What is Local SEO?
Local SEO will help your brand achieve higher rank and greater visibility for searches conducted by smartphone users who are either ‘near by’ your bricks and mortar location at the time of searching, or users (either on desktop or mobile) who have typed in a search query that specifies a geographic location, for example, ‘plumber in Fleet’.
Did you know, 97% of people go online to learn about a business, as opposed to going anywhere else?
Did you know, local searches result in purchases 28% of the time?
Your potential customers are local, and online. If your business wants to attract local customers, then you absolutely need to invest in a Local SEO Strategy.
Considerations when planning a Local SEO Strategy
- What is your core objective?
- Who is your target audience?
- What channels are you going to focus on to reach this audience?
- What resources do you have available to implement, manage and measure?
- What is your budget?
- How much time are you allowing to achieve your objective?
- How are you going to measure the results?
Start driving local, targeted traffic to your site
- Google My Business Profile
When creating a Local SEO Strategy, a good place to start is your Google My Business Profile. This used to be called ‘Google Places’ – and will give your brand a presence in the local ‘snack pack’ listing box – this profile listing will put your business on the Google map.
Check out our blog ‘How to Increase Your Local Search Prominence’ which explains how to set up a profile and optimise it. Since this blog was written, Google have launched some additional features:
GMB App – this enables you to manage your business profile on the go and update it and respond to messages and reviews very easily. The app provides additional features such as creating a Welcome Offer and a customised Welcome Message, an automatic greeting for customers who message you. The app also makes it easy to build your customer reviews on Google by sharing your profile link with your Facebook & Twitter followers and your Email contacts.
Short Name – Your short name generates an https://g-page url that you can use for marketing purposes and to request reviews. This is best to contain your brand name, but could contain keywords as well as long as you don’t make it spammy.
Changes to Location Targeting – in 2019 Google announced that for more accurate location targeting, it is recommended to list the towns your business serves as opposed to counties or countries.
This screenshot below shows the top 3 local ‘snack pack’ results for ‘plumbers in Guildford’. You can work to increase the rank and visibility of your local listing with regular content uploads, displaying accurate contact information and building your positive customer reviews.
- Local Directory Business Listings – Backlinks and Citations
Building quality backlinks is key to outranking your competition as it will help to increase overall domain trust, rank and authority.
Focusing on building backlinks to enhance your LOCAL SEO will help to increase competitive edge against your local competitors by increasing brand visibility, which will result in increased local traffic.
Building a quality backlink profile to enhance your Local SEO means building backlinks from sites who already have rank and visibility for local searches relevant to your business, as it is these that will help to enhance your brand visibility in search results.
There are hundreds of online directories, but choosing those that have good authority, generate a lot of traffic, and which are relevant to your business location or the product/services you offer, are the ones to focus your efforts on.
The best place to start is by typing in a location search for the service and/or products that you sell. For example, ‘Plumber in Guildford’. This screenshot below shows the results at the top organic results.
You can see that these are not plumbing companies, but directories.
Top performing directories will send referral traffic to your site.
There are many directories which offer free listings, but others offer enhanced listings and extra coverage for an additional charge.
A more advanced search parameter could be “Guildford” inurl:directory. This will give a list all the directories that show businesses in Guildford. As a Guildford business, these directory sites will be a great place to start building your business profiles.
You may like to read this blog from Linkio which gives further tips on how to find relevant niche directories.
Once you have compiled your ‘hit list’, start building your directory profiles. To enhance your local SEO further, add relevance to your location in the profile description as well.
The Importance of NAP
NAP is name, address and phone consistency. This is VERY IMPORTANT to implement and get right. If you have changed your company name, moved location, changed your phone number or have migrated your site to an HTTPS server, you need to ensure consistency of all listings and update all your directory backlinks whenever you make changes to your business contact details or service offering.
- On-site Local SEO
The third area of focus should be on optimising your website for Local SEO.
If you are a business wishing to attract local customers, then adding location targeting through your website content is particularly important.
Local SEO Best Practice
Creating lists of the towns and counties you serve isn’t going to have much impact on your Local SEO. Creating Location Pages that are highly relevant to your business, the location you serve, and providing content that is of interest to users, is going to be much more effective.
The key to writing good Location pages is to make them:
Relevant to your business
Relevant to your website visitors
Relevant to the location you want to optimise for
Adding a Google map showing your bricks and mortar location will also help, as will adding location references through headlines, image titles and descriptions, internal link text and page urls. All combined will help to strengthen your Local SEO.
Whizz Marketing is a leading SEO and Marketing Agency in Fleet Hampshire. If you are interested in Local SEO for 2020, please get in touch, we will be delighted to provide support and guidance to help you achieve your goals. Call 01252 622129 or visit https://whizzmarketing.co.uk