Local SEO is a strategy that focuses on helping your business become more visible in local search results to increase local traffic and brand awareness. It helps businesses reach out to their targeted audience near them.
Not all businesses will need a local SEO strategy but businesses that are in a specific geographic location such as restaurants or businesses that offer services in a particular location should aim to rank in local search results. With a local SEO strategy, you will increase your visibility and generate more relevant, high-quality traffic.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Google’s local rankings are based on a combination of relevance, distance and prominence to help the user find the best match for their search query.
One of the main factors in Google’s local search algorithm is distance. This refers to the proximity of the search result. When Google thinks a search has local intent, it will bring up local search results even when the search query hasn’t included a location or use phrases such as ‘near me’ by using what it knows about your location from your IP address.
Google defines relevance as ‘how well a local Business Profile matches what someone is searching for.’ If a business has the attributes a searcher is looking for in their business profile, then they are likely to be seen as relevant and show up in search results.
Prominence is based on the information Google has about a business and how well-known a business is. For example, through directories and Google reviews. If a business has lots of positive ratings, it will be more likely to be seen higher up in search rankings.
How to Optimise Your Site for Local SEO
Complete Local Keyword Research
Local keyword research is the process of identifying the search terms that your customers/clients will be typing into Google in order to find services or products near them.
Start by brainstorming the products or services you offer and then list your location terms. These will be your keyword modifiers making the search have local intent.
Optimise Google My Business Profile
A Google business profile helps businesses to manage their online presence in Google’s search engine and allows your business to appear in Google Maps and local search listings.
Within your Google business profile, it is important to verify your locations and keep your opening hours accurate and up to date. You can optimise your profile by creating a compelling description that describes who you are and the products and services you offer. Uploading high-quality images on your profile will be visually pleasing and will create a lasting and positive impression for users.
Encouraging your customers/clients to leave reviews will build your business’s credibility and will instil trust in Google. Also, a customer who sees lots of 5-star ratings with l good reviews will be more likely to click through to your website over businesses that don’t have many reviews. Therefore, it is a good idea to encourage your customers to leave reviews, to improve your business’s reputation and also increase your click-through rate.
Publish Relevant Content
The more content you publish on your website, the higher chance you will have of ranking in search engines. Therefore, it is important to be creating new content such as news and blog posts. To improve local SEO, include long-tail keywords related to your location or write about timely topics such as local events. However, make sure this content is still relevant and valuable to your target audience.
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link to your website. If a website or page is receiving a lot of backlinks it suggests to Google that your content must be good and creditable. This can be done by asking clients to link to your website and listing your website in local directories and business listings for example.
Implementing a local SEO strategy will help you increase organic traffic, generate more relevant traffic, and increase website authority.