What is Google Local SEO? Most of us take the convenience Google provides for granted. In what way you may wonder? For example, when typing phrases like “best sushi restaurant” into Google, we seldom pause to wonder why the results that pop up are automatically relevant to our current location. Wherever we happen to be at the time of our query, Google is there to guide us in the direction of whichever service we require through our mobile devices.
Little do we know that beneath this apparent simplicity lies a studied and intentional process called: Local Search Engine Optimization (local SEO). In order to appear in local results when a prospective customer makes a search query—no matter how specific the query is, like the example in the prior paragraph, quite general—businesses must not only be optimized for organic SEO, but also for local SEO.
What is the difference between Organic and Local SEO?
Organic Search Engine Optimization is a complex series of “best practices” business owners undertake (or being managed by a second party) designed to optimize a business’s website so that Google’s search algorithm recognizes it as a site of relevance and authority when users input related keywords. Organic SEO is absolutely necessary to any small businesses, as it is needed to direct traffic to different sites without the business owner needing to continually invest in costly marketing tactics like Google AdWords. Organic SEO strategies include keyword research (so that business owners can effectively target keywords users associate with their niche), content creation, on-page optimization (effective titles, headers, sub-headers, etc.), and link building.
Local Search Engine Optimization, on the other hand, makes direct use of Google’s interface so that one’s business will not only rank well generally but also featured prominently when local users search for related keywords. Local SEO relies heavily on the use of Google My Business (GMB), which in 2014, fully integrated with Google+ Local so as to provide businesses and similar consumers with a seamless and cohesive experience. As Google stated in its official announcement at the time when these services were fully integrated, the purpose of GMB is to integrate all the services Google has to offer businesses—allowing even small business owners who lack significant technical or SEO experience to set their businesses up and connect with local customers. Creating a GMB page is free of charge, so optimizing Local SEO is not only one of the most effective forms of SEO but also one of the most cost-effective. As such, if you cannot yet afford to invest in the content creation strategies required for Organic SEO, Local SEO provides the perfect place to start getting words about your business “out there”.
How can Google My Business benefit my business?
- Easily update their business information on Search, Maps, and Google+, all from one convenient location. Merchants can update any kind of information related to their business, such as contact information, hours of operation, website details, and business descriptions, at any time. This information will then automatically appear in Google’s Knowledge Graph, the box of related material that pops up when users input related search queries (this graph includes facts, photos, maps, etc.
- Create a “virtual tour” of their place of business. GMB lets business owners upload photos of their place of business so that prospective customers can easily locate them by sight, hence get a better sense of the business identity, level of professionalism, and so on. You can upload photos of your storefront, employees, customers, products, displays, and there is no limit to how many locations you can add.
- Manage online reviews. With GMB, not only you can receive reviews from customers, but also actively manage and respond to them. As online reputation management is absolutely essential to the success of any modern businesses, this ability is invaluable.
- Share upcoming events with new and existing customers. GMB lets business owners post events, news, updates and more thanks to its full integration with the business’s Google+ page. You will be able to immediately notify customers of sales events, for example, and your customers can comment on these events on Google+.
- Gather additional information relevant to SEO. GMB provides services like custom insights and AdWords Express which can yield further data on how customers are finding your business and interacting with it.
- Manage business information on the go. GMB provides mobile apps, the“Google My Business”on both Android and iOS platforms, which allow business owners to update information relevant to their business from anywhere. In case there is a temporary change in your hours of operation, you can immediately notify your customers using the GMB app. In short, GMB puts you in direct, constant contact with your customers—no matter where you are, and no matter where they are.
To get started using GMB, you need to first “claim” your business on Google, then go to “Choose Business Type” and tell Google whether your business is a “Storefront,” (e.g. a restaurant or retail outlet), “Service Area,” (for instance, a Taxi service), or a “Brand.” A Brand, in this case, is defined as a “non-local” entity such as a “product, sports team, music band, cause, etc.” If you choose “Brand,” you will not need to include an address or any other location information.
Or you can just leave the Local SEO services to us and watch your business grow across the digital marketing platform.
Contact – AllinBrand
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