Research done by Google found that 76% of local consumers who perform local searches with their smartphones actually visit the business on the same day. And 28% of these visits result in a purchase. With that in mind, having a local SEO strategy is vital if you want to beat out the local competition.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is all about improving your business’s online visibility to rank higher in local search engine results pages. As the name suggests, local SEO is for location-specific businesses as typical local search queries contain geographical elements such as:
- hairdressers near me
- best coffee in Manchester
Local SEO works in the same was as general SEO but also considers elements such as Google My Business listings to help local businesses get more traffic.
Why is local SEO important?
Investing time and resource in local SEO is so important for small businesses because it means they can remain competitive online without the need to battle with the big guns. Local SEO is ideal for the underdogs! Through local SEO businesses can build trust with local consumers, increase site traffic, and maximise lead generation opportunities.
Companies across a range of sectors can benefit from local SEO but those that have a physical location or cater to a specific area will see the best results. So let’s see what you need to do in order to dominate the local SEO search rankings.
5 ways to outrank your local competition
1. Claim your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is a free tool that Google provides which enables companies to create a mini Google search profile outlining key business information, operating hours, and showcasing products or services. According to research by Bright Local, Google My Business is the most important local pack ranking signal at 33%.
2. Get good customer reviews
It goes without saying that positive customer reviews are invaluable in the world of marketing; they build trust and credibility not only with potential customers but with Google too. As you can see in the image above, customer reviews also make up part of your Google My Business listing.
Just to highlight the importance of customer reviews: 93% of customers will read reviews of local businesses to determine its quality, and if a business has more than nine current reviews, they earn 52% more revenue than the average.
3. Build citations
Citations are places where your company is mentioned online. For example, a business listing on Yelp or TripAdvisor would be classed as a citation. Citations are essential to local SEO as they help Google verify that your business is popular among its local community and local consumers actively engage with your business.
4. Stay consistent with NAP
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and is very important for local SEO efforts. Having correct NAP for all your listings across the internet is crucial for local SEO as Google scans all these listings when searching for information about your business. This data is then stored and used when determining rankings.
5. Tailor your on-page SEO
You mustn’t forget the basics of SEO and they still apply even when it’s local. When it comes to local on-page SEO, the traditional best practices still apply. So you need keyword rich content that includes the areas you cover, good linking, well-thought out meta descriptions and even location specific landing pages.
Need help with your local search strategy? We’re an experienced SEO agency in Manchester who can help you stay ahead of your competition. We work with clients across a range of industries so drop us a message to see how we can help you!