When people think of SEO, they tend to picture global businesses battling it out across search engines for worldwide supremacy over incredibly broad and competitive keywords. There’s an element of truth to this, of course. But for every large-scale keyword search, there’s a vast number of smaller-scale searches that are just as valuable to your business.
That’s where the magic of local SEO comes into play!
Many businesses assume that they’re already ranking locally due to a steady workload or a good general reputation. While these are certainly beneficial, they aren’t guaranteed to get you found on Google!
Fear not, because we’ve compiled a complete guide to local SEO. If you’re interested in local SEO for small business benefits, you’ll discover everything you need to know and more!I'm ready to start!
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is basically the act of making your business more visible on search engines. However, unlike broad search terms, local SEO services those who are searching within their local regions (for example, plumbers in Cheltenham, or more general terms like phone repairs near me).
With local SEO, people in nearby areas who search for what you offer are able to find you much easier. And while many view SEO as being something that only works for online companies, the benefits of local SEO for brick and mortar businesses are vast!
Local SEO helps you to let your community know you exist. Word of mouth can only get you so far. In fact, even if your business doesn’t have a website, customers will still search online for details about your company before choosing to give you their business.
Why? Well, to be blunt, people don’t trust a business with no available online information. And when it comes to local SEO for small business advertising, you want to earn that trust. After all, due to the specific nature of local SEO searches, these are people with a strong intent to buy!
Whether you’re looking for tips on how to dominate local SEO or just want to take advantage of the greater visibility it offers, here are some of the main benefits of implementing local SEO.
With local SEO, you’re not shouting to be heard across the thousands of other global businesses online. Instead, you’re popping up in front of the people already searching for your local offerings.
One of the other benefits of local SEO is that Google loves small business search engine optimisation! Never forget – Google likes providing fast and simple solutions to what people are searching for. Local SEO is perfect for this due to the regionality and specific terms included in the searches people make online.
It’s always best to work with local SEO services when putting together your local SEO game plan. But in the meantime, here are some useful tips that you should know when going at it alone or searching for a knowledgeable local SEO consultant.
The majority of search engine results are from organic results (such as websites) or a local pack (also known as the 3-pack). What is a local pack? It’s essentially the three main local businesses that Google will show a user during their local SEO search.
If we use the example of plumbers in Cheltenham, we can see how effective being in that 3-pack can be.
This is where you need to be. Google loves nothing more than being able to give customers easy access to their searches, and the information above hand feeds people everything they need to know.
Google shows these main 3 results based on simple criteria – location, user reviews, and information that your business has allowed Google to find.
So, what’s the first step in making sure your business is front and center for these searches? And where do you need to put this information for Google to find?
You need to get on Google My Business!
Many businesses completely overlook claiming their company on Google My Business, but it’s one of the most effective ways to get yourself more visible online.
Google My Business is a free (you heard us correctly – it’s FREE) tool that helps businesses to better optimise and showcase their services through local SEO practices. By taking ownership of your Google My Business account, you’re able to control what is shown when people search for your products and services.
(Let’s look at the Bubbli Digital GMB page as an example!)
What we can see here (other than the great reviews!) is that everything a potential customer would be looking for in their search for a local SEO company is there.
In other words, a local SEO search (which is already a hot lead itself) can find your business in the 3-pack, learn everything they need about you in your Google My Business page, and be a converted customer in no time.
Pretty incredible, right?
You’ll be asked to type in your business name, whether that’s claiming an existing business or starting with a brand new one. Google will tell you if it can locate your business. If it can’t, you’ll need to choose to create a business with this name.
Enter your official business address (Google will usually automatically fill this in for you). If you own a brick and mortar business, use this address. If not, use the home address of the owner of your business.
Google will ask what kind of business you run. Of course, in terms of local SEO services, this is vital to get right. Describe what your business is and not what you sell. You’re only given one category here, so be sure that you feel it’s one that sums your company up best.
If you’re stuck for a category, simply Google some similar services to yours and see what other businesses in your industry have gone with. If a certain category is popular then it’s a pretty safe bet!
While this isn’t mandatory, we recommend putting both of these on your Google My Business page. Only use direct lines that are strictly for business purposes. Call helpline numbers that charge callers won’t be acceptable, and aren’t going to cut it here.
In terms of a website, try to link that one webpage you feel sums up your business, your service, and your values perfectly. Ideally, this would be your Homepage. Either way, social media and landing page links aren’t accepted here.
Your Google My Business account is now ready to go! It’s time to wait for the postcard with a passcode to confirm your listing.
Once verified, you’ll receive a confirmation email or link with further instructions.
As we’ve seen on the Bubbli Digital GMB page, personalise your Google My Business with extra pictures, additional contact information and opening hours.
Look for reviews and testimonials and interact with them, or ask satisfied customers to leave a little review. Most satisfied customers don’t mind a polite email with a link to provide a review. It may not sound like a lot, but these small touches make your business stand out on the local map listings.
Now that we understand the 3-pack, and we know how important setting up a GMB page is, let’s look at the best ways to ensure that your business gets in that 3 -pack.
If you’re not working with any kind of local SEO consultant then you’ll have to do the work for yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean trawling through hundreds of keywords, but it does mean implementing some basic local SEO skills.
Basic local SEO can follow a pretty straightforward formula: Service in Locations (also known as SiLs).
SMake a note of all the variations of that search. For the example above, it’s safe to assume that the following searches could be used in addition to the electricians in Leeds one:
This is a simple but effective way of learning how to dominate local SEO. Pinpoint your location and add some extra pictures of your place of work to give it a more personal dimension.
For a little extra SEO, you can even make a location-specific ‘About Us’ page. For example:
For over nine years, The Pearly White Dental Centre has been proudly brightening smiles for the community. If you’re looking for dentists in (region), look no further!
So, what are the results of mapping your location and making an area-specific ‘About Us’ section? When people search for dentists in your region, you’re far more likely to pop up, and with a map that tells them how easy it is to reach you, no less.
Remember that image we showed you that had all of the Bubbli Digital contact details in one place? That’s NAP!
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. By keeping your contact information as accurate as possible, Google rewards you by ranking you higher. Why? We’ll say it again – because Google likes giving people a quick and easy way to find what they are looking for.
In other words, when someone searches for what you offer within your region, you’re helping Google to determine that you’re the best answer to that specific search.
You’re helping Google to help users find you.
Let’s face the realities of the modern world. If someone searches for your business on a mobile device (which is highly likely these days!) what is the user experience going to be like? If you’re not sure, then chances are you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to convert mobile device users.
Consistency is key here. If one customer uses a desktop, and another uses their smartphone, they should both experience the same flawless user journey. If that’s not the case, then you can wave goodbye to that quick and easy mobile conversion.
his is a surefire way of getting ahead of the competition. When you consider that Amazon have Alexa, and Apple have Siri, as well as Google’s voice search technologies, I think it’s safe to say that voice search and SEO are going to be a gigantic part of future advertising.
Google speech technology can now recognise over 100 languages, and it’s predicted that over 55% of households will own a smart speaker by 2022. If you’re planning on thriving in local SEO, we can’t ignore the trends. Instead, we need to embrace them.
You’ve already got a list of keywords based on service in locations (your SiL formula), and now you can put them to good use through landing pages.
Example: Are you a dentist in Nottingham? Chances are your SiL would have been something along these lines:
In terms of SEO, if you class your homepage as your main event, think of the pages you internally link there as the support acts that are elevated by being associated with the star attraction.
Not only does internal link building keep people on your website for longer, but it helps Google learn more about your business. With internal links, you’re guiding Google by the hand and allowing it to crawl your website with ease.
What do you need in order to get Google crawling across your webpage? Well, you need the right content!
Just be sure that your links within your content add to the reader’s enjoyment. They need to be relevant, and trustworthy links. Internally, this may be fine, but be careful of external links, and only link to a reputable source.
Speaking of content, here are some local SEO content creation tips that’ll give you that extra advantage over the competition on search engines.
If there’s a local event that’s always popular, or something that’s making some noise in your area, then get some content together that fits around it while promoting your business.
If you’re an electrician and there’s a local fire station fundraiser, write about the event and end it by reminding people to check their electrical sockets regularly.
If there’s a bake sale or sweets stall at the weekend, acknowledge it and perhaps promote your family dental practice at the end.
There’s always a way to promote your business through the community. It’s just a matter of keeping up to date with what’s happening in your area.
Engage with local businesses, search for your region online and answer questions. Get out there and let people know you exist!
Tip one gives you events and news to write about, so why not take it one step further and comment on other posts online? These stepping stones of conversation can build strong foundations of brand recognition.
Sometimes all your content needs is a little editing and some content optimisation to gain traction locally.
However, no matter how much research and effort you put into your local SEO game plan, there needs to be a combination of Google-friendly practices and content that has the human touch.
There’s a fine art to creating this kind of content, and one that needs the expertise of a local SEO company if you’re serious about being in the mix on Google’s local listings.
Our integrated multichannel marketing approach harnesses expert SEO strategies through content that makes your brand pop!
A Bubbli campaign is one that believes in the power of words and the innovations of good SEO. By crafting our narratives with your local SEO needs in mind, your business will stand out through well-optimised content that serves a purpose.
There’s nothing more powerful in local SEO than Google-friendly practices that work alongside engaging content to humanise your brand. Not only are you getting Google to understand you’re a high-ranker, but you’re also developing long-term relationships with customers.
By creating content that pleases search engines and appeals to human emotions, your business can not only reach new heights but new depths, too. We ensure that your content is emotive, consistent, and on-brand for your business.
Don’t be the business that almost got there. Don’t be the business that tried but got lost there. Contact us today, and be the business that’s everywhere.
The opportunity to grasp more business and establish your brand is within your reach. So share your story, and trust Bubbli to get your business in front of the people actively searching for your products and services.Get started