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What is Local SEO?

What is Local SEO and How Does It Work?

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is simply described as a digital marketing strategy focusing on the process of optimising online presence to increase local traffic, visibility and brand awareness through tasks such as optimising your Google Business Profile, finding local keywords and creating locally relevant content among a few other things.

The primary goal of local SEO is to ensure that when users are in a specific area searching for products or services or anything that has any sort of relevance to your website, your business will appear prominently on the search results page (SERPs). This can be very competitive, but ranking among the top 3 will guarantee more traffic on your site.

There are 3 main factors that help find the best match for local search algorithms:

  • Relevance
  • Distance
  • Prominence

Here are some key components and strategies that are popularly used within local SEO:

Google My Business

Whenever you type in a business name, or ask Google “popular Chinese restaurants near me” it will usually have a section where it will show 3 local results and their location on a map. Through creating and optimising your Google My Business profile you are not only putting your business on the map, it’s crucial for local SEO.

Including accurate and up-to-date information about your business such as your name, phone number, address and opening times will increase your chances of ranking high on SERPs for “Popular Chinese restaurants near me”.

On-Page SEO

This is the process of optimising your website by improving your user experience, this could include using other tools to check website speed. Additional things such as using relevant keywords, meta tags and location-specific information. This allows Google to crawl your website to determine if your content is relevant for the search query and if fully optimised your chances of ranking high can increase as your content is valid and meets the user’s needs.

NAP Citations

With SEO you want your service to have as much reach as possible, therefore, you must be consistent and ensure your information is up-to-date and exactly the same everywhere for example: 13 Holland Street vs. 13 Holland Road will be highlighted and is bad for local SEO.

Digital marketing agencies should always be using their correct and consistent NAP citations to improve their search rankings and remain competitive, these little mistakes can have a huge effect.

Online Reviews / Star ratings

Encouraging reviews from your clients is always a good thing for a business, this not only appears more attractive to potential clients but looks in favour of SERPs. Platforms such as Google, Facebook or Yelp can positively influence the outcome from all angles.

Local Link Building

Local link building refers to acquiring quality backlinks from other relevant reputable local websites and directories with the ultimate goal of boosting your visibility in organic local search results and in turn drive more traffic to your website.

Mobile Optimization

As people are on their phones more than anything at the moment, during this digital age it’s imperative that your website is compatible with mobile screens. Users are less likely to purchase or even scroll through your site if it’s hard to navigate or doesn’t fit within the convenience of a mobile device.

To improve your SERPs it’s only within your benefit to ensure the user experience is optimised.

Overall

There are many other factors that are relevant such as content marketing, local schema markup and social media engagement. Adopting all these components and factors will help you connect with your target audience in specific geographic areas and overall increase foot traffic. For example, when you’re searching for SEO Manchester your ultimate goal is to be within the top 3, if you aren’t you must evaluate and reassess your local SEO strategies.