Local SEO is a practice of website development to increase traffic, leads and product awareness in local search. Common tasks associated with local SEO include locating keywords, improving the Google My Business profile, and creating “NAP” quotes.
Why is Local SEO Important
I will not throw you random numbers.
But I want to show you briefly a few interesting statistics to highlight how great SEO is in local businesses.
46% of all Google searches have a “local purpose”
29% of all Google SERPs contain a location pack in the results
How Does Local SEO Work
At the highest level of Local SEO, it works like a “normal” Google search.
When someone does a search, Google scans its index to provide the best results for that person’s query. What makes Local SEO different is the fact that Google uses a different set of standard features to measure local search results.
In fact, local SEO has a set of different level signals, which include:
- Where one searches
- NAP Quotes
- The existence of the Google My Business listing
- Keywords used in Google My Business profile
- Feelings of online updates
- Keywords are used in online updates
- The “login” number in that area
- Shares on social media
- Google Maps star rating for that business
Technical SEO is basically laying the foundation of your website so your content and keywords have a good chance of ranking. It involves things like:
- Website Speed
- Internal Linking
- Mobile Friendliness
- URL Structure
On-site SEO is optimising your website’s pages, content and structure for your particular keywords. It also involves:
- Title Tags
- Meta Description
- Head Tags
- Content Strategy
- Page Hierarchy
- Image Optimization
Off-site SEO is optimising all items off of your website in order to rank for your particular keywords. It involves:
- Google My Business
- Social Media
This setting includes content that you write for your website, as well as content that you write for other websites.
Combining these strategies will give your website more profit than your competition. Local SEO is a very effective way to grow your business digitally, as it will help you showcase your business, products and services. Millions of people, including potential customers, use local searches every day to find businesses near them. By using a direct approach, I can help you increase your chances of finding local customers who might be looking for businesses like yours.
Local SEO keyword research
Local keyword research is the process of understanding how people search for the local services you offer.
It’s important because you want to optimise for what people search for.
Let’s go through how to do this.
Find service-based keywords
Most people do not think of the different ways in which others can search for what they are doing.
For example, if you are a plumber, some customers will find you by typing “plumber” on Google. But some will search for questions related to certain resources such as “drain unblocking.”
For that reason, you should first consult and list the services you provide. This will help you to increase your presence of questions your customers are looking for.
Here’s what the plumber might look like:
- Drainage is open
- Boiler repairs
- Boiler installation
- Boiler service
- Radiator installation
- The explosion of explosive pipes
Check search volumes
Keyword research tools show you the national search volumes. If you are looking for search volumes for your region, city, or town, you should use Google Keyword Planner.
Unfortunately, Keyword Planner has its problems:
Displays search volume range (e.g., 1K-10K), not whole numbers.
Combines keywords and displays a combined circular search volume. For that reason, assessing the relative popularity of keywords at the national level is often very productive. This is because what happens in one city is likely to be the same as in the next.
Check for local intent
Local intent means that searchers want to shop nearby. If that isn’t the case for your services, it’s not a local SEO opportunity.
To check a query for local intent, Google it and check the results.
If there’s a map pack and/or some local “blue link” results, it has local intent.
Now it’s time to transition into one of the most challenging parts of local SEO: NAP citations.
NAP citations are like backlinks: they’re super hard to build. But super important too.
Run a NAP Audit
You want your NAP data to be 100% consistent everywhere.
- On your website.
- On your GMB profile.
- On business directories.
- On local listings sites.
Basically: any place that mentions your business online.
There are a million citation tools and services out there. I personally recommend WhiteSpark and Logix. But like I said, there are quite a few options to choose from.
No matter what tool or service you use, the most important things you’ll need to have before you start are:
- The current, up-to-date NAP for the business.
- Any historic NAP info (that way, you can find and update outdated citations).
Striving to increase SERPs can be difficult for businesses, especially if you are a small business with limited resources. But local SEO is critical to the success of your business.
As people rely heavily on search engines and online reviews to find what they need, you have to upgrade your site to get online. So drive local SERPs by improving your website, producing better local content, getting quotes, and gaining reviews.
Don’t limit yourself to local tech SEO practices like quotes and web optimization, though.
Build relationships with other relevant local businesses, participate in community events, and join local organisations. If your customers are other businesses, make sure you use local B2B SEO processes.
Local SEO is not an independent profession. You also need to use SEO and social media marketing to increase your ranking.
Online endeavours are always an indication of offline facts. If your business is bad, your reviews will be the same. So, focus on building the best business you can do.