Are you a business owner looking to get the most out of your market? Do you want to increase your online visibility and drive more customers to your physical or online location? Local search engine optimisation (SEO) is the answer. No matter what size your business is, using local SEO tactics in your web content can lead to numerous benefits, like increased revenue and improved brand awareness, which are essential for growth.
In this beginner’s guide to local SEO, we will help you understand the basics of how local search engine optimisation works so that you can optimise your website for maximum traffic and profits.
What is local SEO and why is it important?
Simply put, local SEO is an effort to optimise your website and online presence for searches conducted within a particular geographical area. This type of SEO focuses on optimising your online presence so that people can find you in your business's exact location. This means targeting terms, phrases and content on your website tailored to people searching for businesses or services located in the same city or region as you.
When potential customers are searching for products or services near them, local SEO can make finding you easier. For any business that operates within one location, our ultimate guide to local SEO can be a starting point for your website.
What are the benefits of local SEO?
Before we get to our expert local SEO guide, let’s discuss some of the rewards you can expect with a well-executed SEO strategy. The benefits of local SEO include but are not limited to:
- Increased website traffic from qualified leads
- Raised brand awareness
- Improved brand recognition
- Better customer service experiences
- Higher conversion rates from organic search results
Through effective local SEO strategies such as listing optimisation (ensuring name, address and phone number consistency), link building campaigns targeting specific areas and keyword research focusing on localised terms; any business can improve its presence within their target region or city which will result in more sales opportunities and growth.
How to do local SEO for your business
Now that you understand what local SEO is and how your business can benefit from it, get ready to take notes. Here’s our beginner’s guide to local SEO:
1. The mechanics of your search engine
Local search engines like Google and Apple Maps are the primary places people turn to when searching for local businesses, so you must ensure your listings appear on them accurately. This includes creating a profile on each search engine, providing accurate business information such as an address, phone number and hours of operation and examining their algorithms to understand what factors make your listing more visible in the results.
Because Google displays two sorts of search results for local queries, local SEO is a game of two halves. These are "map pack" and "blue link" organic results:
- Map pack results
The map pack (also known as the local pack) is a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP) feature that displays the top local company results as well as a map. For local queries, it frequently appears at the very top of Google's search results.
- Organic search results
The "normal" organic search results are the well-known "ten blue links." They are frequently displayed beneath the "map pack" results.
2. Local SEO Keyword Research
The next subject to learn about in our ultimate guide to local SEO is keywords and how to find them. Local keyword research determines how people search for the services/products you provide in your area. It's critical since you want to optimise your site based on the keywords people use while searching.
Here’s a quick guide to local SEO keyword research:
- Find service-based keywords
To do effective keyword research, you'll need to use various tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner or SEMrush to uncover popular keyword phrases related to your industry. Also, many of these platforms offer great tutorials upon signing in. Once you have the keyword research tool, whip out your notepad and start brainstorming and listing your services. This will help you maximise your presence for queries your customers are searching for.
Once you have this list, use them on your keyword research tool to look for high search volume keywords people are using to look for services like the ones you offer.
- Check keyword difficulty and search volumes of the keywords
You may also want to consider whether the keyword is likely to be used by customers in your local area. That would mean researching the appropriate keywords for each of your services plus the location (i.e. plumbing Australia, pipe cleaning Brisbane). This will give you an idea about the most commonly used keywords.
You want to find a keyword with a good ratio of search volume to difficulty. When a keyword ranks high on difficulty, it usually means there's a lot of competition for that keyword, making it harder to rank higher for. Instead, look for keywords with moderate difficulty and adequate search volume to give you a greater chance of success.
- Make sure your website info is updated
If your business has one or multiple physical stores, it’s important to optimise each page with relevant location-specific content and keywords so that customers will be directed to their closest store or office. This can include adding location-specific information such as addresses and numbers or targeted copy based on local events or promotions. It may also involve creating distinct pages for each of your physical locations.
Additionally, create a Google My Business listing for each location and make sure that all information is up-to-date and accurate. This allows your site to rank on Map pack results.
- Incorporate your findings into your website’s content
When you are writing or improving existing content, use the keywords and phrases you found during your research. Make sure to include them in headings, titles and the body. Use them naturally and spread them out throughout the content; stuffing keywords into sentences is not recommended.
Keyword research also helps you identify potential topics for blog posts, infographics, case studies, whitepapers and more. This lets you know how to produce content that your target customers care about and create copy that answers their questions.
In addition to incorporating keywords, make sure your website page titles accurately reflect the content on each page. Search engines use page titles to determine what the page is about, so be sure your titles are descriptive and relevant. Having well-crafted titles can help improve search engine rankings for your website.
Finally, make sure to optimise each page on your website with metadata. These brief summaries should give visitors an idea of what they will find when visiting a particular page on your website. Optimising pages with keywords and phrases in meta titles and descriptions will increase the chances that those pages appear higher in search engine results.
And that was our beginner’s guide to local SEO. Following the steps outlined here will drastically improve your business’s online performance. Although complex — requiring some time, patience and practice to get the hang of — you’ll soon find that local SEO is an indispensable technique that should be included in all marketing strategies.
Don’t have the time to learn this completely new skill? Consider hiring the help of the experts at Pivotal Agency.
Take the easy route with Pivotal Agency!
We are an experienced digital marketing agency with a broad portfolio in local SEO, with services tailored specifically to your business needs. Our comprehensive knowledge of the industry and its ever-changing best practices ensures that we’re always up-to-date with the latest trends on Google My Business optimisation and beyond.
We have extensive experience helping clients reach their peak potential online, so let us help you do the same. Get started today by contacting us — we look forward to hearing from you soon!