Word-of-mouth and local marketing are effective methods of attracting clients to your neighbourhood. However, an Internet search may have just as much, if not more, of an influence. In fact, according to Social Media Today, 97% of search engine users have used the Internet to locate a local company. Furthermore, 46% of all Google queries are for information on a specific business location.
Business owners who do not have their websites included in local search results may be losing out on significant traffic and consumers as a result of this. Indeed, local SEO may be the most important factor that’ll keep your business relevant and growing over time.
The likelihood is that you will have a lot of questions about local SEO and you will not know where to begin optimising your website. This post will introduce you to some of the most essential local SEO choices and will aid you in gaining a better grasp of the local SEO environment. So let’s get started!
The Most Important Areas to Focus on to Improve Your Local SEO
Because of the high level of competition, local companies must compete for the top positions in the market to remain competitive and survive. In today’s world, everything is often dependent on how visible a company’s online presence is, which may be achieved via variety of digital marketing techniques.
When it comes to transforming a brand’s online image, search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the most effective strategies readily available. When you combine this with paid search advertising techniques such as pay-per-click tactics, you have a winning combo for increasing brand exposure.
However, implementing SEO and utilising advertising tools is not a one-time event. It is a continuous process. To take advantage of growth, you’ll need to keep optimising your business’s strategy over the long term.
What Exactly is Local SEO and Why Do I Need It?
To understand the meaning of local SEO, let us first attempt to comprehend what it means to search locally. When someone looks for companies, goods, services, or any extra information related to a nearby place, they are referred to as doing a local search.
Local search is more focused on a particular place and less broad when compared to typical Google searches, as explained above. The act of trying to improve your online presence to appear in those local search results is known as local search engine optimisation.
Local SEO is essential since it assists you in the following ways:
- Increase your web presence by a factor of two.
- Increase the amount of foot traffic that comes into your brick-and-mortar site.
- Improve the quantity of targeted traffic you get, which will raise your chances of converting website visitors.
- Increase your public image and develop trust with your target audience.
5 Priorities to Address
To be honest, almost every business has competition in some capacity. Inevitably, it’s a challenge that every brand must face, particularly if we’re talking about a small local company.
When you’re competing against well-established companies, you may have difficulty getting in front of your prospective clients. Fortunately, local SEO helps in your quest to go toe-to-toe against such fierce competition.
Have you ever searched for a local supplier by typing in the name of a brand, a product, or a service? If this is the case, you have probably discovered the most relevant results (the ‘local pack’ as we call it in the SEO industry). These are the selections that are the closest to fitting your local search requirements, and they often contain the company name, location, and phone number (NAP info).
If you service a local market, you want to be seen in the local pack of search results. Unfortunately, local SEO produces results using a different algorithm than Google, which makes it difficult to compare results. What you do to improve your natural organic rating does not inevitably translate into benefits for your local initiatives.
You must, however, find it out regardless of the circumstances. Listed below are our top recommendations to make sure your local SEO puts you in front of more clients.
Create a Google My Business Page for your company.
To begin, you’ll need to create a Google My Business profile for your company. It’s completely free, fast, and simple.
This profile should include your business hours, contact information, location, and driving instructions to ensure that you are easily found on Google Maps.
The consistency of your NAP information throughout your website, as well as every local directory on the internet, cannot be overemphasised. Google My Business is a free service provided by Google that will enable you to post your company’s information on the search engine giant’s website.
Many local SEO experts suggest that you include photographs and a full description of your organisation here, which will assist consumers to gain a better understanding of your company.
You’ll just have to do one more thing after that: double-check the listing’s legitimacy. Google will send you a postcard in the mail with a PIN once you have registered. Once you have obtained your PIN, you may validate your page directly from the My Business administration part of the website.
Customer Comments and Suggestions
When making purchasing selections, some consumers prefer to base their judgments on how others felt after dealing with you. As a result, positive evaluations on your My Business page will aid in the improvement of your local rating.
To be clear, however, it should be noted that customer ratings are simply one of the numerous aspects that influence your ranking in the local search results. When it comes to local SEO, you don’t want to depend only on customer feedback.
Having said that, if you do have reviews appearing on the SERPs, you should anticipate a greater click-through rate (CTR) as a result. In addition, as fate would have it, a larger click-through rate will aid in the improvement of your rating in the local pack, just as it does in organic rankings.
Every review not only provides possible new clients with further information about your company, but it also encourages them to visit your website. This is particularly true if you can demonstrate that you are interested in client feedback.
Choose your keywords carefully
If you want to have a greater impact on where you appear in the local pack, take the time to identify your ideal and most important local SEO keywords.
You may begin by making use of a free service such as the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to help you identify potential keywords. On this page, you can find out which terms have the biggest search volume.
It will also assist you in determining which search phrases people in your area are searching for, allowing you to better cater to their requirements and choose the most appropriate keywords for your organisation.
It is possible to determine how tough or competitive ranking for a certain keyword phrase or phrase combination will be if you have the resources to invest in a more expensive keyword research tool.
You will be better able to identify the most relevant keywords for your website after you have gathered all of this information. This will allow you to rank higher in both organic and local search results.
Make changes to your website
Your website’s importance to your local ranking cannot be overstated. Using your local keywords in your descriptions, page names (headers), and content can assist to improve the visibility of your website in search engines, which will help to improve your search engine optimisation.
You will need to update your material frequently to remain on top of things and to ensure that your clients are seeing something new as well. To assist increase your keyword coverage for national and regional searches, be sure to utilise long-tail keywords that include local modifiers as well as semantic variants on those terms.
Other goods that we highly suggest are as follows:
Semantic markup for your company locations can assist Google and other search engines in better matching your NAP information across the numerous directories where your business is listed, which will improve your search engine rankings.
Provide detailed driving instructions and a Google Map on your contact or locations pages so that clients can locate you more quickly and so that local algorithms can establish your precise physical location.
Provide for the needs of your customers
Then social media should be considered. Whether you like it or not, practically everyone is using it. Because Google will extract results from social media networks, it is your responsibility to verify that all of your pages and accounts are up to date. Make certain that you are engaged on various platforms. In addition, be certain that you have reviewed all of the information on those profiles and that they are all accurate before publishing.
You don’t want to convey the impression to clients that you can’t be relied on or that you just don’t care. You should delete any profiles or platforms that you are not going to use so that a dead page does not appear in the search results.
When it comes to optimising your website, concentrating on traditional SEO is the best course of action. Nonetheless, if you want your small company to compete with big, national corporations, you will not be able to make an impact unless you concentrate on local SEO strategies.
Here are a few of the reasons why you should emphasise local SEO above other forms of marketing.
- Consumer behaviour is ever-changing and it is becoming more sophisticated. Before going to the market, most people do internet research to determine what they need. Look for the most effective local SEO tactics, or even better, engage a professional SEO specialist to assist you with your efforts.
- Local SEO helps to establish your company’s credibility. Online consumers have a tendency to feel that local listings provided by major search engines are more real than sponsored and organic search results, which is not always the case.
- Increased conversions as a result of local SEO. It is quite probable that a person who finds an area of business he is searching for would go through a website that is relevant to his search before finally contacting the company and purchasing a product or service.
- Local SEO helps to boost search engine ranks. Prioritising local SEO may help you improve your site’s search engine ranks. Sites that are geared for local queries get higher rankings in search engines, particularly Google.
This simply implies that if your company is featured in local directories, it will surely be given preference over competitors that do not prioritise local SEO efforts.
- Local SEO is the most effective method of attracting mobile visitors. It seems like there are smartphone applications for nearly anything these days, and the majority of them get information from local business listings such as Google Maps.
If you do a few minor things to improve your local SEO, you may immediately notice an increase in mobile traffic.
Local SEO gives you a competitive advantage.
Consider devoting some time to improving your on-site SEO and refining your local SEO efforts. Both of these enhancements will assist you in gaining the competitive advantage you want over your local competition.
Customers are looking for precise information about your company but remember that they may not be willing to put a long word into the search field. You must make a deliberate effort to understand who your consumers are and what they are seeking if you want to get them to your business’ doorstep.
The time and work you put in will be repaid in the form of higher search results. And, what’s more, you’ll quickly establish yourself as a fixture in the community. Keep in mind that your local SEO efforts may include several distinct geographic areas. So, if you’re targeting more than one area, you may want to include these locations into your SEO plan.
You now know all you need to know about advancing your local SEO efforts to the next level!
To drive up your company’s gains in local search results, get in touch with a trusted Melbourne SEO agency like us! We’ve helped countless of local brands get their local SEO efforts up to speed and it wouldn’t be that hard to imagine that we can do the same for you.