What is Local SEO Anyway?

“SEO is about being where your customers are, and directing them towards solutions you offer them.” – Neil Patel Remember the time when people actually used physical directories like Yellow Pages to find local businesses? Those times are long gone. Today, the first place people turn to find a local business is Google. You might be wondering how you can leverage this shift in consumer behaviour to your advantage. The answer is Local SEO. What is Local SEO Anyway? Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an incredibly effective way to market your local business online. It’s not just about being visible when someone types your business name. It’s about appearing at the very moment your services are needed, all within a geographic location. That’s what we at SPE excel at—helping your business be found when it most counts. Why Does Local SEO Matter? Let’s paint a picture: Sarah, a busy mom, desperately needs to get her car serviced before heading to a family trip down south. She pulls out her phone and types “best car service near me.” Now, if your business shows up in that coveted top spot, Sarah will most likely choose you. Our client, Tom Broomhead, the Shade Sails Manager at One Shade, had this to say about us: “Professional team of SEO professionals. Great reporting, SEO processes and engagement from their SEO team. The continuing support that we receive has convinced us that signing the original SEO marketing agreement with them has been one of the best decisions we have made to keep an edge over our competition.” Components of Local SEO Local Keywords Your local customers use specific keywords to find services in their area. Knowing what these keywords are and including them in your website, meta-descriptions, and content can skyrocket your local reach. Google My Business An optimised Google My Business listing offers potential customers all the information they need at a glance. Hours of operation, reviews, location—all without even visiting your website. Local Backlinks Local backlinks from other businesses in your area can help establish your community presence, boosting your local SEO rankings.

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7 Local SEO Ranking Factors That Every Local Business Must Optimise

Unless you are trying to rank a website for a business that operates purely online, or if it’s a business that competes on a national or international scale, the ability to rank your business website for local search terms is vitally important. If you are a local business and not focusing on SEO that helps you appear on page one of Google for local searches, then you are losing lots of customers to local business competitors who are. There are several actions you can take which will ensure that your local business’s website can compete with, and ideally, outrank your competitors, provided they are done correctly. Below we have 7 of the most important ranking factors which Google look for when assessing local websites in its search engine results. Many of these can be implemented quickly and easily, while some may take a bit more time and effort. Google My Business: Normally abbreviated to ‘GMB‘ this is arguably the most important ranking factor that exists for local businesses. It is essentially set up to let Google know what your local business is about. You need to include the business category, your business address, highly relevant keywords in the title, and even having your opening hours is a plus. Linking: With backlinks, it is important that you focus on the type and quality of the backlinks rather than simply trying to amass as many as possible. By all means, try for high numbers of links, but make them quality links. Link signals which are especially influential in local ranking are the anchor text used and the authority of the websites that the backlinks are coming from.

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How SEO Can Help Small Businesses Compete on Google Search

It is an obvious fact that small businesses do not have the financial resources of large national and international companies and that means that their marketing budgets are going to be much smaller too. This might suggest that the chances of smaller businesses being able to compete on Google for search traffic are slim, but thanks to SEO, that is definitely not the case. The first fact we need to outline is that when it comes to Google’s ranking algorithms it does not know how big a company is, how much profit it makes or how big its marketing budget is. When crawling that company’s website and analysing everything else that contributes to ranking the currency isn’t cents and dollars, it is links and optimisation. You could argue because of their substantial budgets large companies can afford to pay marketing teams or outsource to large agencies, and that is true. It is also the case that those resources will afford them the means to build up their backlinks, content and social media profiles quicker, and to a greater degree, than a small company that only operates in one city. However, it is also the case that larger companies tend to veer their marketing budget more towards paid advertising than small companies do, meaning that they often ignore many of the actions and optimisation that could improve their organic rankings. This often mean a small company with a properly optimised website and an ever-increasing number of backlinks, can outrank bigger companies, especially when it comes to ranking locally.

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How to Use Content to Improve Your Local SEO Ranking

Although many businesses have an online presence, and in theory, could have visitors to their website from anywhere in the world, most are only targeting an audience and customers in their local area. This is why having an SEO strategy for local rankings, rather than a global one, is so important. Countless time, energy and money are wasted by webmasters trying to get their website ranked for search terms and keywords which are generic. For example, they might try to target a term like ‘landscape gardener’ and so are competing with just about every other landscape gardener in the world and they wonder why they can’t rank for it. Instead if they focused on ranking for ‘landscape gardener in Anytown’, with Anytown being the neighbourhoods, towns or city they operate in, they would have far greater success. Not only that, this is where their customers live, so even if they could rank worldwide, a customer in London is hardly going to employ a landscape gardener based in Adelaide.

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What is local SEO?

Local SEO is one of the most important aspects to any small business looking to market their products and/or services to prospective customers close to their business premises or target customer region. Whether you are the local lawn mower man who only wants to mow lawns within 20 minutes of their home or business or a restaurant that wants to make sure that everyone within their vicinity knows about their business, local SEO will be important to you. Google My Business (GMB) Optimisation Any local business that has not yet had its GMB listing set up and optimised is severely compromised in terms of its website climbing the rankings. This is Google’s primary local business information tool, and if you want to have any chance of ranking in the coveted ‘Local 3-Pack’ at the very top of the ranking, it needs to be in place. Not only does it need to be in place, but the information within your GMB needs to be accurate and up to date. You will first have to claim your GMB listing, and this is a process that involves Google sending a confirmation code to your place of business via mail. Within your GMB listing, you have the opportunity to clearly outline information that describes your local business within a 750-character limit. This is a prime location in the sense that it could be one of the first contacts you have with potential customers, so make it count. You can also include information about your opening hours, answer questions about your business, and respond to reviews that have been left by existing customers. Local Business Citations Unknown to most business owners, there are literally hundreds of locations around the internet where you can list your business details and information. Every single one of these is noted by Google, and in most cases, that will mean a tick mark in the plus column of your website’s ranking score. Now, do not expect a flood of traffic just because you have a citation on a particular site or directory. This needs to be looked upon as something that is not especially exciting, but its cumulative effect is definitely desirable if you want good local SEO rankings. Some directories such as Yelp and Bing, are more powerful than others and these should be your first priority. Thereafter you want to have your business details on as many citation websites as possible and most local marketing agencies will provide this service for you. One especially important point, which a local SEO agency will ensure happens, is that every single citation must be consistent with all the others. That means every letter and number of your business name, address, and telephone number must match exactly.

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