Nothing emphasizes the importance of local SEO like the fact that 46% of all searches in Google have local intents. Similarly, 74% of people who search for something local on their phone end up visiting a store within 24 hours.
Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They’re shown in a number of places across Maps and Search. For example, you’ll probably see local results if you search for “Italian restaurant” from your mobile device. Google will try to show you the kind of nearby restaurant that you’d like to visit. (Google)
Whether you are a small business in Canada, an international business targeting Canadian audiences or a local service provider, localizing your SEO remains a crucial strategy to attract the relevant audience to your site.
According to Neil Patel, “Local SEO is the lifeblood of your business listing, as far as organic traffic is concerned. If your web pages are not doing well locally and local search users are struggling to find your search results, you’ll likely fail in local SEO.”
The competition on search engines is fierce, and it keeps getting fiercer by the day especially for new market entrants. However, local SEO tends to reduce that competition to an extent. Here is how.
Imagine you have to compete for 10 slots with about 1,000 people. You know your chance of getting a slot from the 10 is quite slim seeing the number of other people you have to battle the slots with.
Now, imagine you are competing for the same number of slots with 50 people. Well, it’s not certain you’d get a slot still. What is certain, however, is that you have a better shot at a slot since the competition is now between you and just 50 others. This is essentially how Local SEO works.
Localizing your SEO for Canada is a way of telling Google “Hey, I’m not trying to rank this page high all over the world. Well, not that I have a problem with that, but can you make Canada a priority?”. With that information, Google knows to focus on ranking your page or website high when there are searches related to it from Canada.
Why Local SEO is Important
The importance of local SEO to a business in this dispensation cannot be overemphasized, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar store or provide local service.
A study by Forbes magazine found that 95% of people who use smartphones have done local searches on their device; 61% called the business after the search and 59% visited.
Also, Search Engine Watch discovered in another study that 70% of smartphone users call a business directly from search results on Google.
It works for the benefit of your customers
Doing local SEO is a way of showing to your customer that you care about them. We are at a time when customer experience doesn’t begin when customers step into your shop, but instead from the first search for your store or product.
Making it easy and convenient for your customers in Canada to find you makes their experience memorable.
People sometimes search for a store location even when they already know the place. The reason, most times, is to make it easier for them to reach such location or calculate the time it would take to get there. All of these makeup for excellent customer experience and your refusal to put it in place puts you at the risk of losing your potential customers to your competitors.
Prevents You from Losing Money
Hubspot found that 92.7% of businesses that utilize inbound marketing (which includes local SEO) increased their lead generation. The smart thing to do is to fully take advantage of this opportunity to boost your conversion rates as there is no guarantee of the same result even with paid ads.
Local SEO Provides a Free Source of Advertisement
Localizing your SEO for Canada is an effective way of advertising your products and services for people who need what you do within Canada – for free.
It’s safe to say that this form of advertising, when done properly, is even more effective than traditional advertising. In the normal ads on TV, radio and some digital channels, marketers promote their products and services to a targeted audience hoping that they would need or be interested in the products or services.
Local SEO, on the other hand, allows you to advertise to people who are actively looking for what you do or sell.
Higher Ranking in Local Searches on Google
As established earlier, local SEO makes ranking high on search engine less competitive.
If you have a brick-and-mortar business in Canada, being found on Google by people outside Canada wouldn’t be your focus. Well, you may have the intention of expanding to other countries later in the future but you probably want to start by conquering your first.
So, with local SEO, you can rank high for searches within Canada for relevant searches.
Local SEO Checklist
Now that you know better on the benefits of Local SEO, here is a checklist you have to tick off when doing localizing your SEO to Canada
Mobile is now Google’s no.1 preference over desktop when indexing content for its result pages. That’s because over 60% of all searches are now conducted via mobile devices. On the direct importance of mobile-friendliness to local SEO, read the second sentence in the first paragraph of this blog again.
Take Google’s mobile-friendly test to see if your users are having issues with accessing your site on mobile.
Google My Business
This is arguably the most important factor for Local SEO. It’s a major way of telling Google where your business is located. Linpinseo described it as “the lifeblood that feeds the search engine results your target audience is looking for.”
When you create an account on Google My Business, Google will verify your ownership of the business and the business address. Once the verification is done, your business will show in the map and will appear in local results.
To get the best of Google My Business, do the following:
- Ensure you provide the right information about your business including name, category and address
- Specify your opening hours and always update whenever there are changes
- Add internal and external photos of your business
- Solicit for reviews from satisfied customers or clients and reply to every one of them.
Keyword Research and Usage
Doing this is quite straightforward. Make a list of the services you provide and add your location to each. This is what your customers would be searching for.
See examples below
- Digital marketer in Canada
- Car repair in Montreal
- Plumbing services in Toronto
Noticed the variation? Bear it in mind to use a different variation of your products or services on your website and when optimizing for Google My Business.
Also known as Structured Data Markup, Schema plays an important role in Local SEO. Schema helps to create enhanced description (or snippet) of a web page which appears on search results.
Schema Markup was created Bing, Google and Yahoo to provide support for a related group of tags which the search engines can use to better understand and show data.
Using this will boost your local SEO such that you can in search engine result pages (SERPs) for carousels, answer boxes and some other rich snippets.
Register with Local Directories in Canada
According to BrightLocal, 31% of their users (including SEM agencies and consultants) use local directories and citation as part of their local SEO strategy.
Doing this will further increase your visibility within the set location, which is Canada in this case.
Other local SEO factors worthy of note are:
- Social media
- Google Map Optimization
- Local Citations (Name, Address and Phone)
- On-Page SEO
- Link Building
Now that you have access to this about Local SEO, you can better localize your business for Canada and limit your competition on the search engine. Also, you will be making life easier for your target audience who can’t wait to patronize you.