Are You Taking Advantage of Local Search?
As a small business owner, you do everything in your power to get your website in the top search engine ranking positions. Thankfully, there are many things you can do to tip the scales in your favour, including on-page optimisation, inbound link building and much more.
What is Local Search Marketing?
Local search marketing (Local SEO) is the process and tactics used to reach your local audience online. This is the type of marketing that brick-and-mortar businesses now typically use to reach potential customers on the internet.
Any type of business with a storefront or service that is promoted to a local audience is a local business, and that does include small, medium and even enterprise level brands.
When you get down to it, local search marketing is about raising brand awareness in a specific area or region, and this can be accomplished through both natural SEO and Pay per Click campaigns like Google AdWords.
The Case for Local Search Marketing for Your Small Business
Why optimise? Here are a few supporting numbers:
>>> 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
>>> Near me” or “close by” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years. (Source: Chat Meter)
>>> 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. (Source: SEO Expert)
>>> The #1 result in Google’s organic search results has an average CTR of 31.7%. (Alternatively, only 0.78% of Google searchers clicked on something from the second page.) (Source: Backlink)
How to Optimise for Local Search
1. Invest in Content – We firmly believe in the power of content! Every new blog post is a new indexed page for your site, a new page where you’re able to target a geographical search phrase or keyword, and offers new opportunities for customers to find you in search engine results pages (or SERPs).
2. Create location pages – If you’re looking to increase brand awareness in multiple locations, it’s imperative to tell users that you offer services in different locations. One way to do this is to have unique pages for each location, e.g., digital marketing services in Canton, and digital marketing services in Woodstock. Or if you’re a franchise, you must differentiate your location from others.
3. Optimise On-Page SEO Elements – On-page SEO elements include your page title, URLs, page headers, internal links, and page content, which should be optimised with keywords.
4. Target long-tail keyword variations – The goal is to cover all the phrases people may use to refer to the city or region in your keyword research in order to capitalise on all the ways people will type in searches on the web. We use a number of keyword tools to ensure we get a ‘broad’ feel for the target phrases.
5. Mobile-optimisation – Is your site mobile-friendly? Local search and mobile search overlap in many ways. Some of the most common ways people will look up your services on mobile include looking up locations, looking at online reviews, finding directions, and searching for contact information. Optimise their user experience by making sure your site is mobile friendly.
6. Utilise Google My Business – Google My Business is the one-stop-shop to manage how your business will look and perform in the search engine. It is an essential tool to find out and adjust how your site shows in Maps, the Knowledge Graph, Google+, and organic search results.
According to the most recent edition of Moz’ Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, Google My Business continues to be the biggest driver of local SEO success, with quality links coming in at a close second.
We insist on using all of these tactics as best practices when we’re working with small business clients in the North East and beyond. Our SEO team have shared a passion for helping local businesses win with their digital marketing for over a decade, and we love delivering local SEO tactics to help their businesses thrive.
Taking Advantage of Local Search
Local SEO increases the visibility of your business by driving your website to the top of local listings. If you have a local business, you need geographically-relevant traffic to your site through specifically targeted local rankings that will launch your company to reach the target customer demographic in your market.