Local SEO Overview
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process of structuring a website and the content on it onto a format that search engines such as Google want to see. A well-optimised site will rank more highly in the search engine results and will also attract additional traffic through sources such as social media and links from other related websites.
SEO can be split into two main areas:
- Global SEO (receiving increased visibility in the world-wide rankings)
- Local SEO (receiving increased visibility in the local rankings).
Both can exist side-by-side but generally a business will choose to concentrate on one over the other depending upon what sort of market it operates in.
A Global SEO strategy is best operated by businesses who sell their goods and services to a world-wide (or national) market, whereas a Local SEO strategy should be chosen by those businesses whose clients and customers come primarily from their own local area.
We specialise in Local SEO, ensuring that your business appears at the top of the search results when a local search query is made. If you have a business and want to be found in the local search engine results we can help you to achieve this.
However if you’d prefer to do it yourself check out our guide to Local SEO Basics for a comprehensive primer in how to get your head in front of your local competition.
What is Local SEO?
When search engines first came into being in the 1990s they ranked websites on a global basis. This was fine in the beginning, but over time as more and more people came online it became obvious that many hundreds of millions of daily searches were being made by people looking for a variety of goods and services that were being offered in their local area.
It didn’t take long for the search engines to adapt and as a result they began to include local results in their listings.
Local search engine listings bring up results based upon geographical location and relevant search keywords, and each business listed will have been optimised to take advantage of these. Today the local listings feature heavily in search results.
Businesses which only operate in their own geographic area rather than to a worldwide audience are able to take advantage of this by becoming more visible to potential customers who live on their own doorstep.
Conversely, businesses which don’t embrace this opportunity will continue to remain invisible to searchers and will lose out on the potential to gain many new customers every month, as searchers are increasingly turning to the local results to help them to find what they’re looking for.
For the majority of businesses new customers are vital unless they have a number of regular customers upon whom they can rely. If this is not the case then attracting fresh customers is essential, and maintaining a position at the top of the local search engine rankings can help them to achieve this.
The Benefits of Local SEO
When people search for goods and services on the Internet they are nowadays more and more often looking for local businesses. The major search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo!) all now offer local search results in addition to their worldwide listings, and these give businesses the opportunity to present themselves to an audience of potential customers right on their own doorstep.
The graphic on the right shows the amount of first page space given to local queries in search results in 2014, but it is generally accepted that these percentages are growing every year as more importance is placed on local search by the major search engines.
As you can see Google leads the way in this area with over half of their search results being given over to local businesses and local queries at the expense of the larger websites, but both Bing and Yahoo are catching up and this trend is only likely to continue to grow in the foreseeable future.
In today’s world where the internet is the first port of call for buyers it is extremely important to have a very strong local web presence. The time when people turned to the phone book to find local businesses is long gone, and so it makes sense to use the local search results to attract their attention.
If you offer services or products to people in your area, and particularly if you have a business that requires your customers to visit your premises, then it is very important that your website has a good ranking for local searches. A properly applied Local SEO campaign enhances visibility by streamlining a website to get it to rank in the local search results.
Studies have shown that:
- 75% of searchers never scroll past the first page of search engine results, including the local listings (Hubspot)
- 88 percent of smartphone users and 84 percent of tablet owners conduct local searches (Search Engine Land)
- 50% of mobile searchers will visit a store after clicking a local result (Search Engine Watch)
- almost 80% of mobile searchers will end up making a purchase (Search Engine Watch)
In the light of these statistics any business which doesn’t take advantage of this opportunity to maximise its local presence could be missing out on a large number of new customers every month.
How Local SEO can benefit you
You have a website. It’s functioning well and it represents your business admirably. It states who you are, where you are, what you do and how to contact you. Maybe it has other content on it such as articles, pictures or videos that describe the services you offer in fuller detail, and perhaps a blog, or links to your Facebook, Twitter and other social accounts if you have those.
But is your website working for you properly? Does it set you apart from your competitors? How are people finding it? Do your customers or potential customers know about it? Do they visit it, do they engage with you through it, and has it brought you extra business?
Many businesses that have a website tend to keep it more or less as an online brochure rather than using it as an asset to promote their brand. This is fine for some businesses, but for others it represents a missed opportunity. What is your website for? Is it to gain more customers? More leads? More visibility? Is it an additional arm of your company that pays its own way?
If you don’t know the answer to some or most of these questions, and your business operates in a local area, then you would benefit from optimising your website for local search. It’s never too late to rectify any situation, and our Local SEO service can massively improve the value and benefits of your business website.
The benefits to your business are:
- Ranking your website on the first page of Google’s local search results
- Attracting more visitors to your website
- Receiving more visitors to your office or store
- Converting more visitors to leads and sales
- Greater exposure for your business
- Boosting traffic from both search engine results and other sources
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. In today’s increasingly competitive world you need an effective Local SEO strategy in place in order to beat off your competitors. We are a very friendly and helpful agency who can help you to transform and grow your business by making your website more visible and gaining you new local customers and clients. If you take advantage of our focus and expertise to enhance the visibility of your business in the local search results you will find it an investment well made. Take the next step now and let us put you on the right path to a more profitable and successful future.
|To find out more please contact us or take a few minutes to fill in our Local SEO Questionnaire to arrange a no-obligation meeting to discuss how we can help you.|