Are you a small business owner looking to attract more local customers?
Then you need to prioritise local search engine optimisation (SEO).
Local SEO is the process of optimising your website and online presence to increase your visibility in local search results, such as when someone searches for “estate agent near me” or “fire safety services in Northamptonshire”.
Local SEO is essential for businesses that rely on local customers, such as restaurants, salons, doctors, and other service-based businesses. By optimising your website and online presence for local search queries, you can attract more targeted traffic, improve your search engine rankings, and ultimately drive more leads and sales.
In this beginner’s guide to local SEO, we’ll cover the basics of how local search works, as well as tips and strategies for optimising your website and online presence for local searches.
Whether you’re new to local SEO or looking to improve your existing efforts, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to get found locally.
We’ll be covering:
- Understanding the basics of local SEO
- Mastering Google My Business
- How to perform local keyword research
- Get your business listed in online directories
- Optimising your website for local searches
Understanding the basics of local SEO
Local SEO can seem intimidating at first, but at its core, it’s simply a way to help search engines understand where your business is located and what services or products you offer.
By providing clear and consistent information about your business across your website and online profiles, you can increase your chances of appearing in local search results.
Some of the key concepts of local SEO include:
- On-page optimisation: Optimising your website’s pages with local keywords and other signals that tell search engines where your business is located and what it offers.
- Local link building: Earning links from other local businesses and websites to help boost your local authority and visibility.
How to perform local keyword research
Keyword research is the process of identifying the search terms that people use to find businesses like yours online.
It’s important to focus on keywords that are relevant to your business and location. By focusing on your online presence for these local keywords, you can increase your chances of appearing in local search results.
To perform local keyword research, start by brainstorming a list of keywords that are relevant to your business and location. Then, use a keyword research tool to see how frequently these keywords are searched and how difficult they are to rank for.
Some key factors to consider when performing local keyword research include:
- Relevance: Are the keywords you’re targeting relevant to your business and location?
- Search volume: How many people are searching for these keywords each month?
- Competition: How difficult will it be to rank for these keywords in local search results?
- Intent: What is the searcher’s intent behind the keyword? Are they looking for a specific product or service?
Get your business listed in online directories
One key way to improve your local search visibility is by getting your business listed in online directories.
Online directories are websites that list businesses in specific categories, such as Yelp, Google My Business, and Yellow Pages. By listing your business in these directories, you can increase your online presence, improve your search engine rankings, and make it easier for local customers to find you.
To get your business listed in online directories, start by identifying the directories that are most relevant to your business and location. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you’ll want to be listed on popular food review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. If you’re a local service business, you’ll want to be listed on Google My Business and other local business directories.
Once you’ve identified the directories you want to be listed in, create a profile for your business that includes accurate and up-to-date information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and hours of operation. Be sure to include keywords that are relevant to your business and location to improve your chances of appearing in local search results.
Optimising your website for local searches
Optimising your website for local searches is an essential part of any local SEO strategy.
On-page optimisation strategies that are most effective for your local business include tactics such as optimising page titles and meta descriptions with local keywords. You’ll also want to include your city or region in your website’s title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags.
Consider creating location-specific landing pages that target local keywords and include information about your business’s location and services.
It’s also important to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more local searches are conducted on mobile devices.
By following these optimisation tips, you’ll be well on your way to improving your local search visibility and attracting more local customers to your business.