What is local SEO? How can it be used to improve organic website ranking?

Local SEO is the process of optimizing a website for local search results. It can be used to improve website ranking in various ways, such as by improving the relevance and visibility of the site for local searches, by building citations and backlinks from local sources, and by creating content that is relevant. In this article, we are going to cover:

1) Introduction to Local SEO in Orlando

2) The Benefits of Local SEO for Small Businesses in Orlando

3) How to Optimize Your Site for Local SEO in Orlando

4) The Importance of NAP Consistency for Local SEO in Orlando

5) Tips for Getting More Reviews and Improving Your Online Reputation

The benefits of local SEO for small businesses in Orlando

1. Boost Visibility and Search Engine Rankings

When your website is optimized for local SEO, Google will crawl and index your website and position your website and its content on their results pages - commonly referred to as "SERP's". The higher your position, the more visibility your website will have.

2. Connect With Local Customers

Another benefit of local SEO is that it can help you connect with local customers who are searching for products or services like yours. If you are a service provider within a certain service area,  Although having a stellar digital marketing strategy in place is critical for businesses in 2022, referral-based traffic is just as important. When you build positive relationships with your local clients, they will pass on your company's name in conversation with friends, family, social media groups, and more.

3. Save Money on Advertising

Local SEO can also help you save money on advertising. While advertising online, like a Google Advertising campaign can be effective, optimizing for local SEO can eliminate a majority, if not all, of your advertising costs. This is because the terms or "keywords" that you have established in your advertising campaign can also be your target SEO keywords, when you show up in the first few results in SERP's, you have achieved a position that you were paying for.

In a recent case study, Dark Matter Digital saved a company $2500 a month in advertising spend, by optimizing their Orlando-based business for SEO.

How to optimize your site for Orlando local SEO

If you want to optimize your website for local SEO, continue reading. Below are a few immediate items you can check and implement into your digital marketing strategy.

1. Use keyword-rich titles and descriptions.

When Google evaluates a webpage to determine its placement for a specific search query, it looks at the website's page titles and descriptions first. It is imperative that you have your target keywords here.

2. Use local keywords in your content.

Think about how many times you searched for a local business (as an example, we will use an a/c company). Did your search look something like "a/c company in Orlando" or "a/c company near me"? I would bet that when you landed on their website, you noticed that their page headings and paragraphs contained your search phrase or its variations. When you research your SEO keywords, look for high average search volume and low to medium competition. We love using tools like SEMrush to find these.

3. Create a Google My Business listing.

To get listed in Google's local pack, you need to create a Google My Business listing if you have not already. GMB will allow you to showcase your business with images, company phone number, and email, operating hours, and most importantly, offer an avenue

4. Optimize your website for mobile devices.

According to Google's latest algorithm update, having a mobile-responsive website design plays a major role in whether your website ranks. About 65% of internet traffic is now from a mobile device, so there's no wonder why Google factors this in so heavily.

5. Claim your business listings on directories and review sites.

Local directories such as Yelp, Yellow pages, Apple Maps, and others can aid in ranking locally. While these avenues will not generate a majority of your website traffic (when your site is ranking), Google will take these listings into account to show your "local roots". While this does serve as a discovery avenue, a majority of these platforms do provide a no-follow backlink to your website which can help improve your domain authority score.

6. Encourage customer reviews.

Customer reviews - especially Google reviews - is a ranking factor for local searches. Google likes to serve its customers will reputable companies and locations that provide a great service or product.

Think about when you are searching for a local restaurant in town, my bet is that you probably factor in customer reviews, or their overall rating into your decision making if you are unfamiliar with their service provided, or establishment that you are visiting.

7. Monitor your online reputation.

This should come without saying. Your online reputation plays an important part when potential clients or customers are doing their investigative work. By checking in on your reputation, you can negate, counter, or provide further explanation on a particular bad outcome. There's even times where competitors could submit fictitious information to hurt your business. Ethical - no, but you would be very surprised. At Dark Matter Digital, we include this as part of our search engine optimization services.

8. Keep your NAP consistent across the web.

NAP is an acronym for name, address, and phone number. (More on this later).

9. Build citations with high-quality directory listings.

This is directly related to our point #5 above. When you create a profile on local directories, these directories will provide you with a do-follow or no-follow backlink to your website.

Acquiring backlinks is a strong (if not the strongest) ranking signal for Google on the credibility and relatability of your website. Most of these directories are free to claim your business - get to listing!

While implementing these 9 tips listed above will not magically improve your SEO overnight, they are a great first step to getting your website optimized for local search.

The Importance of NAP Consistency for Local SEO in Orlando

One of the most important things you can do for your local SEO is to ensure that your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across the web. This means that if someone searches for your business on Google, they should see the same NAP information listed on your website, in your directory listings, and on review sites.

This consistency is important because it helps Google and other search engines verify that your business is legitimate, and it also makes it easier for potential customers to find your contact information. If your NAP information is inconsistent, it can lead to confusion and may even result in lost customers.

To ensure NAP consistency, take a few minutes to check all of your online listings, social media profiles, and even your website. Having the same formatted phone number (321) vs 321-xxx, correctly using the same email (we recommend having a professional business email), and using the same address (Street vs St.)

There are a lot of tools online to scan your listings on local directories. When you find an inconsistency, make sure you take immediate action to correct it.

Tips for Getting More Reviews and Improving Your Online Reputation

As we mentioned the importance of reviews earlier on this article, you may of thought to yourself, how do I acquire more reviews?

There are a few ways to achieve this, but a tactic that we have implemented for our hundreds of SEO clients is email marketing. Set up an automatic system - whether that be when a customer visits or purchases, or after you finished your service, an email goes out to your client and links them to your Google My Business profile page >> it may look something like this: Make sure to leave us a review!

Google makes it easy to acquire your review link - simply head over to your Google My Business dashboard, click on your business location and copy the "Share review form" link underneath.

By implementing these tips and tricks for improving your local SEO, you will begin to see an increase in keyword positioning and ultimately more traffic over time - however the results are not immediate when it comes to search optimization. We suggest reading our other blog article: How long will it take Google to crawl my website and update it's search results?

If you're a small business in Orlando, it's important to optimize your website for Local SEO. By following the tips we've outlined in this blog post, you can improve your website's ranking on search engines like Google and Bing, and attract more customers through local organic search results. Contact us today to request a free consultation for Orlando Local SEO. We'd be happy to help you get started.

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