What is local SEO?

The vast majority of ‘local’ companies nowadays will have been approached by a search engine consultant who claims that they need local SEO (hint: you do). What many search engine consultants are not too good at though is explaining exactly what local SEO is. They will be more than happy to rattle off the benefits, but actually describing why it matters will elude them. So we are going to change all of that.

What is local SEO and why should you care?

The short answer to this question is that local SEO involves climbing up the search engine rankings for local results only.

For example; if you are a dentist in Jacksonville then you may want to rank for a phrase like ‘dentist in Jacksonville’. Basically the keyphrase that you opt for is going to be incredibly localized. You will not be aiming to climb up the national or even international searches (although that may be an unintended side-effect of local search engine optimization, but it rarely happens unless you are in an extremely specific field).

So what type of businesses in Jacksonville would benefit from local SEO?

Any company that will get most, if not all, of its business from people in the local area stands to benefit immeasurably from improving their websites rank for key terms. For example: an Italian restaurant in San Marco, a private school in Ponte Vedra Beach, an interior designer in Atlantic Beach, medical care professionals in Jax Beach, lawyers in downtown Jacksonville, or even locksmiths in Orange Park. Basically; if you expect people to come to you for business as opposed to doing all of the business online then you are going to need local search engine optimization.

What is involved in doing SEO for local terms?

Local SEO is slightly different than trying to rank your website on a global level. For starters it will mostly be based around the creation of your Google local profile (this is something we can discuss during your free consultation). You will then be basing much of your SEO efforts on acquiring something known as ‘citations’ and establishing a hyper-local presence via social media and content creation.

In addition, reviews are going to be far more important for a local company than an international one. Google loves to rank companies which get a lot of positive reviews higher than ones which have rather mediocre reviews. However, getting those reviews can be tricky, and you need to develop a strategy for following up with clients to request online feedback.

Apart from this, the process of ranking in the local searches is more of an art than a science. You will want to include your business name, address, and phone number on your site, for starters. You will also need to be building content on a regular basis that relates to local keywords. Link building will be done in much the same way although much of your focus will have a very local slant (media outlets and local business directories, for instance).

It is worth noting that Google uses a technique called ‘centroid bias’ when they are trying to rank websites for local searches. The further you are from the center of a city or town, the harder it will be to rank. So for example; if you are right on the outskirts of a city or town then you may wish to try and rank for your suburb rather than the whole area. This will make it far easier to rank.

To discuss how we can help you with local SEO in the Jacksonville, Florida metro area, call us now at (904) 513-0183