Local Online Marketing: How to Optimize Your Website for Local Searches

With the revival of interest in local searches, it’s a great time to be in local marketing. Thanks to mobile search and the ever-present Google maps, it’s much easier to target consumers in their local vicinity.

But if you’re not entirely convinced, we’ve got some compelling stats to back us up.

  • 76% of consumers have used Google Maps to find businesses they’re interested in.
  • 59% of searches on Google Maps are now for local businesses.
  • 45% of smartphone users have used Google Maps to find a business.
  • 36% of consumers have used an online review to research a business before visiting.
  • And finally, 86% of consumers have trusted an online review over a telephone directory when it comes to finding a business.

So what’s the secret to turning your website into a local online marketing success? Properly optimizing your website for local searches, of course!

Why should you care about local searches? They provide you with the perfect target audience right in front of you. A consumer who searches for local businesses is probably already in the neighborhood and ready to buy what you’re selling. Just like that. Finding and appealing to this audience is critical to your business’ success.

The Basics Of Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Before you begin your SEO project, it’s important to understand a few key concepts. If you’re new to SEO, you can start by reviewing the basics of SEO.

SEO is a method of increasing a website’s organic traffic by ensuring that its content provides value to a potential consumer who seeks it out. To put it simply, SEO is the process of making your website easier to find on search engines like Google.

Thanks to SEO, a consumer who searches for “Smythe Opticians” will land on your website (assuming you’ve optimized it properly). Conversely, a consumer who searches for “Smythe Opticians” in a city far away from you might find a different website entirely, which isn’t what you want at all.

Organic (or “natural”) search results are the listings of websites that appear in search results for a given search term. These listings are rated by search engines like Google according to their relevance to the term itself. The higher a website ranks in the search engine results, the more valuable it is to a potential consumer.

The following screenshot is an example of organic search results for the term “SEO.” As you can see, this is a wide-ranging search; however, if you zoom in you’ll see a number of relevant and excellent sites at the top of the results.

It’s important to remember that Google determines the “value” of a website by measuring several factors. These include, but are not limited to: