Remember the time when people used to have address books in their pockets and knew where to go to have a haircut, repair the car, or buy dog food is gone. Nowadays, we depend on the internet to search for almost any service or product.
Research shows that amongst all searches conducted on Google, 46% are local. If we consider only local-mobile searches, 78% of them result in an offline purchase. That’s a huge stat.
It means that local businesses should take care of their internet space with the same consideration they have for their physical space. Simply put, if your business is not on the internet, you may be losing potential clients.
Thus, local entrepreneurs should really be looking into local SEO.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a series of good habits that we should build to make sure Google, and every search engine finds your content with a geographic factor. The main goal of local SEO is to make your potential clients find your business information: such as name, address, website, phone number… on Keywords that are valuable for your business.
How to influence Local Search Results?
In this section we need to make a distinction between 2 types of local SEO:
- Being visible in Maps and the 3 Pack
- Being visible in Organic Search Results
There is a case study from MOZ that illustrates nicely how to rank for each of them:
You can see the number of factors that influence search engines is quite important, that is why you’ll probably need someone help to optimize everything.
1st Step: Search for Valuable Keywords
There are many ways to find out your business keywords, I’ll give you a few tactics to help you:
- Think about your “Services in Locations”, this is not rocket science but you’ll be impressed with the results you can achieve with these simple keywords on your website or Google my business. Example: Electrician in London, Electrician in Surrey… Commercial electrician in Nottingham, a residential electrician in …
- Check what keywords your Competitors rank for.
- Take a look at Google autocomplete.
2nd Step: Google My Business (aka GMB) for Local SEO
Having a Google My Business profile helps you reach and engage with potential customers. It works like a database from where Google pulls up your information. Make sure you have one and it’s up to dayte
In Google Search, this profile shows up within a box, to the right of search results, when someone looks for your business name. In Google Maps, your profile can also show if they look for your kind of business in your region.
If your SEO is doing well, you can also have your profile on Google 3-pack, the most meaningful results in that work field, and on that geographic area. Google gives them a highlight by placing them below a map, the first thing on the results page.
To set up your business profile on Google. You need to sign up for the service, preferably with a work email account. If there is an existent page for your business, all you have to do is to claim it. Google will ask you to provide the following information:
- Service Category
- Phone number
With this done, you are already one step further on your local SEO journey. Now let’s talk about listings and links.
3rd Step: Business listings & Local Links
In sort of a mimic of our old and dusted phone books, the internet has its own business listings websites. They are also important for local SEO, because:
- They may show on Google Search
- People might look for you on these services
- They help build citations.
Let’s dive into that last topic. The more a business name is referenced across the internet, the more likely it is to show up at Google Search at a high position. So if you sign up for one or more listing services, it should benefit you.
The most well-known ones are Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor. However, you should look if there are any local listings for your town, region, or state.
One thing to keep in mind is to always have your information up to date and consistent in every list you are signed up to. Also, make sure the business name is written the same way on all of them, otherwise, you will not benefit from the citations.
4th Step: Local SEO optimized website
Even if having a website is not absolutely necessary, it is a really strong strategy to help build your ranking at SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). The most important pieces of information to have in it are the ones mentioned before: name, location, address, and phone number, as well as services provided and working hours.
Most of the traditional SEO optimizations apply for Local Searches:
- Keyword in URL/H1/Title
- Optimize your images
- Short and readable URLs
- Appealing meta description
But there are also specific structure/pages you can implement such as:
- Creating local landing pages yoursite.com/london …/nottingham …/surrey.
- Implementing Schema.org Data Markup for Local business
The great advantage of your own website is to provide content in a blog, for example. You can become a local authority in your field of business.
This should follow organic SEO recommendations, so that is a field you should investigate if planning for this. The main point, though, is to have good and original content, without plagiarism or filler texts.
From basics to advanced with local SEO
If you got here, you should have enough information to build your own local SEO strategy. The big benefit you can get from it is to attract more customers by helping them find you through the internet.
At Finsbury Media, We would be happy to help you to build your local SEO strategy or pushing it to the next level with a custom approach.
Contact one of our offices today and one of our specialists if you have any questions or need for this type of service!