Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy that focuses on optimising your website to improve rankings in search results for local search queries. Incorporating local SEO into your online marking plan can help to get your pages ranking well for location-based keywords, increase local traffic, boost brand awareness, and improve visibility.

SEO vs Local SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, the process of optimising, changing, and improving elements of a website so that it can achieve higher rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). The keywords and optimisation will usually target a global or national audience to attract potential customers from the whole country, larger regions or all over the world.

Local SEO on the other hand, works to improve search rankings on a local level, for queries that are specific to a particular geographical region or area. This helps businesses to reach and connect with searchers in places where they have a physical store or in areas where they provide services.

How Does Local SEO Work?

SEO takes into account ranking factors such as – quality content, keywords, page engagement, backlinks, domain age and authority, site security, and user experience to name just a few.

When it comes to local SEO, on top of the usual ranking components there are 3 factors that Google’s local search algorithm uses to determine rankings;

  • Relevance – How relevant your website/business is to the user’s search query
  • Distance – The proximity of your business to the searcher or how far it is from the location used in the search
  • Prominence – How well-known or prestigious your business is in relation to local competitors

Google can display two types of local search results – map pack results and organic blue link results and you can rank for both of them which is a great way to ensure you have more real estate on the results page.

  • Map pack results can be found at the very top of local search results and display a search engine results page feature which highlights the top local businesses against the map.
  • Blue link results are organic search results which appear under the map results of a local search.

Why is Local SEO Important?

When people want to find a service or business that is local to them, they take to Google to find it using the town name, location or area along with the type of business they are looking for. This is where local SEO helps and when used properly it can be one of the most effective ways of getting your website seen by people in your area.

This is particularly important for those who offer services for a specific town, city, or region as well as goods and services available at a bricks and mortar store.

Some examples of the types of businesses that depend on local searches for their business include things like;

  • Bars, restaurants, bakeries and cafes
  • Hairdressers, salons and barbers
  • Plumbers, electricians, gardeners, decorators
  • Law firms, solicitors, property
  • Cars, garages, mechanics
  • High street shops

Optimising your site for local SEO indicates to Google that your business is relevant to the goods or services that the local user is searching for. When Google recognises your site’s relevance, it will push it up the SERP, allowing local users to find you more easily, increasing visibility and putting potential customers one step closer to a transaction.

Source: Wincher.com

What are the Benefits of Local SEO?

All businesses with a geographical location or services that cover a specific region or area will benefit from local SEO and here are just a few of those many benefits.

Increased Reach

Local keywords will have a lot less competition than general or broad terms which can be extremely difficult to rank for. By optimising for local search terms, businesses have a better chance of ranking for target keywords which increases their reach to relevant customers.

Cost Effective

Local SEO is extremely cost-effective and is able to make the most of popular search terms such as ‘near me’ which has been proven to be used by around 80% of smartphone users when looking for a particular service, company, or type of business. Once local SEO is complete, it continues to provide value and traffic, unlike ads or banners which only work whilst they are running and can be extremely costly.

Drives Conversions

With increased relevant traffic through targeted local keywords, you are likely to see an increase in conversions. Local SEO results in a much higher conversion rate due to increased traffic flow, the desire customers have for preferring to use local businesses, and being local gives an increased sense of trust.

Enhanced Reputation

Growing your local reputation and being at the top of local search results allows you to become a well-known ‘face’ in the area, a business that people can rely on, trust, and recommend to others.

Local Reviews

For a lot of businesses, customers will look at reviews to determine whether or not they will buy from them or engage in their services. Good reviews are a great way to attract clients and local SEO helps businesses to attain more reviews and online feedback from customers which in turn helps them rank higher in search engines.

Source: Boast.io