Local SEO is a vital part of any business, no matter how big or small. It involves optimising your website and online presence to help you rank higher in local search results, attract new customers, and expand your business.
To achieve optimal local SEO success, there are several important steps that you should follow. These include identifying and optimising your local keywords, creating informative and keyword-rich content, building local citations and links, and more.
To help businesses like you further understand the dynamics of local SEO, we’ve created the ultimate checklist. This comprehensive guide covers everything from keyword research to link building and will help you ensure that your website is optimised for local search success.
In this Guide
What is Local SEO?
While SEO is the general practice of ranking for keywords in search engine results pages, local SEO is a subset. Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of optimising your online presence to rank higher in local search results.
It’s a necessary component of any business, no matter how big or little, and can assist you in attracting new clients, expanding your business, and outperforming the competition.
Locally focused SEO is a great approach to stay relevant in your local marketplace. However, there are several important actions that you must take to achieve maximum Local SEO success. It entails researching and optimising local keywords, creating informative and keyword-rich content, developing local citations and links, etc.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
Several key factors determine your local SEO ranking, including:
- Google My Business: This is Google’s local listing service and often one of the most important ranking factors. It can be optimised using relevant keywords, photos, business information, etc.
- On-Page Signals: These include on-page content, meta tags and descriptions, keywords and word count, etc.
- Online Reviews: These are customer reviews left on websites such as Yelp, Google Reviews, etc. They carry significant weight in local SEO rankings and need constant monitoring for any negative feedback.
- Backlinks Profile: Quality backlinks from relevant websites help improve your local SEO ranking. These can be achieved through citation building, guest blogging, and other link-building tactics.
- Online Citations: Citations from authoritative online directories and local business websites can also boost your local SEO ranking.
- Behavioural Signals: Click-through rates, time spent on your website, bounce rates, etc. are all analysed by search engines to determine ranking positions.
- Local Content: This is content optimised for local keywords and helps you rank higher in local search results.
How to Optimise Your Website for Local SEO?
Now that you know what local SEO is and what factors influence your ranking, it’s time to optimise your website for maximum success. Here are a few essentials:
Optimising Your Website
It all starts with comprehensive keyword research. When talking about keyword research, it is the process of identifying and targeting keywords that are relevant to your business, products, and services. These keywords are used throughout your website and online marketing efforts to help you rank higher in search results and attract more customers.
You can use various tools for keyword research to find the right phrases to target as well as do a bit of competitor analysis, or simply look at customer search data in your analytics.
Once you’ve identified your priority target keywords, you can start optimising your website for these terms. First, add the keywords to your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and throughout the body of your content.
If you have multiple local stores or several service areas, creating a dedicated location page for each is a great way to target local customers with more relevant content. Make sure you include the complete name of your business, address, and phone (NAP) for each location.
One of our digital marketing clients, District Drain Solutions, has seen a massive improvement in its local search visibility using this strategy. District Drain Solutions is a 24/7 drainage company that specialises in CCTV drain surveys and drain unclogging services.
By creating dedicated service locations on their website, organic traffic has increased by 132% during the first quarter of 2022.
Their Google rankings have also improved by 33% and have gathered 354 organic clicks, which can be attributed to their new local service pages.
Also, adding a Google Map to each local service or local contact page can help customers find your physical location.
For businesses with fewer than 10 locations, publish all addresses in the website’s footer. You can also list the addresses on the contact page.
Last but not least, make sure all calls-to-action, such as phone numbers and email addresses found on the site, are easy to click, primarily via mobile.
Making Your Website Responsive
In addition to optimising your website for local keywords and content, it’s also essential to make your website responsive. This means designing and developing your site so that it looks great on all devices – including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops.
If you feel like doing all of these on your own is a chore, the Distribute Digital web design team can help. Our team will ensure your website looks great on all devices and provides an optimal user experience for your customers.
Creating Local Content
Creating local content is another crucial component of your local SEO strategy. This includes creating blog posts, articles, and other content relevant to your target keywords and customers in your area.
There are several different types of local content you can create, including:
- Local reviews and testimonials: Encouraging customers to leave reviews and testimonials on your website and social media pages can help build trust with potential customers.
- Local guides and lists: Creating local guides or top 10 lists based on your area of expertise can be a great way to attract new customers.
- Local news and announcements: Staying up-to-date on the latest news and announcements in your industry can help you connect with customers and build trust.
- Local events: Attending or hosting local events can be a great way to promote your business as well as expand your network.
Optimising Your Google My Business Listing
If you’re not on the local map pack, you’re missing out. A study by Hubspot revealed that 72% of customers who did a quick local search dropped by a local store within a five mile radius.
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the most important components of your local SEO strategy. This is because your GMB listing appears in the map section of the search results for relevant keywords, which can help you attract new customers.
There are several different things you can do to optimise your GMB listing, including:
- Complete all fields: Make sure all fields in your GMB listing are completed, including your business name, address, phone number, website URL, business hours, and more.
- Add photos and videos: Adding images and videos to your GMB listing can help you capture new customers as well as be able to stay competitive in the market.
- Regular posting updates: Updating your GMB listing regularly with new information can help keep it fresh and relevant for customers.
- Encourage reviews: Encouraging and inviting previous customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing can help build trust with potential customers.
Our very own Google My Business profile at Distribute Digital has displayed great improvement after our SEO team optimised it. We have seen a significant increase of 41% in searches and 24% increase in clicks during the first quarter of the year 2022.
Building Local Citations
Business Citations simply mean mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites. Building local citations can help improve your visibility in the search results and attract new customers.
There are a several ways to build local citations, including:
- Submitting your business to online directories: You can submit your business to many online directories, such as Best of the Web and Yelp.
- Creating local profiles: Creating profiles for your business on social media platforms and other websites can help you build citations and improve your local SEO ranking.
- Partnering up with Local SEO Agencies: Partnering with an SEO agency can be a great way to build citations and improve your local ranking. At Distribute Digital, our talented team of experts is here to help you achieve success in the local search results.
Building local citations can be a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to boost your local rankings.
Social media is another important component of your local SEO strategy. Social media can help you connect with potential customers in your area and build trust with your audience.
Here are some tips in optimising your social media for local audiences:
- Creating local profiles: Creating profiles for your business on social media platforms can help you build citations and improve your local SEO ranking.
- Posting updates: Posting regular updates on your social media accounts can help keep your audience informed about what’s going on with your business.
- Encouraging reviews: Encouraging customers to leave reviews on your social media pages can help build trust with potential customers.
Gaining a lot of reviews and testimonials about your services/products is the most powerful tool you can have to optimise your business for local rankings.
Customer reviews make up one of the strongest factors considered by search engines to determine your local rankings. In addition, customer reviews can help build trust with potential customers and encourage them to do business with you.
Here are ways you can acquire customer reviews.
- Asking customers to leave reviews. Ask customers to leave reviews on your GMB listing, social media pages, or website.
- Encouraging happy customers to leave reviews. Provide incentives for customers who are willing to leave reviews.
- Responding to negative reviews. If you receive any negative reviews, it’s important to respond to them professionally and helpfully.
Customer reviews are a must-have, whether you’re just starting out with local SEO or want to take your strategy to the next level. You can use customer testimonials to improve your rankings, build trust with potential customers, and grow your business with the right approach.
Distribute Digital – SEO Agency in Birmingham
Did you know that 46% of all Google searches are of local intent? Local SEO is a powerful yet underrated tool in digital marketing today. It is the best strategy to attract customers searching for businesses like yours in your local area.
If you’re looking to improve your business’s visibility, organic traffic, and conversions, then look no further than Distribute Digital (SEO Agency in Birmingham). We offer world class digital marketing services to help businesses like yours succeed online.