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Local SEO for Local Businesses

We often refer to search engine optimisation (SEO) in rather all-inclusive terms; highlighting benefits such as the ability to reach a truly global audience and the advantage of superseding traditional geographic borders when marketing a specific product or service. However, it is just as important to examine the other side of the digital spectrum. Local SEO has become an increasingly prevalent tactic which businesses are employing to reach their target demographic and to generate customer loyalty. In other words, it might be time to “think small” as opposed to thinking big. Why do search engines look favourably upon this strategy? What tangible benefits can you enjoy as a result? How can creating locally relevant content drive sales and customer engagement? If you are still not convinced about the amenities of local SEO, the information below should shed some much-needed light upon the equation.

Familiarity and Human Nature

Would you drive one hour out of your way to find a product that is being offered at a store located ten minutes from your home? Unless you have suddenly developed an insatiable passion for wanderlust, the answer is clear. You are certainly not alone in this scenario. Studies have shown that up to 72 per cent of consumers prefer to visit retail outlets found within five miles of their location. Not only does this make perfect sense from a logistical point of view, but we need to keep in mind that they are more likely to return in the future; important in terms of customer loyalty.

Going with the Google Flow

Some of the previous articles curated by Textbroker have addressed the critical importance of keeping up to date with the latest Google algorithms. While this is obvious in terms of metrics such as keyword density and using the proper HTML, it is just as pertinent in regards to fulfilling local SEO stipulations. It is estimated that between 500 and 600 algorithmic updates occur on a yearly basis and many of these are now taking locally defined semantics into account. To put it simply, including this tactic within an ongoing marketing campaign will enable you to enjoy higher SERP (search engine results page) rankings.

The Smart Nature of Smartphones

Research indicates that more than 87 per cent of consumers will utilise their mobile phone to perform at least one online search every day. In fact, you could very well be reading this article on a smartphone or tablet at the moment! Not only are these devices extremely convenient, but we need to remember that they will often use your current location as a variable when presenting the most relevant answers to your query. Businesses which employ local SEO techniques are placing themselves in a position to rank higher; potentially within the first five search results. This is obviously important if you are hoping to proactively connect with a specific demographic.

Doing Away with the Brick-and-Mortar Mentality

While the advantages attributed to local SEO are quite clear when referring to physical establishments such as a retail outlet or a garage, what about the digital domain? Some business owners believe that such constraints do not apply to them due to the fact that their audience is entirely based within the ether of the online environment. This is a dangerous assumption to make.

We need to remember that online shoppers tend to embrace the very same habits that are employed when physically visiting a store. There are several reasons behind this mentality:

  • Shipping rates and fees tend to be lower.
  • Local enterprises are associated with a greater sense of transparency.
  • Contacting a customer support agent is more straightforward when compared to dealing with issues such as time zone differences.
  • In the event of a problem or query, they may still be able to visit the business in question.

Perhaps most importantly, potential clients are now more likely to include a local tag within a search query (such as “mechanics Knightsbridge” or “barbershop downtown Birmingham”. By associating your business with these locations, your website will inevitably enjoy a higher number of inbound hits. This naturally brings us to the next major point. How can you develop content that is capable of meeting and exceeding the latest local SEO guidelines?

Rising to the Top: Sure-Fire Local SEO Tips

The proverbial “heartbeat” of local SEO involves creating content that is engineered to address the needs of a specific demographic. Here is an example of locally driven SEO:

“Have you been less than satisfied with other construction firms in the past? If so, you will be happy to know that ABC Contracting serves Kingswood, Bath, Trowbridge, and the entire Bristol area.”

We can immediately see that the content has listed which areas it is able to service as well as the name of the company in question. Thus, users who perform an organic search such as “construction companies in Bath” are more likely to view this listing within the results page.

This is why embedding regions, towns and place names within content is critical. Other terms such as local attractions and major motorways can be used in the same manner so that Google can appropriately redirect the user query (hopefully to your website).

The Google “My Business” Page

One of the best ways to drive local customer engagement is to employ the Google My Business utility. By establishing an account and optimising the content found within this page, the location of your enterprise will be displayed on a map when a search query is performed. Not only does this provide you with an additional layer of transparency and digital “clout”, but smartphone users are more likely to visit a location that is clearly displayed in such a manner. Once again, you will be able to remain one step ahead of the competition.

Local Keyword Analyses

While all of the benefits mentioned above should be clear, there can still be times when you come to an impasse when selecting the most appropriate local keywords. The good news is that online tools such as the Google Keyword Planner and SpyFu will provide you with an in-depth analysis of the keywords employed by competitors found within your immediate area. You will be able to appreciate the most popular terms as well as those which are generating the greatest number of inbound hits. After all, there is nothing wrong with looking outside of the box in order to find additional inspiration.

The writers at Textbroker are extremely familiar with the importance of targeted SEO strategies and as always, they will be more than happy to create engaging content that resonates with your customers. Although the digital domain has led to a globally interconnected community, it still pays to think local.

About our author

Ron first arrived in Barcelona, Spain in 2007. Although initially pursuing a career in wealth management and finance, he learned that the content writing community provided the highest level of personal satisfaction while still being able to personally help clients. He has been a full-time professional writer since 2011. Some of his other interests include martial arts and bodybuilding.

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