Local SEO is a powerful tool for almost any business; however, it is an aspect of SEO that is often neglected. When neglected the potential of a large amount of traffic being sent to your website is lost. Why is local SEO so important?
- 46% of searches on Google have “local” intent
- 76% of consumers that Google for something on their smartphone will visit a store that same day
Not convinced about local SEO yet? Just think of the last search you did. Did you notice the local pack in your search results?
Google doesn’t just prioritise local search results. The local pack for even a broad term like “digital marketing agency” takes up the whole above-the-fold space of the first-page search results. This means that to even see any results that are not location-based, you will have to scroll down on the page.
How Does Local SEO Work?
Local SEO works a lot like normal SEO, the only exception being, that you are going to use your location and the location of searchers to position yourself. The main difference with local SEO is that Google makes use of many other factors to rank local results.
What are the local SEO ranking factors?
- The location of the searcher (potential customer)
- NAP citations
- Your Google My Business Listing (if you have one)
- The use of keywords in your Google My Business profile
- Google reviews
- Keywords used in Google reviews
- Your Google Maps Star Rating
Google My Business for local SEO
Google clearly understands the power of local SEO and for that very reason, they have created the tools you need to make your mark in the local space, even if you don’t have a website (you should have a website, it’s 2021). Google My Business is the perfect way to start your local SEO efforts.
Just like websites, not all Google My Business listings are created equally. There are many things that can be done to a Google My Business Profile to optimise your listing. This optimisation will give you the best possible chance of appearing in the search results when someone is looking for your products or services.
Step one would be to claim your Google My Business listing. This can be a bit of a mission in South Africa because of our postal service, but the sooner you get the process started the sooner you will claim your GMB listing.
Also, make sure to be consistent with the NAPs (name, address, and phone number) that you use on your GMB listing. The name, address, and phone number should not only match the information on your own website, but They should also match on other platforms where NAP might appear. Examples of these platforms and pages include a Facebook page, Linkedin page or Yelp listing.
Make sure to complete your GMB profile. We cannot stress this enough. It is so important that Google provides you with a score based on how complete your profile is. The closer you can get that score to 100%, the better it will be for your local SEO.
Local SEO Packages
In many cases, business owners simply need help with their local SEO as they don’t have the time that is needed to do it themselves. Creating, optimising, and doing the keyword research for a Google My Business Listing profile alone, can be a time-consuming process that many businesses don’t have the resources for.
That is where local SEO packages come in.
SEO Packages are commonplace in digital marketing; however, they often lack the finer details that could be specific to the SEO needs of a business. Local SEO packages are generally more of a once-off exercise to ensure that local SEO groundwork is professionally done.
The most basic local SEO package will create, claim, and/or optimise your Google My Business Listing for you (this will include keyword research). Intermediate local SEO packages will generally also include helping you to target local search keywords with your website. Advanced local SEO packages will do all of the above, but also help you get reviews from your customers (the holy grail of local SEO).