Local SEO or local Search Engine Optimisation is a small bit of the science behind SEO, which generally has many facets. One of which is the whole area of “Local SEO”. Whilst it is only one of maybe 12 important factors for SEO, it is critical if your target market is also local to you. In some ways it makes SEO easier for you, if you can focus on Local SEO. You will still have to compete with National or Global brands, but you may be able to entice local shoppers. Then, the real challenge is to retain them.
In theory, you do not need a website as you can use Google My Business or Google Business Profile and Facebook, along with Google or Facebook Ads. However, we would always recommend you get your own space or land on the net by having a website of your own. This is better than ads and any possible transient space on Facebook or other social channels etc. Also we recommend that you have a dedicated page on your website for every individual town and any specific neighbourhoods that you service. Optimise each of these pages with specific content and local links etc. Do not worry if half the content is repeated across a number of pages.
Google Business Profile
GMB or Google My Business is also referred to as ‘Google Business Profile‘ which makes more sense to people. As of 2022 this is the official name, hitherto only referenced as such by Google, once you had logged in to Google My Business dashboard. Whilst it is a bit confusing, the new title Google Business Profile does make it easier to understand what it is exactly.
When it comes to Local SEO tips, here are some things to consider and work on:
- Reviews – Do get reviews, obviously good reviews. As in 5* with well-worded long testimonials or reviews in GMB again using Local referenced keywords and key terms. Remember to reply to all reviews, using suitable keywords again.
Tip: Think of SEO as you telling Google how wonderful you are and how much of an Authority you are. Reviews would be other people telling Google how wonderful you are and how much of an Authority you are.
- Engage with other local businesses and communities on social to get seen, answer questions, to add value.
- Facebook page or profile for each individual address to engage with the audience who use this medium, if the demographic is right for your business.
- Instagram account for the business to engage with the audience who use this medium if the demographic is right for your business.
- LinkedIn personal account and one for the company or business to engage with the audience who use this medium, if the demographic is right for your business.
- Referrals – once your website is live, connect with local businesses on LinkedIn. We recommend sending them a relevant page (of potential interest to them) from your website when connecting.
- Twitter account for the business to publish timely items to engage with the audience who use this medium if the demographic is right for your business.
- Local influencers – By all means engage with local influencers and try to get them to post links to your website
- News – If there is a local online news website, try to get mentioned with a link or even pay for an advertorial. You could become a ‘columnist’ covering your topic of authority.
- Adjacent intent is where a potential client is online looking for a solution to another common issue. A Solicitor could be looking for Case Management software. A QFA could be looking for video tips. CRM options for Accountants or Recruiting trainee accountants. It could be benefiial to turn up here offering useful advice.
- Google Business Profile for each individual address, with good optimised photos of the business, the products, team members, premises etc. Add in the hours of business. Use Local keywords and key terms.
- Map – Add a map to show where you are and again a Google map is good.
- External links should be added to your website to other local businesses or facilities.
- Internal links should be used where you can interlink any related pages or posts with a hyperlink. Why not create a few such posts if you do not have any yet.
- Headings in posts such as H1 or H2 or H3 should refer to local places, businesses, etc…
- Images – use suitable images/photos and optimise them with suitable local names and alt tags. JPG photos can contain geo location information saved in the EXIF header of the image file. Easily geotag photos with new coordinates using GEO IMGR.
- Mobile – it goes almost without saying that your website should be mobile-friendly and responsive
- Voice – Do optimise the website for voice search, which generally includes longer key phrases
- Other local sites linking to you are good, so ask friends, acquaintances, suppliers, etc…
- Local Directories – Google ‘local directories’ and create an entry in all of them. Many are free and some are paid entries.’
- Links from Chamber of Commerce or Business Networks.
- NAP in all directories should be exactly the same everywhere. The Name Address and Phone Number are critical to have consistency. Otherwise, Google could think you are two different businesses.
Benefits of Local SEO
The main benefit of good Local SEO is the fact that it increases the chance that you will get found in search by your local market. You could be competing with much bigger national companies, but they are marketing nationally. So, in theory, if you do everything on the list above you can compete well online locally. There is quite a bit of work to do initially, so it is down to you to decide if you will do it or outsource it. This is not very exciting work. Even when you do the work, it will not all happen overnight.
However, give it 6 months and you will see how much you creep up the SERPS – Search Engine Results Pages. You will want to optimise your whole website so that it is seen as being local to Google. See our short guide to On-Page SEO Tips. If you want to learn more about SEO read our What is SEO Guide. By all means, use a keyword planner from Google and a Keyword Mapping Tool to add structure to all this work and record the changes. You can listen to podcasts such as Local SEO Tactics. Or talk to us about our SEO Plans here.
Check out the great comprehensive graphic from Pickaweb below.