!Local SEO is a type of search engine optimisation (SEO) that focuses on improving a business's visibility in local search results. These search results are shown when someone searches for a business or service in a specific area. For example, they might search for ‘financial advisor in Bristol’ or ‘Best restaurant near me’.
Any business with a physical location, be it a country, city or even a local neighborhood, that is looking to increase traffic, can benefit from this. Read on to find out top tips and strategies to help your business succeed in this area.
Avoiding Deceptive SERP Results
Don’t be fooled by the results you see! Before we start, it is important to understand that the results you see on your own computer may not accurately reflect reality. This is due to personalised results. Search engines will often show you results based on your search history and browsing behaviour. This can skew the results you see when you search for your own site in Google, so it is best to use an SEO tool to track your rankings and give you unbiased search results.
Local SEO Strategies
Google Business Profile
Local Business Directories
Tracking your performance
Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool that allows you to create/claim a listing for your business on Google maps. It is the essential starting point for any local SEO. Make sure your listing is fully optimised with all your business details. Keep the listing up to date with any changes and you can also publish news and promotional items like you can on social media. While filling out this business profile also hop over to Bing and fill out their equivalent on Bing Places.
Submit your business details to popular local directories such as Yelp and Yellow Pages. Search around to see if there are any relevant local directories for your type of business.
Links pointing to your website are like a popularity competition. Having a number of good quality links to your website is a key area in the Google ranking algorithm. There are many other aspects to winning the rankings game, but this is a very important one.
When filling out any of the directories ensure you use consistent NAP (name, address & phone number). This is another algorithm factor, building trust in your business and helping your rankings. A useful tool to use to audit your existing directory presence is Yells directory listing scan. This will highlight any inconsistencies in your listings.
Optimising your website's content, meta tags, headings, and URLs to include relevant local keywords. If you have multiple business locations, you are best to create a page for each location and include relevant local content. This will help the search engines understand your relevance to specific locations. There are several good tools for finding keywords including Google Keyword Planner. Whilst this tool is primarily for Google Ads, it is still a very valuable tool for any kind of keyword research.
Creating localized content is a good start, but also seek out other areas you can engage in your local community, either through social media platforms or local events to build brand awareness and visibility.
Reviews are another important element of building trust online. Ensure you always ask for a review from your customers. You can include a link directly to your GBP listing in your email signature or at the end of a chat interaction. You can find this link in your GBP account.
Ensure you have Google Analytics and Google Search Console set up on your website and set up tracking for specific goals on your website. These will give you valuable insights into your organic traffic and conversions. As your rankings improve you should see an increase in relevant organic traffic to your site. Invest in a rank tracking tool or if you work with an agency, they will do this for you. If you perform manual searches, remember to use incognito or private browsing mode so you avoid personalised results.
Local SEO will allow you to precisely target your audience based on location and help you concentrate your marketing efforts. Building a strong local online presence is an essential part of any local business marketing strategy and will help you build traffic and increase sales and revenue.
If you would like to talk to Channel about improving your local online visibility, please contact us.