Understanding Local SEO: A Comprehensive Guide
Local SEO, or local search engine optimisation, is optimising your website and online presence to attract more traffic from local searches – particularly those made by people in your area looking for local businesses or services. It is a subset of SEO that focuses specifically on local search results.
Local SEO typically involves a combination of on-page optimisation, such as optimising your website for local keywords and creating location-specific content, as well as off-page optimisation, such as building local citations and backlinks.
Now that you know what local SEO is, let’s understand its other aspects.
How does local SEO work?
Google’s ranking algorithm considers many factors whilst determining which websites to display in search results, including local SEO factors. Local SEO can help improve a website’s ranking in Google’s search results for location-specific search queries.
For instance, a search for “Italian delivery” or “dental appointment” will result in a list of nearby options.
Moreover, local SEO can be a game-changer for businesses when it comes to mobile searches as it can provide more accurate and detailed information to users. Mobile users often have specific information in mind, such as your business’s address, phone number, and hours. By ensuring that your local listings are up-to-date and accurate, you can provide such users with the information they need to find and contact you.
Therefore, optimising a website for local SEO can be an effective strategy for improving its Google ranking, particularly for businesses that rely on local customers, such as restaurants, retail stores, and service providers.
How to boost local SEO?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to boosting local SEO:
Keyword research: Identify the keywords and phrases your local customers are searching for to find businesses like yours. These keywords should be location-specific and relevant to your business. For example, “electrician in London” or “coffee shop near me”.
On-page optimisation: Optimise your website with local keywords in your meta tags, header tags, content, and URLs. This will help search engines in understanding your business’s location and relevance.
Google My Business: This is a free business listing on Google that allows you to manage your business’s online presence across Google, including in search results and on Google Maps.
Create and optimise your Google My Business profile with accurate and up-to-date information about your business, such as your address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and photos.
Citations: Build citations (mentions of your business name, address, and phone number) on local directories, review sites and other online platforms. Consistent business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) information across local directories, review sites, and other online platforms is important for local SEO.
Reviews: Motivate your customers to share their feedback on your Google My Business profile and other review platforms. Positive reviews can help improve your local search ranking and attract more customers to your business.
Backlinks: These are links from other websites that point to your site and mention your business’s location or service area.
Build high-quality backlinks from local websites and blogs that are relevant to your industry. This can help you improve the relevance and authority of your website for local search.
Local content: Create location-specific content, such as blog posts, articles, and videos, that target your local audience and include local keywords.
By implementing these local SEO strategies, you can improve your online presence, attract more local customers, and increase your revenue.
Differences between SEO and Local SEO
|Definition||A set of practices aimed at improving website visibility in search engines.||A set of practices aimed at improving website visibility in local search engine results pages (SERPs).|
|Target Audience||Global audience||Local audience|
|Focus||Keyword optimization and backlink building||Local citations and Google My Business optimization|
|Scope||National and international||Specific geographic region (city, state, or region)|
|Search Intent||Informational, navigational, or transactional||Local intent (finding a business, product, or service near the searcher’s location)|
|Ranking Factors||Content quality, backlinks, on-page optimization, page speed, etc.||Google My Business profile, local citations, online reviews, proximity, relevance, and prominence|
|Results||Organic search results||Local pack (a map with three local business listings) and organic search results|
|Metrics||Traffic, bounce rate, page views, dwell time, and conversion rate.||Local rankings, online reviews, local traffic, click-through rate, phone calls, directions, and in-store visits|
|Examples||Ranking for “best SEO agency”||Ranking for “best pizza place in New Delhi”|
Note: SEO and Local SEO are both important for a business’s online visibility, and there may be some overlap between the two. However, they have different target audiences, focuses, and ranking factors, and require different strategies to be successful.
What are the benefits of local SEO?
There are various advantages of local SEO for businesses. We’ve listed some of them below:
1. Increased visibility
Local SEO helps you appear in search results when local customers search for products or services related to your business. This increases your visibility to potential customers who are actively looking for businesses like yours.
2. Targeted traffic
Local SEO targets people who are searching for products or services in their local area, meaning that you are reaching people who are more likely to convert into customers.
3. Improved credibility
When your business appears in search results, it adds credibility to your business and helps establish trust with potential customers.
Local SEO is a cost-effective way to reach potential customers in your local area, especially when compared to traditional advertising methods.
5. Competitive advantage
Local SEO allows you to compete with larger businesses by focusing on local search results. This can help level the playing field and give your business a competitive advantage.
6. Increased website traffic
Local SEO helps drive more traffic to your website, which can lead to more leads, sales, and revenue.
7. Better user experience
Optimising your website and online presence for local search provides a better user experience for your customers. This includes having accurate and up-to-date information, easy-to-use navigation, and relevant content.
All these benefits are the reasons why local SEO matters.
All in all, local SEO can have a significant impact on your business’s online visibility, credibility, and revenue. It is an essential component of any digital marketing strategy for businesses that serve customers in a specific geographic area.
Best local SEO tools
Local SEO tools are essential for businesses that rely on local search to attract customers. Here are some of the best tools that can help you win at local SEO:
Moz Local: This tool helps businesses manage their online listings across multiple directories, ensuring consistency and accuracy.
BrightLocal: This tool offers a variety of local SEO features, including reputation management, citation building, and local search audit.
Yext: This tool helps businesses manage their listings across multiple directories and search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Semrush: This tool provides a suite of SEO tools, including local SEO features like position tracking and citation building.
Ahrefs: It plays a crucial role in examining backlinks, which are significant in demonstrating a website’s authority by directing traffic to it. Also, it provides a comprehensive evaluation of competitors, helps with keyword research, and offers valuable insights into other sites’ anchor text when linking back to your site.
Buzzstream: It streamlines the process of obtaining local backlinks by enabling you to detect and cultivate connections with local influencers. It does so by researching influencers, monitoring conversations, and generating reports that offer valuable insights into your outreach campaigns, team performance, and link placements.
Among all the tools available, you can choose the right local SEO tool for your specific needs and goals.
Enhance the visibility of your business through local SEO
Incorporating local SEO strategy into the overall SEO strategy is crucial for the success of local businesses. By implementing local SEO, businesses with physical storefronts or service areas can improve their online visibility and attract relevant audiences through online searches.
You can even outsource SEO services to renowned companies like Bigrock.
Bigrock offers top-grade Managed SEO services inclusive of thorough keyword research, regular website audits, on-page optimisation & content, detailed SEO reports, and local SEO services, helping you attract more traffic and boost your online presence.