What Everybody Oughta Know about Local Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

A company can have the best business ever, but that won’t matter if it doesn’t get discovered.

Have you heard that famous saying “a business without SEO is like a car without gas”? It is absolutely vital that businesses keep an easy-to-discover presence on the web.

If a business is not discoverable, then it won’t have a competitive advantage and that “car” will not be going very far.

How can you market your business to help it grow?

8 Signal offers a large variety of services to help you boost your online presence and search engine traffic by attracting qualified, engaged visitors to your site. One of these tools is Search Engine Optimization.

If you want long-term success and continuous growth, this is an option you should definitely consider.

What exactly is SEO?

All search engines — like Google, Bing, and Yahoo! — have free, organic search results, where web pages and other content, like local listings, are ranked and displayed based on what the search engine considers the most relevant to the search. SEO increases your website’s ranking when certain keywords are searched and helps search engines find your website, which, in turn, connects searchers to your business.

Should you consider hiring an SEO company?

Deciding to hire an SEO specialist often seems like a big decision. One thing is for sure: it can improve your site and save you time.

According to The Optimacy Group, 91% of people research businesses online. This means more leads are generated through search engines than any other way. 75% of the people looking for a business online only look at page 1 of search results. And 70% of overall traffic goes to the top 4 results.

The days of advertising and getting leads through the local yellow pages are gone — local SEO is here to replace it. And a good SEO company can guide you through it.

Among many others, the valuable services an SEO company can provide to you include:

  • Review of your website content and structure
  • Content development
  • Management of online business campaigns
  • Relevant keyword research
  • Expertise in specific markets and geography

Geography and SEO

Geography comes into play with local SEO, which often gets overlooked. “Local” means the optimization is intended to reach people within a relatively small geographical area. It is particularly important for small- to medium-sized businesses that don’t cater to a worldwide audience.

The difference between SEO and local SEO

SEO targets broad and general search terms, which may lead to small businesses getting outranked by big corporations. It’s focused on your business as a whole. But local SEO makes sure your website is running at its highest potential specifically for the area you serve.

Let’s look at an example. Imagine you currently run a car wash. Making use of local SEO, you would be able to narrow your focus to searches conducted in the location of the business — let’s say, the El Paso area. This narrowed audience exponentially increases your chances of being among the top results.

This is why small businesses need to know about local SEO

One of the first things that pops up when you search for something on Google is a map with 3 businesses listed. If your website isn’t optimized locally, you’re missing an opportunity to reach a lot of people.

Let’s go back to our car wash example. You wouldn’t want your car wash to show up when someone searches broad terms, such as “car shop” or “car crash,” because the people searching those terms aren’t looking for what you actually have to offer. Nor would it be particularly helpful if your El Paso business appeared when someone in New York searched for a car wash. You want your website to appear — and rank high — for the most relevant of search terms.

There are several things you need to do … but first things first

Start with Google

One of the first steps you should take when starting local SEO is set up a Google My Business account. As the website states, it lets you “get your business hours, phone number, and directions on Google Search and Maps.” This is a very important part of SEO because most people use Google for all their search needs.

According to Statista, Google has dominated the worldwide search engine market, maintaining an 88.36% market share as of January 2016. To give you some perspective, the next most used search engine is Bing with 4.85%.

Give your visitors what they’re looking for

This might be the most important thing to do. Cliched or not, we know that content is king.

Create high-quality content that caters to your local audience. It has to be better than what the user can find anywhere else, because, as you know, there are millions of results in a Google search.

Write content that describes your business clearly and accurately. Something useful to ask yourself is, “What would a user type in to find my website?” Whatever the answer is, include those words in your content.


They still are the backbone of SEO, especially local SEO. Make sure your keywords are closely related to your business. Think about what people might type in a search box.

For example, “where can I wash my car” or “dog groomers near me.” Keyword metrics change frequently, and they could be the reason your website is not ranking at an optimal level.

But don’t worry — as the metrics change, the keywords can be adjusted to get you back in the race and maintain position and momentum. Just make sure to keep them in your sights and update frequently.

Ensure that other sites link to yours

Citations and reviews are a big part of local SEO. Citations come from directory websites — like Yelp, Foursquare, and YellowPages.com — where you might find your business listed. And consistency is key — every one of those websites should have the same name, address, and phone number listed for your business. .

Having as many citations as possible sends a signal to the search engines, confirming your information and giving your business presence and authority. It shows that your business is trustworthy and legitimate.

These same directory websites usually offer customer reviews, which are helpful for more than just future customers — they also help with local rankings. Google’s top 4 results in a search tend to be the top-rated businesses, while the rest are left behind. So don’t be afraid to ask your past or current satisfied customers for reviews on Google.

Use social media to your advantage

Take advantage of social media and how it connects the world. Your business will thank you! According to The Social Media Hat, the top social networks have approximately 4.25 billion active users. Imagine having your content shared among all those users! Social networking sites — like Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Instagram, among many others — are highly regarded by search engines, so these pages usually rank among the top results when someone searches for you. This means social networks are more than just a great place to connect with your audience — they can also impact your local SEO. You can also list your address, phone number, and hours of service, but remember: consistency is key. Some social networks also let your followers leave reviews right there on your page.

In any case, if your business has been around for a while, you should keep a close eye on every website your business is on to see how you’re being represented. And remember to check that your company’s name, address, and phone number are listed correctly.

Constant updates

In order to dominate the search engine rankings, you must constantly refresh your pages’ content. Regularly updating your website will keep your customers interested and coming back for more.

If you’re the proud owner of a small to medium business you should pay special attention to local SEO, as It will let you reach the people closest to you. Remember, consistency is a priority, make sure that the correct NAP – name, address and phone number – is the same everywhere your business is on.

Content is king, and the king needs attention, you want to stay fresh and updated. 8 Signal works constantly for you to offer reliable and consistent marketing services such as responsive website design and management as well as content creation. With personal and local support, you can rest assured that all your marketing needs are covered. Are you ready to give your business a boost? Contact us or give us a call at (915) 585-1919.