What is it and why should you care?
When you search for something, Google wants to show nearby results.
For SMEs – local search is huge. 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase (source: Google)
This is high-quality, targeted traffic for your website – so how can you make the most of it?
Below is a starter guide to Local SEO which will give you some guidelines to do your own optimisation. Need some help? We can dovetail with your team to share the load, or provide a tailored training session. Or you can trust us to take over and free up your time.
Contact us now to start making the most of your Local SEO potential
In order to have the potential for Local SEO your search term (keyword) must have Local Intent. This is easy to check – just do a Google search for your term. If you see 3 “Local Pack” results – then your search has Local Intent, and you can optimise for it.
For some industries, you might see “Google Guaranteed” results which is really another subject, this pushes the Local Pack further down the page.
Keyword Research is an important part of the process – there are some free tools available, but professionals will make use of paid services.
Once you have your keywords which have Local Intent, you can start the optimisation process. Different keywords will likely need their own Landing Pages – nothing new there. Many of the same factors that will rank you highly on the ‘normal’ search results will work for local search results also.
Google My Business
Optimising your GMB listing is probably the most important single factor for Local SEO.
Reality check – GMB is to help Google to offer high-quality information to make its services (notably Maps) more valuable for its users. The fact that it can also help your business is incidental from Google’s standpoint.
So, the more accurate and useful information you can add to your listing, the better Google will like it, and the more prominence it will give you.
Make sure that your business doesn’t have more than one listing. If your business operates from multiple locations, the “Manage Locations” tab is there so that you can avoid duplicate listings.
Optimising your Citations
Citations are where your business details appear on other websites. If they include a link to your website, the quality of the site is very important. Low-quality links are still detrimental to your SEO.
For Local SEO, consistency is key. Wherever your business appears on the internet, make sure your details are the same. This is known as NAP (Name Address Phone number). Minor differences in these, such as “St.” vs “Street” can downgrade your listing so pay attention to tiny details.
On-site optimisation for Local SEO
Of course, much of what goes for ‘normal’ SEO remains good for Local SEO.
Start with your Keyword Research, which has provided you with a list of keywords which have Local Intent. Look at the relevance to your business, the search volume and consider the likely click-through rate.
Much local traffic might land on your GMB listing, as we’ve considered above. But here, we’re talking about on-site optimisation for Local SEO so landing pages have the highest importance.
Never duplicate pages with minor changes to optimise for Local Intent searches. Consider creating a new page showing content relevant to the targeted locality. Title tags can be optimised with location-specific terms but make sure they are relevant to the content they introduce.
As well as correctly structured content with the correct hierarchy and ratio of heading tags to content, structured data can summarise your business, location and show reviews – this helps your SERP (Search Engine Results Page) listing stand out.