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Does your business dominate locally?

Local SEO

Whether you are a small business or a large multi-location company, it is possible to attract more customers using a locally focused search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. We have published this page to introduce you to the benefits of local SEO and how it could improve your online presence.

What exactly is local SEO?

A local SEO strategy can be a brilliant way to market your business in specific localities online. The aim is to promote your business to customers in specific localities, at the exact time they are searching for the specific product or service.

Most people are familiar with a standard information search through a search engine, but this is quite different to the local searches. Within a standard search, it is possible for any business to rank in a high position, regardless of their location. A local search query involves a person searching for a product or service within a specific location, which requires a different approach to SEO.

Within the majority of local searches, a person will search using terms such as ‘the best in’ or ‘near me’. The search engines are able to understand that the searcher is looking for suggestions within a specific locality, so they will provide locally focused search engine result pages (SERPs).

Local SEO Service

What are SERPs?

SERP stands for ‘Search Engine Results Page’. To attract customers locally based companies need visibility on what is commonly referred to as the ‘3-pack’ or ‘local pack’. These are the prominent section of three company listings which appear directly beneath the map in Google search results with a local focus.

This section is completely different to the standard organic search results and will include details such as review ratings, phone numbers, opening times and often photos. Google constantly evolves but it is not yet capable of retrieving the information it requires directly from websites, instead the information is taken from Google My Business profiles.

How does a ‘Google My Business’ profile work?

Google My Business (GMB) was once known as Google Local and for a short time Google+ Local, it simply refers to the business profile which you display on Google. The profile automatically feeds information through to the Google Maps result pages and the local pack, alongside the popular results shown in the right-hand side at the top of branded business searches.

The GMB profile includes a variety of information such as business services, contact information, business category and description, opening times, reviews and a selection of questions and answers.

One of the most important aspects of local SEO management is to ensure that a GMB profile page is as error-free, relevant and up-to-date as possible. This will improve the chances it has of featuring within the local pack results as it will clearly display the business is trustworthy, reliable and relevant. Although GMB is extremely useful to local SEO, it is just a single example of what is referred to as a ‘citation’.

Local SEO Services

What are citations?

The term ‘citation’ is used to describe a place where your company name, address, telephone number and website address (NAPW) appears online. In most circumstances, this is a directory online or a business listing website and they are an essential aspect of local SEO if you are looking to stay ahead of competitors.

Citations can be either structured or unstructured, with structured citations most common within business listings where a form is completed. An unstructured citation usually occurs when your NAPW information is pulled from a news page or social media profile. Ensuring the correct information is displayed in citations is vital to local SEO, without them your site could struggle to achieve its potential local reach.

How can I improve my websites position in local searches?

Once you understand what local SEO is the next step is to improve your website’s position. There are three core elements which determine a website’s position in local search results; proximity, relevance and prominence.

Search engines use this information to decide how closely positioned your business is to the searcher, the relevance your services or products have to their search and also the past reviews your business has received.

Within the majority of local searches, a person will search using terms such as ‘the best in’ or ‘near me’. The search engines are able to understand that the searcher is looking for suggestions within a specific locality, so they will provide locally focused search engine result pages (SERPs).

What are the main aspects of locally focused SEO strategies?

Local SEO is a relatively new SEO strategy, it is something which is always evolving and is very different to the techniques required for broader SEO.

One of the first steps in a local SEO strategy is to localise your website. This is achieved by including your locality name naturally throughout your website content. If your business has a number of locations, we may create specific pages for the individual locations. Another important aspect of this strategy is to include local information in the site in the form of news articles, guides and community information.

Once we have created content with a focus on the local area, we then begin to build a great presence across business directory listings and citation sites. Part of this process involves claiming your GMB page, which will guarantee the correct information is displayed in local search results.

A key factor in local SEO success is to manage customer reviews and online ratings, as these showcase honest opinions of your business. Search engines use the reviews you receive, alongside their quality and quantity as a ranking factor within the local search result pages.

The final stage in our local SEO strategy involves creating high-quality relevant backlinks. By creating natural backlinks with highly regarded websites, the search engines recognise the quality of your own site and will improve your position in local search result pages.

How local SEO services will help your business attract new customers

An increasing number of people use the internet to find products and services, rather than the traditional printed phone books. This means it is now essential to ensure your business has a presence online.

Many local searchers are not looking for a specific business; instead, they are searching for specific products or services. By utilising local SEO tactics your business can position itself in front of potential customers, exactly when they are searching for your offering. This is the ideal time to connect, as it is exactly when they need your services.

As local search results are so relevant to your customers’ requirements, it is no surprise that online local directory marketing has a higher conversion rate than traditional advertising.

There are some online directories which achieve a 50% conversion rate. This means by listing accurate information on these sites your business could convert one of every two leads. It is actually free to claim your listing on many of the local directories such as Bing Places for Business and Google My Business.

Get local

As an increasing number of people begin to rely on the internet to find information, without a local SEO strategy your business is likely to be missing out on a vast amount of custom.

As local search trends strengthen now is the perfect time to invest in a professional SEO strategy. We can help you with everything from improvements in rankings to reputation management and citation building. To find out more, please contact our team today.

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