Local SEO is the technique to rank your business for local searches. If your business is based on the people around your locality, then Local SEO should be your first priority.
Suppose you own a restaurant in Kathmandu, then you might want to rank for the searches happening from Kathmandu. Like if someone from Kathmandu searches for restaurants near me or restaurants in Kathmandu, then local SEO can help you rank for those searches.
In this article, we will explore the core concept behind local SEO, it’s ranking factors, importances, and the future of local SEO in Nepal.
So let’s get started.
What is Local SEO?
In simple terms, local SEO is the technique of optimizing your online business so that your business is visible for local searches. Here, local searches mean the search happening from the location where your business is based.
If you own a domestic transportation service in Nepal, then there is no doubt that your customers are people from Nepal. Now if your business is ranking for searches from India or the USA, then those searches won’t be beneficial for your business.
In this case, your focus should be on local SEO. You might want to prioritize the ranking factors of local SEO. Let’s see what are the ranking factors for local SEO.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
In normal google search, we know that user intent is the major ranking factor. The same case is applied to local SEO.
You need to provide what people are looking for. Likewise, all the ranking factors of normal SEO are applied to the local SEO also. In addition to that, there exist some additional ranking factors that can help you optimize your business for local searches.
I will cover only those factors that are relevant in the context of Nepal.
1. Google My Business Listing
This is the most important ranking factor for local searches. Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool from Google that lets you create an online presence of your business.
Let me show you how the GMB listing looks.
If you searched for the keyword book store near me, you might get the result like this.
Here, these 3 results are GMB listings of Pilgrims Book House, Mandala Book Point, and Tibet Book Store. Now, if you click one of the listings, you will see the detailed information about the business.
Here, you can see the contact details, services provided, address, Google Maps location, and so on.
Now, it is obvious that if you want to rank for local searches in Nepal, you have to get a Google My Business listing.
2. NAP Citations
NAP citations mean your Name, Address, and Phone Number of the business. Google often checks the name, address, and phone number of local businesses on multiple websites to verify whether your business is legit or not.
So, always be consistent with the NAP citations of your business. Like, the name, address, phone number in GMB listing and your website should be the same.
Besides, your business citation might also present some local directories. Make sure your information is correct in those directories as well.
Suppose, you own a hotel in Nepal, then your hotel might be included in websites like Tripadvisor or Bookings.com. In such cases, make sure the NAP citation of your hotel is correct and consistent with your original business.
3. Reviews from customers
The role of reviews is crucial for local businesses. Google considers it the major ranking factors.
Reviews express the quality of your business. It makes search engines understand whether your customers are satisfied with your services or not.
Bad reviews mean bad user experience and good reviews mean good user experience. Since we know user intent is the major ranking factor. Hence, it directly affects your ranking.
So try to get as many positive reviews as you can. But don’t go for the fake reviews. That might cause more harm than bad reviews.
Another important point about reviews, you should always reply to the review. For both the positive or negative reviews, make sure you reply to them. It shows you care about the customers which might help you in the ranking as well.
4. Distance from the local searches
What this means is that for every local search, search engines try to show the result of the nearest location. This is important for users as well.
Suppose, I am at Sundhara, Kathmandu. Now, if I search for gift shops, I want the results to be within that area. The gift shop from Bhaktapur or Kirtipur won’t be useful for me.
This makes the distance from the searches one of the important ranking factors.
Besides these, other ranking factors like keyword research, on-page SEO, and link building are also important. Since the concept behind those ranking factors is similar to the normal SEO, I won’t be covering those topics in detail.
However, I want to share how you can use those techniques for local SEO.
Local Keyword Research
- limit your research within your locality only
- search what people around your city are looking for
- find what terms people are using for local searches
Local On-page SEO
- use the name of local places
- make content related to local people
- use local terms and languages if needed
- try to acquire links from local websites
- get featured in local newspapers, press
Importance of Local SEO in Nepal
Now that you know about local SEO and it’s ranking factor, let’s see why it carries so much importance in the present context.
1. Majority of mobile searches are looking for local result
According to Google (source seroundtable), about 46% of mobile searches have local intent. Here, local intent means people are looking for services around their locality.
Since the number of mobile searches is increasing in Nepal, 46% is a lot of searches. So, it might be beneficial to optimize your business for local searches.
2. Generate more customers
People searching for local businesses tend to visit the business more quickly.
For example, people searching for restaurants near me will visit the restaurants on the same day. This generates customers more quickly.
And, also Google stated that 76% of people who search for local services, visit the business within 24 hours, and 28% of people end up making the purchase.
3. Number of internet users is high
People often forget to mention this fact. But, the rise in internet users is beneficial for local SEO.
Previously, if people wanted to buy something, they would visit many stores until they found what they wanted. However, it has changed now. Nowadays, before buying anything people are searching it online. And, most of those people make decisions based on online results.
Now if you could fulfill customers’ needs through your online business, then there is a high chance they will visit you.
4. People are using near me searches
You might have done this as well. People are now using near me after their searches. Like, book store near me, gym near me, furniture near me, and so on.
And, for the near me searches, Google will always show results from the locality.
Here is the result of the search for futsal near me.
And, since the number of near me searches is increasing in Nepal, you should consider local SEO for your business.
Besides, ranking for local searches brings all the benefits that ranking for regular searches bring to your business. To know the benefits of ranking in Nepal, visit SEO Opportunity in Nepal.
Future of Local SEO in Nepal
In recent times, I have seen lots of local businesses are attracted to digital mediums. One major reason behind this is the rise of digital audiences.
Businesses in Nepal have realized that customers are on digital media. So, they need to be there as well. This is why the number of businesses on social media is growing.
Besides, the recent coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to go online.
Now with all those changes happening, it’s safe to say the future of local business on digital media would carry so much potential. And, it will be much more competitive.
In order to survive through that competition, you need to start from now. And, local SEO should be something, you should consider seriously.
This is because not only it helps your business with a good online presence. But also make your business visible for your targeted customers.