What is Local Search Optimisation?
Local search engine optimisation (Local SEO), is a strategy for local businesses looking to increase their visibility in search engines, reach more local customers and earn revenue.
It is an affordable option for small business looking to build their profile in their immediate service area and make it easier for customers to find you.
Without local SEO, your business could miss out on some of your most qualified traffic, and in turn, miss out on sales.
Why You Need Local SEO
Local SEO helps potential customers discover your business. A lot of local searches originate from non-locals who are searching for a business like yours, and with local SEO done right, your business can capture that audience.
Local SEO provides potential customers the information that they want, when they want it. For example, if your restaurant has free WiFi or is pet-friendly, displaying that information as part of your local SEO will attract customers who are looking for just that.
Even if your business does not have a website, local SEO helps your business stand out in local searches and helps drive more traffic through online leads.
76% of people who performed a local search ended up calling or visiting the business. Local search optimisation provides potential customers with the power to take this action, and this in turn provides your business with a qualified lead that you can convert.
Local SEO helps drive people’s decisions in favour of your business. The more data they have about your business, the more trustworthy you are in their eyes. This lays a strong foundation upon which you can build a mutually beneficial customer relationship.
Are you doing everything you can to help customers find you?
Surprisingly, up to 40% of businesses have not claimed their free Google My Business listing or do not keep their business details up to date, an important factor to winning with Local SEO.
How Does Local SEO Work?
If your business doesn’t appear in online search results for relevant searches in your area, then you need to improve your information.
There are several ways to improve your information and boost your Local SEO, including claiming and optimising a free Google My Business listing (to show up in search, on maps and other Google properties), get listed on business directories and manage customer reviews.
Get More Business
Local businesses can improve traffic to their website and get more customers through their physical stores via showing in the knowledge panel and local pack or 3-pack.
The knowledge panel is the information card that shows on the right-hand site of a results page for a relevant local search. This includes maps, Question and Answer sections and other features.
The knowledge panel contains important information to help you customers find you. On mobile it can be the first information potential customers see about you.
Did you know:
- 97 percent of consumers look online for local businesses.
- 50 percent of people who did a local search on their phone went to a physical store within one day.
- 78 percent of local-based searches on a mobile device end in purchases being made offline
Three Pack or Local Pack
The three pack is the block of three business listings that appear below the map in the results displayed after a Google search with local intent. The local pack can appear anywhere in the search results on the left side of the page.
Your Public Identity on Google
The information source for the knowledge panel and local pack is managed via a free Google My Business (GMB) account. This is your public identity on Google. You can have this, even if you don’t have a website.
A big part of succeeding with local SEO is keeping your GMB profile as up-to-date and accurate as possible, so that it has a higher chance of appearing in the local pack, and is deemed trustworthy, attractive and appealing enough to warrant a click.
Google wants to make sure they are providing accurate information so keeping your information up-to-date is important.
Did you Know:
- 93% of consumers say they are frustrated by incorrect information online
- 80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online
(Source: Local Citations Trust Report 2018)
How Google Determines Your Local Rank
Local ranking is determined a little differently than website search results. Local results are based on relevance, proximity and prominence to the searcher. These factors are combined to help find the best match for a local search.
- Proximity: How close is your business to the searcher?
- Relevance: How relevant to the search query are your products and services?
- Prominence: What do other consumers say about your products and services?
There’s no way to request or pay for a better local ranking in Google search results.
Among the best ways for your business to improve the chance of being found in local search is to improve and manage your information. Specifically:
- Enter complete data
- Verify locations
- Keep information accurate, such as Name Address Phone (NAP) and directory listings
- Manage and respond to reviews
- Add photos to your GMB listing
The challenge for your business is to know how to effectively optimise for local search intent, find the time to keep your information up to date and respond to reviews or other interactions with your listing.
How We Help Manage Your Local SEO
Managed Local SEO from White Chalk Road can:
- Help you claim your free Google My Business listing (if you haven’t already)
- Optimise your listing so it is easily found for relevant local searches
- Build citations and directory listings about your business
- Respond to reviews
- Keep your listings and business information up-to-date
- Upload pictues, offers and short posts to keep your business fresh in local search
- Provide regular reporting
- And more
Take advantage of our 12-month economical local SEO service for small businesses with less than three locations or find out more about local SEO optimisation as part of full website SEO services.