Local SEO: What Is It and Why Do You Need It?

Local_SEO

Customers are searching for the products and services they need close by and they want answers fast. Will your business show up when local customers are looking for your products or services?

When it comes to local SEO, you may automatically think of your local independent businesses, from cafes and takeaways to hairdressers and plumbers. But local SEO is, in fact, right for any business with a local presence. Whether you’re a national organisation with numerous stores and offices or a car dealership with premises up and down the country, local SEO can help you attract nearby customers who are ready to buy.

In this blog, we’ll cover why local SEO is so important for your business, why you need to be up to date with best practices and some basic tips to help you get in Google’s local rankings.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO allows you to market your business online to a local audience. Getting your business ranking in Google’s ‘Local Pack’ for your specific service will help attract local customers who are ready to buy.

Example of Google’s Local Pack for the term ‘plumbers’.

The importance of Local SEO

The following statistics highlight the importance of local SEO for a business:

  • 86% – The percentage of people who rely on the internet to find a local business.
  • 93% – The percentage of time Google’s Local Pack appears in the top spot of searches with localised intent.
  • 29% – The percentage of people who search for local businesses at least once a week.
  • 78% – The percentage of local mobile searches that result in a purchase.
  • 46% – The percentage of searches on Google that are local.

How to get local SEO ready

Implementing a localised strategy for your business couldn’t be easier – follow these steps to help get your site ranking within Google’s local listings.

Set up Google My Business

In light of the countless benefits of local SEO, 56 percent of local retailers are yet to claim their Google My Business listing.This is a basic step to ensure that all correct local information is on Google. When setting up Google My Business, you should:

  • Add a long, unique description which is formatted correctly and includes links to your site.
  • Choose the correct category/categories for your business.
  • Upload as many photos of your business or service as possible.
  • Add a local phone number to your listing.
  • Add a business address that is consistent with website and local directories.
  • Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
  • Add opening times/time of operation/days of operation.
  • Add reviews from previous customers.

NAP (number, address, phone number)

Ensuring your NAP is consistent across all mediums is key for local SEO. You need to ensure your full NAP is featured across the whole of your website and you must use the same details when mentioned on other websites, especially local ones.

Use the correct schema mark-up on your NAP to allow search engines to identify which information they need to display. Adding your business information to local websites is essential as they have a direct impact on your local search rankings and online references to your business’s NAP (also known as local citations).

Local link building and citations

Link building within a local SEO campaign is incredibly important as it relies on links from other local websites that are relevant to your business. High quality local directories such as Yell are a useful resource for citations. Remember, citations do not need to be linked, as long as they’re referencing the business’ NAP consistently and in the same way.

On-page optimisation

The final step is to take into consideration local SEO on-page factors, including the city/region plus the relevant keywords that will help your business rank higher on the Google Local Pack. This includes:

  • Title Tags
  • H1 Tags
  • URL
  • Landing page content
  • Image ALT attributes

With these steps complete, you’ll be on your way to starting a successful local SEO campaign before you know it. Remember to keep in the loop with any changes to the way Google structures their Local Packs or new local SEO practices, so you can really stay on top of your SEO game. Local SEO is a key part of our SEO services and one we’re well experienced in. If you need to know more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

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