There are a lot of ways to approach SEO – from a keyword-first focus to a built-out linking strategy and beyond. If your company provides services to a national or global audience, you may not think it’s important to expend resources on local SEO. Local SEO is generally considered necessary only for brick-and-mortar businesses or small, independent companies.
If you’re ignoring local SEO, though, you’re likely missing out on some major SEO benefits. Local SEO can boost the overall SEO of your business’s website, even if you only have a corporate office. It’s possible to both think globally and act locally with your SEO.
But First, What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is SEO intended to help your company appear in searches made by people in the same geographic region as you. Search for a company in Google and you’ll see a sidebar with some basic information about the company. This information will include its address and contact information. That’s a great example of a result of local SEO. Additionally, you can search a business type, such as bakeries. Then, you’ll get a map with the location of all nearby bakeries. That’s local SEO at work.
What Goes into Good Local SEO?
A few components build local SEO. First, your business’s website likely has a contact page. For example, your business can fill out that contact page with your company’s name, address, and phone number. Next, Google will be able to index that for local SEO. For SEO purposes, this information should be in HTML text and not inside a picture, as Google can’t read what’s in images.
In addition to your own website, you’ll want to make sure your business is listed on online business directories. The most important one for search is Google My Business. This directory determines what shows up on Google Maps and also helps your business appear higher in Google search results. Your entry in Google My Business should be as thorough as possible.
Other directories to add your business to include your local Chamber of Commerce, aggregators like Yext or Moz Local, review-oriented sites like Yelp, or industry-specific directories. If time is running out, focus on the larger directories. As SEO Agency Hennessey Digital explains, “Many citations are earned through the automatic aggregation of data from major business data platforms to lower-tier directories.”
Once you spread your contact information throughout the web, you can boost your local SEO even further with relevant blog content about your company’s involvement in the local community.
Why Does Local SEO Matter for a Global Business?
There are a few reasons all businesses should focus on building local SEO, even if they want to have a global presence.
All backlinks are valuable
One of the most important factors in Google’s algorithm is the number of authoritative sites that link to your own site. By putting your business contact information – including a link to your website – on directories that people trust and frequently visit, you can build the number of backlinks that direct to your website. Ultimately, this will make your webpage rank higher on all search results.
Moreover, good local SEO means you’ll show up in more searches from local customers, which increases traffic and visibility across the board. This can have a ripple effect that leads to better SEO (and sales) around the world. If more people visit and interact with your site, your page’s authority grows, which improves your SEO. As your brand grows with increased traffic, you’ll be more likely to find links to your site shared organically across the web, further increasing the number of backlinks leading to your site.
To put it simply, taking steps to improve your local SEO can set off a chain reaction that eventually boosts your global SEO.
People like working with local businesses
The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) attributes the success of local businesses to the community of people supporting them. According to BALLE, “Each dollar that is spent with a local business has a multiplier effect as it recirculates within your community.”
If you do have brick-and-mortar storefronts, you want customers to know that, even if your business is global. Even if they weren’t originally intending to visit a physical location, they may change their minds if they learn you have one that’s close by.
If you don’t have any storefronts, local SEO for your offices can still get the attention of local potential customers. Even in today’s digital world, there’s something comforting about knowing a business is a community member. If you’re a B2B company, the potential of in-person, face-to-face meetings might attract more clients or partners in your area.
Meanwhile, if the person searching your business isn’t local, it’s highly unlikely that’ll count as a negative. In most cases, local SEO is something that can only help.
Demonstrating a commitment to community helps your image
Directories and a good contact page are the most important elements of local SEO. However, they’re also elements that almost every business has. What sets companies apart when it comes to local SEO is website content that’s relevant to local audiences.
If you’re a global business, that probably sounds like a waste of time. And it is true that your content efforts should focus on what your company does and its area of expertise. But you can’t go wrong with the addition of community-focused content.
Content about your company’s volunteer efforts or other work with the local community connects you with local customers, demonstrates your company’s commitment to CSR, and improves your brand’s image. This content is easy to share across social media, giving your webpage more traffic and backlinks. And even if your global audience doesn’t recognize the local people and places that you referenced, they will recognize that you govern your company with a commitment to service.
For these reasons and more, every company should improve their local SEO, no matter how global their business is. By adding your business information to local directories and developing a local SEO content strategy, you can grow your traffic and improve your brand awareness – both locally and around the world.