September 2, 2022
Drilling down to the basics, Local SEO is the process of optimizing a business, product, or service for a search query that is location specific. Google bases a user's location on either their IP address (desktop) or their geolocation (mobile) to decide what results are most relevant to show the user.
For example, when a user searches for “banks near me”, Google and other major search engines will review the user’s location, and based on the information in your local listings, your FI will pop up in the search results. Google search results are made up of two main things, the Local Pack (Google Business Profiles) and Organic Results (websites). When it comes to Local SEO, we like to focus on optimizing FI websites for local search queries, as well as optimizing Google Business Profiles.
Google Business Profile
Let’s start with your Google Business Profile (GBP) - aka Google My Business. Your GBP provides highly visible business branding directly in search results with a knowledge panel. Google also offers options for users to interact with your listing by scheduling appointments, requesting quotes, or direct messaging. Without this, your business is missing out on the opportunity to show up in search results in the local pack.
The local pack is a featured snippet of three business listings that appear before the organic results.
It is important to make sure that your GBP is optimized in order for it to show up in the local packs. The first step of optimization is claiming the profile for each of your branches, if you have not yet already. The next step is filling out all of the relevant information about your branch including your FI name, address, hours of operation, phone number, and most importantly your website URL. You can also take the extra steps of adding photos of your branch.
Why do local listings matter for SEO?
We get this question often, and the answer is simple! Local listings matter for SEO because they help to drive your domain authority through backlinks and increases your FI’s visibility in local search results. This applies across ALL devices, including voice search (think Siri, Alexa, Google Home).
Local listings are important for SEO because they:
Provide important information about your FI to users
Increase your FI’s visibility in local search
Drive traffic to your business
Open up the possibility for backlinking
Give customers a place to provide a review of your business
The more online indicators that prove your business exists, is established in a local area, and is open for business, the more likely it is that your website will rank higher in your local users’ search results. You’re not open for business unless users can find you – so, are you being found?