What Is Local SEO? - The Ultimate Guide

What is local SEO? Learn the importance of local SEO for businesses to improve your online presence, attract more local customers, and drive traffic to your website.

What Is Local SEO? - The Ultimate Guide

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is becoming increasingly important for business owners all over the globe. With more and more businesses taking advantage of their online presence, virtually every industry has become highly competitive. That's why local business owners must find a way to stand out in the digital marketplace. One of the best ways to reach potential clients through organic search results is with local SEO.

Local SEO refers to the process of optimising your website for people living in a specific geographic region. For example, if you're a plumber, you'll want Google searches, such as "plumber near me" or "plumber Melbourne," to direct customers to your website.

If you're wondering, "What is local SEO?" you've come to the right place. This article will walk you through the ins and outs of local SEO, helping you develop a successful local SEO strategy for your local business.

Local SEO - A Quick Run-Through

Local SEO entails utilising various techniques and tactics to improve local search visibility and reach more local clients. To do this, local marketers must come up with an effective SEO strategy, which usually includes the following:

  1. Optimising Your Business Website: Your website needs to be properly optimised with relevant titles, descriptions, content, and keywords.
  2. Optimising Your Google My Business Listing: This tool will help you appear on Google Maps and local search results.
  3. Optimising for Mobile Devices: Since an increasing number of people uses Google search on their mobile phones, your website must be optimised for mobile devices.
  4. Creating Local Content: You'll improve your local search performance by creating localised content and including location-specific keywords.
  5. Building Local Links: If you build relationships with local businesses, they will generate inbound links, which directly impact your local business marketing strategy.
  6. Monitoring Local Reviews: Keep track of and respond to customer reviews to build trust and make sure your local SEO campaign is paying off.

Through these SEO tactics, companies can increase brand awareness and ultimately generate more leads. Local SEO has many more benefits, but we'll get to that later.

What Is Local SEO?

Before we dive into the specifics, let's talk about what local SEO means in greater detail.

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a branch of digital marketing that focuses on improving a website's visibility through local search results. By doing so, local SEO takes a step further from traditional SEO. It aims to help customers find relevant local services or products through major search engines like Google and Bing.

But how does local SEO work exactly? Simply put, optimising your website in a certain way improves its local search engine visibility. The goal is to rank high on search engine results pages (SERPs) so that more people can find your website.

Several key elements make up local SEO, including:

  • Ranking for specific keywords related to business offerings
  • Optimising website content for local searches
  • Setting up local listings on business directories
  • Building positive online reviews from past customers
  • Gathering local citations from other businesses

Local SEO includes optimising content around localised terms like "near me" and "local delivery" so that webpages appear higher on a local search. Creating targeted campaigns with local landing pages helps direct users who may not have otherwise considered your company.

Local SEO isn't only an essential tool for online businesses, but for brick-and-mortar locations as well, such as stores, restaurants, and service providers, which rely on local customers.

Benefits of Local SEO

The benefits of local SEO are numerous. A powerful local SEO strategy can:

  • Help create a strong online presence for local businesses
  • Increase their visibility on both paid and organic search results
  • Improve customer engagement and user experience by providing more accurate information about the company and its offerings
  • Drive qualified traffic to business websites through targeted listings, reviews, and ads
  • Enhance credibility through positive user reviews and ratings
  • Create a competitive advantage over other local businesses

Investing time and effort into implementing various local search practices has become a vital component of any successful digital marketing campaign because it can provide exponential results over time.

Crafting an Effective Local SEO Strategy

Now that we've gone over the local SEO meaning, let's move on to creating a local SEO strategy to drive results and boost website traffic.

You should aim to make your website more visible by appearing in local search results. Coming up with a solid local SEO campaign is a complex process, which requires a local business owner to do research and keep track of trends.

The first step of developing a compelling local SEO strategy involves researching keywords relevant to your target audience and geographical area. To perform thorough local keyword research, this is what you need to do:

  • Analyse competitor websites for potential opportunities
  • Understand how people use different words depending on their location
  • Optimise content around these targeted phrases, using them in titles, headings, descriptions, and body text
  • Create locally optimised web pages
  • Come up with content specific to a particular region

Combining these elements into one cohesive plan will help your local business create high-quality leads from local search results pages.

Optimising Your Website for Local SEO

A foolproof local SEO strategy begins with optimising your own website for local searches. This is where local SEO tools come in, which can be incredibly powerful in driving potential clients to your business.

A comprehensive local SEO analysis is essential for understanding where you currently stand on search engine rankings on a local level. Moreover, comprehensive local SEO management will ensure that your website remains relevant in the eyes of search engines and future customers.

There are a few key elements that you should take into consideration when optimising your website:

  1. Understanding what local SEO services include
  2. Building a robust Google Business Profile
  3. Creating unique content optimised around relevant keywords
  4. Leveraging directory citations across sites like Yelp!, Yellow Pages, and Bing Places
  5. Earning quality backlinks from other authoritative sources in your industry
  6. Monitoring competitor activities
  7. Analysing trends
  8. Staying up-to-date on algorithm changes and updates by major search engines

When executed properly, optimised websites often experience increased traffic which can result in higher conversion rates on local rankings.

Optimising Your Google My Business Listing

In order for your business to receive maximum visibility and reach on Google search, optimising your Google My Business (GMB) listing, otherwise known as a Google Business Profile, is a must. It's a great way to ensure potential customers will find your business website without effort. With a few simple steps, your business can appear in the right places.

To optimise your Google Business Profile, this is what you need to do:

  1. Write a detailed business description: Include a detailed description of your business and its products/services.
  2. Add relevant categories: Choose categories that accurately describe your business and include all applicable sub-categories.
  3. Use correct business information: Ensure all your business information (name, address, phone number, etc.) is accurate and up-to-date.
  4. Create a detailed business profile: Provide important information about your business, such as hours, payment types, accepted currencies, etc.
  5. Incorporate images: Add photos and videos that reflect your brand and showcase your local products/services.
  6. Implement keywords: Use relevant keywords throughout your profile to help customers find your business.
  7. Monitor and respond to reviews: Keep track of reviews and respond to them promptly.
  8. Update your listing regularly: Update your listing with new offers, events, and products to keep customers informed.

Proper optimisation of your Google My Business page leads to numerous benefits, such as increased web traffic, leads, inquiries, and customer awareness, as well as improved visibility in local search results and customer engagement.

Using Local Keywords and Phrases

Businesses can enhance their visibility in local search results by incorporating relevant keywords specific to a region. This can help them reach their target audience more effectively than generic keyword strategies. Using local keywords and phrases in content is an excellent way of optimising websites for local searches.

For example, a company offering services in Melbourne would benefit from adding the word "Melbourne" or similar terms to the website copy, which will help Google determine your website has local intent. Strategically placing geographical references in titles and headings will increase the chances of being noticed by users searching for related products or services in the same area.

Creating Local Content

Coming up with local content is a vital component of local SEO. The trick is to create local content that speaks to the needs and interests of customers residing there. You should use location-specific keywords and phrases in the website's text as well. This allows potential customers to find your business when they run an online search using the same terms.

You should tailor content to the language, culture, lifestyle, and location of your target audience. Website owners can include region-specific information, such as popular events or attractions, in blog posts and other parts of their site. This helps build credibility among locals who appreciate being acknowledged by businesses operating within their community. If you provide localised offers for products or services, your customers will also know what you offer.

Building Local Citations

Building local citations is a cornerstone of successful local search engine optimisation. They refer to mentions of the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business on other websites. Citations act as signposts for search engine algorithms, allowing them to identify where you're located and what services you offer in that area.

Your citations must be consistent across all sites to represent your business authentically. This means ensuring NAP information matches everywhere it's listed, including abbreviations and punctuation marks like periods and hyphens.

Submitting your business information to prominent online directories such as Google My Business and Yelp will help build your citation profile and improve overall visibility. Customers who find your business through local directories may leave online reviews that add value. They provide social proof about why they chose to do business with you over competitors. Being active on review sites increases web traffic, allowing potential clients to engage with you directly.

Generating Reviews

Speaking of reviews, generating positive customer feedback benefits businesses by boosting their credibility and maximising website traffic.

By actively seeking customer feedback through surveys or direct contact, companies can better understand what motivates people to leave good reviews and how they experience your product or service. This information allows businesses to create targeted campaigns that generate more favourable reviews across multiple platforms such as Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

Taking advantage of automated review features allows companies to request customer feedback at specific points on a company's website or app. By sending polite messages at regular intervals, businesses can effectively increase the number of overall reviews without being intrusive or annoying.

Measuring Local SEO Performance

Measuring local SEO performance involves assessing how productive are tactics and campaigns used to improve search engine rankings for a business in the local area. The metrics gathered from local SEO analysis provide valuable insight into which strategies are the most effective, allowing businesses to make informed decisions about future optimisation efforts.

You can measure local SEO performance by tracking changes in website traffic and improvements in organic search results and keyword rankings over time. It's a good idea to closely monitor visibility on map listings using Google My Business and Google Maps. Tracking customer reviews on third-party platforms like Yelp and TripAdvisor can further help assess how local SEO initiatives are performing.

Businesses will also want to monitor competitor activity. Understanding what competitors are doing with their online presence can give organisations an edge when crafting new strategies or fine-tuning existing ones.

PRO TIP: Use leverage tools such as Ahrefs or Moz Local to track keyword positions, monitor backlinks, and review competitor strategies - all within one platform! This makes it easier to gain insights into current and past performance to better optimise future campaigns.

Managing Your Online Reputation

Monitoring your online reputation is another significant aspect of managing local SEO performance. It's of the utmost importance that your presence on the web reflects positively on you and your brand. By understanding how people perceive you, businesses can work towards improving their visibility and credibility.

This involves staying up-to-date with customer reviews, news articles, social media posts, and other sources of information on the internet. Keeping track of what others say about your company or brand allows you to respond quickly to any negative press and act accordingly, which could include:

  • Responding directly to complaints made by customers
  • Issuing public apologies
  • Taking legal steps if necessary

This way, companies can protect their reputation and improve their search engine rankings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Measure Local SEO Performance?

It's important to use reliable tools or metrics when measuring the effectiveness of your local SEO strategy. Indicators could include:

  • Organic rankings
  • Bounce rate and click-through rates (CTRs)
  • The number of leads generated via local searches
  • Website visits from high-authority sites
  • Social media shares

Using data analytics tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console will allow you to monitor changes in rankings to understand what needs improvement. Tracking customer feedback through surveys and interviews provides valuable insight into what works best with customers in your local area.

How Can I Effectively Build Local Citations?

To build citations, you must first submit accurate information on your business profile on popular directories. Use the same name on social media accounts when it's possible. You will also have to research which listing sites would benefit your business most. Some industries work better with specific directories than others.

Note that each website may require varying amounts of information. Be careful when filling out forms to avoid penalties for keyword stuffing or similar missteps. Once you build your citations, the next step is to track them regularly. Doing this gives you peace of mind, knowing your efforts will improve local visibility levels among local clientele.

How Can I Ensure I Am Staying Up-To-Date with Local SEO Trends?

One of the best ways to ensure you are informed about new developments in local SEO is by subscribing to industry newsletters and blogs focusing on that topic. You will be in the loop if search engines like Google or Bing make any changes or updates.

Networking with professionals with expertise in this field can also provide valuable information regarding current best practices. Attending conferences and workshops related to local SEO can be beneficial as well. You can also participate in forums and discussion groups where marketers talk about their experience, which can help identify which approach works best for specific industries.

What Is the Best Way to Manage My Online Reputation?

One way to manage your online reputation is by actively monitoring customer feedback across all channels. Many people post reviews on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter and review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Reviews.

By regularly checking these sites and responding promptly to negative comments, businesses can provide better customer service, simultaneously improving their public image.

Another strong strategy for managing an online reputation is creating positive content that promotes your business. Companies should strive to create high-quality blog posts, videos, and podcasts that showcase their best aspects without being overly promotional.

Do I Need Local SEO?

If you're new to SEO, you might be wondering, "What is local SEO?" and whether you need it.

In today's highly competitive digital landscape, local SEO is more important than ever for businesses that want to appear in local search results and attract new customers. By investing time in researching, planning, and implementing effective local SEO measures, businesses can stand out from the crowd and draw attention from consumers who may otherwise never hear about them.

If your business needs local SEO or digital marketing services, RankRise is here to help. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you’re interested in our services. 

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Tijana Abadic
Tijana Abadic

Tijana is a content writer with three years of experience working for digital marketing firms and creating informative and engaging content for diverse industries. As a content strategist at RankRise, she specialises in writing and editing long-form content that reflects the brand and drives results.

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The cost of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) services depends on the complexity and scope of the project. The cost is generally higher if your industry is more competitive, or if you would prefer to see results faster. The price starts at $150 per month to target the location near your physical location, to $1,600 per month for a campaign with a broader reach. Our team provides customised quotes based on your individual needs, so contact us to discuss them in more detail.

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