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Why local SEO is important to your business

Why local SEO is important to your business

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local seoWhen creating your online strategy, the typical business owner can be forgiven for having visions of world domination, fuelled by the multitude of doors that the internet provides into the global market. However, for many businesses setting up shop on the web, their greatest advantage will be being able to consolidate their customer base in the local area which, realistically, is their bread and butter.

This can be done with a locally focused search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy, but what exactly is meant by the term ‘local SEO’ and how can it be achieved?

What is local SEO?

Local SEO essentially involves optimising your website so it appears in locally focused searches. With the prevalence of the smartphone, we have seen an increasing use of search engines to find out information related to local products, business and services while on the go. This has aligned with Google’s changes to the way it functions, with search results now tailored to include links to businesses in certain areas, depending on a user’s location.

For example, if one was to type in ‘best pizza takeaways’ while they were on holiday in Cornwall, by understanding their location, Google produces results that list pizza takeaway outlets in Cornwall, without the searcher even having to specify they are looking for results in that county.

This has intensified the battle to appear at the top of these ‘localised’ listings, and there are a number of ways in which this is achieved. Companies can register on Google Places for Business, which provides location and contact information as part of search results – this is often seen as a starting point for sound local SEO. A presence on Google+ Local is another step which should be considered, and you can reference keywords on a Google+ page to further optimise it.

Try to be consistent with the exact details of your address, wherever they are used across the net, and begin a campaign to encourage reviews, which are seen to be very effective in improving local SEO, in the same way that organic SEO also has the power to transport sites up the rankings.

If you have a number of branches to your local business, you should treat each as a separate entity and list them individually, as this is the way for them to gain prominence in search results. Maps are valued by Google, so you should try and include one in your ‘contact us’ section.

local seoWhy local SEO is important to your business
If you run a hotel, restaurant or any other establishment which targets physical business (as opposed to being an e-retailer), local SEO can be a crucial part of your marketing and give you the edge over your competitors. For this reason, in an age where Google is using location identification capabilities to ‘localise’ its search results, there is good cause to look for a specialist local SEO service which can develop a strategy with you hand in hand, keeping your overall business objectives in mind.

Take a seafood restaurant in Cornwall for instance. You might have a Michelin starred chef and be the talk of the town with residents, but for visitors not aware of your presence, search engine results are likely to be their reference point when assessing local dining options. It is becoming an almost non-negotiable element of marketing for businesses that rely on ‘walk in’ custom.

 

You should aim to tick off all the basics of local SEO detailed in the section above, before seeking out an expert to provide you with ideas for further boosting your positions.

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