What is Local SEO and why does my business need it?

If you operate a local brick and mortar business and have a physical storefront, you probably already know your business needs a professionally designed website that requires Local SEO and a process for how to get reviews from your customers. That is how you found this page to begin with =)

A lot of businesses in Torrey Pines lose sales to competitors that have spent considerable time and resources to push their online brand up the ranks on Google to drive more traffic to their business. More and more businesses are pushing to gain an online presence and visibility to get in front of a bigger potential audience to showcase their available services and products on Google.

The old model is you would go find the customer, the new model is the customer is finding your business and our communications evolves on the web, there is a growing opportunity to grab a much wider audience than ever before in history. For many brick and mortar business owners in Torrey Pines, local SEO and getting reviews from customers is mostly a confusing thing; what does “Local SEO” mean and does my business need it?

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a local geographic location for a city or area like in Torrey Pines. If you understand basic SEO, then you know the importance of ranking in Google for specific keyword(s) or Search Phrase(s) that your customer is typing in that little box called Google.

For example, if someone types into Google “ Locksmith San Diego”, the top ranking websites for Locksmiths in San Diego would show up on page one. Apart from the Google Ads located at the top of the SERPs “Search Engine Results Page” where those businesses are paying per click, which is called PPC to get their website advertised at the top of Google. For example “Locksmith San Diego” you can see from the results below that Pop-A-Lock of San Diego are ranking on Page #1 of the search results of Google, and not paying advertising fees to do so. In fact, there are over 1900 searches for Locksmith San Diego and it currently cost $23.17 per click as of January 22nd, 2016.

What Types of Businesses in Torrey Pines Need Local SEO?

Any business that sources most of its customers locally should leverage Local SEO. Many of those in the trades like plumbers and restaurants, doctors, dentists, lawyers, and local retail store. They all would benefit from being ranked locally in Google’s search engine. If you have a physical address in a city and expect people to go there based on that location, your business needs local SEO.

Local SEO should not be confused with national SEO, where websites are trying to rank for a different string of keywords or search phrases and national SEO is expensive but is a valuable investment especially if you source your customers nationally or international.

For example, if you had a website that sold a nutritional coaching programs online and you shipped in the USA or globally, then you would want to rank for keywords like “nutritional coaching programs” or “nutritional coach” etc, However, if a brick and mortar business in Torrey Pines that sells life coaching products and sourced most of their customers locally, then you’ll probably want to try local SEO and rank for keywords such as “nutritional coach Torrey Pines” for example.

How Do You Get Your Website To Rank Locally in Torrey Pines?

There are lot of factors to get your website ranked for a local SEO in Google, including the following:

Getting a Google My Business listing:

The first factor to rank locally in SEO for keyword phrases is to get a Google My Business listing of the physical address, phone number, and other information like listing the correct category for your business Your local listing is what will be displayed on Google local search engine results. Once you claim your listing they will send you a postcard with two weeks with a code for to verify your page which is the most important part of the process.

Citation of your listing:

Another important factor is to verify and make sure that most places online that have your physical business information is the same as your Google My Business listing. Your company NAP (Name, Address & Phone Number) all need to be on the same page and in the same format as your local GMB listing.

If your format is the same across the board on multiple websites, then Google can easily figure out where your business is mentioned on other websites, and seeing that your business is popular will further improve your local ranking on the Google search engine.It is also vitally important that you do not abbreviate any part of your NAP details. Have your full address, phone number, and business name.

Quality Reviews:

Another important factor to rank locally is reviews. The more quality reviews you have of your business on Google My Business, the higher the popularity, which will, in turn, will rank you higher in Google. We offer a review monitoring, collecting and sharing platform that is great at gathering reviews from your existing customers. In fact, we did a 50-day review campaign and our laundromat client got 1.5 reviews on Google per day during the campaign!

Once you understand the basics of local SEO, you will understand that the more your website and business gains visibility and popularity, the higher Google you will rank your business in their search engine, it creates a snowball effect of exposure for your business.

Any Other Factors Lead To Higher Ranking In Google’s Search Engine?

To rank successfully on the first page of Google for your industry top keywords and maintain it for the long haul requires both a great local SEO agency, but is in combination with the business having a culture of customer service that rivals the competition. There are only 10 organic positions and 3 Google Maps positions, so there are only 13 spaces on page one of Google for any given keyword or search phrase. It is safe to say your competition wants to be on page one as well.

There are some determining factors to gain a successful ranking:

The number of citations across different websites.
The number of reviews on Google My Business (and other sites)
Is your website SEO friendly and is your GMB claimed & verified

Google takes into account a combination of the above factors, including backlinks to your website (other websites such as social media, news, other businesses linking to your website) to help determine your business’s ranking in the search engines. Perhaps the most obvious factor that carries the most weight is the number of positive reviews your business has on Google My Business and other review websites. If you want to know what sites you have reviews on currently, now this is a basic audit, we do an in-depth audit to find every possible site you are reviewed on or could be reviewed on for your industry. Do a search on Google for the name of your company + city and scan the first page or two and if you see stars under your name it is probably a review website like Yelp, Google Maps, Facebook, Yellowpages or specific review sites for your profession like Vitals which only reviews doctors.

What Are Some Good Ways To Get Tons of Positive Reviews?

Hiring us would probably be your best bet, but recommending your clients to your Google My Business listing and leaving a positive review after receiving your product or service. This s probably one of the most important things you can do to help your website rank locally on Google. Be warned without using a review campaign like ours, you could be sending an upset customer which will leave a bad review vs our system allows them to vent on your private feedback page without it going to the whole world. This will buy you time to turn that bad customer service experiences into a loyal fans of your business.

DO NOT ever under any circumstances buy reviews for your business. Google can determine fraudulent activity and will punish any websites that use slimy tactics to “force” ranking on their search engine.

Do I Have To Continue Doing Local SEO For My Business?

The short answer is Yes and Local and National SEO is an on-going process. While it takes a lot of work to get off the ground initially and gain movement, in a few short months you’ll notice that your website’s ranking will start to improve.

You will need a steady flow of positive reviews of your company coming into Google My Business, social media shares of your business and other social signals, a steady flow of new citations of your business around the internet and anything else positive about your business mentioned on the internet. The reason why you’ll continually need Local SEO and reputation services is simply because of the local competition in your geographic area.

Your type of business in Torrey Pines may have a lot of competing companies in the local and surrounding neighborhoods. Using an ongoing strategy of Local SEO for years to come will ensure that you have the edge over your competition.

Are There Any Companies Or Websites That Specialize In Local SEO?

Thankfully, if you’re struggling to maintain your online presence or have no clue, you can simply pay a Local SEO company to take care of it for you. But for that, quality comes with a price tag and you’ll get what you pay for. There’s usually an upfront set-up cost, and month to month fee depending on the package you choose with the company. Ideally, with a good SEO company, they should be utilizing a strategy that gives your website and service new reviews, citations, social media shares, and backlinks almost every month.

How Much Can I Expect To Pay For A Local SEO Service?

If you would rather spend money to leverage your time, then an SEO company that specializes in Local SEO and getting reviews is probably is the answer for you. Price depends on what services you desire. This could range from $300 to $1000 per month – or if your service is very competitive in your local area, anywhere up to ten of thousands of dollars per month. Expect to pay more if you have multiple locations.

Local SEO and reputation services are a competitive industry like any other, and it would be better to source someone locally, rather than overseas. While it might appear to be cheaper to pay someone in another country to work on your website, with cost comes quality, and you need to source a company that is reputable. If you put your time and resources into a company that does a mediocre job of providing what you need, your presence online could crash before you even started, and it will take a lot of time and money for another company to clean up the trash.

I would look for solid reviews first and ask questions of how their strategy works before placing any money on the table. Your business is your livelihood, and it needs to be in the best hands possible at all times.

Contact RebelFish Local at 619-800-5320 to schedule a quick 15-minute call and see if you qualify for in-depth audit and strategy session valued at $497. I will show you how we can help your local business get more reviews and get found on Google.