3 Simple Steps to Local SEO for Beginners
Following our recent ‘Beginners Guide to SEO’, we wanted to follow up and explore the topic more, featuring some Local SEO insights from our team of expert digital marketers.
Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google.
As consumers, we have all been there – asking Google for a coffee shop near me or the nearest petrol station before we become stranded in the middle of nowhere with no fuel or sense of direction. Let’s be honest, do we ever use that road map that our parents convinced us to always keep in the glove box in case we get lost – not when we can quickly ask Google where to go!
This demand has made local SEO even more essential. Our generation has become completely dependent on search engines to give us clear recommendations of local search results relevant to our search terms, relying on important information such as location, radius, ratings and business information. So what does this mean for small, local businesses?
As a local business, achieving great visibility online has never been more important for sustained growth and success. In fact, it has been reported that 46% of all Google searches are people looking for local information and that 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local business information, meaning that if your business isn’t positioned well to your potential customers, this traffic will be going to one of your competitors. And for this reason, it is critical that you put in place a solid local SEO strategy.
Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO. If you search Google for any important keywords related to your business and a map with 3 listings appears (also known as a map pack), then local SEO can help you grow your business and here’s how to get started:
Google.com is the world’s most viewed website, with over 3.5 billion searches every day – so there is no surprise that the perfect place to start your local SEO journey.
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to take charge of the way your business appears on Google Search and Maps. By setting up a Business Profile, you can connect with customers, add your business’s information, upload photos and showcase reviews right in the search results.
Even if you’re a complete beginner- setting up your business profile is simple and can be done via the Google My Business desktop or app versions. Once you have created your page and verified your profile, you then need to establish the most relevant category for your business.
In terms of SEO, choosing this category is like choosing your site’s main target keyword that describes your product or service. For example, if you are a fully integrated creative agency like us, you could choose – Creative Agency, Digital Marketing, Website Design, Website Development or Brand Strategy.
Once set up, there are tons of ways to further optimise your business listing – continuously updating the details on your profile, adding posts and photos will ensure you remain relevant and appreciated by potential customers searching online, as it could help answer some of their questions or concerns about choosing your business.
As we mentioned in our ‘Beginners Guide to SEO’, Search Engine Optimisation must begin with a deep dive into keyword research. Utilising online tools, researching competitors and refining your relevant keyword list is key to getting the most out of your SEO strategy.
When it comes to local SEO, you must focus on long-tail keywords which are search terms and phrases that include local place names or landmarks close to your business. Like us, your business may be located in the beautiful, rural Yorkshire countryside but your client base may extend to the rest of the UK and beyond, so it’s important your SEO strategy is tailored to cater to all of your target audiences. For example, Fishtank Agency is based in Mirfield, however, we can utilise long-tail keywords throughout our content, page titles and meta-descriptions to target specific local search terms such as digital marketing services Huddersfield, design agency Wakefield or digital agency Yorkshire.
SEO requires continuous monitoring and optimisation to ensure your website remains relevant and visible to your audience. Targeted keywords need to be regularly assessed and content must be updated on an ongoing basis to ensure your SEO strategy is effective and relevant at all times. There are many intuitive tools out there to help maximise your impact and tailor your local SEO strategy such as; Google Search Console, Google Trends, SEMrush and Answer The Public.
Local Link Building
So, you’ve created your profile on Google My Business, optimised your platform for SEO, and have planned to continuously update your content and metadata. How else can you ensure you’re on track with your SEO strategy?
With Google’s freshest algorithm rewarding the sites with more backlinks, it’s important to implement local link building as part of your SEO strategy – this will help you receive higher local rankings. Building links is one of the many tactics used in search engine optimisation as links signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation.
To summarise, the basics of link building come down to simply making connections.
Can you make connections in your local community and in turn receive links from other websites? Think outside the box and maximise reach to surrounding areas where your potential customers may be based – for example, at Fishtank Agency we may nurture relationships with partnering companies in Huddersfield, Wakefield and other surrounding areas even though our office is based in Mirfield.
Can you create content that other sites in your niche will want to link to?
Getting linked-to from local blogs, neighbouring businesses, or other websites about your specific niche or industry could go a long way in boosting your SEO and localising your search rankings.
Need help with your SEO Strategy?
Running a business is tough – you can often find yourself spinning plates and prioritising physical customers over driving new business and losing sight of future growth. Having a helping hand with your local SEO strategy not only allows you to focus on the customers in front of you but also helps to generate new business without taking time away from what matters most.
Our expert team of Digital Marketers are dedicated to driving results and committed to optimising your brand’s success. Managing your website’s position in search can be a laborious task especially if digital marketing isn’t something you keep up to date with! Well, thankfully you’re in luck! It is our job to keep up with Google algorithms’ updates, ensure your website is built to the highest SEO standards and update content that performs amazingly in search.
We promise we’re approachable…chat to our friendly team of professionals over a good old Yorkshire brew – we will be happy to help and guide you to maximise your brand’s success and optimise your online presence… And although cookies are becoming a thing of the past, we might even offer you a cheeky biscuit too!