Local search engine optimization (SEO) can make it easier for your audience to find you online. We asked our colleague to share more information about SEO, including some tips to get you started.
What is Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The goal of local SEO is to have your organization listed in search results pages when users perform location-based searches for services you provide. A location-based search is simply a search term that has a location attached to it—think “grocery store near me.”
So if your HIV organization provides face-to-face help, you should be doing local SEO or local search marketing. These statistics will show you why:
- The number of searches containing “near me” has increased 900% over the past 2 years.
- 80% of U.S. adults have used the internet to make a healthcare-related search in the past year.
- 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
- 54% of smartphone users search for business hours and 53% search for directions.
- 78% of local mobile searches result in offline purchases
Don’t you want to show-up in Google if someone searches “HIV services near me”?
Effective Local SEO
Like “normal” SEO, effective local SEO requires that you engage in an ongoing process of using best practices for maintaining your presence online. Once you’ve built that into your website management approach, here are three things you can do to boost your local SEO.
- Claim your listings.
- Have a good website
- Be consistent when using your business information.
Claim Your Physical Address
First you need verify your information with Google and Bing. It’s a simple process of ensuring you are where you say you are. This is your opportunity to get listed on Google Maps and Bing Places. All you need to do is confirm basic information about your organization.
Build and Maintain a Good Website
It is essential that you have a good website. Having a good website doesn’t mean having a flashy website. It means having a website that allows users to quickly and easily find the information they are looking for.
Your business information—Name, Address, Phone number, and Website URL (NAPW)—will exist in multiple locations across the internet. This includes your newly claimed listings on Google and Bing, your website, and any other places you might have business information listed, such as Facebook or professional directories. Wherever your NAPW are listed, they need to be identical across all listings. So whatever information you verify with Google and Bing should be the way your organization is listed everywhere.
Additional Things You Can Do to Boost Your Local SEO
If you do your own research about how to boost your local SEO, you might find other things that are “required.” These include getting reviews and publishing content. Having people review you online might not be appropriate. Having reviews might be beneficial, but the privacy and trust of the people and community you serve is far more important. The same is true about publishing content. Having a blog, a social media presence, or frequently updating your website with engaging content may help. However, if you don’t have the resources or feel comfortable doing this, then don’t feel like you need to.
Now that you have the basics of local SEO, you can get started in getting your HIV services organization listed for location-based searches.