Local SEO – An Introduction

Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is becoming a term that you are practically guaranteed to see if you do any research at all into an online marketing strategy. Rather than a single technique or discipline, however, SEO is a combination of tools and tips that can make it easy to lose your way when learning what to do. However, there are some aspects of SEO that are worth a little more focus in particular.

Local SEO is one of those aspects. Here, we’re going to look at what local SEO is, why it’s important for small, growing, and locally-based businesses, and how you can get started with the help of an SEO agency in Sydney CBD.

About SEO

SEO, or search engine optimisation or search engine marketing, is a practice that is all about making your website as friendly to search engines as possible. The purpose for this is that your website is more likely to feature on search engine results pages. As such, when a potential visitor or customer types in a search query that’s relevant to your website, it’s more likely to appear in the top results.

There is a wide range of different criteria that search engines such as Google use to determine who gets the top spot in SERPs. Keyword use, content relevant, site reliability, page speed and more are all relevant.

About Local SEO

Local SEO has the same aim and general purpose of SEO in general. However, it looks specifically at making your website rank highly in SERPs for search engine users in your neighbourhood, city, region, and general area. You can determine how specific or how wide an area you want to target with local SEO.

As is the case with SEO in general, making your website rank with local SEO is all about optimising factors such as content, keyword use, load speed, and more. The way that local SEO differs is that it tends to involve highlighting the location of the business tied to the site. This can mean using region-specific keywords, having a Google My Site page, getting your site on local directories and review pages, and more. 

As such, local SEO means you have to not only focus on search engine friendliness but also how relevant the site is to local visitors/customers.

Stats worth knowing about local SEO

Even if you’re already making use of SEO, it’s important to know the benefits of taking it local. If your website is tied to a business that locals can find physically, then it’s worth knowing, for instance, that over 90% of all business experiences online begin with a search engine query.

Furthermore, even if your business serves a geographically wide range of customers, local users may be more likely to convert. 40% of Google searches are looking specifically for local information, after all. You could be neglecting your strongest customer base without focusing on local users. This is made even more clear by the fact that over 70% of users who conduct a local search will then go visit a store within 5 miles of their location.

Local SEO isn’t just valuable right now. It’s becoming increasingly more valuable as time goes on as well. There are 900% more people performing “near me” searches in Google compared to two years ago. If the trend continues, then it won’t be long until the most local business is found through social media.

How local SEO benefits your business

If you’re not certain how the stats above make local SEO much more valuable to your business than is commonly thought, then let’s explore the specific benefits a little more closely. Bear in mind, this isn’t an exhaustive list, just some examples of why local SEO is, in fact, a critical part of any online marketing strategy:

  • Make your brand more visible locally: Google and other search engines are great for improving the visibility of a website/business. Local SEO targets a small base of customers, those who are in a specific area so that it’s easier to build the visibility that brings brand recognition (which can lead to clicks and conversions after.
  • People who visit your site are more likely to visit your store: Multi-channel marketing is becoming highly effective, evidenced by the success of brick and mortar retailers who have online sites vs. those who don’t. Because customers know your brand already thanks to their online experiences with it, they’re more likely to step inside, as well
  • It makes for better customer support, too: The customers who have been to your store in the past can benefit from the visibility that local SEO offers it, as well. It makes it easier for them to find your website, which is important if they are having any issues or have any questions that they could address through your customer support. As such, this can lead to better customer relationships and loyalty.
  • Create a better user experience: The primary aim of SEO is to raise the ranking of your pages in SERPs. However, many of the techniques done to achieve that, such as writing valuable content and improving website organisation and navigation, will also improve the experience of users who come to the website. This will make them all the more likely to support the business.
  • Be competitive on search enginesOther businesses, including local competitors, are increasingly likely to use local SEO as time goes on. Investing in it yourself is an effective way to make sure they’re not taking the visibility and traffic that should be yours.

Is local SEO right for you?

If your business goals include increasing online traffic, getting more visitors to the store, and increasing conversions, then local SEO is going to be a strategy worth taking a look at. For locally-based growing businesses, the boost of visibility that it can offer is not something to be underestimated.

Finding a local SEO agency that specialises in local SEO is going to make the journey much easier for you, as well.

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