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Local SEO: How it Can Help Your Small Business

Melissa Clarke, Freelance Digital Marketing Specialist, Sydney

9 December 2019

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is something you’ll hear just about everyone talking about these days when you want to figure out how to build your business. In the information age it’s never been more important to rank on the first page of Google, but is that always the case? Are there actually very few searches where it matters where you rank, and a handful that are absolutely vital? To answer these questions we need to go local.

What is Local SEO?

Imagine you’re a plumber looking to get more leads. It doesn’t really help you if people from all over the country can find you, because all you want are a lot of leads in your hometown. This is where local SEO comes into its own. It’s the technique you need to master if you want to attract customers who live in the same city, neighbourhood, or even street.

 

Local search is a key SEO strategy for any small business working to a specific geographical service area.

What are the Benefits of Local SEO?

Here’s 5 key ways local SEO will really allow your business to take off:

  • You can compete with national and international brands by hyper targeted your local area, and nowhere else
  • It’s a truly cost effective way to advertise to the people in your local community
  • Local SEO will build your online reputation as a local expert
  • Reaching new markets will get a lot easier when you appear in far more relevant search results
  • Increased traffic to your site will result in more local business, meaning less money spent advertising and traveling further afield for work

 

“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ – it’s aboout ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic’.” Adam Audette, SVP at Merkle

What are the Components of a Local SEO Strategy?

Local SEO is a highly specialist technique, which means there’s no substitute for partnering with an expert to put your business in the spotlight. Here are the key building blocks that will allow you to direct the entire local community to your business:

  • Local Search Keywords: If you want to localise your content, you need to localise your keywords. This can be as simple as adding a place name or region to your keywords, giving you phrases like ‘Adelaide expert plumbing contractor’ to embed in your text.
  • Google My Business: Every business should have a profile on Google My Business, so why delay setting one up? It will make you more visible to users and search engines, which in turn will strengthen your local reputation.
  • Local 3-Pack: If you want to appear more visible, getting into the picture based listings Google highlights near the top of the results page is the way to go. It’ll allow you to display key information like location and opening hours.
  • Google Reviews: Everyone takes notice of reviews, especially when they’re approaching a small business. By being proactive in asking happy customers to post a review, you can further strengthen your reputation in the local area.
  • Schema: This is a specialist technique where you can have an expert add little sections of code to your site’s HTML information. The idea being that this will help search engines display your page for highly targeted local searches.
  • Build a Trust Pilot Rating: There are plenty of other review sites where people can post on. Make use of them and harness the localised content users are likely to include in their reviews.
  • Combine SEO with Social Media: Many businesses forget that they can use social media as part of their SEO strategy. By creating a localised hashtag you can make it clear to everyone you are open for business in their local area.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve heard all about the benefits of local SEO, it’s time to start putting these hints and tips into practice. Whether you decide to make a start on your own, or consult an expert is up to you, just make sure you identify the key things your business can offer customers in your local area. Once you do that, you’ll be able to get your message out there a lot faster than you might think.

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