Before the arrival of the Internet, to find a company or an artisan near your home, you used a telephone directory (or directory): the famous Yellow Pages. Each department had its edition, and it was also sometimes necessary to be patient when looking for a professional as the lines were small and the numbers numerous. Updated every year, it was delivered free of charge to a letterbox and recognizable by size and colour.
But with the Internet, the directory has gradually been abandoned. Today, it is no longer published in paper version and is one of those objects imbued with nostalgia for several generations and unknown to others. But his disappearance raises a question: how do companies make themselves known locally? In 2023, several methods will be available to them on the Internet, including local referencing (or local SEO).
A variant of natural referencing, it helps companies increase their visibility with local customers. Concretely, this involves optimizing a site to position it well in the SERPs on geolocated queries. And it is precisely the work of an SEO agency, like our Power Trafic team, which has made it one of its specialties.
Local Referencing (SEO), Or How To Combine Online Visibility And Proximity
Local referencing stems from natural referencing but with one particularity: it focuses on a precise location. Therefore, Its objective is to improve the positioning of a site in this location, which is not chosen randomly since it is linked to the company’s activity, geographical location, and sector of intervention. And on the Internet, location-based search is more than a trend. It is a habit for many Internet users since:
- 25% of queries on Google are geolocated;
- 85% of Internet users use Google to find local businesses and shops.
Thus, local SEO helps a company to develop its local clientele, like the good old directory did… but in an augmented version. The contact details of a shop or a craftsman are no longer the only ones to be put forward. This is also true for its site, services, and social networks. Therefore, this type of referencing has its place in an SEO strategy, regardless of the size and activity of a company. Following this hyperlink will give you a clear, precise and complete definition of the acronym SEO.
Why Optimize The Local Referencing Of A Site?
With the massive use of mobile, location-based searches have increased in recent years. Thanks to smartphones, 4G and 5G, it is very easy to search online, anywhere, to find a local business. For professionals, it is therefore essential to work on their local SEO to appear on the first page of the SERPs. Especially since in 2023, Google attaches great importance to this local aspect by highlighting local businesses to Internet users. And this concerns several sectors such as trade, crafts, hotels and restaurants, and personal service activities. By optimizing the local SEO of its site, a company can :
- improve the visibility of its shop and its premises in a specific geographical area;
- increase the number of store visits;
- get more local conversions on their site;
- develop its turnover;
- strengthen its local notoriety;
- build customer loyalty;
- generate qualified traffic on its site;
- stand out from its competitors.
Optimizing a site’s local referencing makes it possible to improve its positioning in the SERPs during geolocated queries to target Internet users located nearby who are interested in the services offered. And as with an SEO strategy, different aspects of a site need to be optimized.
Important Criteria In Local SEO
To improve the local referencing of a site, it is necessary to work on several points, both internal (on-site) and external (off-site), which echo the 3 pillars of SEO (technical, content and net linking).
On-Site Elements To Optimize
Several criteria internal to a site are important for local SEO and must be properly optimized. Thus, it is necessary to treat:
- the title and meta-description tags of each page by working on the location of a company (for example: “Local SEO agency in Rouen, Normandy”);
- internal networking by creating links between the pages of the site and by focusing on strategic keywords (local SEO oriented, therefore);
- the Hn markup by structuring the contents of the pages of a site with titles H1, H2, H3…etc. ;
- The mobile version of the site is “mobile friendly” and, therefore, easily accessible and readable on a smartphone which is, in 2023, the most widely used medium for geolocated searches.
Off-Site Aspects Of Working On
To improve the positioning of a site in the SERPs during localized queries, it is also necessary to optimize the off-site elements. The most important so far are:
- The Google Business Profile (GoogleMy Business) of a company, which we present to you in detail in the following paragraph;
- Customer reviews and comments on search engines – Google in the lead – and online directories such as The Yellow Pages, Yelp and TripAdvisor, which are consulted by Internet users and taken into account by Google to position a site in the SERPs ;
- The backlinks, or incoming links, must be of high quality to improve the visibility and popularity of the pages concerned;
- Social networks that allow you to engage a community must be well-configured and regularly updated.
Focus On 3 Essential Google Tools For Local SEO
As previously indicated, creating a Google Business Profile is an essential step to optimize the local referencing of a company. But there are other tools offered by Google to professionals. Maps and Store Locator are also part of it and prove to be relevant to improve the local visibility of a company on the web.
Google My Business (Google Business Profile)
Doing local SEO without Google Business Profile is of little interest. Indeed, this tool is a profitable acquisition lever for a company because it is free and offers many opportunities. It takes the form of a business sheet that brings together various useful information for Internet users:
- address ;
- hours of operation ;
- telephone number;
- website ;
A detailed online business card, which appears directly in the SERPs and helps improve a company’s local visibility. Similarly, Internet users can leave comments and ratings visible on the Google Business Profile card. It is also advisable to respond to them – whether the comments are positive or negative – to interact with customers and thus reinforce this closeness.
As this sheet is intended to inform Internet users, it must provide them with reliable, detailed information. Address, opening hours, company name, services or products offered… so much important information for Internet users, which must correspond to reality. It would help if you remembered to update this sheet in the event of temporary closure (holidays, public holidays, etc.), the launch of a new product or service, a change of address or an exceptional modification of opening hours, for example.
Adding visuals is also recommended to attract the attention of Internet users and stand out from the competition in the SERPs. It can be the company’s logo, photos of its store, premises (inside and outside), storefront, products, team, etc. You have to personalize this Google Business Profile sheet for it to be attractive.
Creating a Google Business Profile listing allows you to appear in Google Maps. Also free, this tool improves the local visibility of a company since it is located on a map (Maps) and appears to Internet users when they perform a geolocated search. Hence the importance of properly filling out the Business Profile form with precise geographical coordinates and relevant keywords.
Another Google service is also interested in Local SEO. Store Locator allows you to map a company’s points of sale. Thus, an Internet user can discover the store closest to his position in a few clicks at the time of his search. Store Locator is, therefore, an interactive map geolocating all the stores of the same brand. Like Google Maps, this service helps to improve a company’s visibility and traffic on its site and in stores and has a reassuring effect on Internet users because they know that it really exists and can find their way around.
Move if necessary (after-sales service in particular). With a Google Business Profile, a company is referenced in Google Maps and more visible to Internet users who perform a geolocated search. Well-optimized and regularly updated, it is a powerful acquisition tool. And since it’s free and easy to use, it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunities it offers!
The Role Of A Local SEO Agency
For a company with one or more points of sale, local SEO is an effective tool to stand out from its competitors and be more visible in the SERPs. Increased sales, customer loyalty, better conversion rate, improved notoriety, visibility… The benefits are numerous.
But it would help if you still defined the right local SEO strategy and properly optimized a site. And this is precisely the role of an expert agency in digital communication. At Power Trafic, this variant of natural referencing is one of the solutions we offer our customers with a business or a local business. We develop a personalized strategy for them, which we then implement.
A Tailor-Made Strategy For Your Website
Expert in local SEO, our Power Trafic agency helps local businesses optimize their site to improve their positioning in the SERPs during geolocated queries. To do this, we define a tailor-made strategy that considers their activity and objectives. Identifying and choosing keywords to work on, optimizing the website and a Google Business Profile sheet, and monitoring positioning… we work on all aspects of local referencing. And this strategy has long-term effects; we always offer our customers support for several months.
Support From Certified SEO Experts
At Power Trafic, our mission is to help local businesses and businesses develop their local presence on search engines. Health professionals, craftsmen, franchise networks, independent brands, small businesses… Whatever your activity, we can support you to optimize your local referencing and your visibility on the Internet.
We put our expertise at your disposal to define a personalized and effective strategy. We work directly on your site to optimize the technical, semantic and net linking aspects. Thus, we offer you complete and tailor-made support based on a relationship of trust, transparency and regular exchanges with the SEO project manager in charge of your site.