Local SEO: What is It and Why Should You Care?

May 22, 2023

Did you know that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information? Translation, if your business isn’t optimized for local search, you could be missing out on potential customers who are in your area and ready to shop. As your local digital marketing team, BCI Media knows just how important Local SEO is to a business’s success.  That’s why today we’ve put together this guide to teach you about local SEO, why it’s so important, and how you can implement it for your business. By the end of the guide, you’ll understand how best to optimize your business’s local search results to reach potential consumers in your area.


What is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the strategy behind the process of improving search engine visibility for local search results on Google. This strategy is primarily used by businesses with brick-and-mortar locations dependent on foot traffic. By following the best local SEO practices, businesses can improve organic traffic from searches performed by customers in local areas.

Why Should I Care About Local SEO?

If your business is already using a search engine optimization strategy, you may wonder why you need to care about local SEO. To explain why local SEO is important to your business, let’s take a look at some stats.

Local SEO

On top of improving your overall online brand awareness, local search is a significant driver of leads, sales, and in-store foot traffic for local businesses.

What Matters for Local SEO?

If you’re new to digital marketing, one of the main challenges is knowing what to focus on to make your efforts as effective as possible. Let’s do a brief overview before taking a deep dive. 

When a search is performed for a local keyword such as “pizza delivery” Google’s local search algorithm includes a proximity factor. This means Google takes your current location into account whether you include a qualifier such as a city name or “near me” or not.

To take advantage of this unique algorithm your business first and foremost needs to appear in The Local Pack. This is a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) feature that appears on the first page of results for any search query with local intent. It features a map of business locations along with listings for three businesses relevant to a particular search. Getting into the Local Pack requires a properly set up Google My Business listing, local specific website content and keywords, local customer reviews, and a social media presence.

Local SEO

Optimize Your Google My Business Page

Google currently holds about 85.55% of the search engine market share, making it the most popular search engine worldwide. With this in mind, the first step to Local SEO is to claim and optimize your Google My Business page. This listing appears when a user searches for your company name, location, information, or relevant local keywords on Google. And it is Google’s primary tool for identifying your business.

To ensure your Google My Business page is optimized you’ll want to:

  • Create a Google My Business page and verify it.
  • Include your website domain as well as physical address
  • Include any relevant Product/Service Categories and Labels
  • Ad current and relevant photos of your business
  • Keep your contact information and operating hours up to date
  • Encourage your customers to share reviews online and respond to both positive and negative reviews in a professional manner. 

To make the most of this free listing include as many details about your business as possible. Once Google can verify your business as authentic, the search engine giant could potentially reward your business with a coveted sidebar space in Google’s local search.

Make the Most of Customer Reviews

Fun fact, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family, and 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a local business. Statistics like that make it easy to see how important reviews are, and not just for SEO purposes. Encourage customers to leave reviews, and take the time to leave genuine responses. Remember that even a negative review can become a positive for your business if you respond well.

Local SEO

Engage on Social Media

Google considers content shared on social media more relevant now than ever before. So much so that the search engine giant uses your Facebook business page when considering your local business ranking. To keep your customer’s engaged share relevant local content on your social media accounts and take part in the conversation.

Keep Your Name, Address and Phone Number Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to local SEO use a service like BCI Media’s Yext product to ensure that your name address and phone number remain consistent across the world wide web at large.  Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, lack of suite number or wrong phone number can be detrimental. If Google can’t determine which online information about your business is correct, it may decide not to even show your business in search results.

Create Local Content

When creating website content such as blog articles, writing about general topics will help you to attract a wide crowd. But if local optimization is what you’re after, it’s important to add local content into the mix. Position your company as a local authority by promoting local industry gatherings, news, employees, and other local educational content on your blog.

Optimize Your Existing Website Pages

Chances are that unless you’re a brand new business, you already have a website. Ensure that each of your existing pages is optimized for local SEO by making it clear that you serve a particular local market. To do this be sure to include your town or city in page titles and descriptions. Don’t forget to add local contact details (business name, address and phone number) on appropriate pages as well as in webpage headers or footers.

Launch Your Local SEO Strategy Today

Now that you understand why local SEO is so important to businesses large and small, it’s time to plan and execute your strategy. But, if the DIY route seems overwhelming to you, you’re not alone and that’s where BCI Media comes in! Contact us today to see how our experts can help your business become a local search superstar with customizable SEO packages, Google My Business management, targeted display advertising, email marketing, social media marketing and more!