Ensuring your website is visible in Google is a critical step in any
digital marketing strategy. But SEO is a complex process, and there are many factors you need to take into account.
Intriducing local SEO
One increasingly important consideration for your content marketing is local SEO. This is especially important if you’re a small business or want to maintain a personal connection with your community, but it needs to be something every firm bears in mind when optimising their site for search engine results.
However, it can be a tricky prospect, particularly if the concept is new to you. That’s why it pays to team up with an experienced partner that can guide you through the process.
So how does a local SEO service work, why does it matter, and what should you look for in a provider?
Why a local SEO agency is vital for your business
Being able to connect directly with potential customers is a critical part of any digital strategy. An SEO agency that understands the specific challenges of location-based marketing can be invaluable to tailoring your content and your metadata to ensure you’re making the most of these opportunities.
What is local SEO for business?
Local SEO refers to efforts designed specifically to increase your website’s rankings for local search results. This can include specific search terms, such as ‘marketing agencies in London’ or more general queries that rely on their device’s location data, such as ‘coffee shops near me’. However, local SEO matters even when potential customers don’t specify any location info at all.
How is local SEO different from regular SEO?
Local SEO involves many of the same strategies as regular on-page SEO efforts to improve organic search engine results. However, there are a few specialised techniques to consider. As well as having the right keywords to indicate your location, it’s about building relevant links and citations from listing directories and ensuring your site includes full location data such as the address, opening hours and contact details in the right places such as on your Google My Business profile.
What kind of businesses need local SEO?
Many firms can benefit from a local SEO strategy, but it is especially useful if you’re a small business focusing on customers in your local area. B2C marketing can often benefit from a local SEO package, but larger firms and those aiming at professionals can also expect to see benefits, which is why a local SEO agency is vital for any business.
It can also be valuable if you’re expanding into new locations or only offer your services within designated markets. Any business that generates a large proportion of its customers through walk-ins at a physical location will also find a local SEO marketing strategy essential.
How local SEO services help your business grow
Local SEO provides many benefits. As well as increasing your visibility directly in local search results and giving you a headstart over local competitors, it will ensure the leads coming into your website are more qualified.
Local SEO services are increasingly essential as more people turn to mobile for search. On these devices, any search result will factor in the user’s location information, whether people are specifying this in their search terms or not.
Indeed, these figures from Google should highlight the importance of incorporating local SEO services into your strategy.
- 30 per cent of mobile searches relate to location
- 1.5 billion people a month visit a location they’ve found via Google
- Four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information
- 28 per cent of local searches result in a purchase
It’s clear, therefore, that firms focusing on a strong local SEO strategy as part of their online presence stand well placed to take advantage of a more mobile-focused environment. With more than half of web traffic now coming from devices with location services built in, you can’t afford to ignore this.
The most obvious way in which local SEO improves lead generation is by making it easier to connect with customers. Consumers using location-based Google search typically already know what they want – they just need help finding it. If you’re able to provide the answers by appearing at the top of organic search results, a local customer will easily be able to complete their purchase.
Ensuring your website is optimised for local search also has benefits even if users never click through. Local SEO also aids you in Google Map searches, offering you better visibility compared with less-optimised competitors. However, it can only do this if your site is set up properly for this, including a complete Google Business profile.
To be successful at local SEO, there are several elements to consider. Firstly, there’s on-page SEO, such as ensuring you’ve got the right location-based keywords on your site.
However, off-page SEO like link building is also vital for successful local results.
There are also technical SEO elements to take into account to ensure search engine crawlers can not only find your site, but correctly categorise and connect your business with a physical location.
In general, steps you’ll need to undertake to be successful at local SEO include:
- Creating a Google My Business profile
- Including location details on your website
- Having your site included on local listings directories
- Gathering real customer reviews
- Local link building
- Having locally-optimised keywords within your content
- Using social media to share local news and content
What services do local SEO agencies provide?
The right SEO company can help you with all of these aspects in order to connect you with a potential customer near you. An expert partner can help you with everything you need to plan and execute a local SEO campaign, from undertaking a keyword analysis and review of your Google analytics to determine where you should focus your efforts to creating high-quality, locally-optimised content.
Link building and local listing citations
Creating quality backlinks to your website from trusted online business directories is an essential component of local SEO. These include services such as Yell or TripAdvisor and can be particularly important for small businesses.
An added benefit of this is, once up and running, they should attract positive reviews to further boost your brand awareness and reputation. An SEO agency can help you in ensuring these profiles are complete, up-to-date and positioned in the right place.
Completing a local competitor analysis
The next step is reviewing what your competitors are doing. This will tell you what keywords they’re ranking for, the terms they’re using in paid advertising and even how they’re using social media to promote their local business to customers. A good SEO company does this in a number of ways, from comparing Google My Business profiles to seeing how many locally-optimised pages are being indexed by the search engine’s web crawlers.
The results of a comprehensive SEO audit will be able to show what you’re doing well against other local businesses and what opportunities there are to improve. It highlights not only where competitors are ranking in organic local search engine results, but why they’re doing so.
Website copywriting with locally optimised items
Once you understand where work needs to be done, you can set about creating content to enhance your localised search results.
High-quality content requires a number of factors, including:
- Authoritative, informative topics
- Good placement of relevant keywords
- Suitable page length
- Engaging visuals
- Complete metadata
- Regular updates
Locally optimised content isn’t just about your on-site landing pages and blogs. It can also include strategic social media campaigns. An SEO company can help you with everything from content ideation and campaign planning through to actual creation of both written and visual SEO services and analysis of results to guide your future efforts.
How to choose the best local SEO company
When looking for the best SEO company to help you with your location-based digital marketing, it’s important to take a holistic view that treats local SEO as just one part of a wider campaign-based approach to online marketing.
This ensures that all aspects of your marketing are focused on the same goals and help create a consistent, coherent look and feel across all your on-site and off-site activities.
How do you master local SEO?
Having a talented and experienced agency partner to be your local SEO guide is the most sure-fire way to get to grips with this discipline. This will help provide all the support you need to improve your local search results. A team that can provide simple explanations of what needs to be done and not overwhelm you with tech jargon also ensures that you’ll quickly become a local SEO expert.
How do you find a local SEO service?
There may be many providers that claim to offer local SEO services, but the best SEO agency will be the one that understands how this fits into a wider digital marketing strategy. Local SEO shouldn’t just be limited to on-page keywording and sharing address details.
Questions you should ask potential providers include:
- What tools do they use to analyse competitors and build a local SEO strategy?
- How do they optimise websites for mobile search?
- Have they worked before with firms in similar industries?
- What metrics will you use to demonstrate results?
They should also be able to provide examples such as case studies of previous work to give you an idea of their capabilities and outcomes.
What to expect from a great local SEO company
A good local SEO company should be able to demonstrate proven expertise in areas such as keyword research, Google analytics and technical SEO to ensure everything is working as it should behind the scenes.
As well as building a local presence, your chosen digital marketing agency should also have a strong understanding of how SEO services work with other aspects of marketing, including great content, responsive web design and social media strategies to drive traffic and provide the best possible experience for local customers.