Local SEO

The term local SEO, or local natural referencing, designates all the techniques which contribute to favorably positioning a website or the Google My Business establishment profile of a company, among the first results of so-called local searches through Google and the pages of results from other search engines (SERP) about local SEO.

Any company with one or more physical points of sale has an interest in optimizing its local visibility among nearby search results, i.e. in its geographic area. For what ? Searches for “open now nearby” jumped more than 400% worldwide in 2021 according to Google.

What is a local search engine query?

Two possibilities :

Either it is a search carried out by an Internet user and including the use of a location element.

Either it is a so-called natural search, but geolocated because it comes from a mobile device geolocated near your store for example. In other words, a local query comes from a consumer looking for information about a business or point of interest located in or around a specific location. We then speak of geolocalized referencing.

Local scope

This type of request is particularly strategic for your company if it has establishments scattered across the territory or if it owns a brand whose local scope of action is perfectly delimited.

Note also that this local referencing does not only apply to the Google search engine. It also concerns any search on the Map application.

Why optimize the local SEO of your physical brands?

If the local referencing of your establishments is so strategic, it is because your prospects and your customers are carrying out more and more local searches. Because the vast majority of consumers constantly live near a mobile device. Everyone has the smartphone or tablet reflex to communicate remotely with their loved ones and their professional relationships. The same goes for finding out:

Already in 2014, Google observed that 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.

The same study tells us that 50% of consumers carrying out a local search via their smartphone visit a store during the day.

Technological Innovations

These figures date from 2014, but they are already eloquent. And the trend continues to accelerate thanks to technological innovations such as 5G which makes our Internet connections ever faster. We already mentioned it in the introduction, searches for “open now nearby” jumped by more than 400% across the world in 2021.

Local SEO strategy 

Deploying a local SEO strategy is now essential to boost your visibility in your Google Map and Search catchment area. By extension, it therefore allows you to increase traffic within your establishments. Google is particularly strategic for your business given that it is its search engine which is most widely used by the French³.

What are the advantages of local SEO compared to general natural referencing (SEO)?

Natural Referencing:

Natural referencing is a strategy to make your brand’s content visible on search engines, aiming to fuel your strategy and position you among key user requests, but it’s challenging to surpass renowned companies.

Significant Resources;

Local SEO can make a difference for companies in catchment areas, as competitors may try to steal their limelight. Producing qualitative content and integrating strategic keywords can help improve Google Map and Search rankings. This way, you only focus on queries likely to be typed by qualified prospects.

Referencing Strategy:

Deploying a natural referencing strategy can be extremely costly and time-consuming.

Netlinking:

The more referring domains you have (sites that link to your site), the more notoriety you gain with search engines. However, obtaining links is long and often quite expensive (count between €150 and €200 on average for a quality link).

Competition

The search for keywords relevant to your activity represent a interesting search volume but without there being too much competition

SEO consultant

The production of content optimized from an SEO point of view. It will therefore be necessary to deploy resources internally or externally with freelancers to produce content and an SEO consultant. Count on average €150 for content of 1,000 words, and around €100/hour for an SEO consultant.

Technical Optimization

Technical optimization: of your site: loading speed, correction of errors (404, 500 etc.), development of specific modules etc… This requires an in-house developer Etc.

These few factors already represent a significant cost in terms of budget and time. The cost of a local SEO strategy is lower given that it concerns fewer queries on the internet.

In summary, by deploying a local SEO strategy:

By targeting fewer keywords in Google Maps you can increase your chances of integrating first pages. Also local query results, save time, and gain efficiency.

Your expenses decrease since you no longer scatter your efforts. You then have less content to produce, but more useful and adapted to your target.

Before embarking on content production we advise you to work, as a priority, on your Google showcase. I named the Google Business listings for your establishments. We explain how to achieve this.

How to improve local SEO rankings using a Google Business listing?

A Google My Business page is your best and fastest way to get started locally. This service allows your establishments to be referenced both on the Google search engine.

Your business can hope to make a difference in local SEO by joining the Google Local pack.

What is the Google Local Pack?

It is a box strategically placed just below the advertisements and above the first natural results of a local query. It presents the three establishments most suited to the Internet user’s questions.

Why is it important to integrate the Google Local Pack?

The objective of the American giant through its local pack is to offer the most relevant information to its users. To do this, its algorithm seeks to present the best offers based on data shared by companies. Then, it displays the three companies that best respond to the user’s search.

What criteria allow you to join the local pack?

A Whit spark study revealed the decisive criteria for integrating this strategic framework for your local visibility:

A well-optimized Google Business profile and numerous customer reviews. Which are moreover positive, are the two most important SEO criteria for integrating the local pack.

How to optimize a Google Business listing?

Various optimizations allow your listing and Maps application and the Search site of the American giant. We present them to you.

The data highlighted on your Google My Business profile

It is essential to complete all the data requested by Google accurately, as soon as your page is created.

Choose the category that is most suitable and most representative of your brand. The more specific you are, the more your listing will be optimized for searches associated with your activity.

In the same way, each of your GMB listings must have a short title. Moreover, don’t forget to clearly differentiate the points of sale from each other.

Precise Coordinates:

Other information must also be filled in carefully to ensure the optimization of your GMB listing:

The precise coordinates of your brand so that it can be easily geolocated by Google algorithms.

A telephone number to allow your prospects and customers to easily reach you.

The web page of your point of sale on website to give your prospects the opportunity to better understand.

Updated opening hours to prevent your prospects from finding their doors closed and heading towards your competitors.

Quality photos to present your products and premises in an attractive way.

A logo and cover photo that stand out from the crowd and allow Internet users to identify your brand.

A comprehensive description of your establishment

In addition to this information, you can add a description of your brand. This description allows you to present your offer and your added value.

So you can integrate, sparingly, a few relevant keywords, geolocation elements, makes Internet users want to come and meet you. Ideally, this brand description should include the name of the brand and only include essential keywords.

Local citations, a key reliability indicator

To improve the SEO you need to work on the notoriety of your point of sale. In other words, you need to make sure that other sites list what local SEO experts call local SEO citations. This is the key information for your brand. The basis of a local citation is based on three elements. The NAP (Name, Address, Phone) is a data type.

Google algorithms

Google algorithms use local citations to verify the accuracy of your Google My Business. They ensure perfect similarity in internet directories, and if not, your position may be degraded. Qualitative citations from online directories increase your GMB listing’s ranking, a process called Presence Management.

Customer testimonials: the secret to a strong online reputation

Your customers’ opinions are a fundamental aspect of your online presence. If it influences the reputation of your business and its establishments online, it also boosts your visibility through Google.

Concretely, the feedback published on your Google Business files helps to boost their local SEO. American giant’s algorithms consider content the number, and publication date to determine your position among local query results.

Online Reviews:

Online reviews are also the key to prospect reassurance. Disseminating the experiences of consumers who are already customers inspires trust. It demonstrates the quality of your products and services. Both positive and negative, feedback has a powerful impact on Internet users. Purchasing decisions, as proven by customer review figures from an IFOP study:

More than 9 out of ten French people cite reputation, through reviews.

4/5 is the minimum online rating to display to inspire confidence on the web.

66% of French individuals compare customer reviews from competitors of their desired company.

What tools should you use to improve and monitor your local SEO strategy?

Concentrating part of your marketing efforts on local SEO allows you to attract a qualified target. GMB is crucial for actions as it scrutinizes establishment pages and their content to determine local rankings positions.

Long-term Results:

This work of optimizing your listings, and more generally of local SEO, must be constant to bring you long-term results. This is why it is important to equip yourself with tools adapted to your monitoring and ongoing management needs. A centralization solution is particularly essential to allow you to collect and distribute numerous customer feedback across the web.

Guest Suite to centralize and make profitable the management of your customer reviews

Guest Suite centralizes all actions related to your digital presence to support you throughout your local SEO strategy. By enhancing visibility and strengthening brand image in established geographical areas, a company can effectively compete in any situation.

Personalized satisfaction surveys in just a few clicks;

Effortless collection of reviews at the right time and via the right channel;

Automatic distribution of your reviews on Google, the Yellow Pages, your site, etc.

Effective handling of fake reviews or inappropriate comments;

Conclusion:

In conclusion, mastering local SEO is not just about climbing search engine rankings. It is also about becoming a prominent figure in your community’s digital landscape. By optimizing your online presence, you’re not only attracting customers. But also forging lasting connections that drive success for your business.

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