Local SEO is an important part of search engine optimisation, and often businesses aren’t aware of what it is, or its benefits for businesses looking to be found online. While SEO is essential for almost every website, local SEO has specific benefits for certain business types, and should be a priority when making optimisations to gain exposure online. In this article, we’ll take a look at the question; ‘what kind of businesses need local SEO?’.
What is Local SEO?
Before we look at the details of what kind of businesses need local SEO, let’s take a brief look at what local SEO is.
Local SEO, much like national SEO, involves the optimisation of both on-page and off-page factors. The process is essentially the same, but is focused on businesses that gain much of their business from local searches. A local search would be classified as a search for a business or service that would be expected to be within a certain geographic location, usually the town, city or county that the user making the search is based.
what kind of businesses need local SEO?
Example categories of businesses needing local SEO would be physical high street shops and mobile services such as plumbers, electricians and decorators. These businesses rely on custom in their local area as a main source of income. They therefore benefit from Google searches such as ‘plumber near me’ or ‘website designer in Blackpool‘. There are some exceptions however. For example, a local shop may also sell products online, so would need to incorporate a national SEO strategy.
Local SEO Example
A decorating business based in Lancashire, would usually only want customers within that county. Some larger firms may have the infrastructure to offer the service nationally, but generally a decorating service would travel only within their local area.
Therefore, when customers in the county search for a decorating service, whether they mention Lancashire or not, that businesses needs to appear on search engines. A potential customer may search for ‘decorator near me’, ‘best Lancashire decorating firm’ or ‘decorator in Lancashire’ as examples.
How Local SEO Works
Over recent years, Google searches on mobile devices have overtaken desktop searches in volume. It’s easy to grab a mobile phone and make a quick search, especially when customers are away from their home and looking for a service or shop close to their location.
Google takes multiple factors into account when establishing a business’ location and the area they serve. The search engine also looks at services provided and the feedback from customers, usually in the form of reviews.
A local business can appear both in regular search results and in Google’s Business Profile listings. These listings display at the top of the search results when a local search is made, showcasing ‘the best’ local businesses for the search. Factors considered are; the location of the business in relation to the user making the search, time in business, services offered and feedback from customers. Google Business Profiles include Google Reviews which play a key role in how these local listings rank in search.
How can I improve local SEO for my business?
While it’s recommended that a long term SEO strategy is implemented, to secure high rankings in both organic search and Google’s Business Profile listings, there are certain things a business can do to help their presence online. Here’s some tips to get you started with local SEO for your business.
Website contact information
For Google to be able to offer your website in organic search results for a local search, it needs to know where the business is based. It’s important to include your business address on your website. At the very least, this should be on the contact page, but it is also common to add the address site-wide in the website footer. Include as much information as possible, including contact number, email address and any social media profiles.
Google Business Profile
If you haven’t already got a Google Business Profile, formally known as a Google My Business listing, it’s essential that you have one. The business profile is free, so follow the quick sign-up process and you’ll soon have access to your business dashboard. Here you can add business information, as much as you possibly can to provide useful information to a potential customer.
Add your business address, even if you don’t offer your service from your location, along with all other contact details, photos, website address, services and hours of operation.
Once your business profile is complete and active, it’s important to collect as many genuine customer reviews as possible. These help to increase the presence of your listing, while demonstrating your high level of customer service to viewers. Once you receive a review, take the time to leave a quick reply.
what kind of businesses need local SEO – Conclusion
Local SEO is an important part of marketing for any business that offers products or services primarily in their local area. While it’s a good idea to use a professional local SEO service, there’s a certain amount of optimisations that can be carried out by you, to get started in ranking higher for local searches.