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Local SEO – What is it and why you need it

Local SEO – What is it and why you need it

It’s estimated that in 2018 there was around 7 billion to 10 billion searches per day in Google.

“82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business” via Think with Google. Yet according to Brand Muscle via Local Search Association, “56% of local retailers haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing.”

This is a huge missed opportunity for these local retailers who risk being overlooked in search results, which means missing out on a chance to engage with potential customers. Fortunately, it’s easy and free (for now) to turn this situation around. Here’s how:

Introducing local SEO services

What is Local SEO?

Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps your company stand out in the search results, boosting the chances of attracting active customers who are in your area.

Local SEO is used for location-based searches, which means that a location or physical address is essential. This is because Local SEO focuses on offering results that are relevant to the searcher, based on their location (estimated or actual) – even more so for searches on a mobile device.

For example, if you search for ‘taxi’ on your phone, Google offers you the results which are nearest and relevant.

Why is Local SEO significant?

A significant number of customers conduct local searches on a daily basis to find local businesses in their location for both their products and services. Claiming your Local SEO helps you boost your chances of being found by prospective customers.

Local SEO is free

It’s usually free to claim listings on Yahoo Local, Bing Places for Business, Google My Business, and hundreds of other business directories, but this may not be the case forever. While it’s somewhat time-consuming [uploading information and images about your business, it is worth doing in order to reach high converting, high targeted in-market prospects.

Highly Targeted

Local SEO offers prospective customers the information they desire, when they want, making search engine optimisation both extremely cost-effective and efficient.

Besides, there are many users who do not have a particular business/brand in mind when searching for local products and services, therefore, local SEO will promote your business – helping put you in a front of the right people.

Local search drives local sales

A business’s location is the primary reason sought by most local people.

There are direct links between local sales, local visits, and local searches. In the future, you should pay special attention to voice search strategies.

Often the traffic comes from customers who are driving or in transit while looking for the best deals the local area offers. For example, ‘hotel’.

Search engine optimisation can highlight your business to the searcher, which converts to local sales.

First-page Google rankings are essential to the success of a business.

Businesses that operate locally are becoming more competitive with search engine optimisation, especially when you consider that more than 95 per cent of users do not make it past the first page of search engine.

How to optimise your Local SEO

It all starts with Google My Business…

Google My Business Logo

Google My Business

Visit Google My Business (GMB) and ensure that your name, contact details, address, opening hours, and contact information are up to date.

Also, make sure that your whole profile is complete. However, choosing the relevant categories is by far the most important part of local SEO.

Categories offer Google a better comprehension of what your business is about and what it does. This is one of the easiest ways for your business to be displayed in maps and search engines.

On your Google My Business profile, add as much additional information as you can, such as the area your business serves, business photos, opening hours, phone number and even your opening date. The more information you can complete, the better.

Top Tip for your GMB profile; make sure you have a clear and consistent NAP (Name, Address and Phone).

Local Pack vs Organic Listings

The Local Pack is the list of business, usually above the organic results in Google and it usually displays 3 businesses that Google see as the best match for the searcher.

To rank for the local pack, you should focus on creating citations to your exact location and developing relevant, trusted content. Local ranking is primarily based on proximity but other factors such as links, reviews, and citations can have a positive impact.

Organic listings require you to focus on developing great content that other sites will link to. Links are important in organic listings, more than they are in the local pack but Google is introducing a blended algorithm where sites that rank well organically will also rank well in maps.

Brands perform better when they are ranked organically as they attain links naturally through their content, press, and size.

According to a study by Bright Edge, over 40 percent of revenue is generated through organic search traffic, paid search just 10% and social accounts for 10% of traffic.

Local SEO means increased conversions, traffic, and engagement

With the growing domination of mobile traffic, local search is an integral part of the success of small and medium-sized businesses. Local search engine optimisation aims at boosting your dominance locally.

If the searcher is looking for a ‘dentist’ then Google will recognise their location and display a local pack of the dentists in their area – dental SEO. Optimising your Google My Business (GMB) Listing will ensure your practice is the one that Google chooses to display in Maps.

On-page local SEO

When you are optimising local pages on your site, it is vital to add the address on the page and the location within your content and a page’s title tag. The title tag should include the keywords targeted, location, and the brand name.

Moreover, if you have an address include it in the footer as an extra reference. Adding a map on the local place pages and ‘contact us’ page can come in handy for your SEO ranking too as it explicitly shows Google the location of your business.

Factors important in Local SEO Marketing

Proximity

Distance focuses on how far a prospective customer is from the location term incorporated in the search. If the user does not specify their location in the search, Google calculates the distance based on what is known about where they are, especially when using a mobile device.

Categories

Google is clever, very clever but it also needs a helping hand. Choosing relevant categories in your GMB profile will ensure that what Google thinks your business is about, is actually what you do.

Links/Citations

Your brand should appear across the internet consistently. Whether that be on a national directory or a local news website, your NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) should be the exact same. The more websites that mention and/or link to your website the better in eyes of Google.

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