Google has recently updated its local search algorithm. Goal? Provide Internet users with more relevant results on businesses close to home. This is an opportunity for us to bounce on the news by presenting the challenges of local SEO. The trend is very clear: consumers are increasingly looking for local brands, and these are highlighted in the search results on the web. In this context, it becomes crucial to be well referenced locally. What means should you invest in it? What actions to be well referenced locally? I will try to answer you!
What is local SEO and why it matters
Local SEO is a subset of general SEO. It consists of being well positioned in the local search results of Internet users. This is essential for many businesses because more and more of Google searches have a local intention: a DIY store near me, the best hotel for my next holidays in Spain, opening hours from the town hall, a sports club close to my work, etc.Understand the magnitude of the phenomenon. According to a recent Google study.
Of those who use search engines to find information on products or services, 4 out of 5 are doing local searches
34% of those conducting a local computer/tablet search visit a store during the day (up to 50% for those doing local smartphone searches!).
Being referenced locally is important to avoid missing these customers! To be well referenced locally, you will have to carry out a certain number of actions (some specific, others more general) allowing you to appear in the following way in the results of local searches.
In which case focus your efforts on local SEO
When a new trend appears on the web, it is necessary to take a step back. Admittedly, local SEO is important for many companies. However, it is not mandatory or even relevant. You can imagine that if you sell pizzas to take away, it’s not the same problem as if you have an e-commerce site!
And then, proper positioning in the results of local research requires most of the time to have conducted some actions web marketing (editorial strategy, social networks …) beforehand. Yes, it means that local SEO is not always the priority for a company! Is it for you? This is what we will try to determine by examining the following criteria.
Competition in your geographical area
In the heart of Paris or the suburbs: the competition will give you a hard time to obtain results in local search. In the suburbs, it’s double jeopardy: in addition to suffering the SEO efforts of Parisian competitors, consumers themselves are more easily in the hyper Centre signs. Being well referenced locally in this geographical area, therefore, requires a lot of effort. If you’ve done little web marketing until today, it might be better to start there!
In a city of medium size (Anger, Strasbourg, etc.): the competition is less strong SEO,and there is still a certain amount of local research from Internet users. So you can tackle local SEO fast enough, this will be a great weapon to recruit new customers.
In the middle of the pampas: you will probably have little competition, but also very little research. A good local SEO is not necessarily mandatory.
The age of your establishment
Google favors long-established brands in local search results. If you opened 3 years ago, or if you put yourself on the web last year, getting a good local SEO will be more difficult. In other words: it may be improved to prepare a little ground before concentrating your efforts on this specific aspect.
Now calculate your score. If it is positive, you have a priori interest to seriously consider the local SEO. If it is negative, other strategies may be more advantageous to recruit new customers (global SEO, online advertising, and web content).
This is only an indication, and it would be crazy to think that one can decide his strategy by following the results of a simple questionnaire. Study your competitors, estimate missed opportunities, and evaluate the cost and difficulty of alternative strategies. And do not hesitate to get advice from professionals