Google has become synonymous with search.
When looking for a business in your location such as a place to grab a bite, book a hotel or get a haircut your potential customers will turn first to the search engine.
Your business goal is to make sure YOUR business is the one that shows up first!
For that to materialise you will need Local Search Engine Optimisation. (SEO)
Local SEO refers to specific actions you can take to make sure that your site appears in search engines when someone is looking for a business in your area. It helps search engines like Google and Bing associate your activity with your geographic location and decide where to display your website on their results page.
Local SEO is essential for anyone with a brick and mortar business, an office, or a studio and it’s one of the best ways to bring in brand new customers from your area. Marketing to local clients is the mantra!
Search engines increasingly tailor their results based on the location of the searcher. They look for keywords that show a local intent, such as “restaurants near me” or “restaurants in Leeds” and they show results accordingly, with geo-targeted content receiving priority status.
One of the best ways to help local customers find your business is to optimise your website for Google Maps and what’s known as the “Local Pack.” The Local Pack is a map where the three most relevant places show up on the top of Google results.
This is prime real estate and you want to own it! The good news is, it’s easier to rank in the Local Pack than it is to get the top spots in a regular search. To give yourself a shot at being one of those three lucky businesses, make sure you list yours in detail on Google My Business (GMB). Then, since Google likes to place top-rated services in the Local Pack, ask customers to write reviews about you on GMB.
Having a GMB page will also ensure that your business will show up on searches done within Google Maps.
Remarkably, only 10% of businesses have claimed their spot on GMB which is why it’s easier to rank.
Google My Business is just one example of a search engine directory. Bing also has a business directory and it’s worthwhile to claim your spot there as well.
You also want to submit your website to as many directories as you can – as long as they are relevant to what you do. Local directories are listing sites and social communities that specialise in indexing small businesses. Yelp, Foursquare and TripAdvisor are among the most famous of these sites, but there are many more.
People looking for places to eat, shop and sleep often refer to these sites to see what the communities have to say. But perhaps more importantly, Google search holds many of these sites in high regard. When you’re listed on good local directory websites, your business will probably receive a dramatic boost in search rankings. To help you get listed, be sure to check out the Site Booster app. It may do a lot of the legwork for you!
You will also need to ensure that you use the exact same name, address and phone number (known as NAP) everywhere you write about your business. This includes your website, your social media profiles and directories that list you. If your NAP looks a little bit different in some places, search engines may accidentally think you have two (or more) different locations.
Marketing local is key and god luck with your local SEO and if you need further advice or guidance then please drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org