When so many people are Googling things all the time (2 trillion searches a year, apparently!) it can seem almost impossible to get in front of the right person at the right time. With local SEO it’s possible. This is how to use it for your small business.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is exactly what it sounds like – optimising your website for local search results. In other words, targeting potential customers who are actively looking for businesses that are nearby rather than online platforms they can shop from anywhere.
Who can benefit from local SEO?
Any business that wants local customers can benefit from local SEO. It’s particularly great for bricks-and-mortar businesses, whether they’ve recently opened up again after lockdown or they’re offering a pick-up service. It’s more targeted than general SEO, giving your target customers the ability to buy or find essential information with very little effort.
You need a Google My Business page
When someone searches ‘x business near me’ the very top results – above organic results – will be from Google My Business, so it’s really important to claim or create your page and use it well. Your Google My Business page should include:
- Images (outside and inside the building, products, services…)
- Opening times
- Contact details
- Business Category
- Individual services/products
- Website address
When your Google My Business page is optimised and complete, you can start collecting Google reviews, questions that both you and your current customers can answer, appear on Google Maps results, and let customers know how you’re adapting to COVID-19.
Optimise your ‘Service in Locations’ keywords
Examples of ‘Service in Locations’ keywords (or SiL keywords) include ‘coffee shop in Manchester’ or ‘electrician in Liverpool’. This is most likely what your potential customers are going to be searching when they know what they want. You can use a keyword explorer to find out how many people are searching and then optimise the content on your site appropriately.
Keep your content strategy local too
It’s no good trying to target local searchers with content that features no specific locations or services. The title tags, meta title and description, alt tags, and other key on-page elements need to feature that SiL keyword.
If you’re trying to target multiple local areas and neighbouring towns, you can do that too with individual pages. Make sure the SiL keywords are always specific and relevant to the page and that the page has unique content.
Encourage Google reviews
Your Google reviews will appear right underneath your Google My Business listing so it’s in a prime position to encourage or discourage buying decisions. A really high average review with lots of comments obviously looks much more trustworthy and reputable than a business with no reviews or a couple of bad ones.
How to increase positive reviews.
You can ask customers for reviews as long as you’re not incentivising it with a free gift or perk. This means asking them directly when they’re right in front of you, putting signage in your premises to let people know you’re on Google Reviews, emailing or texting the customer after purchase, or asking on social media.
How to deal with negative reviews.
Encourage the customer to talk to you directly so they don’t feel like they’re being ignored or need to share their grievances with other people. Resolution is always more important.
Always think local
Local SEO isn’t too different to general SEO but it does require a different strategy and logic. Your local customers are likely to be looking for slightly different things and traditional elements like customer service and expertise go a really long way. This is what people want from their local businesses.
If your business isn’t using local SEO, now is definitely the time to start.
SEO in Chorley
See what we did there? For helpful local SEO strategies that work now and keep working, talk to the Tall Zebra Designs team.