What Is Local SEO & Why You Should Be Optimising For It

With Google and other Search Engines giving more leverage to local searches, any business wanting to show up in their local area for searches should really be investing in optimising their Local SEO presence. Otherwise you’ll find your competitors will be appearing instead.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimising your website to rank better for local searches. While similar to ‘standard’ SEO, there are some key differences, because Local SEO isn’t just about Search Engines.

Local SEO is all about getting your business to rank when someone searches for a service, near them. For example, “plumbers near me”. This search query will bring up some of the closest and best optimised businesses near to you. Here is an example below.

Local SEO Agency Near Me
The results which were delivered for the search term "seo agency near me".

The benefits of optimising your Local SEO is that you can bypass normally competitive terms, as Google is giving much more weight to local businesses over the big corporations when it comes to local searches. This is one of the many reasons why you should be optimising your website for local SEO.

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business, or GMB for short, is a platform for businesses to advertise and showcase their brand, almost like a mini social media profile, but it’s optimised for Local SEO.

Square Media GMB Local SEO
Our Google My Business listing.

As you can see above, there’s a lot of information you can put into a Google My Business listing. By adding relevant information to your GMB listing, you’ll increase the chances of your listing appearing when someone searches for the services you offer. You can add the services you provide to your listing, along with a description of your business, opening times and many more items.

It’s also wise to set up a Bing Places for Business listing as well, as this will show if someone is using Bing, or a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa.

Citations – What are they and why are they important for Local SEO?

A citation is any listing of your business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number).

You’ll want to make sure all your citation information is exactly the same across outlets, as incorrect information can stop a browser from becoming a customer.

Citations are one of the most important aspects of Local Search, as this allows Search Engines to pull in data from multiple sources to verify that you’re information is correct, and more citation listings increases the chance you’ll appear for local queries. Some citation listings also allow you to insert a link to your site, which also helps with Local SEO as some high quality directories are held in high regard.

Social Media profiles also add to the citation side of Local SEO, because a business Facebook profile will allow you to add company information, such as NAP and other information.

How to Rank Well in Local Search

There are three main factors you should take into account when optimising your business for local search.

Proximity

How near is your business to the searcher? If you’re only down the road from the searcher, you’re more likely to appear over another business 2 miles away.

Relevance

How relevant is your business to the searcher’s query? For example, if you’re local business that sells Audio/Visual products, and the searcher’s query is “computer shops near me” it’s unlikely you’ll show over a business who solely provides computers and computer services.

Prominence

What are other customers saying about your business and the services/products you provide? Reviews have a big impact when it comes to local SEO. A highly reviewed business will have an easier time ranking over a business which only has 1 star, but might be closer. As Google and other search engine value how well perceived your company is.

At Square Media, we can help improve your local Search rankings. While we mainly work in the following areas; Corby, Northampton, Kettering and Leicester, but we’re more than happy to work with customers all across the UK. Get in touch with us today to find out more about our services and how we can help you.

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