What is Local SEO?

2 July 2019

Local SEO is the practice of optimising your website to reach more customers in your local area. It is beneficial to any small to medium single or multi-site business or chain which deals directly with customers at a physical store location or services a specific, targeted area.

It is utilising best practice to put your website at the forefront of unpaid organic search engine or Google Maps search results. Local SEO is a more geographically specific form of SEO meaning as well as using relevant product and/or service specific keywords, you will need to give reference to the location or locations you service.

Local search results

Local SEO not only reaches potential clients living or working within your service area but visitors to the area or people passing through, using ‘near me’ searches.

The results of a local search can be displayed as an organic listing ranked in order of relevance to the search query or in the Google ‘local pack’. The Local Pack lists 3 businesses with snippets of information from their Google My Business listings and options to go to the website, make a phone call or get directions.

Google localised results vs Google local pack

Local SEO tools

To improve your visibility in local searches there are a number of platforms you can utilise including Google My Business, Yellow Pages, Yelp etc.

Some of the available options are free to use so the only cost is that it will take a little of your time. A great place to start is with Google My Business. It is free and you can really promote your business with all the information you can enter on your GMB listing.

As well as the standard name, address, and phone number, you can list your trading hours, the services you provide and / or the products you sell, customer reviews, questions and answers, photos, videos, posts and calls to action.

Calls to action can include links to your website to ‘learn more’, ‘contact us’ or make bookings, calls or messages. It is important to constantly check your listings to ensure that your information is accurate, up to date and relative and to keep up with changes to the platforms and tools you are using to market your business.

Example of a Google My Business listing

Desired outcomes

The desired outcome of local SEO is to have your business found and noticed by potential new customers and to make it easy for past customers to remember and find you again.

It is not a quick fix or one-off practice but an ongoing endeavour to get your brand and services known and recognised as authoritative and reputable within your area resulting in business growth for you.

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