Using Local SEO for Your Business

The InMotion Hosting Website Creator is a one-stop solution for tackling all of your local SEO needs. But, wait: if you find yourself asking, “What does a website creator have to do with SEO?” or “What even is local SEO?” then you’ve come to the right spot.

We’re going to tell you everything you need to know, including how to get noticed in search results, how to rank well as a local business, how to increase traffic, and why Website Creator can help.

Curious? Let’s jump right in.

What is Local SEO?

As a website owner, you’re likely already familiar with the concept of SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

Well, local SEO is sort of the same thing, only it’s specifically geared towards marketing your local business online.

It helps you promote your products and services (whether you own a hardware store, a beauty salon, or even a doctor’s office) to local customers when they’re searching for them online. This is achieved through a variety of methods, which usually differ from what’s practiced in standard SEO.

What is a Local Search?

A local search is exactly what it sounds like: users submit a search limited to a certain geographic area, and that search is matched up with local businesses.

For example, “cheesesteak restaurants in Philadelphia” or “best diners in New Jersey.” A local search typically includes information about what the web user is searching for (“cheesesteaks”), but also a location which may include a city, state, or zip code (“Philadelphia”).

Local searches usually trigger Google to return organic search results and a “local 3-pack,” under which there is a “view more” option.

The 3-pack is a listing of three featured local businesses right at the top of the search results, and they rotate based on the searcher’s IP address. Still, if you want a shot at showing up, it helps to be listed in the top 20 local search results . . . and that’s where your local SEO strategy comes in.

Google My Business

According to Google, Google My Business (GMB) is the easy way to “stand out on Google for free.” But what is it really?

Google My Business is indeed a free tool, and it lets you manage how your business shows up on Google Search and Maps. It includes features like your business name, location, hours, photos, and customer reviews.

Listings that show up in that 3-pack section of the search results are actually generated by GMB profiles, so managing your listing is really important.

How Does Google My Business Work?

Getting started is super simple: you just have to create an account and claim your business. Once you’ve filled out your details, you’ll get a real-life, snail-mail postcard from Google confirming the address you’ve specified for your business (you can also request a phone call or email, but getting a postcard is fun).

GMB ranks businesses on several factors including relevance, distance, and prominence:

  • Relevance: Relevance determines how well your business fits what the customer is actually searching for. It pays to be as clear as you can in your business description, so Google knows what you actually do.
  • Distance: Google shows searchers results that are closest to their actual physical location first. In addition to listing your business address on your profile, it helps to link to other local content to give Google a better idea of where you are.
  • Prominence: Bottom line – the more popular you are, the higher you’ll rank. If you want your business to show up top-of-search, you need to get a lot of website visitors, quality links to your page, and top-notch reviews.

How To Optimize Your Profile

Now that you know what GMB is and how it works, it’s time to make your listing stand out. Go to the Google My Business dashboard, click the listing you’d like to work on, and then select “info.”

Be as detailed as possible with your information, making sure to include hours, phone number, website, and the area you serve . . . and don’t forget to add media!

According to Google, businesses with photos see 35% more clicks to the website and 42% higher requests for driving directions in Google Maps. At a minimum, make sure to choose a quality cover photo, as it shows up front and center on your listing.

Also note that anytime your information changes (say, you get a new phone number), you should go in an edit your profile. One of the worst things you can do for rankings is to have inaccurate or outdated information show up in your search results.

Using Website Creator To Improve Local Search Results

BoldGrid is an all-in-one website creator that offers several features which may help with your local SEO.

  • Google Analytics: Easily add Google Analytics to your BoldGrid website so you can monitor your site and see where traffic is coming from. Google Analytics for WordPress by Monster Insights makes it easy to monitor your data, right from your WordPress dashboard.
  • Google Maps: Having a map on your website can make it easier for visitors–and Google–to find you. Find out how to easily add a map to a page or post with the InMotion Website Creator here.
  • BoldGrid’s SEO plugin: Improving your overall SEO will show Google that you own a quality website and that people are talking about and visiting your local business. With real-time analytics and an easy “red light, green light” color scheme, BoldGrid couldn’t make it easier.

Bottom Line

If you want more people to visit your local business, it’s essential to show up in Google search results. The key to doing that is not only to have an impressive Google My Business profile, but to actively monitor your overall SEO.

The InMotion Website Creator can help you do all that – plus have a rockin’ website, to boot. To learn more, speak to one of our expert design team today.

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