Local SEO is a relatively new term being banded about by internet marketers and Google followers. It is an extremely useful way of marketing your business and services to your local area, if that is where your business generates most of its’ customers.
Local SEO, in a nutshell, is a branch of SEO that focuses on promoting your website among local search results on Google, Yahoo, Bing etc.
Bricks & Mortar
Local SEO is often said to be appropriate for a “Bricks & Mortar” business, one where you have a physical presence like a shop, local office or establishment. It is perfect for a business that needs to be found, both on-line and off-line, by those that live and work in your immediate area.
But in our experience, even if you are not trying to get people in to your physical building to buy something or to enquire about your business, it is still a very useful tool to reach out to local people who may then be able to find you, and engage with you, on-line.
The only criteria really is that you actually do have a presence within your given location, a home office, lock up shop or office is perfect.
How Do I Use Local SEO?
The main 4 components of local SEO are Google My Business, Citations, reputation and reviews.
Google My Business is a must for a local business wanting to be found by local people on-line, and, being Google of course, it really helps getting your business up the Google rankings, if done correctly.
Google My Business (GMB)
GMB is a free product that allows business owners the opportunity to submit and verify details about their business (Name, address, services, hours of business and offers) which in turn gives them a listing on GMB and, by adding posts and content regularly, you have the chance to be found easily by people looking for a business like yours in your area.
Citations & Reviews
A Citation on the internet refers to any mention of your company, whether that be in a directory listing, an article or on another website. A citation is usually made up of your business name, address, phone number and web address and tells Google that your business does exist and can give your business valuable trust rankings if citations come from multiple sources.
Citations can be found on sites such as Yell or Thompson Local, or on specific trade directories and Trusted Trader type listings. There are companies who specialise in providing you with citations in the appropriate and most relevant places for your business, such as local directories, social channels, local press and trade directories.
Reviews literally do speak for themselves! There is no better person to tell others in your community how great you are than a satisfied customer, although an element of caution must be observed in making sure your good reviews are genuine, honest and believable.
What about bad reviews you might ask? Well, they can appear of course, but often these bad reviews can be turned in to a positive with a considered and honest response from you. People like to see that a business is “human” and if faced with some negative feedback then the business responds in an open and honest manner. Typically, if your business is sound, then the good reviews will far outweigh the bad ones and any element of negativity will add some balance and honesty to your business.
Your on-line reputation is defined by the content you post out, the interaction and reactions from website visitors and your reviews and testimonials on the internet. It is also affected by your presence, or lack of it, on social media and blog posts.
So managing your on-line reputation is very important for local SEO. With all your efforts in promoting your business on-line, you need to be able to monitor and track what people are saying about your business and respond appropriately when it is called for.
Again, there are specialist companies who will develop and manage your business’s on-line reputation as this can be quite a time consuming and tricky operation, but very worthwhile if you get it right!
So this is just a brief look in to the world of Local SEO and if you would like to know more about SEO in general, why not download our FREE e-book, “How To Think Like A Search Engine”? Just enter your details here and we will send you a copy!