What is local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)?
Local SEO is essentially the practice of optimising your online presence so that you appear in the top positions for searches that relate to a specific geographic area that you operate in.
With local search terms you are more likely to see “blended” results including maps and place listings etc. I have shown these blended results in action below in a search I did for “restaurants in Peterborough”.
Why is local SEO important?
Whether it’s people searching for directions, nearby products or services, reviews etc. it turns out that 1 out every 5 searches is location related. That is pretty huge seeing as there are over 5 billion searches everyday on Google, so over a billion searches every single day are looking for something in a specific location.
Mobile, mobile, mobile… did I mention mobile?
Did you know that ‘search’ is the top activity people carry out on their smartphones?
73% of UK smartphone owners use their phones to search for information and over half of those people search on a daily basis!
If that is not enough to convince you, what about if I told you 4 out of 5 people use their phone to search for LOCAL information and then 1 in 3 went on to make a purchase?
What are the advantages of local SEO?
One of the major advantages of following a local SEO strategy rather than a national SEO strategy is that you are narrowing down your competition enormously, meaning your chances of appearing higher in search engine results increase (for the location you have optimised for).
If you have done your local SEO well you can even ‘outrank’ big national or even global companies for local search terms. (This is something I was asked by a potential client just recently and they were very surprised to hear that this was a possibility for them.)
Although nothing is a guarantee, another advantage of local SEO is that due to the lessened competition, it is likely that you will get faster results. Who can complain at that?
So should you choose a local SEO strategy?
Obviously, whether or not you choose a local SEO strategy is dependent on the type of business you own. This sort of approach would be much better suited to businesses that have physical locations and operate within a concentrated area.
If you’re still not sure, some examples of businesses I would recommend a local SEO strategy to would be: medical practices, dental surgeries, car garages, beauty salons etc. The list goes on but you get the idea.
So, if you fall into this category you are probably going to get much better results by having a local SEO strategy. Also you should definitely keep an eye out for my next blog (shameless plug) where I will run through some of the key things you should do to better optimise your local online presence.