What is Local SEO
You have a local business; whether you sell products or service, you serve your local community or even a little further afield. Shouldn’t you then be concentrating on your local presence?
Without advertising, you will never get found, and with more and more searches being done on mobile, why then would you miss your chance at being number one for local search terms?
Local SEO has seen an enormous rise in popularity thanks to Googles efforts in satisfying searchers need for finding local places. Local SEO can be summed up like this;
When someone searches for a business, on their mobiles, locally, Google will offer them the top results from within a given distance.
This has resulted in small businesses seeing considerable rises in calls, bookings, and sales without the overheads of implementing a full SEO strategy for their website.
Local SEO is done through a method of optimising your Google My Business listing and targeting your website for local authority.
Typically local SEO is a lot cheaper than regular SEO.
What are Local Searches?
There are typically two types of searches; local search and informational search.
According to the latest stats, 46% of searches now are done locally. This includes ‘near me’ and ‘close by’.
Big authority websites can easily rank for informational searches and often do, but for local search queries’ Italian restaurant near me,’ a locally optimised site will always win. This is down to the local search query and purchase intent.
These types of search queries are understood by Google to be a local search. Google understands the requirement and then gives you results based upon the businesses around you, which have websites and Google listings optimised for local search results.
The local SERPs page (Search Engine Results Page) is slightly different to the standard SERP page and includes a regional map pack with the top three local businesses in the area offering the service, or product you searched for.
What is Local SERP?
A local SERP is where your business will get shown when customers or clients search for a product or service you offer. The local SERP is slightly different from the normal SERP in the fact that is displays what has become known as the ‘3-pack’.
The ‘3-pack’ is a listing of the top three businesses locally to you that offer the service, or product which you searched for. The 3-pack is the best place to be for any local business, and it provides your company details, opening hours, telephone number, and reviews.
All the business information available on the 3-pack comes from your GMB (Google My Business) listing. Your GMB listing is the most crucial part when it comes to ranking locally as Google uses the information you provide here to satisfy local searches.
Why, Google My Business?
Google My Business was previously known as Google Local and Google+ local. It is Google’s regional initiative to connect local customers to local businesses. People all over the world are starting to take advantage of GMB, and the results are considerable increases in profits and reputation.
Your GMB profile is ant essential aspect of your local SEO strategy. It is where you get to inform local people about every aspect of your business, from opening times to what you sell, prices and pictures.
You can respond to clients questions, reviews, and comments. You can also promote exclusive deals and discounts to help increase your reach and your chances of being found. Your profile needs to stay active, up to date, and accurate. Keeping on top of your posting and comments is a great way to reach the top of the local SERPs.
When setting up your GMB profile, it is essential to make sure you take every opportunity to optimise your listing for your local areas. Using keywords and images taken locally, you can improve your chances of being at the top of the ‘3-pack’.
What are Local SEO Citations?
You may have heard the word ‘citation’ thrown around when looking for information on local and regular SEO. A citation is anywhere your business NAPW appears.
NAPW (Name, Address, Phone number, Website) are typically posted to online directories or business listings websites. These listings give you local links and authority, which is excellent for boosting your local SERP presence.
Local Citations are a crucial aspect of local SEO. More often than not, online directories and business listings are where people will look for the products or services that you offer. You can gain customers from them and from the authority they will give back to your website and GMB listing.
Local SEO Tips
At this point, you probably feel like you know everything you need to know about local SEO. It sounds fantastic, and you are ready to get going, improving your local search presence and get access to what could be thousands of new leads monthly.
One small issue, though, how do you rank better locally?
Your GMB offers profile allows you to write a 750-word description about your business. It is essential to write not only about your business but to include keywords which people are searching for. This will give you more relevance to a broader range of searches, locally.
Fill out all of your business details, including opening and closing times, as well as services or products offered and sold.
On your listing, you can add pictures to your GMB profile. Google recommends you take pictures of the inside of your business and out, customer waiting area and your team. The more unique photos you can include, the better.
Regularly posting content is another crucial aspect of running your GMB. The posts can be short and posting every couple of days keeps your profile looking fresh. Google will prioritise your listing as they are always actively looking for the most active local businesses.
Localising your website is done by adding your town, city, country or region name onto your website. This can be done by including a Google Map or by adding the address to your footer. For a business which offers services in multiple towns or cities, you will need to create an optimised page for each place.
Link or Citation Building
Your website needs to be on all the local business directories and listings. This helps customers find your business and will help boost your search rankings when Google sees all the local links pointing back to your website.
You should also strive to obtain links from other local businesses and authority websites related to your industry. White hat link building is one of the top-ranking factors when it comes to your position in the local and regular SERPs.
Managing and Responding to Reviews
Responding to ratings and reviews are a great way to keep your GMB listing active and to get to the to of the ‘3-pack’. It is also a fantastic way to show your local and broader community how your company responds and treats people.
Always think twice before responding to reviews. If it is a negative review, offer a resolution to the situation. Remember, everyone in your local area, and further, will be able to see your every response and it could make or break your businesses.
The FAQ on Local Search
Why do I need to implement a local search strategy?
This is the most critical question you should be asking. The answer may surprise you.
Hardly anybody uses a phonebook anymore. The time of the yellow pages has come to a timely end. Yellow pages printed its last ever copy in January 2019. More and more people are using their mobile phones, tablets, laptops and computers to find local business information.
Don’t believe us? Just check out these statistics;
· 96% of people conduct a local search on a PC
· 46% of all searches are local
· 64% of customers use search engines to find local businesses
· 50% of local mobile searches are for business information
· 78% of local searches result in an offline purchase
The question should be, why aren’t you implementing a regional SEO strategy?
Why Should I Spend Money on Local SEO?
Another great question! Local SEO connects customers to businesses at the point of need and necessity. People only search for local businesses or services when they need a service or product they offer.
This gives you a higher ROI than any other form of marketing as you are there, easily contactable by phone or email to provide what they need.
You aren’t wasting money on leaflets, or newspaper ads having to reach the most amount of people for an ROI. You are there where people are searching.
Which Citations are Best for Local SEO?
Local citations from online business directories and listings are a dominant type of link. They will let Google know that you are a real business.
Lots of listings websites will be found on the first page of Google thanks to the power of the websites, think yelp, city search. Etc.
Is it more Important to Concentrate on Local SEO or Normal SEO?
There isn’t a straightforward answer to this. It entirely depends on your budget and the type of products or services you sell.
For local businesses, it does make more sense to concentrate on local SEO. It is more affordable and will return a quicker and higher ROI.
Mobile phones now count for 50% of global web traffic. Local searches are being conducted more and more on the go, than ever before, and it is only going to increase.
If, for example, you are a chain with multiple locations as well as selling online, then it is worth implementing both SEO strategies.
How Much Does Google My Business Cost?
GMB is completely free. It does make you wonder why only 44% of business have claimed their listing!
Why Use SEOZack for your Local SEO Services?
We have been improving the local search presence of businesses for many years. In this time, we have learned tips, and tricks to boost your local SERP results and beat your competition. We know what it takes, and we know how to do it.
We offer one-time GMB set up and optimisation or on-going improvement packages which include regular posting, responses to customers, and on-going link building and citation submissions.