When you’re running a business in a country with over 5 million private sector businesses, you’re going to need to do what you can to stand out.
Lucky for you, local SEO can help you bring in more customers and grow your business.
If you’re new to the world of search engine optimization it may surprise you to learn that there are different types of SEO you can use. Most small business owners benefit from a mix of local SEO and organic SEO.
If you’re asking yourself the “what is local SEO” question, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about local SEO and some of the best ways to get started using it.
What Is Local SEO?
The term local SEO may sound complicated, but it’s actually a very simple SEO practice that ads a geographic component to search. When you practice local SEO, you’re optimizing your business’s online presence so that you show up in local search results.
Imagine doing a search for “pizza”. You may get results for pizza recipes, a Wikipedia entry on pizza, a few results for pizza restaurants by you, and maybe some popular news stories about pizza.
Now think about the results you would get if you search for “pizza West Sussex” or “pizza in West Sussex”. The first page of search results would show you all of the places you could get pizza in West Sussex.
If a user searches for a product or service along with a location, search engines will know to only show results close to the location.
Geotargeting has become so popular that most search engines will assume that searchers want local results automatically. If you do a search for something simple like “car repair”, you’ll probably see local results at the top of your search.
Organic SEO vs. Local SEO: What’s Better?
Some people with a little background in SEO also know about the importance of organic search results.
Think of organic SEO as every other kind of search result that isn’t tied to location. These results aren’t tied to paid campaigns or location-specific keywords.
The only real difference between organic SEO and local SEO is that one method focuses on geotargeted results and the other doesn’t.
Organic SEO uses the methods you’re familiar with. Backlinks, keywords, and proper tagging all play into organic SEO methods.
In fact, many of the methods you’ll use to improve local search will be similar to what you’d do to improve organic traffic. There will be a location component added to what you do.
One SEO method isn’t better than the other. In fact, both should be used to improve the business and rise in search results.
Simple Ways to Improve Local SEO
Now that you know the answer to the ‘what is local SEO’ question, we can go into some ways for you to improve your own local SEO.
It’s important to note that a professional SEO and digital marketing company can help you achieve the rankings you want in local and organic search. They’ll be able to dedicate the time and attention needed to help your business.
A professional digital marketing company can take you the extra mile, but for now, let’s focus on getting you started in the fundamentals of local search.
If you want to do something simple to boost your local search results, try any of these simple things.
Fill out Your Google My Business Page
If your business has a physical location and street address, you need to have a complete Google My Business profile.
Google My Business is a free tool for businesses to manage important information across search results. The information you have in here will go into search results, maps, and Google reviews.
You can optimize your profile with categories, contact information, pictures, and business hours. All of this information is very important to people searching for your business.
Simply having this profile filled out can do a lot to improve your visibility in search. If you need help getting started, Google has a handy guide that will help you claim your page and start filling out information.
Add Location Pages to Your Website
Business owners with multiple locations can use local SEO to their advantage. A simple way to benefit from local SEO is to add location-specific pages to your website.
Search engines crawl your website to find helpful information for searchers. When you add a specific landing page to your site for each of your locations, crawlers and search engines can easily find your listing and display it to the right people.
The landing page doesn’t have to be anything complicated. An extra page with pictures of the location, hours of operation, and a list of services can be enough to rank in Google.
And remember, if you do have multiple locations be sure to claim Google My Business profiles for each one for an added local boost.
Put Location Specific Keywords in Content
Keywords still play an important role in SEO. You don’t have to rethink your entire keyword and SEO strategy to benefit from local search. Instead of rewriting your content, add locations to your keywords.
Adding location names to your keywords, especially in prominent areas like H1s and titles, can do a lot to improve SEO.
Be sure to be as specific as possible when you’re adding location-based keywords. Adding specific districts or even common nicknames can help you improve local search.
You already know the answer to “what is local SEO” question, but now you need someone that can build you a solid local SEO strategy.
We’re here to help business owners of all sizes improve their digital marketing practices. Contact us today so we can work on putting together a marketing plan that works for your needs.
In the meantime, educate yourself on proper digital marketing practices with our blog. Are you interested in content marketing? Check out our post on the eight benefits of content marketing so you can learn why many people use it.