What Is Local Search Engine Optimisation?
In today’s digital landscape, paid search marketing offers quick results but may not be the most sustainable option for local businesses and franchises. To truly thrive and attract nearby customers, these businesses need to prioritise strengthening their online presence through effective long-term strategies. This is where local search engine optimisation (SEO) comes into play.
But what exactly is local SEO? It’s a straightforward concept that involves optimising your online presence to boost local traffic and drive conversions. Whether your business interacts with or serves customers in a specific region, implementing local search optimisation strategies will undoubtedly benefit your brand.
In this blog, we will explore the significance of local SEO and how it can help local businesses and franchises achieve sustainable growth by connecting with their target audience in the most effective way possible. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the world of local search engine optimisation and unveil its numerous advantages for your business.
Why does Local Search SEO Matter?
In an ever-evolving digital era, the way people consume news is shifting rapidly. Traditional sources like print newspapers now account for only 20% of adult readership. Instead, an increasing number of individuals are turning to the internet for local business recommendations.
For small businesses, local SEO has become a vital component. With almost 50% of all Google searches having local intent, consumers are actively seeking products and services in their vicinity. If your business fails to appear in local search engine results, it becomes virtually invisible to potential nearby customers.
The good news is that you can significantly improve your local visibility and rankings by implementing a strong SEO strategy. By optimising your online presence for local searches, you can ensure that your business is discovered by nearby searchers, ultimately driving more traffic and potential customers to your doorstep. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the world of local SEO and unveil the effective techniques to enhance your business’s local online presence.
How Local SEO Works
When it comes to local search, Google’s algorithm takes into account not only the usual ranking factors like backlinks, page speed, and mobile friendliness but also three specific factors to determine the best match for a user’s query:
Relevance: This factor assesses how closely a search result aligns with the words and intent used by the searcher in their query. It focuses on the content and context of a website to determine its relevance to the user’s search.
Distance: Google considers the geographical proximity between the user and the business when they conduct a search. The algorithm aims to provide results that are conveniently located for the user, taking into account their current location or specified area.
Prominence: Prominence refers to how important Google perceives a business to be in relation to its competitors. This factor considers various signals, such as online reviews, ratings, citations from reputable sources, and overall online presence, to assess the prominence and reputation of a business.
By understanding these three critical factors—relevance, distance, and prominence—you can optimise your website and online presence to improve your chances of appearing prominently in local search results. Stay tuned as we explore effective strategies to enhance these factors and boost your local search visibility.
How to Optimise for local search
Optimising for local search is crucial for businesses aiming to attract customers within a specific area. To help you navigate this process effectively, we have prepared a comprehensive guide on local search optimisation.
Optimise your Google Places listing
One of the most crucial steps in optimising for local search is completing your Google My Business (GMB) listing. GMB has become a prominent feature on the first page of search engine results for location-specific queries.
Ensure that you provide comprehensive information when creating your GMB listing. Fill out every section accurately, including relevant details, images, and categories. Be cautious of unsolicited cold calls from individuals attempting to sell you a Google Places listing. While these calls may be frequent, it’s best to handle them with care or simply ignore them.
Fortunately, you can easily complete your GMB listing yourself. As a standard protocol for our clients, if you are working with us, we take care of this process on your behalf.
By diligently completing your Google Places listing, you enhance your chances of appearing prominently in local search results and increasing your visibility to potential customers.
Connect with your customers.
After your Google Places listing is live, it’s important to proactively ask satisfied customers to rate and review your company. Positive reviews not only contribute to your reputation but also impact your ranking in local search results. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the reviews are genuine and not artificially generated, as Google can detect such practices.
Occasionally, you may receive negative reviews. It’s important not to delete them all. Instead, take the opportunity to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative. By engaging with your customers, you demonstrate that you value their feedback and are committed to improving their experience. Embrace criticism as an opportunity to identify areas for growth and showcase your dedication to customer satisfaction.
Running a business involves multiple considerations, but connecting with your customers is an essential aspect that cannot be overlooked. As you build a positive reputation through genuine customer reviews, your efforts will yield results through word-of-mouth recommendations. This will attract more customers who will enter your establishment with a level of trust, giving your business a significant boost.
Optimise your metadata.
When assessing your website’s title tags and meta descriptions, it’s crucial to ensure the use of geographically relevant keywords. Incorporating location names such as suburbs, cities, and towns alongside your business’s relevant keywords is essential. By including these location-based keywords within your meta title tags and descriptions, you help Google recognise that your business operates in the specific area.
However, it’s important to remember that the metadata, including title tags and meta descriptions, should be unique for each page on your website. Avoid duplicating the same metadata across multiple pages, as this can negatively impact your SEO efforts. Instead, craft distinct and tailored title tags and meta descriptions that align with the content and purpose of each individual page.
By optimising your metadata with geographically relevant keywords, you enhance your website’s visibility in local search results and improve the chances of attracting location-specific organic traffic.
REMEMBER – The metadata must be unique for each page on your website.
Create unique and relevant content
Local search optimisation can vary for each organisation, especially if your business has multiple locations across a country or city. To effectively target geo-related search terms and keywords, it is beneficial to create unique and relevant content for each of your location pages.
Craft informative and valuable content that meets the needs of your target audience. This approach not only pleases Google but also helps increase your website’s authority. Incorporate long-tail keywords that resonate with your specific niche and align with the terms potential customers would use in their search queries.
In addition to keyword optimisation, it is crucial to create engaging content that appeals to local audiences. Potential local customers are more likely to click on content that is directly relevant to their local area. Ensure that your content delivers on the promises made and provides valuable information to local audiences.
By focusing on creating unique and relevant content for each location, you can enhance your local search visibility, attract local customers, and establish your brand as a trusted authority in the specific areas you serve.