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Increasingly, when people want to find out about goods and services in their own area, they head to Google.

This is good news for local businesses, making them more accessible. It’s only effective, however, if your company can be found. The means by which your business can rank highly in Google search results for your area is through local SEO.

 

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is the practice by which you market your business online to a local audience. It focuses on optimising your website to be found in search results tailored to the geographical location you operate in.

It’s an ongoing strategy, and can be one of the most dynamic areas of SEO with businesses jostling for position in a smaller marketplace. Getting it right means that when people search for the goods or services that you sell, your business features highly in the results.

If you’re a tradesperson, and your website appears on page four of Google’s results then it’s likely you’ll see fewer enquiries compared to those on the first page.

 

The statistics speak for themselves

There is a great deal of ongoing research into how people use Google and it highlights some fascinating statistics around local search.

A study by Forbes shows that 45 per cent of all searches are for local businesses. Some 95 per cent of users reach for their phones to conduct a search, and of those 61 per cent went on to contact a local business. Meanwhile, 59 per cent paid that firm a visit.

Another study learned that 88 per cent of people that used their mobile to look for goods or services went on to call or visit a local business within 24 hours. This is an incredible conversion rate that illustrates the important part played by local search results in driving a business’ growth and success.

 

What is Google’s ‘Local Pack’?

Google’s Local Pack feature highlights three local businesses from the relevant search results at the top of the page, with the option to click on a longer set of results on Google Maps.

Google creates these Local Pack results through its Google My Business listings, based on what the algorithm thinks are the most relevant results for a given search.

Any business that features in the local pack results has a boosted online presence, and there’s no additional work needed on your part to feature in one.

Instead, these are search results generated through the information in Google’s business listings.

With that in mind, if you’ve set up your business account or your company is already listed in the database, then you should be eligible to appear.

Needless to say, businesses that feature in the local pack results are more prominent in the Google search results and receive more enquiries.

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Why is local SEO so important?

It should be clear already that local SEO can play an important part in your whole marketing strategy.

Between 2017 and 2019, Google reported a 900 per cent increase in searches that included the phrase “near me today/tonight”.

Recognising this, it started providing more results for geographically-related searches.

 

These are based on three key factors:

 

1) Proximity

How close is your business to the person who is currently searching for what you offer? The nearer you are, the more likely you are to feature.

 

2) Relevance

Do you offer precisely what they are looking for?

If someone searches for a window cleaner, they don’t want to be presented with results for local window suppliers and fitters.

 

3) Prominence

Is your business established and well-respected?

Has it given Google enough signals to convince the algorithms that it’s a trusted and genuine company that it should feature highly?

If you can get all of these in place, then you’re well on your way to featuring highly in local search results.

Getting them right is where your local SEO comes in.

 

What does local SEO involve?

Local SEO is tailored to your business and local area. It will include several components and, like all SEO, will be ongoing and forms a part of an overall strategy.

 

These components include:

 

Google My Business

You’ll need to ensure that your contact details are the same across all online directories.

Any discrepancies, you risk confusing Google and making it harder for them to feature you.

 

Good on-page signals

Your website will need to have the information your customers are searching for. This will include your location, what you offer and your contact details.

These details will also need to match your Google My Business listing.

 

Local citations & backlinks

Citations is where a third-party website with local reach provides your business contact details. It doesn’t necessarily have to provide a backlink.

Backlinks from other local businesses and information websites are an important part of an effective local SEO service.

 

Local content

If you’re blogging, or creating other forms of content, then give it a local flavour.

Not only will this create interesting and shareable content that attracts visitors to your website, it will also satisfy Google’s algorithms and help you feature more highly in search results.

 

Online reviews

Positive reviews from satisfied customers can do wonders for your business.

Not only do they provide reassurance to anyone who is considering using your service, they also help to convince Google that you are a reputable business.

 

 

Aqueous Digital can help you with your local SEO

Even when your business is closed, local SEO can work for you.

Aqueous Digital will help you to master local SEO services, drive traffic to your website, and grow your business.

Get in touch today to find out more. hello@aqueous-digital.co.uk 0800 285 1424

 

Further reading on SEO

Aqueous Digital’s Guide to the Top 501 SEO and Digital Marketing Terms

Aqueous Digital’s Ultimate Guide to the cost of SEO in the UK

How long does SEO take to work?

What is Technical SEO?

What is Local SEO?

SEO vs PPC

Link building and outreach

What are the most important SEO ranking factors?

This article was written by
18th May 2021

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