Increase your online visibility with these Local SEO strategies.
See how these Local SEO strategies can make your bricks & mortar business infinitely more visible on search engine results pages.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank for searches with 'local intent' and helping people in your area find your business. An example of a search query with local intent is “dentist near me”. Today, an astounding 46% of Google searches have local intent.
Why is Local SEO important?
If you're running a business that serves a local community in one or more locations (e.g. wedding photographer, web designer, chain of coffee shops) then local SEO is an essential part of your strategy for growing your business. It dramatically increases your visibility on search engine results pages since well-optimized local listings get priority over organic listings.
Google My Business
Considering Google's 92% market share, the single most important thing you can do to optimize for local search is to claim and optimize your Google My Business listing. Google My Business (previously Google Local) is a profile of your business on Google and includes information supplied by both you and your customers.
The information from Google My Business feeds into several elements on Google's search engine results pages. These elements are what will make your business stand out from organic search results which are getting pushed further and further down the search engine results page in favour of local search results, featured snippets, carousels, answer boxes, paid adverts and more.
56% of local retail businesses haven't yet claimed their Google My Business listing, so it really is a no-brainer to take advantage of this opportunity.
Go here to claim your Google My Business listing.
Google Local Pack
Also affectionately known as the 'Google Snack Pack' or 'Google 3 Pack', this is a special prioritized section of Google search engine result pages that displays for searches with local intent. It lists three businesses, showing a preview of their Google My Business information including location on Google Maps, customer reviews, address, phone, and opening hours.
Google's local Pack Results format shows in the #1 rank position 93% of the time for local intent searches.
The information you add to your Google My Business profile is a strong ranking factor for the Google Local Pack so it's important to give as much detail as possible, including your business description, categories, services, full address, phone numbers, opening hours, photos, images and website URL.
Another important ranking factor for the Local Pack are Google reviews. Businesses with a higher number of quality, diverse Google reviews are more likely to appear in the Local Pack. if you haven't already, it's time to start asking your customers for a review on Google. If they need help, Google have a comprehensive guide on how to write reviews and add ratings of places.
Local Business Citations
In addition to Google My Business, there are a number of citation websites that will help improve your Local SEO. Websites such as Yelp, Yellowpages, Facebook, Superpages, Foursquare, Apple Maps and Bing let you add your business profile. Moz have an excellent reference of the most popular citation websites for your business category and location.
Including your business address throughout your website is an important on-page ranking signal for local search. If your business has multiple locations, create an individual page for each location.
Connecting with local businesses, publications, community events, business associations and blogging about them has many benefits. From a Local SEO perspective, such activity can help create backlinks to your site from trusted local businesses.