What is local SEO and how can it help your business?
For many of our clients, local SEO is the cornerstone of their search marketing strategy. They may be a retailer looking to sell in store and online locally, or a specialist garage that knows people will only travel so far from home to get their car serviced.
That’s where local SEO comes into its own.
But what is local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimising your website to be visible when the searcher shows local intent. This means making you visible for phrases where someone searches for your service + location, or where someone might try “OK Google, tell me where the nearest fast food restaurant is?”
Search is moving beyond the desktop searches that we perform on a daily basis at our desks. It is moving onto newer, faster more sophisticated devices and searchers want better information at their fingertips and out in the wild.
Voice search is quickly becoming the norm with Google and Amazon devices in our home, controlling our diaries, giving us recipes and also providing us with “where’s the nearest…” answers.
Local SEO is vital if you want to stay ahead in this ever-changing landscape.
Why is it important to my business?
If you sell really specific machinery to very specialist organisations around the globe, local SEO probably won’t be the way to go for you. International SEO will clearly be the way you would promote your website to a widely spread audience.
If you sell products or services that you know would appeal to consumers or businesses in your local area, then local seo absolutely matters for your online presence.
Whether you’re a restaurant wanting people to visit you, a plumber wanting people to call you out, or perhaps you’re a furniture shop with a showroom that you know people would love if only they knew about you. Optimising for local searchers is going to be a great way to get people to know your brand.
A survey by Moz
Each year Moz perform a check on what factors top ranking sites have in common. These are the most recent results:
How do I go about it?
Of course, it would be remiss of us if we didn’t say that you should always have a team of SEO experts working with you to grow your online presence, such as Internet Sales Drive [end shameless plug]. In all seriousness, as a business owner or a marketing manager, your day is filled with personnel tasks, budgeting, reports, admin, buying, selling, accounting, meetings and endless other things. To expect you to also be up to date on the latest SEO techniques would be asking an awful lot.
Claim your Google My Business listing
If you aren’t sure what a Google My Business (GMB) listing is this is ours:
You can claim yours there’s a handy support link from Google here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6300717
This gives you the opportunity to occupy a huge amount of space on Google search results and also enables you to appear when people search for your services nearby:
Ensure that wherever you list your business details such as Name, Address and Phone number (NAP) this is done so consistently. Use the same capitalisation, use initials in a consistent way and ensure that if you’ve used a business park for example on your address on your website that you also use it elsewhere where your address is listed.
This means that search engines see you as a consistent entity online. If they see I.S.D. Limited on some of our listings for example, then ISD Ltd somewhere else and Internet Sales Drive in a third place these could give conflicting signals about our brand.
Build local links
This should include citation or directory listings (easy to obtain links) as well as local journalistic links from awards, articles about work you have done locally. If you think you can outperform your competitors locally without being active in the local community you may be in for a disappointment.
Local networking groups or your chamber of commerce can also be a great source of local links.
Once you’ve claimed your GMB profile, ask your loyal and happy customers to spend a couple of minutes reviewing your service.
Pro tip: Always ask for a review at the point at which you’ve delivered the service or product.
If you ask too early the review will be incomplete, if you ask too late you are unlikely to get a response.
If you provide a service, the point at which your client says “that’s great work thank you”, is the ideal time to ask. They already feel compelled to tell you what’s great about your service they will tell other people.
As humans we inherently love to recommend good things to people. It establishes us as an authority on a subject and provides social proof to people who don’t know about your brand.
If you’re worried about negative reviews, try not to be. Take feedback on board and try to work on it. If most of your feedback is poor then you should think about changing some of your processes.
We hope you found the answer to the question “what is local seo?” and now understand why it matters to your business. If you have any comments or questions then please tweet them to @ISD_Marketing or @ISD_Paul.
Remember that here at Internet Sales Drive we offer Local SEO service so if your business is struggling with local then please give us a call on 0115 921 4636 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org