Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is one of the most effective ways to increase your bookings if you have a brick and mortar store or offer local services. By focusing on people in your area you promote your products or services to local customers exactly when they are searching for them.
Promoting your business with local SEO can be achieved through various strategies, most of which differ from standard SEO. It can be quicker and is more targeted, leading to higher conversion rates (more bookings!).
DID YOU KNOW? According to Google, 46% of searches now have a ‘local intent’. That means that your customers are looking for you online and if they’re in proximity to your address or use location or ‘near me’ keywords then being at the top of your local SEO game is going to make a huge impact on your business.
For queries that include a location or ‘near me’ keyword, search engines understand that the searcher wants business suggestions or lists based on location, and so that’s exactly what they provide in the local search engine results pages (SERPs). The intent of the searcher is key and Google is getting better at understanding this all the time. This makes these kinds of keywords highly convertible, meaning that people who find your business in search for these kinds of searches are more likely to purchase what you have to offer.
How to get more leads with local SEO
1. Website research, review and optimisation
This is by far the most important phase of any SEO strategy! It’s about making sure you know what your audience is searching for online through keyword research and ensuring any website users have a great experience on your website. A full review of your content optimisation as well as making sure your website looks and performs well on all devices and browsers should be undertaken. Make sure your site loads quickly, especially on mobile devices as local customers are often searching on-the-go via their mobile data connection.
2. Website ‘localisation’
‘Localising’ means including your city, county, region or terms your area is locally known by throughout your site. If your business offers services in several locations, this could involve creating extra pages to target each place. Other strategies include featuring local community events and information on your site. This process should be done in the most natural way possible – as with all SEO strategies, there’s a knack to it!
3. Claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing
This is a key step towards helping your business display on important Google features, such as local search results and Google Maps. Google My Business should always be the first online directory you take ownership of, make sure it’s completed in full. Find out more about the features and how to set it up in our Getting Started with Google My Business guide.
4. Citation Building
Citations are any mention of your business that includes your name, location and contact information. Ensure your site is featured on online business directories that are relevant locally and in your niche. Not only will this help customers find your business, but featuring your company’s name, address, phone number and website URL (NAPW) on directories will help improve your search rankings for local search and overall. The key to doing this well is matching all your citations to your Google My Business Listing.
5. Managing reviews and ratings
Genuine, honest reviews are important both for showcasing the quality of your service and for sending signals to search engines that improve your visibility in search. The number of reviews you receive, quality, rating and the authority of the review sites themselves are all factors that can impact your local search rankings. Google My Business, Facebook and local directories or relevant directories are all great places to encourage your customers to leave reviews.
6. Getting quality, relevant backlinks
Naturally obtained backlinks (links from other relevant websites) help search engines recognise your site as a trusted source of information and can help you appear higher up in search results. Links from local newspapers, bloggers and business associations, as well as directories, can all help improve your search visibility.
Want a professional to take care of this for you? Take a look at our local SEO packages