What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a strategy of search engine optimisation (SEO) that focuses efforts on ranking for keywords that are relevant to a local area. This could be a village, town, city, or county. The difference between local SEO and standard SEO is the strategy (which we will touch on later). Local SEO works best for businesses that conduct their work in person, whether you have 1 location or 100 local locations. For example, a dentist would benefit from local SEO as their services would only be relevant to those who are close to the clinic.
Why is local SEO important?
I could through out stats on how 56% of Google searches are based on local intent, or how 29% of Google results contain local map rankings, but local SEO main benefit and importance is that it provides small businesses the ability to get in front of their customer base without having to compete with ‘the big boys’. For example, if Franco owns a pizzeria in Stratford, East London, he might struggle to beat out the likes of Dominoes and Pizza Hut for “Pizza London” or “Pizza Near Me”. Luckily, the big competition like Dominoes can get those big keywords so easily that they don’t bother to look for more local ones, and that’s where Franco comes in. With small competition he can easily rank for “Pizza Stratford” or “Pizza East London” and land his target market.
What kind of businesses need local SEO?
Every business with any geographical location can benefit from local Search Engine Optimization. But there’s an important sector that requires more. What niche/industry could benefit by utilizing local search engine optimization as a component of their business strategy and how to implement it?
As with already covered, a pizza shop is a perfect example of a business that needs local SEO. Any business that has a geographical location where they serve their customers can benefit from local SEO, such as:
Home renovations require the workers to travel to customers homes to perform the work, because of this it’s important that the calls and bookings coming into the business are local to their businesses operations (factory, warehouse etc…). Most businesses like home renovations, or any work that involves showing up at a clients door, usually only work a certain radius from their factory. Not having local SEO means that this business would miss out on relevant clients and instead could receive website visitors from the other side of the country.
Accounting and Finance
Accounting and financial planning has the potential to take place online, and this option massively grew over the last few years due to lockdowns. Now, whilst it can be done online, most people like having local accountants and local financial planners. This is a great opportunity for smaller firms to attract local clientele rather than attempting to complete online with the larger firms.
As previously mentioned with Franco and his pizzeria, restaurants are the perfect example for businesses that need local SEO. Nobody wants to travel 1 or 2 hours for some food, so ranking for general restaurant keywords won’t get you anywhere. Targeting local keywords is a must for restaurant and the more specific you can get, the easier it’ll be to get to the top.
When you feel a bit sick you might go to your local pharmacy, or your local gp. If you have a toothache, you might go to your local dentist. Nobody wants to travel far to these services, especially when they aren’t feeling 100%. So, trying to target general keywords would get you nowhere. Even targeting keywords like “dentist London” might be too general, instead for services within the medical industry the more local the keywords, the better results you’ll achieve.
When you want to buy or sell a house, most the time you’ll reach out to a local estate agents who are experts in the area. Even if it’s a chain, the agents you speak with will specialise in that location. As a real estate agent, focusing on local SEO will give you a better opportunity to capture people buying and selling homes rather than general keywords like “estate agents” which might get you found by people in far away cities.
What are the benefits of local SEO?
We touched on the benefit of not fitting with ‘the big boys’ earlier, and that is the main benefit of local SEO as it leads you through a cycle of other benefits.
Reach More People
Let’s say you decide to target 10 local keywords that each have 100 searches per month, instead of targeting a competitive keyword with 1,000 searches per month. Now, because you’ve taken the local approach, you see less competition in your path to ranking at the top of Google and you find it easier to get there. Because of this you’re able to rank at the top for most of these keywords and achieve a click through rate (CTR) of 27.6% (276 visitors per month) instead of the 2.4% CTR you would achieve ranking at the bottom of the competitive keyword (24 visitors per month).
Drive more conversions
Now, because you’re bringing in over 10x the amount of traffic as you would’ve done on the competitive keyword, you will begin to drive more conversions. That’s because conversions is essentially a numbers game. For example, if you convert 2% of all traffic to your website then you’ll know (with 276 visitors) that you’ll see 5-6 conversions per month using local keywords as opposed to 0.48 conversions per month using the competitive keyword. And, if you’re in the business of home conversions, let’s say loft conversions which average between £21,000-£44,000, 5 clients per month would be enough on your plate.
Enhance Your Reputation
The last benefit of this process of not competing with ‘the big boys’ is that you can grow your local reputation. Being at the top of local search results allows you to become well known in the area and begin to receive more clients simply through word of mouth. Local businesses have been known to take off simply for targeting small traffic local based keywords.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
There are many ranking factors for standard SEO that still apply for a local strategy. The main factors that are only for local SEO would be Google My Business, citations, distance from searcher location, and contact details.
How to Optimize Your Website For Local SEO?
To optimise your website for local SEO, you follow the same strategy as standard SEO with a few extra steps (those mentioned in the ‘Local SEO Ranking Factors’ section). First, you want to pick a relevant keyword that is getting some traffic. Once you’ve found this keyword, you want to apply it to your website titles, description, URL and on the page you’re trying to rank with. As well as this, you want to setup a Google My Business with correct details, and register citations (such as 192.com). This, along with good content and good internal and external linking will see you rise to the top. We know that this does sound confusing, and if you want to conduct a successful local SEO campaign, reach out to Regency’s expert local SEO team today.