What is Local SEO?
If your business has a physical address and operates in a certain geographical location then you’re a local business. As a local business owner, you need to find customers in your local area (be that a village, town, city or region).
The Internet, whilst being a global medium, is structured by search engines like Google to deliver information based on local parameters.
Try out a Google search for yourself, perhaps “bakery in London” or “Sheffield accountant”. The results are displayed on a map and take the form of business listings:
As you can see from the above image (highlighted in red), customer reviews are shown.
Google local results give users your:
- Business Name
- Map location
- Telephone Number
- Google + (social network) link
Local SEO is the optimisation of your website to rank highly on local searches, bringing more local customers to your website and physical location (if you also run a physical sales outlet).
You can start to optimise local websites by using:
Most local directories and services offer free listing options and are open to everyone. You can follow the links above to get started, but bear in mind that creating directory listings is simply not enough to beat your local competition.
How to do Local SEO
Here’s how we believe a successful local SEO campaign should be structured:
STEP 1: Competition Analysis
Are you the only business in your local area? Thought not. Your competitors will have websites that outrank yours; search now by typing into Google “business type” + “location” (for example “print shop newcastle” or “blackpool mechanic”). The results that you see on the first page get the most visits from customers interested in your service, in your location.
Local SEO services will analyse your competitors and determine what needs to be done to outrank them.
STEP 2: Onpage Local Optimisation
Even a simple one-page website can be optimised to show higher in local search results. Adding rich snippets, using Schema.org local business markup, helps code your site content to tell search engines where to find your location information (address etc). Social integration encourages your customers to spread the word about your site to local contacts.
STEP 3: Build Local Listings
Starting with Google Places, local SEO services claim your listings on popular search websites.
STEP 4: Citations
Google scans trillions of webpages to find out where your business is listed. A higher number of citations give your business credibility. It is also important to maintain continuity between listings by using exactly the same address format and contact details.
STEP 5: Customer Feedback
Potential customers respond strongly to genuine customer feedback and reviews. A successful local SEO campaign will help you curate existing reviews and set up structures to encourage new customers to share their experiences on Google Pages and your website. Buying or creating false reviews breaches trading laws and is very poor SEO practice that will lead to your website being penalised.
STEP 6: Social Profiles
Effective social interaction on the most popular social networks will help you publicise your business, drive visits to your website and increase your local SEO rank. Facebook Pages is a great place to start. Many successful local SEO campaigns utilise social networks to run promotional offers.
It takes time to set up a Local SEO campaign
Where can I find a Local SEO Service?
sodabrain offers affordable local seo services for small businesses from £99. For more information, get in touch with us today and let us know what you want to achieve from a local SEO campaign.