Local marketing and word-of-mouth recommendations may be effective ways to draw in local clients. However, an online search might have just as much, if not more, impact. 97% of search engine users have looked online to find a local business, according to Social Media Today. With this staggering number, we think it’s important to what is SEO and how it can improve your local search.
Additionally, local information was sought after in 46% of all Google searches.
Therefore, if a company doesn’t appear in local search results, it can be losing out on lucrative traffic and clients. In other words, local SEO can be the secret to expanding your company and remaining current.
If you’re relatively new and wondering how SEO helps your business, you may have many questions and be unsure of how to begin optimising. This blog post clarifies the landscape and demonstrates some crucial local SEO solutions. So let’s start now.
What is SEO and why do I need it?
Let’s first attempt to understand what local search entails before discussing the definition of local SEO. When someone searches locally, they are looking for businesses, goods, services, or any other information pertinent to a particular area. They might type in “website design near me” to look up a designer in their neighbourhood or “best SEO service in [location]” to discover a local consultant.
In contrast to normal Google searches, local search is therefore more location-specific. The practice of attempting to improve your online presence so that you appear in those local search results is known as local SEO.
You need SEO because it does the following
- Increase your online presence.
- Increase the number of people that visit your physical location on foot.
- Bring in more specialised traffic to increase your chances of conversion.
- Increase your trustworthiness and credibility.
Local map pack Vs Organic search results
The local map pack results are one method local SEO improves your online visibility. Google divides local search results into sponsored, map pack, and organic categories. Although the sponsored results are marked as “Ad” or “Sponsored” and are prominently shown at the top of search results pages, they are not free.
The map pack results are displayed after, highlighted in a box along with the top three business listings relevant to that specific search. This appears more prominently than natural local search results, thus there is a higher likelihood that people will see you if you are included in the map pack.
The nice thing is that not all local search results pages have sponsored listings. So, your company could be prominently shown at the top of the search results page.
The local map pack results are listed first, followed by the organic results. Due to this, even if your business appears on the first page of local search results, it might not be as prominently shown as the companies that are included in map pack results.
Ranking on the first page of organic local searches and in the local map pack should be the objectives of your local SEO plan. This guarantees top visibility and raises your likelihood of drawing in niche traffic.
6 Methods to improve your local SEO plan
Now let’s get to the most crucial part: how to strengthen your local SEO strategy and raise your position in local searches. There are several factors involved here, so let’s concentrate on the most important ones:
1. Activate and optimise your GMB listing
The most important aspect of any local SEO plan is GMB or Google My Business. Using this Google service, you can make free company listings. Additionally, it’s one of the key elements that Google will take into account when ranking businesses in organic local search and map pack results, according to Moz.
Visit the Google My Business website to begin by claiming or adding your listing.
For your GMB listing, you must give the following:
- Your complete and accurate company name.
- Your physical address for your business.
- The position of you on a map.
- Your industry of business.
- Your contact info and website (if applicable).
You must confirm your listing after it becomes online, typically by calling or sending a postcard.
After verification, follow these steps to optimise your Google My Business listing:
- Upload images of your company. This could include images taken outside or even within your business.
- Give your office hours.
- Add any more categories that might apply to your company.
- If applicable, add more phone numbers.
By routinely posting company updates and new information, you may further enhance your GMB profile. Utilise the GMB posting feature to inform your audience of recent developments and to offer information about forthcoming events. In addition to increasing your presence in local searches, this helps you establish a closer connection with your customers.
2. Make your site mobile friendly
It makes sense that many individuals would use their smartphones to look for local information and companies since that smartphones are a common part of our daily lives. According to a survey Uberall commissioned, 82% of respondents had used a mobile device to perform a “near me” search. This demonstrates how frequently individuals use their phones for local searches.
Therefore, you must satisfy these searchers by making your website mobile-friendly. Make your business have mobile friendly website design so that users on mobile devices can easily navigate it and locate the information they require.
3. Gather a lot of customer reviews
The Moz study that was previously mentioned indicates that review signals are also quite important for your local search and map pack ranking. Therefore, in addition to strengthening your reputation, having a large number of genuine reviews, especially good ones, could do wonders to increase your visibility in local search. Therefore, you must make an effort to gather more sincere client testimonials for your company.
Keep your attention on the websites where Google would anticipate that businesses would have reviews. It will therefore gather reviews from consumer directories and social media in addition to those from your website and your GMB listing. Accordingly, you should concentrate on gathering reviews for Facebook, Yell and other sites that are pertinent to your company.
4. Prioritise building local backlinks
According to Moz, one of the most important variables affecting your ranking in local searches and map pack results are linked signals such as connecting domain authority and quantity. As a result, link building is also necessary for local SEO to improve your link profile. The linked domains, however, ought to be more pertinent to your intended location.
As a result, you should focus on authoritative websites in your intended market. Trade associations, licencing offices, and even .gov.uk websites could all fall under this category.
Collaborations, awards, guest posts, and other opportunities could all be great ways to get high-quality backlinks from regional websites.
5. Consistency of NAP/Citations required
Additionally, Moz discovered that when displaying local search results, Google takes into account citation signals including citation volume and NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency. This means that your information should be available on important citation websites, such as Yell and Facebook in addition to GMB. Prioritise larger domain authority directories above smaller listing directories.
Make sure your company’s NAP is consistent across all platforms and websites, which is more significant. To enhance your local SEO, keep an eye out for any misspellings, address and phone number inconsistencies, and duplicate listings.
6. Benefit from social listening
Although social listening has traditionally been used as a source of marketing information, it has numerous other advantages as well. If you know what insights to look for and how to make the most of them, it may even support your local SEO approach.
Use social listening to find out what locals are saying about your company or the local area in general. It might also be used to gather data on the preferences and interests of the viewers. Utilise these insights to your fullest potential to determine how you might alter your strategy or even your products and services.
For instance, perhaps you have heard customers lament the absence of outdoor seating at your café. It could be time to introduce it so that it might reach a wider audience. By publishing updates on your new seating arrangement, for example, you can therefore improve your GMB SEO. Or perhaps you’ve seen customers wishing your hair salon offered manicure services. Expanding your service offering and posting this change to your GMB profile are both options.
Additionally, you could learn from your social listening activities what kinds of regional material your target audience would be interested in. After that, you may create a strong local content strategy to meet those needs.
Additionally, you might even find long-tail keywords to incorporate into your content optimisation approach.
Get local now
These are the key components for advancing your local Swansea SEO efforts. Keep in mind that different places may benefit from your local SEO efforts. If you’re targeting more than one place, you can even use these concepts in SEO for several areas. Make use of them to expand your business and improve your online exposure in local searches.
Remember to include call-to-action buttons on your website and in your GMB listing. Because 60% of mobile users have contacted a business straight from search results, this might have a significant impact.