fingers.