Local SEO: The Complete Guide

Paul Gregory

If you run a business that serves your local community and aren’t investing in local SEO, now’s the time to start!

In today’s digital landscape, it’s crucial for businesses to not only have a strong online presence but also cater to their local customer base. That’s where local SEO comes into play. Whether you’re a small brick-and-mortar store, coffee shop, local service provider or a multi-location enterprise, harnessing the power of local SEO can help you dominate search engine results and connect with customers in your specific geographic area.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of local SEO, from understanding its significance to implementing effective strategies that will put your business on the map. Get ready to unlock the potential of local SEO and watch your local customer base grow.

Local SEO basics: What is it and why is it important?

Local SEO refers to the strategic approach of enhancing your online visibility to attract more customers from local search queries. While these searches can occur on various search engines, local SEO primarily focuses on Google as 76% of global searches are made there. The goal is to ensure that your business appears prominently in search results when users in your specific geographical area are seeking products or services similar to what you offer. By implementing local SEO strategies, you can increase your chances of capturing local customers and driving more foot traffic to your physical location.

Keyword research for local SEO

If you have an online presence, it’s likely that you’ll already be familiar with keyword research. Put simply, keyword research is the process of understanding the search terms your target audience is using, the search volume for those terms, and how they want to see the information in search results. It is an essential component of a comprehensive SEO strategy as it helps you focus your marketing efforts on keywords that will drive relevant organic traffic to your website.

Local keyword research on the other hand, is tailored to your local target market. With a significant percentage of searches being local in nature, it’s crucial to align your keyword research with specific cities, neighbourhoods or post codes. By conducting local keyword research, you gain insights into how your local audience searches for your business, enabling you to strategically optimise your website’s pages to align with their searches. Local search results often feature the Local Pack (Map Pack) and local organic search results, making it important to optimise your Google My Business listing and on-page elements to increase visibility in local searches.

Keyword Research

The process of conducting local SEO keyword research may seem daunting, but with the right tips and tricks, it becomes much more manageable. Firstly, it’s important to understand your target audience and their goals, asking questions specific to your business to gain insights. Next, you can generate seed keywords based on these insights and input them into search engines or keyword research tools to understand the search landscape. Analysing search volume, keyword difficulty, and related keywords will help you determine the best keywords to target. For local keyword research, consider incorporating location-specific terms into your keywords.

Finally, optimising your web pages by incorporating target keywords into title tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags, URLs, content, and image alt text helps improve your chances of ranking in local search results. By following these steps, you can effectively implement local keyword research and enhance your local SEO strategy.

Local SEO tools and management

Without the right tools, it’s impossible to conduct successful keyword research, list your business effectively and track your progress efficiently. Investing in advanced tools is a sure-fire way to boost your local SEO efforts and put yourself in a strong position to grow. We’ve listed a few of the best tools around that cover everything from listing management to position tracking, so you’ll have everything you need to grow your business, at your fingertips.

  • Semrush Listing Management Tool

Semrush offers a fantastic listing management tool which enables you to list your business in the top directories across the globe and manage your listings, all in one place. Not only that, the tool enables you to see how you’re ranking in different locations; helping you to identify gaps in your content where you have perhaps missed an opportunity to include a keyword specific town or city.

  • Semrush Position Tracking Tool

Tracking your position within the SERP rankings is absolutely paramount to keeping up your SEO efforts. Semrush offers a fantastic position tracking tool which enables businesses to discover key competitors, set alerts if rankings drop for specific keywords and automate reporting amongst other things.

  • Google My Business

If you haven’t already created a Google My Business page, what are you thinking? Considering that the likelihood of your business appearing in the top 3 local results on Google Maps is increased simply by creating a Google My Business page, it’s crucial that you do this sooner rather than later.

Content for local SEO

Ensuring that your website content is optimised for local search results is absolutely crucial to your businesses’ success. Be sure to implement your keyword research into your content strategy by crafting articles and blog posts that include your target keywords and are relevant to your users’ search intent. More often than not with local SEO, users will be actively searching for a product or service that they need within a specific timeframe. Users will enter terms such as ‘pizza delivery near me’ or ‘best coffee shop in XX’, so be sure to target these users with articles that will be relevant and valuable to them.

Additionally, by incorporating your local target keywords into SEO page titles, URLs, H1 tags and meta descriptions, you’ll improve your rankings once again. When crafting titles and meta descriptions, it’s key that you focus on the reader above anything else! There’s no point stuffing tons of keywords into a sentence that makes no sense at all, is there?! Instead, write engaging and descriptive text that instantly tells users what your page is about and why they should click on it over any other.

Now you should have enough knowledge to get stuck in to local SEO and drive growth but your brand! But if you feel you need a helping hand, we’re here to help. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team who are passionate about driving tangible results for great brands!

Paul Gregory

SEO Manager

When Paul isn’t executing expert SEO strategies, you’ll find him rapping along to Warren G and showing off his skills on Football Manager ⚽️

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