Have you ever wondered why some businesses are in the top three results of your Google search? Have you ever tried to know the reason behind it or are you curious to know about it? If you are nodding in yes, then this Local SEO guide is just for you! In this blog, we are going to discuss everything that you need to know about Local SEO.
February 2, 2023
by Rajeev Nar
First things first, Local SEO is extremely important. In actual fact, about 46% of the searches in Google are local. This suggests that if you own a local business and you don’t have the local SEO in the right way, then you’re surely missing out on something so big.
Secondly, there are quite a lot of people who are constantly searching. Moreover, about 89% of the people search for a local business on their cellphones a minimum of once a week. Also, 58% of the population searches daily. From that search, about 72% of them will definitely visit that store/ shop which is within five to six miles.
Just think, how would these researchers be able to find you if your Local SEO is poor? Did it open your eyes? Calculated all the loss? Okay, now calm down as we’re right here to assist you in that!
Basically, Local SEO is a technique adopted by small or large businesses to enhance their online presence. But the thing which plays a key role in Local SEO is the geographical component.
It is basically adopted by a business to improve its local digital presence. By implementing local SEO techniques on your blog or website, you’re targeting the local customers around you.
Now the question must be popping in your head, is it necessary? Indeed, it is! To understand it better, let’s take an instance that you have a product targeting UK customers but it is not appearing in the local searches, instead, it is ranking for the USA. Then, in such cases, local SEO acts as a saviour. It helps you to rank high based on the SERPs for local searches.
Don’t worry, we are not going to throw a lot of random statistics at you. Instead, we are going to show you some most important stats that will surely help you in knowing the benefits of local SEO.
They are as follows:
About 46% of Google searches have local intent.
About 29% of the Google SERPs contain local packs in the search results.
18% of mobile searches lead to conversion within a single day.
About 76% of customers who search for anything local on their mobile phone visits a store that day.
Almost 50% of the people who visit Google are just to search for local addresses.
We guess you’re now pretty clear how local searches make a big difference in the SEO world. So, if you can make every possible effort to enter into the top searches, then you must do it. It will surely bring a lot of conversions to your website in a matter of minutes.Now that you know why local SEO is important, now let’s understand how to do local SEO and how it works.
How Local SEO Works?
At a big level, local SEO works the same as a normal search on Google. When a person searches for anything on Google or any other search engine, Google scans all through its index to make sure that it provides the best search results for that person.
Moreover, what makes a normal search different from a Local SEO search is that Google makes use of a different bunch of ranking factors to rank the local searches.
Local SEO contains some special ranking signals, which includes:
Keywords that are used in the “Google My Business” of your business
The location that people are searching for
Star rating of your Google Maps
Keywords that are used in the online reviews of your business.
The truthfulness of the online reviews
Social Media shares
What is Google Map Pack?
The Google Pack is the collection of the three topmost results for your local searches. Earlier, this used to be a 7 pack, but it was curtailed to be a good fit for the mobile searches.
For example, when you search for the Hair Transplant Clinic in London, Google will show you a map pack as the topmost results.
And then underneath it, you will see the normal search results.
We’ll show you how Google ranks various businesses in the map pack later on in this guide. But before that, you must keep in mind that a Map pack has its own set of rules and algorithms.
Surely, some of the ranking factors such as backlinks assist you to rank in the traditional and local organic search results.
But some others such as NAPs are just important to rank your business in the map pack.
One thing that we need to highlight is: Google doesn’t only display the local results for the keywords that have a particular state or city. Moreover, if Google thinks that your search requires local results, then it’ll show that to you… even if the keyword is not local.
For instance, when we searched for “Vegan Bakery in Greenwich”, Google showed us a Map Pack.
This is really significant to keep in mind while you research keywords for your business. You need to optimise for “City+ Store” keywords.
In most cases, the specific store keyword without any location gets much more search volume than the “City +Store” type
The first and foremost step in any local search engine optimisation strategy is to standardise where you are actually at.
Most especially, you want to check is your rank in the Map Pack. Also, keep track of your rankings over time.
Each and every rank tracker on this earth has the pack tracking feature in it.
The problem is that, with the local search engine optimisation, from where you’re searching is big. The results of map packs can be different from one place to another.
For instance, let’s suppose that someone searches for the best “Ice-cream Shop” on 72nd st 2nd Avenue in London.
Those search results are going to be tailored according to the location of the person.
What can happen is that the same search which is performed a few miles away can bring a huge change i.e., a different site of the pack results. It is also possible that the same results can be displayed with a shuffle in their orders.
So, if you track any business from a single location only, then there are chances that you only see a minute sample of your position in real life.
That’s why you need to get super gritty with your local search rankings.
In this way, you can easily check where you rank in the city as well as in your local area.
There are various tools available for you for this type of full-fledged map tracking. There is Local Falcon and Local Viking, they both do pretty much the same work.
to select the name of your business. You must note that you should have a Google My Business account to be visible on Google Maps.
After that, select a keyword on which you wish to check your rankings.
Ultimately, select how broad or specific you wish your rank tracking to be.
For instance, here’s an 8-mile tracking radius.
It’s set up as a 7×7 grid, which gives you a good idea about the position of your business in that entire area.
Now comes the time to see the rankings. After the tool performs its work, you get left with a visual interface that displays your ranks in every geographical location.
With it, you get a great and interactive map that displays your ranking in the different spots all through the city.
Furthermore, it’s visible that the rankings are the best on the outer regions of the city… and they get continuously down as you go inside the city.
This isn’t actually an issue. It could be because the location of your competitor is in the centre of the city.
So, Google gives the best rankings to your competitor, when you search from that location on your mobile phone.
With that being said, you must use the ranking tools to find the areas where you rank good.
For instance, you can see that this local business ranks number one in the Northside of the city.. only for one spot.
In such cases, you surely wish to tap on the result to see what’s not letting you rank on the top
In this particular case, the rank of your competitor is number one.
But, in case if you’re not fully satisfied with the second spot, then you can check out the address of your competitor in that listing.
This way, you can conveniently cross-check their location on the map.
And, as soon as you’ll put the ranking of your competitor on the map, you can easily see why you’re having an issue in being at the number one spot.
The simpler explanation of the same is that this search location is quite closer to your competitor. That’s why it makes full sense why Google wishes to rank your competitor on number one.
There is no denial in the fact that local SEO helps in improving the site traffic. Now you must be wondering about the easiest pathway to enhance your local SEO.
If so, then here in this section we are going to discuss in detail the whole roadmap to boost your local SEO. All you have to do is hang there tight and implement it on your website. If you own a business such as a bakery, clinic or retail shop, then local SEO services are a must for you.
So, without any delay let’s begin the procedure.
1. Improve Your Website for Local SEO
The very first thing you need to do is optimise your website properly. When you hire a local SEO company, they first of all optimise your site for local SEO for best results One of the main factors to make your website appear on SERP results is proper customisation. Now, below we are going to cast light on the following factors that help in improving the local SEO.
Mention Your Business Address
The most prominent thing to optimise your website for local SEO is to add the business address to your website.
Attach Map or Your Locations
If possible then please add a map or location to your website. The reason for doing that is that it will help people to reach out to you easily. Also, keep in mind that the purpose of the local SEO is to make your business easily accessible to localities.
A testimonial is a way of telling Google that you’re legitimate and people trust you. So, always add a testimonial of your clients and customers to your website.
The schema was introduced for a better understanding of search engines. It helps search engines identify what your website is about. If you’re adding schema to your website then you’re making it easier for Google to understand your business better.
Build Dedicated Contact Page
If your website doesn’t have any contact webpage then it is the thing you need to rectify asap. A good website contains a dedicated contact page. Don’t just create any contact page, make it detailed and try to add lots of details of your business there.
Add Easily Accessible Phone Numbers
If you’re targeting local customers then it is important to add phone numbers that are easily accessible to your website.
2. Declare Your Online Profiles
Now one of the biggest misconceptions among people is that the website is the only online presence you need to make to rank high on Google. It is not true, you need to create your digital profiles online to improve your search engines visibility. Google gives keen attention to the site that is an active review platform like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and much more.
A review site is important to factor in local SEO. There are many other things you need to consider which are mentioned below.
Create a Profile on Google My Business
Google My Business is very important if you want to boost your business. It not only enhances your brand but also improves the local SEO of your website. By creating a google business account, you can show the details of your business such as address location, contact number and others to the people.
Pay Attention to Local Listings
Local listing is essential from the SEO perspective. If you search anything on Google based on your locations then try to pay attention to the top sites ranking on Google. If you want to know the top reviews based on location then try to search “your location review” on Google.
Build Social Profiles
To enhance your local SEO, it is important to build social profiles on networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. Make sure to post relevant information on these accounts. Take advantage of whatever is trending and try to implement it in your business.
3. Plan Local Content
We all know content is the king but to create content that brings sales and traffic is what we all are looking for. We know that blogging plays an important role in SEO. To boost your business, it is important to create a blog. Not just create, release articles based on local searches which are related to your business. There are certain things worth giving consideration are mentioned below.
Keep Your Target Audience in Mind
If you’re releasing the local content then always keep your targeted audience in mind. If you have an idea about the kind of reader you’re writing for then you will create beneficial content. Mention local references in your blogs so that readers can relate to them. It is important to cover a local event in your blog as it will educate people more about the business
One of the strongest factors to SEO is link building. Approach local blogs and ask for a link back to your blog. It will bring engagement and improve SEO also. You can also do a backlink audit of the competitor website.
Avoid General Mistakes
Do not copy content from any website. If you’re using the stats from a particular website, mention its reference in your blog. Know that Google loves transparency and honesty
4. Ask Customers for Reviews
Back then in primitive days, it was impossible to get the feedback of the business. But now reviews and feedback are the essential part of any online business. Most of the successful business has happy clients. A happy customer is essential for any business. Now more than anything people love to drop feedback if they have visited the place. So, the strategy must be to get an online review as much as possible. Not just reviews, it is mandatory to get a good review because it will develop trust among the local people. The other thing to consider is highlighted below.
Ask for Review
It is important to ask for a review from your customers as it will increase brand awareness and trust among the customers. If you get a review, always reply to it politely apart from the fact it is negative or positive.
Know Review Guidelines and Process
Always know the review guidelines and process before asking for one. Every platform has its own set of guidelines. So pay attention to it.
Avoid Negative Reviews
Negative reviews affect the SEO factor. So avoid it by all means. Now the question here is how to avoid negative reviews. It can only be done by offering the best possible service. Always remember a happy customer is a key to a successful business. If in case you get a negative review, then try to delight your customers by offering something in return as compensation.
Reviews become more important if you are into the eCommerce business. Check out our guide on SEO for eCommerce where we have covered all the points to drive more traffic to your website.
5. Enhance Your Voice Search
Believe us when we say that voice search is going to grow quickly in the upcoming years! Yes, it’s going to happen.
For that reason, in the local search engine optimisation, it’s important to enhance your website for how people ask different questions when they speak, in contrast to the way they type their searches.
Importantly, customers make use of long keywords when they are searching through their voice instead of typing.
Because of this reason, you also need to adjust the local SEO of your content to fulfil the voice search option.
For instance, you will need to make it familiar with the basic question starters such as why, what, when who, and how.
It’s also important to consider the user intent at the time of optimising it for voice search, as most of these searches are performed when a customer needs a piece of particular information.
Like, if the customer is baking a cake and he/she asks Alexa to turn the cups into tablespoons, then they’re expecting a useful and quick answer. Moreover, if a future customer makes use of the voice search feature to know the business hours of a particular place, so this information should also be there on your profile.
6. Make Sure That Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
Mobile phones have become an inevitable part of our lives. No one can live for even five minutes without a phone. That’s why your website needs to be mobile-friendly.
Mobile search and local search go together. More than half of the Google searches are executed on mobile only. People generally read reviews, search for information and find locations through phone only.
That is why making your website mobile-friendly is significant. It can become easier for your prospects to reach you.
7. Make Citations for Local SEO
Now to understand the citations, first you need to know what the actual citation is. Citations are mentions of your business which can be a business address, name, phone number and much more. From an SEO perspective, citations are most important. There are various things which we need to consider, we have discussed them below.
Make Use of Locally Centred Directories
Local directories play an important role in local SEO. All the local directories are well indexed and based on the geographical area. So, it is important to add your business to the local directories. If you want to search the local directory then all you need to do is “name of the city directory” on Google.
Industry Focused Directories
Learn from the master is true in all aspects of the business. It is important to follow industrial focussed directories or blogs to gain citations. However, these sites don’t focus on local business but you will get the gist of everything. If you don’t have any membership plan for this directories try to get one as it will help you to improve citations. If you don’t have any clue to find out the industry directories then try to simply search “your niche directory” on Google.
Local Search Engines
If you want to appear on the local search the first thing you need to do is make sure that your business exists on sites like Yelp, Hotfrog, and Foursquare. It will surely help you to appear first on Google based on the search query.
Pay Attention to Local Blogs
To boost your local SEO, you can approach the local blogs. Try to get a listing of your business to these blogs. But before rushing into that, make sure that these blogs are well indexed and getting a good amount of traffic.
SEO is a very important factor and based on how frequently Google changes its search algorithm you need to keep on top of everything. The local search features on SERP play an important part, so try to make more out of it by implementing these tips. If you think it is too much to do, check out our Local SEO checklist so that you don’t miss any point.
8.Get Inbound Links With Authority And Relevance
The Inbound links are the best and most powerful ways to strengthen your local SEO. Each inbound link on your website reveals that you are a legitimate organisation. Also, the inbound links help in raising the domain authority. But how do you get the inbound links? To know about that, keep reading below.
1.Begin with your network, which might consist of the business improvement district, chamber of commerce, trade associations, licensing bureaus, vendors, resellers, manufacturers, and other such affiliates.
2.You can also sponsor a meet-up or webinar in which you can host any community event, build relationships, and promote the things you love. In addition to this, feel free to reach out to your partners to ask them if they can feature you in the partner directory.
In addition to this, you can attract a lot of links by being a guest blogger. Talk about the other people in the same industry and help them whenever you can.
9.Optimise The Content and Improve Internal Linking Structure
Internal links are the most important factors that determine the ranking and authority of your website. But why do they matter a lot? Do not bother, we are going to discuss it below.
Internal Linking matters because:
It supports website navigation.
It distributes the authority and ranking power among the pages.
It helps with website hierarchy and information architecture.
Moreover, each time you write content, you will need to optimise it for the search engines by making use of long-tail keywords, header, title tags, body, and meta description.
10.Execute an SEO Audit
SEO Audit is a process by which we can evaluate various elements of the website that have an impact on their performance. It brings out a clear picture of your website’s performance so that you can make it better. Once you have figured it all out, then it might be a bit tough to stop you. Nevertheless, SEO is an intuitive and continuous process. Other than putting a full stop or just making changes or seeing what stays, it assists in performing a full-fledged audit to check where your website stands. Also, it tells you your points of improvement where you need to work to reach the zenith. A local SEO audit must necessarily include all these:
Citation Audit –
Many things decide the ranking of your website, but the most important thing is the number of links that are pointed towards your website. Also, make sure that all your citations are right in the topmost business directories.
Google Search Console Audit –
Check if your website is crawlable? Does it contain any error that might hinder the indexing in the future?
On-Page SEO Audit –
Ensure whether your site can accommodate on-page SEO elements that assist in ranking or not.
Google My Business Audit –
Check how your Google my business appears on the search engines. Also, make sure if the information is accurate or not.
Competitor Analysis –
One of the most significant steps of a local SEO audit is keeping a check on your competitors and understanding where they stand.
Also, know whether your website matches with your competitors or not. After that, analyse whether there are any differences that you need to fulfill.
Website Audit –
One of the most significant steps of a local SEO audit is keeping a check on your competitors and understanding where they stand.
Lastly, check the overall performance of your website i.e., how it’s performing ultimately.
Here we are at the end of our detailed Local SEO Guide. We hope that you are now fully equipped with all the vital information.
Struggling to jump the SERPs can be a tough task for most businesses, most especially when you are a local and small business with a few resources.
But local SEO is so significant for the success of your local SEO company.
As a large group of people rely totally on the online reviews and search engines to search for what they need, that’s why you need to boost your local search rankings to be visible online.
So, jump the local SERPs by creating good local content, optimising your website, obtaining citations and earnings valuable reviews of all the respective customers.
Moreover, don’t just restrict yourself to the technical local search engine optimisation practices such as web optimisation and citations, though!,
Build and improve the relationships with the various other related local businesses, join the local organisations, and make sure to participate in more and more events of the community.
Besides, local search engine optimisation isn’t only a discrete endeavour. With that, you also need to make use of other kinds of marketing such as social media marketing, affiliate marketing, digital marketing, SEO etc. to enhance your rankings.
The online attempts are always a reflection of your offline truth. So, if your business is not good and reputed, then surely your reviews will be bad too!
That’s why your main focus should be on building the business in all the best ways possible.
For any more information, query, confusion and any kind of questions regarding local SEO services and local SEO agency, you can feel free to contact us at RVS Media Limited. We are always here at your service.