While the internet is vast and international, optimising your website for local SEO is a critical component of success, especially in 2021, as mobile search’s prevalence is growing and growing.
Do you own a brick-and-mortar business and want your local audience to find your business online? Local SEO is the answer!
What is local SEO?
Search engine optimisation is the process of optimising your website so that it ranks highly on search engine results pages (SERPs).
To understand why local SEO is important, you need to understand the user behaviour of your clientele.
50 percent of people who did a local search on their phone went to a physical store within one day, with 18 percent of those searches leading to a sale within one day. The businesses that optimise their local SEO are the businesses that will draw local customers into their stores!
Many businesses opt to have experts like MintTwist optimise their website for them, as making mistakes when trying to rank on SERPs can adversely affect your website’s performance.
To help you get started, here are the top 5 tips to optimise your local SEO!
1 – Create a Google My Business page
If you haven’t done this already, it’s a fantastic way to get yourself into Google’s ‘local pack’. Listings on Google My Business give Google a location for your business, allowing it to accurately recommend it to local customers searching for your services.
This is a great place to start when looking at improving your website’s rankings on SERPs.
2 – Local SEO keywords
Just as in all SEO, keywords are a crucial aspect of local SEO, too. Local SEO keyword optimisation isn’t all that different from other organic SEO. You’ll still do your keyword research, create engaging guest content, form strong backlinks and include strong on-page technical SEO, but certain aspects will be slightly different.
You’ll want all your usual keywords for organic search optimisation, but the key difference is that you’ll want to include specific, local keywords too.
Take the above example: if your shop is in Nuneaton, then ‘Nuneaton’ ought to be one of your keywords. You might also want to include keywords such as ‘& surrounding areas’ or ‘M6 Junction 3’, et cetera.
Have a look at what competitors or other local businesses in the area are ranking for and aim to incorporate them into your website’s copy.
3 – Voice search
Voice search is becoming one of the primary ways that someone searches for local services. It’s a lot easier for many people to ask Siri, Alexa or Google Home a question than it is for them to type.
As these devices become more widespread, it’s unsurprising that we see people turning to voice search for their local searching needs.
If you are searching for a vet via text, you’re more likely to type something like ‘best vets in Nuneaton’.
When using voice search, a user is more likely to ask a question: ‘what vets are open now?’, or ‘which vets are best for dogs?’.
By thinking about what questions your audience asks about your service, you’ll be able to properly optimise your website’s copy.
Answer The Public is a tool that can help with this. By entering your main keywords, you can see exactly what people are searching for when it comes to your business. You can use this as a brilliant starting point for any content on your website!
4 – Make content that helps your users
Google wants pages that are made “primarily for users, not for search engines”. If you’re not careful, Google will hit you with a manual action that can severely impede your website’s success.
To avoid this, it’s best to follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
The general gist of this is that you should create informative, useful content that benefits the user and encourages backlinking.
In doing so, everybody wins! Creating engaging content makes you a local expert in your field. People will trust your opinions and you’ll drive sales as a result. The user gets the answer they require, and you build your reputation with both Google and your local community – it’s an investment in your business.
5 – Why are zero-click searches important in local SEO?
A zero-click search is when a search is answered on the SERP without the user even having to click through to a website.
This happens because of Google’s snippets function.
Snippets are provided by Google as a way of answering a user’s question as quickly and efficiently as possible. Studies have found that more than 50% of Google searches end without a click to other content.
While a well-written, SEO optimised blog post can achieve this for you, this isn’t the only way that snippets can help your local SEO growth.
Lots of your local customers will make a quick Google search on their mobile phone to get the information they need, before making a call, or navigating straight to you. Aiming to rank highly on these snippets is a great way to drive more customers through your door.
As mentioned above, listing on Google My Business is the first step to finding yourself listed on these priority snippets.
Following SEO best practises & receiving positive reviews will help your page bump up and stand out from the crowd.
Can local SEO help my business?
Absolutely! As many marketers know, SEO can take a lot of time and patience, and results are rarely immediate.
Taking the time or spending the money to build up your SEO profile will benefit your business in the long run.