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Rank on Google Locally: What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is essential for targeting your customers effectively if you run a small business. How can they know how to find you if they never hear or see your name? This is where it becomes important to learn how to rank on Google locally. Did you know that was even an option? 

You need to figure out how to get the customers in your general vicinity to come to you instead of your small business competitors or those major corporations. You can do this by mastering the art of hometown SEO. 

What is local SEO? Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated once you know the basics.

Read on to learn how to use SEO to rank locally in search engines like Google and reach your local audience.

First, let’s break down the first question you probably have. What is hometown SEO anyway? 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is how web pages can be specially written and formulated in order to rank highly in the algorithm of a specific search engine. Typically speaking, the search engine that you’re going to optimize for the most is Google as it’s the most popular. Different search engines may have slightly different requirements for optimization. 

Now, Hometown SEO is a specialized service offered by Ozark Web Design based around these same ideas. However, you’re going to start with the principles of local SEO. And then, of course, there are some secret techniques in the process, too.

Local SEO? What's That?

Local SEO ensures that you’re going to be showing up in the search engines of people who are in your area. If someone in Osage Beach, MO is searching for “where to buy ice cream” and you run an ice cream shop, your shop might come up before, say, results for Ben & Jerry’s. 

Local SEO employs a series of sophisticated strategies to rank you high on Google for your hometown neighbors to see. 

If you have good Google reviews and ratings, that contributes to your local SEO. And, if you’re utilizing local locations in the writing on your web pages, you’re contributing to your local SEO. Then, in addition, if you’re using local images that can be geotagged, you’re using local SEO.

This also means that your business in Osage Beach, Missouri, won’t show up for users that are searching in Orlando, Florida. You’re making your reach smaller and more focused, but that small reach and tight focus help you target the customers that matter the most to you.

How is Hometown SEO Different?

Hometown SEO takes the primary principles of local SEO and improves upon them and adding many more techniques, optimizing them for your business and your area. Have you noticed that even with the best local SEO tactics, it can feel impossible to get to the front page of google even for your small area and niche business?

Hometown SEO is there to help with that problem. It wants to use all of the strengths that local SEO has to offer and combine them. It’s backed by data and research and each campaign is made specifically for the business that is being worked on at the time. There are no wide brushstrokes with hometown SEO; it’s fully custom.

How Does it Work?

The customized process starts with a full audit of your local SEO citations and those of your competitors. Whether there are errors or just inconsistencies, this is something that can damage your ranking on Google whether you realize it or not. 

Having a full audit done can show you and your agency exactly where your local SEO needs to be improved and where you already have a lot of strengths. This is important when moving forward and trying to target new audiences without losing those that you already have.

You’re then given a choice of directories for your listing campaign. Remember, this is customized for you, so you get to pick what suits you best. 

Google maps image with a map pin over a small business buildingThen, any images or videos (depending on your choice of package, again, customizable!) are optimized for your local SEO. Infographics, photos, and informational videos can all be optimized with geotags and local SEO information in order to boost you up the rankings on Google. 

The  videos can be submitted to popular video hosting sites, creating a great way to get the high-authority links and citations that you need to boost your SEO. 

Perhaps most importantly in 2020, hometown SEO includes social citations. Those photos and videos that have already been optimized for your local SEO are now being used on popular social channels, furthering your local SEO ranking. Furthermore, all these are interwoven and overlaid with Google My Business and Google Maps strategies.

Okay, But How Does it Help?

If all of that sounds a little bit complicated, don’t worry. All you need to know is that the local SEO work that you’ve been doing before can be further optimized to really hone in on your audience and expand your reach. 

This will help you get more eyes on your business that otherwise would never have found you, and as a small business owner, that’s crucial. Your neighbors and community are the backbones of your business, and ranking high in local SEO is one of the best ways to effectively reach them.

Is Hometown SEO for Your Business?

Optimizing your local SEO is essential for any business owner trying to reach a dedicated local audience. So, what is hometown SEO? It’s a way to improve upon the tactics that you’re already using and reach new heights with your optimization. 

If you know that you’re not reaching the people that you need to reach, Hometown SEO might be the solution that you’re looking for. SEO is the way to get your business on the map (and Google Maps, literally!) so optimizing correctly and deeply is important. 

If you think that you’re ready to take your local SEO to the next level with Hometown SEO, visit our site for more information or to request a digital marketing consultation.

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